In the General Election of May 2010 in Montgomeryshire, I managed to inflict defeat upon the wannabe Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London - Mr Lembit Opik. Seems that Lembit does not think that I actually had anything whatsoever to do with it. And neither does Peter Black AM who thinks defeat was due to his self-obsessive and flamboyant behaviour, loss of perspective, free cruises, and his daft response to the expenses scandal - and a whole lot of others I talk to at Westminster take the same sort of line. Personally, I did not see much difference in Lembit's behaviour to that before previous elections. Whatever it seems that I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and be the fortunate beneficiary.
Lembit, in his personal manifesto, seeking nomination as candidate is putting the blame for his defeat on Mick Bates, who served as AM for Montgomeryshire, alongside Lembit for 11 years. I really do find this to be utterly nauseating. OK, so Mick's assault on a paramedic after a night on the booze might have had a marginal impact, but I worked with Mick for many years and he was a hard working AM, who I never heard make a negative comment about Lembit.
One of the things I like least about politics is the failure to take responsibility for what they say and do. The truth is that Lembit Opik went into the 2010 General Election with a lead over the Conservatives of 7000 votes (16,000 against 9,000). He came out of it with defeat by 1,200 votes - the biggest swing from Lib Dem to Conservative in the UK - and at a time when the Lib Dems were going into the Election on a roll. At Westminster it's seen as the biggest shock since Cassius Clay beat Sonny Liston. My advice to Lembit is to act like a man, take it on the chin, and accept responsibility - and send a written apology to Mick Bates. And as for me, I just say "Look at the scores on the doors" and remember Gary Player who said "the harder you try the luckier you get". Think it was Samuel Goldwyn who originally coined the phrase though.