Sunday, April 04, 2010

How long does it take an MP to learn the ropes?

This is the second time I've linked to a post by my Plaid Cymru opponent in Mongomeryshire, Heledd Fychan. In part, that's because its another good post. But also because I was goint to blog on the same issue myself. I, too had been sent a copy of this week's Tanat, Cain and Vyrnwy Chronicle, which included submissions from her, me and the incumbent MP, Lembit Opik. Heledd's gone for it in what is becoming typical of her style - which I rather like. Daresay, I'll find myself in the firing line over the next four weeks. My intention was to take issue with one pretty stupid comment included in the piece - a comment which seems to be part of his 2010 pitch to Montgomeryshire voters. Lets nail it now - in the same way that I'll nail it when he raises at the various panels we're on before May 6th.

It seems that our current MP is of the view that it takes eight years before a new MP 'learns the ropes' sufficiently well to become effective. Well Lembit, go tell that to Nick Clegg - who was elected to lead the Liberal Democrats after being an MP for just four years. Or Chris Huhne, who almost beat him, who had also been an MP for only four years. Or David Cameron, who was elected to lead the Conservatives after four years. Or William Hague (who entered the Cabinet at just 34) - or William's political hero, and subject of his first book, William Pitt the Younger, who became Prime Minister aged 24, after less than two years as an MP. Perhaps if Lembit had spent a bit more time on his 'parliamentary' duties, and less time pursuing 'other interests', it wouldn't have taken him quite so long. And another interesting fact is that the average length of time that an MP serves in something less than eight years.

And while I'm at it, there's another comment which rankles - one I've heard before (and which is likely to be used 'spontaneously' on several occasions over the next month). It seems that he does not consider himself 'perfect' (in a self-pitying sort of way) - and that if the voter's want someone perfect, they must await 'the second coming'. No they don't want someone perfect, and they don't have to wait beyond May 6th. Montgomeryshire voters just want someone who will take the job of representing them seriously, and put serving our old county before 'other interests'.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

His penchant for self-pity is possibly one of Lembit Opik's most nauseating traits. Considering that everyone locally has in depth knowledge about his late night lothario lifestyle, usually Crystal's based, and always embarrassing, to proclaim that he's no saint is to put things very mildly. Will this fool EVER get real about anything? Even his election literature is an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly, Lembit Opik will never learn. He gets nothing, so continues to chase irrelevant causes like the Segway, bluegrass music, curvacious models etc etc - all opportunistic and based on his addiciton to publicity - and sees nothing wrong in writing for the porno rag that is the Daily Sport and swanning off on luxury cruises whilst parliament is sitting. Despite the expenses scandal, out of which he emerged scathed to say the least, he has not learnt a single thing. In fact, he's getting worse if anything. It would take the second coming for thie "MP" to learn even the simplest of lessong.

Glyn Davies said...

Anons - The MP's lifestyle is of no consequence to me. I take issue only with what is damaging to Montgomeryshire. Swanning off to the Med on a six day 'freebie' cruise, when we all thought he was representing us at Westminster was damaging. Writing puerile innuendo for what I consider a pornographic newspaper is also damaging. And I do find the 'poor little me' stuff a bit tiresome. The comment that it takes 8 years to learn how to be an efective MP is stupid in my opinion - and aimed at his opponents, which makes response from Heledd and me fair enough. I've rejected two comments on this post as being too 'off the point' and personal.

Valleys Mam said...

Glyn it does rather equate to time put in, if you only work quarter or half time it probably would take longer
Also even if you put the hours in , being hung over etc. does lessen the learning curve

Anonymous said...

But do the locals know about the cruises, stupid articles, expenses claims, inappropriate lifestyle et al? The onus is on you and Heledd to make sure they do know all this. It defeats me how anyone could ever vote for him

Alison said...

Glyn - this is entirely off topic, but a question that interests me most. What's the Conservative Party policy on disability? (In terms of equality). I see nothing on the main Conservative website, and I wondered if you could point me in the right direct. Thanks.

Glyn Davies said...

Alison - Was thinking about this issue myself only this morning - as reading through election literature from 'Scope'. I'll respond later, when I've had oppoprtunity to check.

Andy said...

Apologies if this has been linked to already, Montgomeryshire is one to watch...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/mar/26/wales-general-election-guide

"Lembit Öpik defends it for the Lib Dems, after a term full of personal publicity that will perhaps stretch the tolerance of Montgomeryshire."

But with the local press largely ignoring these stories, how much of the "personal publicity" are the people of Montgomeryshire actually aware of?

a

Anonymous said...

Glyn> What about Martin Shipton's article in today's Western Mail? ("LABOUR last night seized on an endorsement given by the Welsh Conservatives’ economic supremo to a controversial right-wing report ...")

Anonymous said...

Andy is spot on. As long as the local press continue to ignore the fact that LO is taking the proverbial, the people of Mont won't have a clue as to what their "MP" is really doing. Do they know about the dreadful Daily Sport aticles for instance? Do they know he was paid twenty grand for an article in the Mail on Sunday about his wretched love life? Do they know about the cruise, or even the fact that he lived off his fiancee whilst claiming rent on his expensive London flat? Without the local press carrying this stuff, the people won't have a clue about the depths LO has descended to, whilst supposedly representing them. It defies belief that these papers let him get away with it. Are they all Lib supporters?

Anonymous said...

Yes, the local papers do seem to be invovled in a brainwashing exercise. The Shropshire Star have produced a guide to the seat, with absolutely no mention of Opik's foibles, of which there are many. A more appropriae picture would have been of Opik walking down Newtown high street with a Cheeky Girl on either arm - a horrid sight but sums up the man and his behaviour