Saturday, March 24, 2007
Great timing by Simon Hughes!
Yesterday was manifesto launch day for our mayoral candidate Christine McHugh, so we were delighted to have Simon Hughes come and support us. He had a packed schedule, having had to attend a funeral in his constituency before taking the train to Luton and then on to the centre of the universe, Bedford! I was on detail to collect him from Luton - this was a subject of some hilarity in my local party it has to be said (may have something to do with a reputation for er........occasionally being a tad late?) But I was able to confound them all, almost. I collected Simon from Chaul End Community Centre (pic is him with Cllrs Clive Mead and Michael Dolling and users of the centre) and used my extensive skills in finding alternative routes to Bedford to get us there........let's say, within the time envelope.........
It was great to have Simon launch Christine's campaign with his customary zing. She is up against "Better Bedford" Mayor Frank Branston. A man who made his fortune by founding Beds on Sunday, an empire which now extends to Luton Hertfordshire and even Milton Keynes. However, having beaten the Tories and Labour into third and fourth place last time, Christine is well placed to become our second woman Lib Dem mayor.
Following this Simon was speaking at local Harpur Trust Bedford School, one of its former pupils being our own Paddy Ashdown. The audience also included a few pupils from one of our local upper schools. The questions were intelligent but less challenging than I had expected. A lot of interest being expressed in our party's view on PR and potential future coalitions. This was followed by dinner, which being as I was acting as Simon's chauffeur (and earbender as you might imagine) I was graciously invited too. I got chatting to the teacher sat next to me, only to discover that her partner was a member of the same team as me at the FSA - small world eh? We then shot up for a flying visit to Yasmin's palatial home (apparently used for the filming of the original Bleak House) which she has taken over in the absence of her parents. Yas is toying with the idea of becoming a party member, something her family are keen on as they think it may calm her down...........hmmmm..........we'll see!