Today's news that our local Member of Parliament, David Ruffley, accepted a caution for common assault three months ago after attacking his then partner, is his second unfortunate incident in this Parliament, following his apparent attempted suicide just a month after his re-election in 2010. Then, I was entirely sympathetic, especially given that very few people would throw themselves under a train unless they were very troubled indeed. However, this time, I really can't be.
Firstly, violence can never be acceptable, except in self-defence (and even then it has to be proportionate) and it is especially heinous when the victim is someone likely to be more vulnerable.
Secondly, should someone with a tendency to abuse people be in a position of authority? Heavens, even Guido Fawkes, that well known whatever the opposite of a shrinking violet is, thinks that something should be done about him.
There is a catch, in that the Bury St Edmunds constituency is a pretty safe Conservative seat - the Liberal Democrats are in a fairly distant second place, and Labour are absolutely nowhere - no County councillors, just three District councillors. And, given the usual inability of local voters to punish miscreants - so many of the worst expenses offenders survived, after all - the chances are that, should he be the Conservative candidate next year, he'll be re-elected.
So, the only real hope is that the local Conservative Association will act. It's a pretty slim hope though, given the comment of its Chair, Andrew Speed;
We are sure it has been a very difficult time for both of them. But the incident in March was dealt with by the police at the time and no further action was required.
It doesn't look as though they'll be made to act either, if this spokesman from Conservative Party headquarters is to be believed;
This matter was investigated by police and dealt with by them at the time.I guess the last word should be left to David Ruffley himself though;
... too often domestic violence is a taboo subject and although one incident of domestic violence is one too many... We must do all we can to stamp out this despicable crime which can ruin lives and shatter families.I wonder what has changed over the past seven years...