Charlie Whelan says . . .

Don't believe it - "Red Charlie"

Charlie Kennedy should be delighted with the vicious attack on him by the Sun in the Lib Dems' conference week. It means that he is a real danger to the Tories. Let's not forget that the Sun has never actually backed Labour, only Tony Blair. When Blair is finally forced out, Rupert Murdoch will reassess his options, and what he would really like to do is support the Tories.

The problem is that they are becoming unelectable and their complete disintegration could come at the hands of the Liberal Democrats. Most Lib Dem target seats are held by Tories, which is why Kennedy is keen to play down being left-wing. And that's why the Sun is eager to say not only that he is "Red Charlie" but also that he's a drunk. Showing a picture of him on a whisky bottle and giving him scores in little whisky bottles was its subtle way of smearing him.

Still, it could have been worse for Charlie - or Charles, as he prefers. He could have got the Frank Bruno treatment. "Bonkers Bruno is locked up" screamed the Sun's first edition, changed when even they realised it was in bad taste. The worst they could chuck at Kennedy was that he would, apparently, "hand condoms to schoolchildren at the age of 11".

On the same day, Blair's favourite pornographer, now running the Express, produced a double-page spread showing Gordon Brown to be the most dangerous man in Britain. This seems to confirm suspicions that Alastair "Fuck the BBC" Campbell is off to work for Richard Desmond at the Express. If he does, we can expect plenty more of this anti-Brown stuff. Fortunately for the Chancellor, his anti-euro line goes down well at the Sun, so he won't be getting the same shtick as his fellow countryman - yet.

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