Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Mixing business with pleasure

As MPs we get invited to all sorts of receptions, dinners, launches, conferences etc etc. You name it and we get invited to it. The temptation on first being elected is to dip into everything like a kiddy in a sweetshop but you rapidly notice those who may have dipped into the goodies once too often.

The trick is to try and retain a sense of perspective (not always easy) and only attend those events that are linked to constituency or portfolio or any specialist interests. OK - so there are the occasional invitations that are accepted just for the sheer hell of it. I would be less than human if I pretended otherwise.

Tonight was a classic example. I headed off to the Cholmondely roomto meet a couple of very nice constituents who had invited me to the reception held by the British Holiday and Home Parks Association. We had a very pleasant chat about some of the issues and challenges facing their business (as well as discussing the local theatre group). Hopefully as a result of the meeting they will be more inclined to contact me if there is a problem.

The pleasure? Well, I will admit to drinking a very nice glass of champagne while we were waiting.