Sunday, October 30, 2016

Reorganising Political Life

If the proposed new structure of constituency boundaries is approved in October 2018, I will not be asking any new constituency association to consider me as its 2020 General Election candidate. I've represented Montgomeryshire in one way or another for 40 years, and before that on various sporting fields. Cannot start all over again somewhere else. So if the new boundaries go through I have a maximum of three and a half years left in the House of Commons, representing my home area. Less if there's an election in 2019, as the Brexit negotiations are concluded. 

I want to enjoy it personally and make it as constructive as possible for Montgomeryshire. So change is afoot. For the last 18 mths, serving as a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee has needed a big commitment. It was abolished last week. So I've secured a place on the Environmental Audit Select Committee. This will also need a big commitment. First meeting on Tuesday. See how it goes. Will also be a member of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee. For the time being at least. We are spending tmrw afternoon at the Canadian High Commission as part of a study into how devolution operates around the world. And I want to help Welsh Ministers, Alun Cairns and Guto Bebb as much as I can. Two biggest issues (amongst many) will be Wales Bill and impact of leaving the EU on Wales, especially Rural Wales. Will spend Thursday this week with the NFU at a Brexit conference in Llandrindod. There are several All Party Political Groups I want to spend more time with, including establishing a Colombia APPG. The President is coming to Westminster on Tuesday as part of his state visit. I have one Colombian constituent at least, and another two half Colombian constituents! 

On top of this Parliament based work, I want to become more involved in constituency issues, even if most are devolved and not matters for me. It's a question of making my job satisfying and enjoyable. All this work means a significant cutback in social networking. I enjoy Facebook. Most of my 'friends' are Mid Wales based. But there are several thousand of them - way too many. Over the next month, I will go through the list (alphabetically) removing those who shouldn't be there, and probably don't want to be there. If I defriend anyone who actually wants to remain, let me know. I'll apologise and add again. Will probably drop Twitter altogether. Have thousands 'following' me - for no obvious purpose. Going to limit my social networking to an hour per night, which should allow for stimulating a Facebook discussion and a photograph - plus a daily blogpost which I find helps me arrange my thoughts in order. Starting today. So apologies to Adam Ant for de-friending him! 

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