Very few of you, I hope, noticed a piece on Liberal Democrat Voice last week, encouraging people to stand for places on the Party's delegation to ELDR Council.
I wrote it because I was asked nicely, and because there are people out there who might be good for the role. Unfortunately, it's a role that I want to keep, partly because I enjoy it, partly because it seems that I might be quite good at it. And, by encouraging competitors, it makes it less likely that I'll be re-elected. This would be bad, right?
Yet, I think that it's the right thing to do. We are, as a delegation, a bit short on BAME members (that would be me), and poor at reporting back (present company excepted). I'm not entirely convinced that we are, for the most part, that well connected to the heart of our Party, or truly representative - we're a bit bourgeois and middle class (I admit to being both). So, some fresh blood might be good.
I'm not always sure how I fit into the delegation. Most of my colleagues are political, international, multilingual - I'm an English speaking bureaucrat with a love of travel and an interest in history, although I find ELDR Council extremely congenial. Like my Parish Council, it is easy to comprehend yet difficult to truly understand, and you have to approach it in a way that respects tradition and practice, always aware that it was there before you, and will be after you're gone. The debate is usually measured, and clarity is valued over passion (I'm not always great at the latter).
What I bring is a bureaucrat's eye to an organisation that is administrative, rather than political, collaborative, rather than combative. It is gentle - most of the time - and I value that.
And so, I'll be running for re-election. I'll supply a manifesto, one that will follow on from that of two years ago, and Conference delegates can vote on my record. Hopefully, that will be good enough...