Today Simon Hart will have a moan about abuse of politicians. It's a crude attempt to smear Labour. Of course, all candidates are subjected to abuse. It's worse now because social media allows the trolls to rant anonymously.
Slander, lies, mockery and abuse have been the currency of political debate since the Roman Empire. One complaint today is the threat to slash car tires. My first job in politics at the age of ten was to guard the only Labour car in Cardiff South in the 1945 election from similar attacks.
Of course all MPs get abuse. It is best ignored. Most perpetrators have serious mental health problems and thrive on repetition of their insults. It was at least a decade when a Newport troll put up a website site saying he hoped I would die soon in agony. There was also a film he made portraying me as Hannibal Lecter-not someone I normally associated myself with. It was a simple matter to block the social media nuisance and ignore him. It's a puzzle to me why colleagues repeat the insults that are thrown at them and widen the attention they get. This is exactly what the abuser craves.
If a threat of violence appears serious, sensible precautions can be taken. Only twice in 50 years as an elected representatives have I had to inform the police. Only once did someone throw a punch at me and he missed.
Politics is a rough old trade. Those who cannot stand the heat should get out of the limelight.