It's an absolutely vile morning in Essex, with strong, blustering winds and cold, heavy rain battering the 8.39 from Stowmarket to London. Given that I'm not in the best of moods - it was my birthday yesterday (45, since you ask) and I tend to the view that birthdays mark another step towards senescence and death - at last I don't feel out of place.
My task today is to hold the line on the new Selection Rules for Prospective Parliamentary Candidates in the face of an English Candidates Committee populated in part by the sort of people that give bureaucracy a bad name. Make no mistake, the notion that their role is to serve members and Local Parties rather than the other way round is something that one occasionally feels the need to remind them of.
One of my colleagues in particular, Brian Orrell, currently Chair of the English Party tends to the view that things can't be done and that they're all too difficult. Process is all the appears to matter, and the impact of bureaucracy on hard-pressed Local Parties is not a core consideration. The reports that the last attempt to simplify and rationalise the Selection Rules ran into the sand in part due to his efforts don't exactly surprise me.
I'll report back on the meeting later, assuming that I haven't gone berserk with an assault weapon and created a bunch of vacancies for Regional Candidates Chairs...