Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Big Event

I might as well be honest. I just do not like political conferences. There's a bit too much mutual back-slapping, a bit too much shallowness, and a fair bit of contrived spontaneous applause. But it didn't seem like that today. It came as a real surprise that I've really enjoyed myself in Llandudno, at the Conservative's Annual Welsh Conference. I'm sure less people were looking over my shoulder in search of someone more important to talk to. There seemed to be an unforced confidence about the place.

I had a bit of luck as well. Its not often a lowly foot soldier gets the chance to have a proper chat with the leader, but I did today. Thing was, David Cameron turned up early, and had a few minutes to spare before his speech. The coffee bar, where I happened to be enjoying a quiet coffee served as a sort of holding area. So a good friendly chat we enjoyed to fill the time. Well, that was a good start. And then I liked his speech. No attempt at rabble rousing and 'milking' the audience for applause - just a very thoughtful and confident performance by a man who looks on top of his game. His announcement about Lord Roberts looking at our position on Assembly powers caught my ear. Reporting by the summer. The Assembly Government's Convention might still not have reached the start line. Plaid activists must be pig-sick to watch us moving ahead like this when they are mired in coalition treacle.

Did a great interview with Trefor Jones, our man in Ynys Mon for S4/C. He's a good lad. And then speaking at a successful RSPB fringe meeting, chaired by Clwyd West AM, Darren Millar, who's another good lad. Followed by an interview for BBC with Presceli AM, Paul Davies, who is yet another. Back into the Hall to hear Liam Fox, who is a man who sounds absolutely on top of his brief. Finished off the day in the Conference Hall relaxing over a cup of tea for 20 minutes with Lord David Trimble, who is an engaging a politician as I've ever met. Met a lot of friends that I haven't seen since I lost my position as an AM last May. For the first time in my life, I'm looking forward to the next Conference.

But you can't have it all. While I was away a truly momentous event occurred at home. Little Ffion is with us this weekend and at about 22.00 hours, she turned over onto her front in her cot, all on her own. She's 5 months old and she's been trying to perform this manoeuvre for a while. I'd left for home after wolfing the main course at the Conference Dinner and was driving along the A55 when Mrs D rang me to say that this event had taken place. Apparently, Ffion was looking extremely pleased with herself. Oh, I do hope she repeats the trick tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

What it be fair to compare the absence of 2 MP's out of 3 at the Welsh Conservative conference to been the equivalent to 2 of the main company directors being absent from the company agm?

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Would it matter if two main company directors were missing from a company agm - by agreement with the Chairman that is. There simply isn't room for everyone to have a slot on the platform - so Stephen and David were not letting anyone down on that score. I don't know but I suspect that they were away on important constituency work.

Nigel Roberts said...

Hi Glyn, enjoy reading your blog and seeing your take on the politics of Wales.
As a Conservative member, I agree with anon, it does seem mighty strange 2 of the 3 serving MP's were absent, I know how hard the associations worked to get a Welsh Conservative presence back in Westminster.
I would imagine this conference has been pencilled in for some 12 months, thus blacking out certain peoples diaries on this particular week end.
I could never imagine David Jones snubbing such a conference had it taken place in Cardiff, and I know very well he to takes his constituency business VERY seriously.
If Wyn turned up, they to should have got their arse's into gear!

Anonymous said...

Agreed, Nigel.

We punters pay up to see heavyweight politicians. As it turned out, there was only one Welsh MP present. What an insult!

The others should have turned up and made a speech. There were a few welsh assembly people there, but that is no compensation.

Prasit said...

Good job the share holders turned up in that case!

Marlon said...

I am thinking of writting to the man himself about it, Mr Cameron!

Glyn Davies said...

Nigel - I don't think this is such a big issue. For my taste, there were rather too many speakers anyway. And there are often other very important events on at the same time. David and Stephen are terrific MPs and I'm sure would have been theer if they could've been.

anon - there was David Cameron, Liam Fox, Cheryl Gillan, David Jones, Pauline Neville Jones and Lord Trimble from the UK Parliament. Plus, the usuals from Wales. How many top speakers do you want? As it happens, I think there is a case for giving people like me, who need a high profile if we are going to win seats at the next General a decent slot.

prasit - I thought the shareholders seemed very pleased.

marlon - not sure what you mean - but if its writing to Lord Roberts, I'm sure he would be very pleased to have all submissions.

Nigel Roberts said...

What I meant was that they should be been in attendance, giving their moral support to the humble foot soldiers.
After all the activists had been phonning around trying to rally the troops to be there, for weeks. Then MP's were not there, except of course for David.
It was not all about making a speech. Mind you nothing wrong with being on the subs bench even!
Give the media a full house to see.
I also agree you should have a had a prominant slot to speak, given your vocal support for Assembly and the wish you have of it to receive fuller powers!
I also agree with submitting any relevant points of view to Lord Wyn.
THE best pair of hands to complete such a task.
A walk about by David cameron would not have gone amiss in the town center.
After all the crowd in the hall would vote for a monkey in most cases, as long as it had a blue rosette on it's lapel!

Anonymous said...

we could have done with more MPs and no Assembly members. This is a national level conference and we need national level speakers. AMs and county councillors etc should have their own little conference, but should not be speaking here.

Glyn Davies said...

nigel - not much to add - except to make clear that I was not expecting a prominent speaking slot at our Conference (much as I'd like one). But I do have plenty of opportunities in other forums to keep me fully occupied.

anon - Point noted. There may even be someone else who agrees with you. On the other hand.......