DAVID Milliband may well be right. Suggestions that Tessa Jowell's separation from her husband was orchestrated by Alistair Campbell may indeed be rubbish.

It may simply be the case that the marriage - under intense pressure because of David Mills' peculiar financial arrangements with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 1997 - could not stand the strain.

After all, it must have come as a huge shock for Ms Jowell to discover that the family's fortunes had been suddenly boosted by more than a third of a million pounds without her husband mentioning where it had come from.

Relationships do tend to suffer when a partner fails to mention something which the other might consider to be a teeny bit important.

So when Mr Milliband dismissed Andrew Marr's televised question about Mr Campbell's rumoured involvement by saying it was a 'grotesque suggestion', who are we to argue?

But wherever the truth lies, the speculation that spin may have been behind the separation simply serves to underline again the kind of unenviable reputation British politics has earned itself.

Very few people can bring themselves to believe that it is simply a sad separation resulting from a breach of trust between a devoted couple.

The majority automatically think that there is more to it: that the spinmasters are at it again, pulling the strings behind the scenes, insisting it is the best way to protect the Government from another scandal.

That is what is so sad about this increasingly bizarre saga.