This week's D&S Times will have made uncomfortable reading for my colleagues over at Darlington Conservative HQ.
The Spectator's Notes column - a wry take on the week's news from an authoritative source at the paper - devotes half the column to the mystery of Darlington's own Disappearing Man - or "where is Edward Legard?"
An old friend of this blog, of course, it seems Captain LeGrand introduced himself to the D&S Times source 6 months ago, but as the columnist observes, "since then we have seen neither hide nor hair."
The column goes on to wonder why he has been so absent? Imagining that the Tories have a cunning plan is indeed a possibility, but it is so fearsomely obscure that even Baldrick would have had a migraine trying to fathom it. Complacency, wonders SN? Perhaps. Possibly a thoroughly useless candidate? Or maybe, there was a clue in the annual returns the local party filed which were unearthed by my blogging colleague and LibDem PPC Mike Barker - Darlington's Tories have a falling, ageing membership, and whilst they may have a few quid in the bank, there just aren't the activists anymore to support sustained activity.
All very perplexing. Just as mystifying as why one anonymous source was determined that I should see this webpage. For the life of me, I can't imagine why.
In truth, the Tories have wasted a year when they might have made hay. They've given Labour the space to select a top-drawer, local candidate who is re-energizing the campaigning effort and determined to lead from the front. Taxi for Captain Laggard!