Getting to Conservative Central Office is a task in itself. Although the Smithfield car park where I live is quite near the railway line, it's a bit of a walk to the station itself. And then getting to London....Trains from Ludlow to London are not easy to catch. First you must trek to Shrewsbury, change then head over to Birmingham New Street, change then catch the Silverlink service or Virgin train down to London Euston. The alternative is to travel down to Hereford, and hope trains are running down into London Paddington. In the end, I opted for a very early start via Shrewsbury and Birmingham. It was slightly cheaper to go to London Marylebone from Birmingham Moor Street instead, so I did that.
Ah, London! How I love the town. My appointment at CCHQ was at 3pm, and I'm going to be staying in London for a few days. It's unusual, they said, to have potential A-List candidates coming forward this late in the political cycle, but after Ali Miraj fell from grace, a spot came up.
I nearly didn't make the appointment though. The London Underground had major problems caused by striking unions. How I love Margaret Thatcher for the way she stood up to the unions in the 1980s. What we need is a Tory leader like David Cameron who can carry on the way she did. (Is that OK, Central Office, to prove I'm not an Ancramite?)
Anyway, you'll be wanting to know how I got on. Well, it's only the first day. I did some tests first, some psychological profiling, to ensure I'm not nuts, although they say if you want to be involved in politics, you must be! From the results of one of the tests, I have the sort of character where I get upset if people don't park in spaces properly in car parks. Living in a tree above a car park, I can't say I'm all that bothered, but I nodded sagely and replied that it must mean I have an eye for detail when it comes to local issues.
They're going to give me some more tests tomorrow, give a few speeches, do some mock press interviews, and an odd one where I have to speak for three minutes authoratively on a topic I know nothing about. This is a vital skill in politics, aparently. I'm back at the hotel now, just logging on to let you all know I'm fine and living it up in London.
I'll have to go in a few minutes. I've been invited out for a few drinks by the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Hooting constituency in South London, well known for its large owl population. His name is Mark Rhymes, and like me, is not a human. He's a secretary bird, which no doubt will appeal to the local bird population. He's also nominally the Chairman of the Conservative Bestiary, although the organisation is doing very little nationally at the moment.