I look on Sir Eric Howells as a friend. Which makes his public attack on the Conservative Party, reported in today's Western Mail, all the more disappointing for me. He was a leading member of the Wales Conservative Party for many years - until he disagreed with democratically arrived at decisions being taken in his own constituency of Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. In fact, he disagreed so much that he supported one of the other candidates in the recent Assembly election. The Party was left with little option other than to expel him. Incidentally, a fat lot of good it did for Eric's newfound political friend - because the Conservative candidate, Angela Burns won the seat, against expectations. I know all about this result because it resulted in me losing my own position as an Assembly Member.
But back to Sir Eric. His impact so far on our political fortunes in the area seems to have been about nil. He now seems to hav eresorted to trying to damage the party he served with distinction for so long. So I'm doubly sorry. Sorry to lose him - and sorry that an old friend is now actively seeking to damage us. What is it that makes people behave in this way? Anyway, I expect to see Sir Eric at the Royal Welsh Show and will still see him as my friend - even if he can no longer be regarded as a political colleague.