The Defence Select Committee, of which I am part, made the headlines last week in connection with our forthcoming trip to the Falkland Islands.
I ran the gauntlet of Sky News in an attempt to explain the purpose of the trip and the rationale for going ahead in spite of raised tensions and rhetoric coming out of Buenos Aires.
The Defence Committee exists to scrutinise the MoD and determine how effectively it spends taxpayers’ money whenever and wherever British military assets are deployed.
Part of that role involves routine visits to military bases around the world and across this country, speaking both to top brass and to the rank and file to gauge the appropriateness of the resources at their disposal.
A trip to the Falklands, where more than £60million of British government money is spent every year, is long overdue.
The committee has not been there for 13 years and last planned to go in 2009, when diary problems forced a postponement.
I view it as a simple matter of not being deterred from doing our jobs and performing our constitutional duty because of a particular (and erroneous) interpretation that Argentina wishes to put on it.
As one of my colleagues commented, I hope with tongue firmly in cheek: “The idea that a bunch of middle-aged parliamentarians is an escalation of Britain’s military presence flatters us beyond belief!”
Friday brought another media engagement with a quick dash to Southampton to record The Politics Show. However. There was still time to hold a full surgery, visit Arundells, where I am delighted that plans to preserve the house are still in active development, and to attend the first of several “meet the MP” Q&A sessions in Pitton.
I look forward to the next one this Friday in the Glebe Hall, Winterbourne Earls.