I like Zac Goldsmith. Don't always agree with him, but he seems an MP who stands by his beliefs. Great respect for that. Don't like opportunists. Nothing offends me more than when I've been accused of opportunism myself - like about my opposition to the Mid Wales Connection Project (something Zac and I might disagree about!). I was opposed from 2005, when the full horror was first put forward. Most people were in favour of it, and I was thought a bit 'cranky'. And no-one was much bothered because I was in such a small minority. All changed now.
But what are we to make of Zac's declaration today that if the Coalition Gov't performs a U-turn in favour of 3rd runway at Heathrow, he would not stand as a Conservative at the next election, and might force a by-election if it becomes Gov't policy before then (at least that's what I think he said). And I reckon he means it. This is big talk indeed. I cannot criticise anyone who refuses to support a U-turn as controversial as this one, after a cast iron promise to constituents. Personally I don't have a firm opinion about a 3rd runway, and it never came up in Montgomeryshire - even if I've never been able to understand why extra business and investment is not directed to Birmingham, which is probably nearer to Heathrow than Boris Island in time and convenience terms.
Anyway, Zac has will have made a few of us think about whether there is a vote that would be too far for us to swallow. Not sure it would be wise to go public if there were. The only policy where I know my constituents would expect me to die in the ditch would be the appalling proposals to destroy Montgomeryshire with multiple wind farms and pylons. I would be in trouble if it were to come to a vote - which at this stage I cannot see happening any time soon. But I don't suppose Zac Goldsmith thought there would ever be a vote on a 3rd Heathrow runway (which there may never be of course). Definitely an issue to watch.