You know how it is. You're minding your own business, catching up with some old friends, when, out of the corner of your eye, you notice that something isn't there. And so it was today with the Constitutional amendment F14, which was intended to introduce a structure for generating party strategy and reporting on its subsequent delivery.
I am, as previously reported, the Secretary of the Party's International Relations Committee. And what I had noticed was that, in the list of new committees, the proposed new Federal International Relations Committee did not appear. Oversight or deliberate strategy I know not, but I did feel that a few polite words from a genteel bureaucrat might be helpful.
Naturally, an entirely uncontroversial constitutional amendment was never going to attract a lot of cards, thus making the prospect of my being called rather higher than usual, and, sure enough, as Mark Pack was called to speak, I was asked to standby. There was a small, nagging problem though. I had no speech prepared.
This does not, traditionally, end well.
But, ironically, a speech that I didn't prepare for is the one that I have preparing for most of my political life. I have always believed that having a strategy is one thing, holding those responsible for its implementation to account is quite another. The proposals require those empowered to report back to us, which requires us to gently prod them if we feel that they aren't doing their job well enough. How could I not support that?
I did rather promise that the missing committee would not seize the opportunity not to participate in the reporting back although, given that my prospects for re-election to the committee are probably rather slight under the new 'One Member One Vote' system for electing our internal committees, it may turn out to be a commitment without personal consequence.
And so, dear reader, I got away with my unusually spontaneous intervention. Who knows, I may do it again one day...