The Eastern Daily Press speculated this morning that Labour were going to delay the Norwich North by-election until October, but a call I just received from the Labour Party asking my "opinions on local issues ahead of the by-election that is to be held this summer", suggest that October is not the date Labour have in mind.
According to the EDP, someone called "Nick Starling", who is a "former county councillor" has ruled himself out of being the Lib Dem candidate. I don't know who "Nick" is and what area he was "county councillor" for. Fortunately my name is "Nich" and I am a former "District Councillor".
I have not fully ruled out the chances of putting my name forward and will be having further discussions with people in the party who I respect to seek a way forward. I am though very much of the opinion that as someone working in education, a job I see as a caring a nurturing one, it is totally irresponsible to take three weeks off, at taxpayers expense to jaunt around the constituency knocking on doors and playing party politics. But more than this, it would be difficult to justify to those pupils I teach, and their parents, that I am someone who really does see a job through.
There are some who prefer to see their employment in educational establishments as a vehicle or a title with which to promote themselves politically. This shows a lack of respect for their jobs and a lack of professionalism. Pupils, parents and ultimately taxpayers deserve better.
Could I still stand for Norwich North whilst not taking any time off work ? Possibly, but with only 16 hours to make a decision and with interviews for the seat being held on a work day in London or Cambridge, it seems the odds are stacked against me.