One day he was there, as bold as brass. The next Dennis McFarlane's dream world had been shattered.
The Labour councillor and freemason aspired to be Mayor of Medway.
Yet he won't be.
He carried out the most stupid set of benefit fiddles it was possible to imagine.
He claimed a string of benefits every fortnight for at least six months. Most of them were administered by the council that was separately paying him over £8,000 a year in allowances.
Cllr McFarlane blissfully claimed jobseekers allowances, housing benefit and council tax benefit while saying his only income was child benefit.
How he thought he would get away with it he never explained.
The magistrates accepted his guilty plea, gave him a conditional discharge and ordered him to repay the council's costs.
The council then faced an expensive investigation by an imported solicitor who repeatedly chased - and equally repeatedly failed to pin down - the errant ex-councillor to determine whether he had brought his office (and the council) into disrepute. The bill will run to thousands of pounds.
Last night the former councillor was told he was dishonest, lacked integrity, brought the council into disrepute and failed to uphold the principles of public life.
Hang, draw and quarter him?
Send him a bill for the investigation?
All the hours of detailed work and pursuit were hot air: all the independent standards committee could do was to censure him.
It means that if Mr McFarlane decides to stand for public office somewhere else, there would be little anyone could do to stop a man labelled a cheat and a fraud.
He could have been banned for holding any office.
But he had resigned - so he got away with it.
Did he say anything?
No - he didn't bother to turn up.
Does it matter in the 21st century whether or not a politician may be gay?
So why the fuss around William Hague and the allegations that he did more than just share a twin-bedded hotel room with one of his aides?
The simple answer is that if he did indulge in activities unbecoming a married man and it is proved, the former Leader of the Conservative Party will have lied to the public, to his wife, to his party, to the world.
Someone in public office has to be whiter than white, purer than the driven snow.
An exposed liar could not be accepted, and certainly not in one of the highest positions in British politics.
If nothing happened between the two men (and it is only speculation as far as I can see it) how damned stupid for a Foreign Secretary to share a hotel room with another man, not once but by his own admission more than once.
He has been a politician for more than 30 years: If nothing else, he lacks political sense to see it could be open to question, inference, pressure and embarrassment for the British government. For that alone, he should resign.
I must get hold of a copy of the latest horror book: "Tone hates Gord".
I'll make a point of buying it as soon as I see it remaindered - along with Mandy's backstabber… unless someone buys me copies for Christmas.