WATCHING Parliament on television, you’d be forgiven for thinking where on earth are they all?
The benches are empty most of the time, and those MPs present often seem most interested in their mobile phones!
It’s always been like this though, with MPs mainly attending just the big debates. But it’s become more obvious since parliament has been televised.
So, as I’m not seen lounging on the green benches that much, what have I been up to?
Well, as you know I hold local surgeries, work with local businesses, colleges and schools etc.
I am also on the Science Committee and last week visited Cambridge University.
I am chair of the ’No Pylons’ campaign and spend lots of time answering the avalanche of letters and e-mail that I get every week.
My most important parliamentary job at present is chairing the committee looking at the bill to set up the ‘Groceries Adjudicator’, scrutinising it line by line, word by word.
Many local people have been calling for just such a law, to provide an independent referee who will make sure that customers and the farmers who supply supermarkets get a fair deal.
The new law will go a long way towards achieving this, and the other day the government announced that the Adjudicator will have powers to impose substantial fines from the very first day.
As the committee chair I am neutral and so can’t tell you plainly what I think - but you could always try to guess!)