Writing a post to prepare myself for interview tomorrow morning (Post Cynta Radio Cymru 8.10) about the goings on involving the Chief Whip. Nothing in this interview for me of course, but I always try to do Post Cynta, Post Prynhawn, CF99, Newyddion etc. because commitment to Welsh Language is important to me and to the Conservative Party in Wales. Some of my colleagues don't seem to get this - even though support for minority languages tends to be a centre/right phenomenon across the world.
Anyway, it's clear that its a sensitive area, and I'll have to watch my step. Don't know Andrew Mitchell well, but he did come to Montgomeryshire to support me during the General Election campaign. He's just about the best flesh-presser I've ever seen in action, genuinely seeming to enjoy it. After we swept through Bear Lanes, even the babies were smiling! Mind you his judgement was a bit suspect because he thought I had no hope of winning! Also spoken to him a couple of times in the lobby about international dev't issues. And he and I were amongst the few supporters of David Davis still standing when David Cameron was elected leader of the Conservative Party. Enough there to give me good vibes about him.
No dispute that he acted wrongly when challenging the police, though there is ongoing dispute about what was actually said. Its just not right to swear at or about them - within hearing anyway. Chief Whip accepts this and has apologised. Unless something new emerges, that in my opinion should be it. I think the line to take tomorrow is "Time to move on".
What is odd to me is the portrayal of Andrew Mitchell as some sort of foul-mouthed brute who is going to sort out rebellious MPs in the media. In my, albeit limited, dealings with him, he has seemed entirely personable and reasonable - as was his predecessor as Chief Whip, Patrick Mcloughlin. But then perhaps they know that anyone telling me what I 'must' do will have the opposite effect. Anyway, so far I've not voted against the Gov't at all, and it would cause me great pain to 'go over to the dark side' by voting with Labour. So no-one can accuse me of trying to 'butter up' the new 'Chief' by speaking up for him tomorrow morning!