Friday, September 29, 2006

Go back to your constituencies and prepare for opposition....

... might have been good advice to delegates at the end of this week’s conference. Especially for young MPs. It’s not that we’re bound to lose, it just seems more likely after Mr Blair’s speech reminded us all what an inspirational leader he is capable of being. The others are all in a different class.

It’s a risky business being an MP. One day you can be earning £60,000+ and about to climb the greasy ladder, the next you can be at the job centre. Many Labour MPs swept into office in the 1997 landslide have found it difficult to adjust to life after loosing their seats just as many Tories did after winning their seats on the back of the Thatcher landslide.

So a prudent MP should always have plans B and C well prepared. B in case they retain their seat but are in opposition and C in case they loose their seat.

But I should listen to my own advice. There are between two and a half and three and a half years to go before the next general election. Lots could happen; Gordon Brown might even learn some presentation skills.

It’s twenty-five years since David Steel uttered the fateful words "Go back to your constituencies and prepare for government" to the Liberal Assembly at Llandudno in 1981. He was wrong; I hope I am.


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