It's not name dropping or pretending that we are bosom pals, but I have been a nodding acquaintance of Peter Hain's for over 30 years, since we were both members of the Young Liberals in the 1970s. (When my sister had a poster of Donny Osmond on her bedroom wall I had a poster of Peter Hain on mine !!!! )
Political differences apart, Peter has always stuck me as a genuinely honest person. Since he was fitted up on a false charge of robbing a bank Peter has known that you don't just need to be honest in public life, but you have to be able to prove that you are honest too. Therefore, if Peter Hain says that not registering a donation to his deputy leadership campaign was a genuine oversight caused by an administrative error then I believe him 150% without any margin for doubt.
I have never met Paul Flynn MP, and I have never had any dealings with him. However, from what I have seen of him on TV, heard of him on the radio, read about him in the press and read by him on his blog, he has always struck me as a genuine sort of man who tends to put truth, conviction and his constituents before petty party political point scoring.
The downfall of the Conservative party in the late 1990's came about when those who we had always suspected of being smarmy, dirty dealing bastards were caught out. The fact that, now, the good guys like Hain are caught in the cross fire of sleaze accusations and solid blokes like Flynn feel the need to spin the truth, make me feel that Gordon Brown's premiership is in a much, much more disastrous position now than John Major's ever was.