I'm sitting in my car in total darkness outside Powick Village Hall in West Worcestershire where I am about to speak at a fundraiser for my friend Harriet Baldwin, who will succeed Sir Michael Spicer at the next election. I first met Harriet when she was in the final with me at North Norfolk. Despite me beating her she was really kind to me afterwards and held a fundraiser for me at her home, which Margaret Thatcher attended. Tonight I shall do a shortish speech, then we're both taking part in a mock Any Questions.
I have just been looking at the Conservative Home Tory Diary thread on my Telegraph article. It seems I have upset some of the Tory Taleban. I've been called a Europhile (!), a lightweight amd God knows what else. Sometimes I wonder if some of the people who contribute to Conservative Home are on the same planet. Rather than engage with a perfectly reasonable argument there are too many people who seem to prefer to attack the man rather than the ball. We are, after all, all supposed to be in the same Party, although it seems Conservative Home is sometimes more like UKIPhome on threads like this.
I find it a constant source of amusement that one week I get slagged off for praising David Cameron and then the next week the very same people criticise me for talking about something which is not quite on message. Apparently this article will diminish my chances in Maidstone, according to some commenters on ConHome. Do they really think I write every word on this blog or the Telegraph thinking to myself: how will this go down in Maidstone? Maybe that is how their minds work, but it isn't how mine works. I'm paid by the Telegraph to tell things how I see them, and that is what I try to do. If a columnist writes uncontroversial and boring columns he very soon becomes an ex-columnist. You might not agree with what I write but I hope it is at least sometimes thought-provoking.