Saturday sees Liberal Democrats from across Suffolk gather in Henley, just north of Ipswich, for a county training day. I'll be there as part of Team Mid Suffolk (if it's good enough for our nation's capital, it's good enough for paradise), and am looking forward to discovering what is expected of me, as opposed to what I expect of myself. Add to this the presence of Keith House, who heads the Liberal Democrat administration in Eastleigh, who is expected to whip us up into a frenzy of campaigning activity (I may be exaggerating just a touch here...), and it should make for a great day.
Alongside this, Team Mid Suffolk will be having its first campaign meeting and, in conjunction with that, I have received a draft campaign plan. Curiously, it bears an uncanny resemblance to the plan drawn up by the Stowupland campaign organiser (she's very good, by the way). However, it does provide for the creation of a candidate approval panel and, if I want to be formally adopted, I'm going to have to pass an approval interview.
There is an irony here, in that I've never actually been approved to be a council candidate, be it in Brent, Southwark or Suffolk. Given that this will be my fifth candidacy, and that I've been a Party member for more than twenty-five years, it's an odd omission from the CV, but I've never fought as anything other than a paper candidate. I'm a bit more serious this time (the level of seriousness is for the residents of Stowupland and Creeting St Peter to judge, I reckon), thus the need for approval.
It won't be my first approval interview, however. I've taken part in hundreds, both at Parliamentary and Council levels, but always as an assessor. I've even chaired panels that have withdrawn approval from sitting councillors. So, it should be an interesting experience to be on the receiving end for a change. I hope that they're kind to me...