On a day when the Tories are celebrating holding that well known marginal Henley, it cannot help that their chairman's expenses difficulties continue to be in the news. Apparently, a former secretary originally pulled the plug on Mrs. Spelman's use of parliamentary expenses to pay her nanny. Caroline Spelman justified her use of that money in part by saying that when she became the Tory MP for Meriden there was no office or administrative help to speak of and that she had to work from her house. Meriden was my home seat, and I must confess I certainly remember the association not only having perfectly good offices - sharing a building with neighbouring Solihull constituency - but also a couple of staff as well, when Caroline Spelman was selected. Whether there were some personality clashes that meant she didn't feel comfortable using the offices is another matter, but she does not appear to have been entirely transparent in her comments. All of which is a little odd, as she has always come across as a decent, honest and hard-working MP, if not a particularly exciting one.
Meanwhile, whatever Mrs. Spelman's troubles, Gordon Brown can hardly take comfort from his party's fifth place in Henley. The BBC have even started putting a feature on their news site about what life would be like in Cameron's Britain. Lovely and sunny, with no fuel crisis, of course.