I'm a bit disappointed this morning to see that the letter I sent to this week's County Times wasn't published. So I thought that I might as well share it with my blog readers instead - it relates to an article in last week's paper, which made me furious with Lembit Opik. Here goes:
If anybody asks me in the future why I'm running against Lembit Opik at the next General Election, all I'll have to do is show them a copy of the front page of last week's (29/05/2009) County Times. To those who missed it, our MP had posed inside a tent which was being pulled by a bike in order to get himself into the paper and make a point about expenses. Evidently it worked, but surely, making light of the seriousness of the situation with a cheap photo opportunity isn't the way to go about restoring the electorate's faith in politicians? Once again, Mr Opik seems to have missed the point and seems more intent on publicising himself rather than tackling issues. Further, if we are to believe that Mr Opik has long been pushing for a more transparent parliament, then how can he justify his voting record on this issue where prior to this April, he'd been absent from all votes relating to a transparent parliament, bar one? It doesn't add up.
An issue Mr Opik seems even less keen to tackle is the financial gains he's made as an MP through media apperances and engagements, including writing a column for the Daily Sport and appearing on Saturday Night Takeaway on ITV. He makes thousands and thousands of pounds annually because of this, spending time promoting himself in the media rather working for the people of Montgomeryshire. Surely, there's plenty of work for him to do in his constituency. Being an MP is an honour, and if I'm lucky enough to be elected, I won't lose sight of that and will always put Montgomeryshire first. No wonder that most of the people I've met when canvassing are eager for a General Election. Bring it on I say, so that the people of Montgomeryshire have a chance to express their view on the matter.
Heledd Fychan, Plaid Cymru's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Montgomeryshire