I've never met Bob Spink, but from what I know of his views and career, I doubt whether he and I would really hit it off. The kind of politician who puts on his election leaflet "What part of send them back, Mr Blair" is not someone I can relate to. When I read about that I felt he was in the wrong party. He may have many attributes but so far they have escaped my notice. His behaviour today was reprehensible and the Conservative Chief Whip, Patrick McLoughlin., did the only thing he could do - tell him to sit on it and swivel.
If Spink had had any judgement, he would have looked at and learned from what happened to Sir Patrick Cormack, who recently emerged victorious from a deselection battle. Sir Patrick handled the whole thing with skill and decorum. There were no tantrums, but he waited until his enemies struck. He flushed them out and defeated them. Spink hasn't even had the guts to face his critics. I have no idea what the allegations he makes against his constituency association amount to. No doubt they will be widely discussed and investigated, but as far as Mr Spink is concerned, the die is cast.
So what happens now? Spink has dug an even deeper hole for himself in a further statement this evening, which indicates to me that there will be no way back for him. Good. I've little doubt that Spink will stand as an Independent against whoever is chosen to succeed him. His only chance of achieving anything other than a humiliating result will be to fight under the banner of another Party. He already has a track record of defending UKIP, so I'd bet money that he'll end up with them. His defection was already rumoured a couple of years ago.
These internal party spats are always unseemly and no one ever emerges with much credit. But the boil has now been well and truly lanced and it's probably a good thing.