One of the big political news stories of the week was yet again broken on the blogosphere. A Jonathan Isaby post at the telegraph.co.uk gave out the results of the Ealing by-election postal votes, with the help of a breach of electoral law on behalf of the Conservatives.
Before it was taken offline, Political Penguin flagged it up and was the first to note its importance. There’s still a screen grab (with appropriate smudging) there.
Cicero was so dismayed at the turn of events in Ealing he proclaimed: “I hope never to see such an unprincipled and unscrupulous campaign ever again.”
Mike Smithson at Political Betting assessed the result of the by-election in terms of how each leader fared. He wrote: “Goodish for Gordon but not good enough for him to risk a general election…
“The only reason Cameron has been able to steer his party in a different direction has been because he has been seen as an election winner. Once that perception goes he could be in for a testing time. By October/November the polls need to have got better…
“There have been repeated murmurings against Ming Campbell and some in the party were suggesting that his leadership could be on the line if the party did badly. That did not happen and Ming is probably safe.”
In a week where politicians were pushed into revealing if they had indulged in illegal substances, the blogging community felt the need to lend their opinions to the debate, with a few feeling the need to clarify their personal drug experiences.
Iain Dale (who hasn’t and never will) called for an end to the drug taking witchhunt. He asked: “Does having smoked a joint at university impair a politician's judgement 25 years later? Of course not. Tony McNulty's abilities as Police Minister can be judged on his performance today - not by what he may have done 25 years ago.”
Peter Risdon (who has, on and off, for 30 years) took the opportunity to expand on some of his own position towards drug criminalisation: “The drug prohibition laws are tyrannical, stupid and destructive, and I’m not going to dignify them by pretending I will take the slightest notice of them.”
Anyone shocked by this week’s revelations should check out Daniel Finkelstein's top five political youthful indiscretions, which include shooting a child dead and participating in orgies – though not necessarily at the same time.