I've been looking for an opportunity to use my new favourite phrase. Not sure if its a perfect fit though. We are going to find out next week whether all these Labour MPs, including 7 Cabinet Ministers, who have been joining in local protests about post office closures have any 'cattle' - or cojones, which seems to be the latest Parliamentary word.
The Labour Government is insisting that 2,500 post offices across the UK must close. But the Conservatives have called for the closure programme to be suspended and are forcing a division in House of Commons. This is a very smart move. The Telegraph puts the spotlight on Paul Murphy, Secretary of State for Wales today. According to Chivrav Dalal, who runs two post offices in Paul Murphy's constituency, the Government Minister should support his constituents. I suspect there will be a lot of local newspapers across Britain watching which way these Labour protesters will be voting next week.
This is an important issue in Montgomeryshire, where several closures were announced last week, including my two local post offices at Berriew and Castle Caereinion. Its difficult to know what to do about it. I am working alongside Nick Bourne in the National Assembly and advising other concerned local people. I am also meeting a Post Watch representative on Wednesday, and encouraging my party to put pressure on in Westminster to change the Government's mind. I'm also planning to meet Post Office representatives to try to inflence them. I'm just a bit concerned that all the focus seems to be on making a lot of noise locally. I worry that this will not have much effect on the distant businessmen who take the decisions. Petitions and protests have a role, but the real influence will be in meetings well away from the public gaze. At least the Conservatives at Westminster seem to have a coherent strategy through its debate next week.