As we enter what I believe will be General Election year, I need to take stock of who my opponents will be in Montgomeryshire. This morning I was talking to a 'noise' in local Plaid Cymru who told me that their candidate has now been selected, but strangely, wouldn't give me a name. Interesting tactic I thought. Perhaps it will be a shadowy Guido-like figure with no name - until he was eventually exposed. I'd been expecting David Thomas to run again. I'd like that because he's a thoroughly good man. I suppose David Senior could have another go. David is also a good man, but not speaking Welsh is a huge disadvantage - particularly since one of his opponents has gone to the trouble of learning. Maybe they've gone for someone just starting out - like Heledd Fychan, who works for Elfyn Llwyd and has strong Montgomeryshire roots. I don't know her, but I check up on her blog. She's one to watch I think. And then there have been rumours that Sian Lloyd will go for it. That would put the fox amongst the chickens, and guarantee that little ol' Montgomeryshire becomes a media-fest. Anyway if anyone knows who the Plaid mystery person is, comment anonymously so that I can assist a little with name recognition.
I've met the Labour candidate once, and he seemed an OK fellow, but he'll have to make a bit more effort to make himself known. Bruce Lawson will be surely be flying the flag for Ukip again. He's good company as well. Now you can see that there's not going to be too much ill feeling in Montgomeryshire on Election Day. Unless things are stirred up a bit by the BNP or an anti-Assembly 'independent'. All I'm doing is reporting the rumours.
And of course there's the incumbent, Lembit Opik, standing for the Lib Dems - though I keep hearing stories of him being deselected, or retiring to pursue a media career. Personally, I don't believe any of these rumours. In yesterday's Wales on Sunday, Martin Shipton ran a two-page spread under the heading 'Opik primed to bite back'. Apparently, he's decided that perhaps the distinctive way he does politics is 'frightening the horses', but he claims that its his way of 'creating a political stampede'. Anyway the report goes on to tell us that he's keen on a debate about legalisation of hard drugs, engaging with international terrorists (I should make clear that this in no way implies any support for terrorism. He threatened to sue Martin just for asking a question about the subject) and he wants the Liberal Democrats to stop sending out mixed messages on the economy. There was no mention of his latest part time employment as Political columnist for the Daily Sport. Whatever, he will be the man to beat come election time - which could be soon. So Plaid Cymru had best get its skates on and tell us who they have chosen if they are going to have any chance of catching the man on the Segway.