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.