After an absence of a decade from the Parliamentary fray, I have decided to throw my hat into the ring for the General Election in 2015. I am now back on the Parliamentary Candidates' Panel - the list of the great and the good who have the enviable job of being able to stand as Lib Dem candidates at the general election and turn themselves into bomb proof shelters whilst voters and opponents alike throw everything they can at us! My assessment day was on Sunday in Leeds and I discovered I had reached the grade on Wednesday when, ironically, I was standing in the rain in a queue to get into Parliament (for a meeting of the Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidates' Association). Of course, there is the little issue of actually getting selected for a seat. The selection fun will no doubt start at some point soon.
The last time I stood was in 2001 when I was candidate in Tyne Bridge, a constituency that straddled both Gateshead and Newcastle. In 2005 I did not stand as I was working in HQ and in 2010 I did not stand as I was setting up a business and trying to get my food self-sufficiency activities going. Now that those activities are done, I have been persuaded of the merits of going back into battle myself. Stickler for punishment that I am, I await the selection and Parliamentary battles that lie ahead with a sense of amused resignation as to the effort required to achieve the outcomes that are possible.