Thursday, May 19, 2005

Four maidens

Thought I ought to put in some "duty time" on the green benches and when I realised that we had four new Members hoping to make maiden speeches in a sparsely populated chamber it seemed as good a time as any.
David Howarth was the first to rise to his feet and delivered a confident speech which seemed to have the right balance of politics and constituency interest. You learn something every day and I hadn't appreciated that Oliver Cromwell had once represented Cambridge.

An interminable wait before we got to Julia Goldsworthy who resisted (wisely in my book) the temptation to mention every village in her constituency but told us that the family Sunday lunch was proving to be far more arduous and challenging (politically) than her advice surgeries.

Then straight into Danny Alexander - a fellow redhead and one of our younger MPs. He sounded very confident but must have been a little nervous as he was moving around quite a bit ( habit I sometimes have and is not at all uncommon). On occasions such as this it is difficult to think of a way to draw the speaker's attention to the movement. I fleetingly considered grabbing his leg but easily resisted the temptation - he would not have realised why I was acting in such unseemly fashion and would probably been frightened to death to be molested by a "middle aged woman" (to quote one of my campaign team). He made a nice point about problems with second homes in a humorous way and came across very well.

This was all swiftly followed by John Hemming who used the unusual device of relating the Birmingham version of Monopoly to the more widely known one, commented on his Viking roots (I thought all vikings had red hair??) and quoted from Beowulf.

It was all entertaining stuff and certainly bore testament to the fact that "you learn something new every day"