Over the weekend the Rhodes / Rantzen / Dorries story rumbled on in the Tory press. Esther gave her account to the Daily Mail: “I thought TV was a nest of vipers… until I moved into politics“. The Sunday Express claimed that Rhodes left BBC Three Counties Radio before he was pushed: “Esther Rantzen’s Election Rival Faced Job Axe“. And there was speculation about the true motives behind the Telegraph splashing with the story.
I’ve got rather bored with this nonsense. The fuss seems to be no more than an unfortunate combination of over inflated egos and game playing by parts of the national media. The claims and counter claims have very little to do with the people of Luton South and the problems they face. So I will make some, hopefully, final comments on this and then move on.
A slightly pedantic point but Nadine Dorries’ constituency is not “next door” to Luton South as I have seen claimed in a number of the articles this week. It isn’t that far away but the two constituencies do not share a boundary. “Near by” would be a more accurate description.
The only real serious political point arising from this silly row, other than confirming my prejudices against independent candidates, is the background of Tory concerns that Esther is eating into their support. This is supported by the claims made by Rantzen in her Daily Mail article;
“The Tories certainly never wanted me there. On my very first day in the constituency, I was told to my face by Tory candidate Nigel Huddleston that if I stood, I would split the anti-Labour vote.”
I am happy for the Conservatives to get their knickers in a twist over Esther, but I would suggest that it is the Liberal Democrats that they should be worried about.
This content was originally posted on my old Strange Thoughts blog.