Imagine it. A political party selects a candidate who in her past has had an affair. Shock, horror. According to the Eastern Daily Press yesterday, South West Norfolk Conservatives are in the mood to deselect Liz Truss, only three days after she was selected as their PPC. Why? Because three years she had an affair, and didn't tell the constituency party about it before her selection. Dear oh dear. Do we live in the dark ages?
Firstly, if the candidate had been a man, do we really think there would be such a fuss? And secondly, it's not as if the affair was a secret. Can South West Norfolk Conservatives not use Google? If you were selecting a candidate, wouldn't that be the first thing you would do? Type their name into Google and see what emerged? Apparently not a single one of them bothered to do that.
But even if they had, is a talented woman really to be deselected over an affair which happened several years ago? The ten people meeting this evening to decide her fate ought to look very deeply into their own pasts and ask themselves if they have lived totally unblemished lives. Very few people have.
The EDP story is littered with anonymous quotes from "outraged" local Tories. What a pity none of them has the guts to put their names to their tawdry views.
I hope Liz Truss comes out fighting.
David Cameron has said in the EDP today that he backs Liz Truss and there is an implicit threat that if the Association seeks to go to the wire on this, they will be put in special measures. Let's hope it doesn't come to that.
For what it's worth, Liz has my complete support, and I hope readers of this blog will be more forgiving that some members of South West Norfolk Conservatives appear to be.
PS For the avoidance of doubt, I am not saying this because Liz Truss is a friend of mine. She isn't. I think I have only met her twice, so please can we avoid the ritual accusations that usually follow when I write a piece like this about Dale only defending his mates.