This is the second time I've linked to a post by my Plaid Cymru opponent in Mongomeryshire, Heledd Fychan. In part, that's because its another good post. But also because I was goint to blog on the same issue myself. I, too had been sent a copy of this week's Tanat, Cain and Vyrnwy Chronicle, which included submissions from her, me and the incumbent MP, Lembit Opik. Heledd's gone for it in what is becoming typical of her style - which I rather like. Daresay, I'll find myself in the firing line over the next four weeks. My intention was to take issue with one pretty stupid comment included in the piece - a comment which seems to be part of his 2010 pitch to Montgomeryshire voters. Lets nail it now - in the same way that I'll nail it when he raises at the various panels we're on before May 6th.
It seems that our current MP is of the view that it takes eight years before a new MP 'learns the ropes' sufficiently well to become effective. Well Lembit, go tell that to Nick Clegg - who was elected to lead the Liberal Democrats after being an MP for just four years. Or Chris Huhne, who almost beat him, who had also been an MP for only four years. Or David Cameron, who was elected to lead the Conservatives after four years. Or William Hague (who entered the Cabinet at just 34) - or William's political hero, and subject of his first book, William Pitt the Younger, who became Prime Minister aged 24, after less than two years as an MP. Perhaps if Lembit had spent a bit more time on his 'parliamentary' duties, and less time pursuing 'other interests', it wouldn't have taken him quite so long. And another interesting fact is that the average length of time that an MP serves in something less than eight years.
And while I'm at it, there's another comment which rankles - one I've heard before (and which is likely to be used 'spontaneously' on several occasions over the next month). It seems that he does not consider himself 'perfect' (in a self-pitying sort of way) - and that if the voter's want someone perfect, they must await 'the second coming'. No they don't want someone perfect, and they don't have to wait beyond May 6th. Montgomeryshire voters just want someone who will take the job of representing them seriously, and put serving our old county before 'other interests'.