Finding it difficult to do it all at the moment, which is why this blog has become a bit sporadic. My own fault of course. Trying to do too much. When I was selected to contest Montgomeryshire at the next General Election on behalf of the Conservatives, almost three years ago, I decided that my strategy was to act as if I were an MP already. Cheeky I know. Twin aims were to ensure I enjoyed the experience, and to do something useful for Montgomeryshire. But it all takes time. Have to do a lot of the spade-work myself. And at present, there's the added burden of preparations for the campaign itself. Am expecting the General Election on May 6th. Am switching into amber 'campaign mode' on 23rd January, and into go-go-green on March 8th.
Now I don't like going around claiming I'm going to win, but I do think I'm in with a chance. This makes a big difference. It means that Montgomeryshire voters have a right to know what sort of MP I would be - what would be my big issues. Just this morning, I was asked this very question. So I've thought about it, and this is what I thought.There would be three 'big issues';
1) - The relationship between Westminster and the National Assembly for Wales. It's not what it should be. I would anticipate spending one day every week in Cardiff Bay, working with officials and AMs, and not exclusively Conservative AMs. Devolution is here to stay, (whether you like it or not) and anyone who represents Welsh interests should want the process to be a success. In 2007, this was the main reason I applied for the job as candidate.
2) - The rural economy of Wales. Many years ago I was deeply involved in this issue, and I just cannot let it go. So many of the youngsters I attended Caereinion School with had to leave Montgomeryshire to find work. Twenty years ago, I really believed we were getting somewhere in changing things. By today, its as bad as ever. There is so much to do. But I still think that the Upper Severn Valley has huge potential to invigorate Mid Wales.
3) - Caring for the elderly. When I lost my position as an AM, an international care company asked me to help establish an Advisory Board for Wales. Don't ask me why, but they did. Since then, I've learned so much about the subject, including that there is so much to learn. It's going to become an increasingly important issue over the next few years. So many aspects to it - Quality of Care, Paying for Care, Dementia, Parkinson's Disease, Mental Illness, and a whole lot more.
Over the last four years, this blog has meandered like a firework. I don't suppose the future will be a straight line either. But basically, its going to become a 'Candidate's Diary'. I daresay I'll have to be a bit cautious, because of the Wales on Sunday's 'Spin Doctor', and political opponents looking for ammunition. But I hope I will be able to share successes and disappointments, the highs and lows - giving you some idea what its like to be a candidate.