Mike Parker was selected as the Plaid Cymru candidate for the 2015 general election in the party’s top target seat of Ceredigion. This book is his diary of the campaign, from the many moments of great hope to the controversies that saw him vilified in sensationalist newspaper headlines, and his ultimate defeat by the incumbent Liberal Democrat MP.
This book touches on my own life in so many ways that I devoured it in a very short period of time.
Mike Parker is an incomer to Wales – like me.
He got married to a Welsh man and got involved in a very rural communtiy – like me.
He entered politics, was part of several political parties and unsucessfully campaigned in Ceredigion – like me.
The difference is that he stood as candidate for the Welsh National Party Plaid Cymru while I supported his LibDem opponent a few years later. Parker missed out to LibDem MP Mark Williams; when I helped Mark Williams, he lost his seat.
Admittedly you may not find as many parallels or know as many people mentioned in the book as I do, but the book is all the same relevant to a broad range of readers.
The book is an annotated diary of Parker’s election campaign in Ceredigion. It reflects perfectly the dynamics of said National Uk election – the many current affairs and other events that influenced the voters decisions; and how campaigners incited hatred and fear, how media bias and manipulation can impact on the results of elections and polls.
I enjoyed reading about politicians I knew personally or knew off, to see them from Mike’s point of view and get a glimpse into the Plaid Cymru internal politics.
All politics aside, the book also depicts the Welsh people, mentalities and attitudes.
Parker is honest, raw and balanced enough in his writing to come across as genuine albeit maybe too naive for the neck-stabbing world of politics.
Humour, self-deprication and wit round this up into a very readable election campaign diary that I can only recommend.