In my various capacities, people occasionally want to talk to me. Mostly, it's about things that are internal to the Party - people wanting advice, or support in terms of candidate stuff - as I don't have what I would describe as significant influence. So, when I received an e-mail asking if I would be available to meet the Vice-Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils, as well as its Senior Policy Officer, for a briefing on what they are doing, I was naturally intrigued.
Some research had clearly been done, as I was noted as being a Parish Councillor and a 'leading Liberal Democrat blogger', and, apparently, NALC was "particularly keen to catch up with you personally at conference to outline their current work in promoting the development of locally democratic and accountable community level councils, and in using the powers granted by the Localism Act and the ideas set out in the Open Public Services White Paper to empower local communities".
So, I replied, saying that I would be delighted to, subject to diary commitments. Yesterday, I received an e-mail acknowledging this, and asking for my mobile phone number and a short biography. The phone number I can deal with, after all, things happen. But a biography? For people who have approached me asking to meet? Why am I supposed to justify myself like that?
I admit that it has somewhat 'put my back up', in that having been approached by a group to meet them, I am expected to go to such trouble. It leads me to suspect that their lobbyists don't really 'get' politicians, which is problematic, given who it is that NALC are trying to influence.
Ah well, we'll see how it goes...