What links Michael Foot to the Ashcroft story?
Two political stories have dominated most of this week - Lord Ashcroft and Michael Foot - though there is no apparent link between them.
Or is there? In revealing that Lord Ashcroft is a "non-dom" for tax purposes, the Conservatives rightly point out that several big Labour donors are non-doms too, most notably the industrialist Lord Paul.
Now a colleague has drawn my attention to this passage from Kenneth Morgan's great biography of Michael Foot, where Mr Morgan writes of the fallout from the closure of the Ebbw Vale steel works in 1975, where Foot was MP, and whilst he was also Employment Secretary:
"He [Foot] persuaded a British-based Indian industrialist, Swraj Paul, Chairman of National Gas Tubes, to invest in the constituency by setting up the most advanced spiral weld steel mill in Europe, with the aid of funding from the British government and the EEC - Foot, an arch anti-European, was fully prepared to receive money from Europe for a good cause.
"Swraj Paul [later Lord Paul] had earlier helped to arrange Foot's first visit to India in 1973, and his giving the Krishna Menon Lecture, in honour of the old socialist guru of the thirties, in November 1976. Foot 'a man who inspires trust through his integrity', was always a hero to him.
"Swraj Paul's plant was opened on 22 November 1978 by no less a person than Mrs Ghandi. The Ebbw Vale economy continued to limp along."
It might also be added that when Indira Ghandi declared a state of emergency back in India in the late 1970s, Foot publicly came to her defence, thereby tarnishing his reputation as a great libertarian