From the pen of Gavin Hewitt, the BBC's Europe editor:
In politics it is often true that you are judged by your friends and associations. I was reminded of this when I read the British Foreign Secretary's attack on the Tories and their European allies. David Miliband's allegation is that the Conservatives have linked themselves to the far right in Europe, to neo-Nazis and anti-Semites.
I've heard this too and I'd be interested to know what the truth is. Let's read on, shall we?
Its leader is Michael Kaminski from Poland. The allegation against him is that he opposed an unconditional apology for the massacre of 41 Jews by Poles in the village of Jebwadne during World War II.
He says he has been mis-represented.
His party is accused of being homophobic.
Again there have been denials.
Another target has been Robert Zile of Latvia's Fatherland and Freedom Party. His party is accused of commemorating those
who served in the Waffen SS.
The Tories have said that they would never do business with anyone who they thought glorified the SS.
Okay. So what's the truth? Read on for 400 words and you get this...
I have not investigated these allegations of far-right connections myself and I do not know their strength...
I haven't investigated these allegations either, Gavin, but then I'm not the BBC's Europe editor. Any chance you could shine some light on them rather than repeating gossip and hearsay?
...but I know that as the British election gets closer they will gain more attention not less; that it will be difficult to close down this story and that in the dog-fight of an election campaign you can be judged, fairly or not, by your friends and associations.
No smoke without fire, eh?