Tomorrow's Times newspaper fronts a headline 'quote' from former British Labour Party Leader and Prime Minister Tony Blair: "I'm your man". Excuse me. Far be it from me to question the credentials of any candidate for a post that doesn't exist, and by all accounts is still to be defined if and when the Czech Republic finally ratifies the Lisbon Treaty. But I seem to recall that Blair's legacy to his Party could, and has been, summed up in a word - 'bankruptcy' - both politically and financially. I will probably get told off again for daring to draw attention to how perilously close the country's ruling party came to financial ruin on Blair's watch. However, I suppose given the perennial difficulties some European Union institutions have accounting for their monies that the former Labour Leader could be deemed to be well qualified for the job of so-called President of Europe (actually it's the European Council of Ministers).
According to the BBC, Sir Christopher Kelly, chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life, is to recommend that MPs should no longer be entitled to buy second homes at the taxpayers' expense. This if confirmed will be an important step in reshaping relationships between our elected representatives and the public. I blogged about this in May here. I'm convinced the job of restoring public trust in our MPs extends to our pollitical parties as well. In that regard the National Executive Committee of the Labour Party (of which I am a member) has still failed to account for how it deselected Ian Gibson, former MP for Norwich North. I was reminded of that by comrades in South West Norfolk on Saturday. As I'm composing BBC North West is reporting a revolt in Ashton in Makerfield against a decision by the NEC to select the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the 2010 General Election from an All-Women Short list. All of which points to a lively NEC meeting on 17 November.
Straight after Labour Party Annual Conference, I joined my wife on a 9-day trek on Mount Kilimanjaro. She had been working on an NHS Global Partnership project in Uganda training clinicians how to diagnose and treat trauma victims.There is more information on her Bmycharity site here. We didn't make it to the top on the final day of ascent, but it was a great adventure thanks to our 11 fellow trekkers and the African Walking Company who provided a 55-person support team to carry, guide, cook and sing.
On our return we both had other struggles to attend to - possibly of some relevance to the question of who anyone should vote for at the next election. Mine have involved post-operative care for my own Mother following elective surgery on her shoulder, which means at the tender age of 88 she can't drive for a few weeks.
This has meant missing all my branch and CLP meetings this month. But on Saturday I had been invited to talk to South West Norfolk CLP in Downham Market...one uphill struggle to another - in this case representing Labour in a rural constituency, based around three market towns.