Eight hours on the road yesterday, taking in Cardiff and Newport, Pembs. In Cardiff for a party fundraiser in Salt, a bar in the Bay - chief guest was David Cameron. Great do with 300 present and about one third under 25. The sniff of power is bringing them out like butterflies in Buddlia season. First big Tory do I've been to since losing my AM slot. Really enjoyed it. Quite a few people commented on the Martin Shipton article that appeared in Thursday's Western Mail. Three guests clearly didn't agree, but they want the Assembly abolished (and probably India back as well). In fact, I was surprised by how much enthusiastic support I did have. I wish all these people would say as much to our three MPs. I'm not sure that the Party leadership approves of me being so forceful in my support for giving law making powers to the Assembly - but Nick Bourne offered to buy me lunch in the New Year. I'll take him up on that. I've not always seen 100% eye to eye with Nick, but I'm very keen that he should stay as Leader of the Assembly Group for the next two or three years at least. I very much agree with the direction Nick is taking the Group.
And then on to the excellent Trewern Arms at Nevern in Pembrokeshire to speak to North Pembrokeshire Conservatives. Probably around 70 there, and a very jovial crowd. I started off my speech by putting the blame for the streak in my character that has led me into so much controversy down to the Chairman for the evening. I discovered that John Davies was the PE teacher at Llanfair Caereinion High School for the first two years that I was there in the 1970s. John is well into his 70s now, and as irascible as ever. He must have been a very wild man in his youth. I do remember him introducing me to rugby, which played a big part in my life as a young man. I owe him. The evening ended with a raffle and the main prize was a 4foot high Teddy Bear, which was then auctioned for Association funds. I trust this donation will be properly declared. We also had a teddy bear naming competition. Mohammed came second. Winning name was Glyn - and I took no offence at all. I did put in a bid myself. I thought Ffion might like it when she's a bit older, but without my AM's salary I couldn't afford to stay in the bidding!!
I used the speech to launch my 'crusade' to persuade my party of the case for Assembly law making powers. Presceli Pembs is a part of Wales that might be considered to be a challenge. I'm not sure that anyone in the room disagreed with me - not openly anyway. And there were plenty of heads nodding, including local Assembly Member, Paul Davies. The boy will go far in his political career if he carries on nodding his head when I'm speaking! Home by 1.00, knackered and too tired to blog. So went to bed and was stung twice by a wasp which had snuggled in with Mrs D in my absence. Only blemish on a good 'political' day.