There have been quite a few stories in the media about the loss and/or leaking of confidential information over the past few months. Everything from a relatively innocuous list of customer names through sensitive personal and financial information to highly classified intelligence documents have been stolen, lost or simply left on a train.
However none of these have caused the same degree of panic in some circles, amusement and a certain amount of school-boyish sniggering in others, as the online publication of the British National Party's secret membership list.
The entire list, which contains nearly 13,000 names along with other sensitive information such as addresses and phone numbers, first appeared yesterday and was quickly removed following legal threats from the BNP. But as anyone with an I.Q. larger than their shoe size could have predicted, it soon popped up again on Wikileaks, the Pirate Bay and a multitude of other places.
Naturally this has not stopped the BNP from trying to suppress the leaked information despite the obvious futility of their efforts.
A brief wade through the sewer which passes for a discussion forum amongst these vermin - followed by a stiff drink to calm my nerves - turned up a number of comments suggesting that the leadership of the party might be at risk from some of their own members. However most of them are simply panicking over what will happen now they've been 'Outed', particularly those in 'proscribed' occupations.
I'm reminded of a cartoon which appeared in the Evening Standard many years ago. It showed the Guinness executives of the time in a leaky canoe drifting in the centre of a small river. The caption said "I'm sure we had a paddle here somewhere Ernest."
I suspect many of the BNP's membership may be feeling the same sense of despair this evening.