Saturday, October 13, 2007

European selection: is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it's Super Returning Officer!

Well, for South East European Region, the hustings are over.

In a final flourish, today I acted as Returning Officer, timekeeper, Chair and sports ticker at what can only be described as a bijou gathering in a sunny Canterbury.

Due to illness, unexpected person events and failed transport, only ten of our fifteen candidates could make it but the level of debate was as high as ever. I ran a comparatively laissez faire ship, as I've increasingly concluded that formal hustings are just about the least effective way candidates can spend their time, and went for entertainment instead.

So speeches and.questions were interspersed with tea and the football and cricket scores (good wins for England and Scotland at football, a bit of a shocker for England's batsmen against Sri Lanka), as the afternoon passed by in an atmosphere of bonhomie.

Curiously, despite my multi-tasking, I was incredibly relaxed, and I'm beginning to gain the impression that I simply enjoy chairing things. Perhaps it's just a control thing but I happen to think that I'm quite good at it. I have no great desire to hear my own voice, I'm kindly to speakers and appreciate the audience. It's also a confidence thing, I suppose, something which I suddenly seem to have a little of.

But as the sun sets over North Kent, it's time to head for Suffolk for a little sanity and good sense and some quality time with Ros.


Richard Gadsden said...

Confidence: well-earned.

Chairing: do you chair federal conference? If not, you should.

Life in general: congratulations on being happy.

David said...

When I was President of the Cambridge Union, the Standing Committee had a joint meeting with the trustees. I was chair of the Standing Committee and Lord Butler was chair of the trustees. Naively I wondered who would chair the joint meeting. RAB did not hesitate. He had nearly been Prime Minister, I had not. I learned a lot watching him chair. He hardly said a word but he was in complete control. I can't tell you if he enjoyed it or not.