The sudden stuff-and-nonsens about where Chloe Smith, the Tory candidate in the Norwich North by-election, was born is amusing to say the least. Egged on by blogs - not least fellow candidate Craig Murray and LibDem Nich Starling (who is, to be fair, providing good coverage of the by-election) - it cannot be long before this hits the print media. It would be ridiculous if it does. If a Staffer is going wobbly they shouldn't be; because Chloe is utterly relaxed and honest about this.
When the Norwich South office took a call about this, I text Chloe to ask her where she was born. In a breath, she replied that she was born in Kent, moved to Norfolk aged 3 and now lives in the City. Sorted then.
In some ways, a story about who-is-most-local won't do the Tory campaign any harm. Chris Ostrowski is (or was) London based, Mr Murray himself hails I think from Scotland and the BNP chap is from outside Norfolk too. The LibDem and UKIP candidates are more local. Either way, I'd be surprised if it became an issue and equally shocked if this story made any headway.
I've been very supportive of blogs making the running with the rest of the media; I hope these non-stories don't do it any harm.