Saturday, 6 March 2010


It's 9pm on a Friday evening and the telephone rings. Carol, my wife, answers it. "Is this the Liberal Democrats nationally or locally?" I hear her say in response to the first words of the caller.

She goes quiet, listening apparently to a young woman giving a not-very-good series of apologies and pleas that not all politicians should be judged by the impression created by the expenses scandal. It must be hard to get money out of the supporters of any party at present, especially if your opening gambit is so downbeat. But the caller is clearly gearing up to ask the question....

"Tell her I gave £5,500 towards target seats in the North West only this morning," I say, speaking over Carol's shoulder. It's true, I did. I'm paid more to be a Liberal Democrat representative than anyone else in the region so I like to give something back. It's all on public record.

"My husband says he gave £5,500 this morning to four target seats in the North West," says my wife. There's a pause, and then Carol puts down the phone. "She hung up," she said. "I don't think she believed me."

Well there's gratitude for you. The Liberal Democrats call looking for money, and my news should make their day. Instead they think I'm taking the piss!

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