Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Count

'A View from Rural Wales' is springing back to life. Like those amazing plants which emerge from an arid landscape following the first rain after a ten year drought. Rather like the plant, which will normally never be seen, it may be that no-one will be drawn to read my blog. They used to. I'm returning to this strange activity to indulge my pleasure of writing for its own sake. It will be a periodic commentary on Westminster activities and reflection on issues that catch my attention. So read or not read as you wish. I will not be adulated or offended, whatever your response.

I feel an appropriate point to restart this is from 'The Count'. Approaching midnight on 7th May, the Davies family, including candidate, spouse and four children set forth from Cil Farm to the desperately non-atmospheric Flash Leisure Centre in Welshpool to discover what the voters of Montgomeryshire had decided that day. I'd warned the family this could be a humiliating night. We had seen the Exit Poll, which I had dismissed as ludicrous. Lord Paddy Ashdown was entirely justified in promising to eat a marzipan hat! To lose my seat to a Lib Dem when they were being obliterated across the UK could not be spun as anything but humiliation. But I also said, I thought "I would be elected, though not shocked to lose". In fact first time I'd ever gone to a count in Montgomeryshire with any optimism. The once I'd won came as a total shock!

Arrived to mixed reactions from my team. Some headshaking from the office pessimist (he knows who he is) but thumbs up from the remainder. There was a huddle of Lib Dems sitting to one side looking rather downcast which told the story. Rather sympathised. I've been there!! Anyway it was soon clear to all that I was heading to Westminster for another 5 yrs. Did the formalities and some good photos for the family album on stage. Then a few interviews - before heading up to the office uptown Welshoool for a quiet celebratory glass.

Then there was the penis. No commentary on the 'The Count' in Montgomeryshire can be complete without its inclusion. One voter had drawn an anatomically correct representation of a penis in the box next to my name. On the basis that it was completely confined within the box, and more importantly had a 'smiley face' the Returning Officer adjudged that it should a valid vote cast in my favour. Just imagine the hoo-hah if I'd won by one vote - which I did when first elected to Montgomeryshire District Council a long time ago.

I'm not sure this is a very dignified end to the resurrection of A View from Rural Wales. But it does establish a style.