On Friday night I was honoured to have been selected at the new Conservative parliamentary candidate for Norwich South - it was a packed meeting, much larger than for the 2005 election and I have to say that the overall quality of candidate was very good and I hope that both Martin and Will go on to find good constituencies.
Everybody who wants to become an MP, I think, dreams of doing so in their home City. I live here, work here, my kids go to school here ... I have a real stake in this community and am dedicated to making it working better. Norwich is a fantastic City and, above all, I am going to run a positive campaign. I think that this City and its citizens are really going places and above all, I want to be a part of that; hopefully as our MP. I reserve the right to highlight failure and criticise, but when I do so I will always offer a positive alternative for people.
The Norwich Conservatives go from strength to strength locally; our canvass in Chapel Break, Bowthorpe, and also in Eaton yesterday show us that more people prefer a new Cameron Conservative government to the old failed Labour one under Brown. People weren't just anti-Labour but they were becoming pro-Conservative again.
Why is this? Because whilst we may getting richer as a City in material goods, there are still real concerns when two local High Schools are under OFSTED scrutiny, when our flagship hospital doesn't have enough beds and when anti-social behaviour still impacts on our estates. I've written in detail about my response to those problems here and I hope that when Cameron launches our manfiesto, it tackles those issues. And, before you ask, I won't be employing my wife or any other member of my family - mostly because the girls are too young to be of any real help and I don't think Louise would want to spend that amount of time with me!
So now's the time to get on with the job - I've got a campaign team to put together and a plan to create. I like to think I have shown the dedication to this City and have the experience to really make a difference. Given the positive reaction of friends in the City and party members, I think this may well be a really fun election to fight!
So Mr Clarke, who has this week been worrying about a Conservative revival, ought now to be worrying about the Conservative revival in his own back yard!