Down to Newport West for a Sunday lunch 'Hog Roast' yesterday - out on the Chairman's lawn. Rain and wind, but good company. Dangerous territory for me - being a tad too much of a pale blue wimp, and too 'nat' sympathetic for one or two of the regulars, who tend towards the 'Right' on the Conservative continuum. My old friends, David Fouweather and Peter Davies (who, disappointingly wasn't there) will be quite pleased with that line. The need for friendship and understanding between different strands of thought within our party became the theme of my speech. In fact, its my 'theme of the month'.
First question up was about scrapping the Assembly - followed by one on immigration - and then one about the iniquities of proportional representation. There wasn't a question about the European Union though. As it happens, I welcome this sort of questioning, because it reflects what worries many of our members. And if we don't talk about these issues, it opens the door for those political parties that talk about nothing else.
I said that I didn't believe that the Assembly would ever be abolished - and that I support a National Assembly with full law-making powers. I don't think that the Assembly is worthwhile as it stands at present. And I said that I thought the UK should have much more accurate knowledge of, and control of the scale of immigration. And I also said that I'm a 'first-past-the-post' man myself - but if we are to have proportional representation, it should be by Single Transferable Vote, rather that the dog's breakfast of a system we have at the moment.
Newport West remains one of my favourite constituencies.