Monday, August 03, 2009

Conquering my natural shyness.

Up until the General Election I intend to publish occasional posts about my approach to campaigning. Downside is that my opponents may find out about my secret strategies. I heard recently that Mick Bates, the local Lib Dem AM was complaining that he had to read my blog to find out what was going on!! Upside is that everybody else will know as well. We held a campaign strategy meeting today. Great turnout. We're going to need a bigger meeting room. There was much discussion about how much coverage I succeed in winning in our local newspapers (especially the weekly County Times) - with comparisons being made with the publicity being won by the MP I'm hoping to unseat, Lembit Opik. In general, there was a view that I should try to win more publicity. I put forward my personal view that I already have as much publicity as is good for me.

Stimulus for this discussion was that over the last few weeks there has been a huge amount of publicity about my opponent - nationally and locally. Two weeks ago there were large photographs on 7 (yes 7) pages of the County Times. I would have been horrified if that had happened to me. I reckon this is damaging both the interests of the MP and the newspaper. It makes the MP look as if he's obsessive about publicity seeking, and makes the newspaper look as if its obsessive about him - whether this is true or not. Several people have already stopped me in the street to say as much. I wonder what its doing to sales figures!

If I could arrange things exactly as I would like, I would indeed like my photograph to appear - but just one per week, and that related to a serious local issue. I will not do daft photos anymore, or be photographed with a glass in my hand. I cannot afford to be seen as aping (or is it apeing)the antics of the MP. Actually I don't like to see my photograph, but name recognition is such an important factor in elections. I also told my campaign committee that I do already receive more coverage than a mere candidate can reasonable expect - largely because I work at it, and I'm involved in much that happens in Montgomeryshire. The Montgomeryshire County Times, the Shropshire Star, and the Cambrian News have always been very fair with me. In the end though, we decided that I will have to set aside my natural shyness, and not turn away from the cameras quite so often. And it means that I'll have to wear a suit more often. You've been warned.


Savonarola said...

There is publicity and publicity.

Your opponent attracts one type. I suggest that every photo of him on the arm of the nubile young lady is another couple of hundreds of votes lost. Every article in Daily Sports another few votes given up.

Your team should simply concentrate on trying to attract media coverage of what you do and having been doing for decades - investing in the people and supporting a multitude of organisations in Montgomeryshire.

Voters are not idiots. They don't want celebrity. They want integrity and commitment to the seat.

Jimmy said...

Just stay away from the Jeremy Vine circus! (BBC Radio 2)
LO will shoot himself once too often one of these days!

Glyn Davies said...

Savonarola - It seems that we agree about this, but we shall have to await the judgement of the voters before we know whether it is a corect assessment of modern voting patterns.

Jimmy - I don't think Jermey Vine's programme is too bad. I've always been content to do phone-ins. I have decided not to do programmes where the idea is to try to be funny - not that I'll be asked. I reckon humour that is spontaneous is far better than the contrived stuff seen on HIGNFY - unless you have the talent of Merton, Hislop, Alexander or Robinson.

Anonymous said...

You are spot on, keep to the serious issues and let Mr Opik frequent the looney celeb world to which he is "so not suited!" to use the modern speak.

Richard said...

It does sometime seem that LO is trying is hardest to not get re elected

At the least LO can be very silly, however he still maintains a lot of support in Mont , where there are still a number of very liberal areas.

He also seems to have good support with some of the younger voters in Montgomershire.

What will you do counter this? Is this something that was brought up in your meeting?

Anonymous said...

The County Times are doing themselves no favours whatsoever. People locally are fed up with their insistence on giving unquestioning coverage to a person who, at best, is regarded as a joke, at worst, as dangerous for Montgomeryshire.
I used to give money to the Liberals locally. I won't give a penny as long as Lembit Opik remains the candidate. I say candidate, because I am convinced that he will no longer be the MP in ten months time.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Congrats Glyn. It is quite something to overcome, 'natural shyness'. So CONGRATS are in order.

frankie said...

What most Montgomeryshire people want, is an MP with dignity - so I'm sure you won't stoop so low as to emulate the idiot Lembit Opik. As Savonarola says - he continues to shoot himself in the foot each time he is seen with a woman young enough to be his daughter, or just behaving in his usual embarressing way.

As for suits - please NO. I am so sick of seeing men in suits. It really is time the ridiculous tie is just dumped for ever, and men should start wearing clothes that look comfortable, but still can be smart (minus the tie). I am going to start a campaign to do just that I think! NO MORE TIES in the 21st century!

Come on men - show you all have individual tastes, and chuck the uniform of suit and tie. I'm sure I can't be alone in this!

Glyn Davies said...

Roman - We both do what suits us best.

Richard - You are right. There is a tradition of voting Liberal in Montgomeryshire, no matter who is the candidate. I know peopel who are off the scale right wing who would never do anything but vote Lib Dem. You will never hear me talking with confidence about winning. Strongest you'll hear me speak is to say that I think we are in with a chance.

I realise that because I do not frequent local clubs and pubs that I do not meet as many young people - but I'm not going to change my lifestyle. I stopped that sort of life many years ago, and I'm not going top start again now. So happems that I do not believe that young people would be impressed if I started behaving like a twenty year old.

Anon - I can only repeat that there are a lot of voters who will vote Lib Dem no matter what. Its just a question of how many there are. We will not know that until the votes are counted.

Christopher - Many who know me will think I was joking, but if it had not been for the Young Farmers Club movement, a shy reserved person I would have stayed.

Frankie - All my life I've dressed in casual clothes. Now I'm trying to wsmarten up my image, you tell me that you don't like men in suits. I don't always wear a tie, but even then I have trouble with Russ George who's trying to tidy me up. He wants me to shave my chest, because without a tie, the luxurient growth shows, and according to Russ is unsightly. When I was younger, a hairy chest was seen as quite manly, but I supposethat time marches on, and things change. Anyway, I've decided that is too high a price to pay.

eric said...

if its not your natural look glyn, don't suit it especially unles its a suitabe occassion.
let people see what they are getting....thats what attracts people to you.

Anonymous said...

The point made about LO being popoular amongst the youth is actually misleading. In my experience, most youngsters think he's a big joke and call him the oldest swinger in town. I won't go in to what other things he's called when he's on the prowl in Crytal's.
Also worth remembering that the youth, sadly, are not the ones who vote. Wouldn't worry about that element if I were you

Anonymous said...

Think you have to take on the Libs more in Mont. Step one in your election campaign - publish Lembit Opik's expenses. Step two - publish his collected writings for that porno rag, the Sport.
Whilst many regard Lembit Opik as a joke and a lech, there are others that just don't realise the extent of his idiocies. YOU have to point these things out. No good being a gentleman. The Libs will play v v dirty and you have to be prepared to go on the offensive.

Powysworker said...

Listen to Russ, he knows what he's talking about! He is always dressed so smartly with or without a tie.