I've never liked party political conferences. First time I went to a UK Conservative Conference, I stayed in a B&B in Blackpool with Alun Cairns. I've never properly recovered. Anyway, I went to Llandudno yesterday to the Conservative Spring Conference. Only went for one very long day. Arrived at 8.00, and saw my Plaid Cymru opponent, Heledd Fychan parking up. Double take. Surely not followed the route established by Mohammad Ashgar!! Disappointingly, she was there only to do a 'fringe' meeting.
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the day. I like making speeches to a big audience, and I was invited to deliver two of them - and chaired a 'fringe' about helping the long term unemployed back into work. (Yes, this was a Tory Conference) Also did a lot of interviews. Only mistake I made was to do a pre-record for David Cornock. He may be an old friend, but he can turn the most innocuous comment into a 'gaffe' if you give him the freedom to edit. And then there was William Hague as after dinner speaker - 300 of us there. My view is that William is the best political speaker of our time. His signed copy of 'Wilberforce' made over £300. Mrs D bought me a copy last year - at a discounted price on face value. I've also got a signed copy of Ffion's book about Lloyd George's women 'The Pain and The Privilege'. I recommend them both.
I was given a front row seat for David Cameron's speech. I've been reading all these reports about 'mature' white males being stuck at the back, out of sight. Bo****ks. There I was, in prime position - sitting next to Maria Caulfield, our candidate in Caerphilly. I reckon she's heading for political stardom. Very impressed I was.
Now what did I think of the leader's speech? Very impressed by that too. He looks really 'up for it' - the biggest challenge any incoming Prime Minister will have faced since the war. Even Hercules would have blanched at the challenge of clearing up Brown's appalling mess. I spoke in the 'Health Debate' which was wound up by Andrew R T Davies. He's like a rumbustious steamroller - in the David Davies and Peter Rogers mould. Going to be a conference favourite for years to come. And spoke in the 'Economy Debate, which was wound up by Phillip Hammond. Been a fan of his for a while too. Anyway, home by 1.00 a. m., and feeling knackered today. Might have eaten something I shouldn't.