David Cameron has told voters in the upcoming Norwich North by-election that Tory Chloe Smith is the only candidate who has campaigned in a "positive way".
The Leader of the Opposition said Labour had just produced "smear after smear" while Ms Smith was the only one to sign a clean campaign agreement.
He was rallying Conservative supporters at Drayton Village Hall.
Oh dear. Signing something isn't how you will be recognised of being a clean campaigner it is what you say and do.
Looking at Chloe's latest leaflet (courtesy of Norfolk Blogger) she says:
'Sadly the one thing that comes across is how little faith people have in politicians to tell the truth and actually deliver on their promises. I want to be different.'
Nice sentiment. Later in the contract she writes in:
'Sometimes you have to choose between your principles and party loyalty - a
I will always choose my principles.'
One of those principles she seems to want to highlight is openness and honesty. Going so far as to suggest:
'if I am elected as your Member of Parliament - hold me to what I promise at the General Election next year.
'And by that time, if you think that I've broken any one of these promises you should vote me out.
'That's the sort of MP I want to be honest, straight-talking and
Ok then, why should be people of Norwich North have to wait until the next election to hold her to account. Surely if she has already put party loyalty over principle, if she has been less than straight-talking an honest surely they can merely decide not to even vote her in on Thursday that would save a lot of heartache and hand wringing over the months ahead.
So this 'different' candidate who doesn't want to be part of the party machine hasn't been altogether honest and straight talking about just how she is employed. She states she is a 'business consultant' rather vague, hardly straight talking and also not entirely truthful. The Times exposes that:
'she is on secondment to the Conservatives’ implementation unit. Ms Smith, who
is registered as an assistant to James Clappison, a Shadow Work and Pensions Minister, is drawing up plans on how the party would govern once in power. '
Oh how very 'different' of her. Now I reckon the people of Norwich North may not have minded if this 'honest' candidate had told them what she was doing. David Cameron says she has run a clean campaign yet not been upfront with just what she has been doing for the last year, nor that she lives in North London not North Norwich.
As I said above signing a clean campaign pledge is only really worth more than the paper it is written on if you really are clean about what you say and do. Sadly Chloe Smith is already showing herself to be just the sort of politician that even her literature doesn't really want to have as the MP for Norwich North.