As every journalist is taught, you can't libel the dead.
The fact that former weapons expert Dr David Kelly is as cold as yesterday's rice pudding is good news for Downing Street spin doctor Tom Kelly (no relation) because it means he can blacken his name with impunity.
Reacting to Dr Kelly's apparent suicide, Tony Blair said "I think people want and expect ourselves as politicians, I think yourselves as the media reporting this, to show that respect and restraint because of what has happened." (Source: BBC News Online)
Now it emerges that the Prime Minister's spokesman Tom Kelly described Dr Kelly as a "Walter Mitty character" to the Independent's Deputy Political Editor, Paul Waugh. Waugh says he was not the only journalist to be given the phrase.
BBC News Online: Blair official sorry over Mitty remark
Telegraph: No 10 'sorry' for Kelly slur
Respectful and restrained? Dr Kelly's funeral takes place on Wednesday. One can only hope that Downing Street officials can restrain themselves from rushing to Oxfordshire to piss on his freshly-dug grave.