Thanks to Jonathan Calder for posting a comment left by Mark Oaten on Political Betting.
I found the comment to be a searingly honest and open 'plea from the heart' ("yes I screwed up") and I am most grateful to Mark Oaten for leaving it. He ends with this:
i have kept martin tod, chris rennard, nick clegg and the tory candidate steve brine in the picture about all of this and done my best to be open about the future but its not easy given the amount of hate towards me and the desire some people have to cause trouble. Thankfuly people in winchester remain so nice and positive despite my mistakes- i wish the lib dem bloggers and others would show the same forgivness.
I, for one, will now be entering a "ceasefire" on any catty remarks about Mark (looking back I think I have managed to be relatively restrained although not blameless on that front).
He is forgiven.
....And I will not be reacting every time the Tories or the media think they can drum up a bit of hysteria with a Winchester by-election story.
The man and his family deserve some space.