This young lass banged on my door today. She is the Conservative candidate for my electorate. She asked if I had any local concerns. I do, so I told her. She promised to email me about one; we will see. She then asked if I have any national concerns. I have many, and shared a few with her. She agreed enthusiastically but I suspect most will fall into the Yes Minister category of perennial insolubles as described below. Still, I will keep an eye on her website and may offer a few suggestions as the campaign proceeds.
The incumbent MP is Tessa Jowell (Lab). Not the most tricky act to follow, one would have thought, though I think Jowell has a large enough majority to scrape in again notwithstanding her well-publicised financial difficulties with the gentleman and scholar Silvio Berlusconi.
These Jowell blames in toto on her now estranged husband, David Mills, though it's hard to claim to be a worldly individual with a grasp of financial affairs, as one presumes any MP would be required to assert, and yet offer an Manuelesque denial of your own personal dealings, especially when your signature is on a mortgage. Jowell also has no chance of joining the chorus of Labour MPs who have comparatively recently trumpeted that they were totally against the Iraq War whilst remaining in the party all along; she was a member of the cabinet at the material time and voted for it.
There is also the mild irritation for me that Jowell is my local MP and lives in London, but does not live in her constituency. Before her apparent separation, and whilst the Italian allegations were front page news, her husband emerged from their North London abode to the expected crowd of hacks and press photographers. He stormed past in a rage, got into his BMW and tried to drive off in a fast and aggressive manner. In doing so he had a minor collision with one of the hacks' cars, and got out of the car after lurching to a halt.
"So who's going to pay for that, then?" he demanded.
"Berlusconi?" came the helpful suggestion from a watching hack.