Louise Mensch was off to New York as far back as March
At midnight on Saturday 23 June 2012, Louise Mensch MP launched ‘Menshn’ – an(other) online messaging service she founded with Luke Bozier, former tech adviser to the Labour Party. It was/is billed as a rival to Twitter, but less random and with no spam (and 180 characters instead of 140, which is very, very important).
His Grace has no idea how it’s doing, and (to be frank) he doesn’t really care.
But what does irk him somewhat is that Louise Mensch was feted for her natural charm and refreshing 'decontaminating' image, and given a safe and swift passage into the House of Commons courtesy of David Cameron’s ‘A-List’. But rather than engross herself in loyal public service, she has used her position in Parliament for selfish gains.
As a successful ‘chick lit’ author, she never really needed the money, but she did need the prestigious status, higher profile, and exclusive GQ photo-shoot.
It is curious indeed that only a few months ago she was appealing to David Cameron for a ministerial post. "It's kind of annoying,” she said. “What do I have to do to get promoted over here? Am I being disloyal? I don't know. I need to sit down with my whip and say, 'What do I have to do?' Every time there is a raft of PPS promotions and my name is not on them, I have to sit down and think, 'What am I doing wrong?'"
Why kick up that sort of fuss in the media if you know you’re relocating to New York?
Or did the reality dawn upon her that (as John Redwood observes) she really doesn’t stand much of a chance at all of being promoted?
But what is even more interesting is that as far back as 23rd March a Conservative MP (reliable and trustworthy type) was communing with His Grace, and bemoaning:
His Grace felt the need to encourage and edify this manifestly despondent and depressed MP, and responded: 'Quite. But let us not forget that her motive is merely personal ambition. Politicians such as yourself have a far greater prize - integrity.'
The MP lamented:
His Grace then pointed out Ms Mensch’s fragile political position, reminding the MP: 'Of course, she only has a majority of 1,951..'
In response to which came the bombshell:
His Grace was somewhat taken aback by this revelation, and questioned: 'Cause a by-election? Why would a hyper-loyal A-lister scaling the greasy pole want to do that? Hollywood calling?'
To which the prescient MP responded:
So, the Corby Conservative Association ‘hates’ its MP, and Ms Mensch was making it known that she was intending to relocate to New York before she began promoting her new business.
Some might call it fickle, but it’s much, much more than that.
This has little to do with 'spending more time with the family': real politicians learn to juggle all manner of personal tensions and competing pressures. No, this is all about career expedience and personal advancement. Louise Mensch has used her status as an MP to launch her new social networking site, got bored with waiting for promotion, and has now decided to move on to the next toyshop. This sort of political ADHT is a disgraceful betrayal of the Conservative Party and of every activist in Corby who worked hard to get her elected. Let this be a lesson to David Cameron and CCHQ: names like Adam Rickitt, Ali Miraj, Joanne Cash and Louise Bagshawe may attract a bit of extra publicity and ephemeral hype. But they were always 'accidents waiting to happen'.
And they won't be the last.