Picked up today's Western Mail with some trepidation. Martin Shipton, the paper's top reporter was on the phone yesterday asking me what I thought of the decision of my local MP and General Election opponent to participate in a TV film, which includes him snogging with his fiance. Martin's article is here. It seems that the film is being broadcast on Living TV at 9.00 next Wednesday evening. I said that I won't be watching it, but Martin wanted to know what I thought just the same. In general, I don't comment on my opponents behavior, but neither do I like to say 'no comment'.
So I'm quoted as merely saying that
"Lembit has a different approach to politics from me. I just don't want to do that sort of thing myself. I'll leave it to the residents of Montgomeryshire to make a judgement. I think a lot of them were not aware of this sort of thing until recently."
That pretty well sums up how I feel. One thing about the response of the Lib Dem 'Spokesman' (didn't anyone want to go on the record? ) that did interest me was that the Montgomeryshire MP had raised an issue in Parliament about a flood plan which was important to his constituents. I wonder if this was the following intervention that he made on John Healy MP that other bloggers have referred to elsewhere. On her excellent new blog, Heledd Fychan writes;
He also has a terrible habit of popping in to debates at parliament rather than staying for their full duration. As a result, he often makes the most ridiculous comments which have no relevance to the subject under discussion. Yet, every time he does this, its noted that he's spoken. He can then say to his constituents that he's spoken so many times on different issues. What they don't realise is that there's no substance to those contributions and, therefore, he's not ensuring that the opinions of his constituents are adequately and properly relayed to Parliament. This following quote from a debate last Wednesday is a classic:
"Lembit Öpik: I am grateful to the Minister for giving way to me, and I shall be brief. He mentioned the public's right to be heard, but many people are worried about how areas subject to flooding and standing water are handled. Is he confident that the new planning process will give local residents the opportunity to have their opinions heard before the Environment Agency turns an area into a standing water flood plain?
John Healey: I rather regret giving way to the hon. Gentleman now, as he has a habit of coming in halfway through a debate and going off half-cocked. The Bill does not cover those matters, nor does it touch that part of the planning system."
Perhaps it was another intervention that the 'Spokesman' was referring to. I hope so because the Environment Agency's Catchment Area Management Plan for the River Severn is a hugely important issue for Montgomeryshire. Anyway, I don't think I can bear to watch my MP (or any other MP for that matter) snogging on TV, so if you watch it, you can telephone Martin Shipton and tell him what you think.