By Harry Phibbs
Follow Harry on Twitter
The Labour candidate in the Eastleigh byelection John O'Farrell, writing in his memoirs, Things Can Only Get Better, said:
"Complex political debate is all very well, but generally most issues can be sorted out simply by deciding who are the nicest people."
"So that's all that Socialists needed to say is: 'Vote Labour because were nicer.' "
I think Mr O'Farrell genuinely felt that the key point about Conservatives was that they were nasty. He would go canvassing Patmore Estate in Queenstown Ward and be shown mould on the wall of one of the council flats. He would conclude the cause must be the malevolence of the Tory councillors in Wandsworth. It would not occur to him, for instance, that Council flats in Labour boroughs might have similar or worse conditions. Or that perhaps the state did not make a good landlord or builder which in turn might have prompted some doubts as to the results of Socialism.
Elsewhere in the book Mr O'Farrell expresses his "disappointment" that Margaret Thatcher was not murdered by the IRA in the Brighton bomb.