The more unpleasant aspects of political communications have been
on display during the last two weeks as the three declared Tory
leadership candidates jockey for position. For non-candidate Ann
Widdecombe to have to single out 'backbiters' in the Michael Portillo
camp is an extraordinary step to take - even for someone so nastily
stitched up over zero tolerance for cannabis users at last year's party
conference. It should be a source of deep embarrassment for the many
spiteful briefers attached to the current hot favourite.
Campaigning against the apparently unstoppable force of Portillo's
cakewalk is for those made of stern stuff - it is no coincidence two
former soldiers have decided to stand up against him. Their only hope
can be that his excitable band of advocates cause him more harm than
good before he claims the crown.