Montgomeryshire Conservatives lunch today. Criggion Village Hall. Filled the room to capacity. Several non members, and there was a lovely atmosphere. Our speaker was Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and ninth most sexy politician in the world. Tony Blair is tenth - according to this particular poll. Owen lives not many yards outside the border of Montgomeryshire.
The last time that Montgomeryshire Conservatives had a 'do' in Criggion was just before the General Election in 1979, the only occasion that we have ever won the seat. The Hall is the only place in Montgomeryshire which has a belly-dancing class once a week. Just thought you would like to know. Criggion/Crew Green/Bausley/Coedway is a discrete part of Montgomeryshire, bounded be the River Severn and the Breidden Hills. I delivered leaflets to most properties there last weekend, and I'll repeat it every six months until the General Election.
Owen was in sparkling form. First questioner wanted to know his opinion on the proposal by Lord Eames and Denis Bradley, two churchmen of note, that 'compensation' of £12,000 should be paid to everyone killed in the 'troubles'. This to include that terrorists and the young children that they murdered. I'd read about these proposals - and been utterly disgusted by them. But I didn't know what our official 'Party' response had been. Sometimes there's a wider agenda. But Owen was as clear as spring water. He shared my view, and that of every person in Criggion Village Hall. I do not think I have heard anything so outrageous. A few members from North Shropshire turned up as well. I was really pleased when they told me that they want to come over Offa's Dyke to help me in my election campaign.