I came out of a meeting Wednesday afternoon to find four calls from broadcasters wanrting to interview me, the first I've had duiring this election campaign, and I knew at once that Gordon Brown must have egg on his face. That's the only way my Brown biography gets me airtime. 

The Express calls Brown's brush with Mrs Duffy the worst gaff in British election history. They are trading on the likelihood that Express readers won't remember the great gaffes - Churchill's Gestapo jibe in 1945 springs to mind, or Labour's Sheffield rally in 1992.

But we expect the Conservative newspapers to make the most of it. What struck me was how this brought out the visceral hatred some on the right have for Brown.

I found myself sharing the airtime at 10.30 pm on Radion 5 with a thoughtful young man call James Forsyth who's the political editor on the Spectator - and an academic called Judith Stamper, who apparently teaches something called political commuinication at Leeds University, and couldn't get the self-righteous loathing out of her system fast enough.

Ms Stamper launched into an unstoppable tirade about how this proved the wickedness of Brown.    It wasn't a measured academic assessment, but a bitter rant that came from some dark place deep inside this rather unpleasant-sounding woman.

I wonder where all that hatred came from.  My guess is that folk like that were sure the old-fashioned ideas of equality on which Labour used to be built had been slaughtered by Tony Blair, never to arise. They suspect that deep inside Brown lurks a man who still instinctively sides with the underdog. And they hate him for it.

For what it's worth, having listened carefully to what Brown said when he thought he was alone in his car with an aide, I just remark that he was speaking quietly and calmly, in an unguarded way, and he said the woman he'd spoken to was "a sort of bigoted woman."   But combine the hype of the Express with the visceral loathing of the expert in political communication from Leeds, and you've got a scandal.