Several of you have warned in comments that the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire could resort to dirty tricks as the General Election approaches - but surely this was going a bit far. Surely they wouldn't try to blow us up, or poison us all, as we sat at our desks. But what else was I to think as I approached the Conservative Office in Welshpool this afternoon. Outside there were two police cars, two fire engines, an ambulance and other flashing blue lights. Our office was cordoned off by warning tape, and fire officers kitted out with oxygen tanks and gas masks were entering it and neighbouring properties. Shades of the SAS attack on the Libyan Embassy in 1984. And this before the Euro-election votes have even been counted.
But No. It was nothing whatsoever to do with the Lib Dems. It was a 'leak'. Not the first time a political office has been threatened by 'leaks' you might think. But this one was a fumes leak. A company called Grisdale 2000, which specialises in repairing sewers, had relined a drain alongside our office, and had pumped in some resin to seal it. This had given rise to fumes, some of which had leaked into the cellars, and prompted our neighbours to call the emergency services. I hope the County Times doesn't report the incident under the headline "glue sniffing in the Tory office". Unfortunately I missed my Yeltsin/ Rudi Guiliani moment. I should have rushed in myself and emerged from the fumes, face blackened, carrying a vulnerable person over my shoulder, searching for a passing camera. Instead I dithered like Gordon Brown, and let Brenden and the professionals handle things. The two lads from Grisdale 2000 just carried on working with barely a flicker of interest. I reckon they had seen it all before.