David Cameron is a leader who knows how to make a man feel valued. Tonight, he was speaking to the 1922 Committee and was waiting outside when I skipped by - skipping because I was a bit late. Didn't notice him until the last minute, and threw a casual "Hello" when I saw him. He immediately asked me how I was, and that he hoped I'd fully recovered, and implored me to look after myself. And he looked as if he said it because he cared. I would not have expected my little health issue to have registered at all. Now if it had been one of the whips, I might have suspected concern about a possible by-election!!
And I'm not the only bird that the Prime Minister has charmed out of the trees. I see that he's pulled off the same feat with Lord Elis Thomas, Presiding Officer at the National Assembly for Wales - according to Betsan of the BBC. When the PM first offered to speak to the assembled AMs in June 2009, his Lordship was very 'sniffy' about it. No way! Dim Ffordd! (?) Words like impractical and preposterous, and demeaning to the Assembly fell contemptuously from his lips. He even suggested that such an event would turn the National Assembly for Wales into the equivalent of the Welsh Grand Committee - and you really cannot be more dismissive than that.
But it all change now. It seems that Lord Elis Thomas has issued an invitation to the Prime Minister to address the third Assembly sometime over the next year. Rightly in my opinion, he has recognised that David Cameron (and the rest of us in the Conservative team down the other end of the M4) are all fully supportive of the National Assembly, hold it in great respect, and want it to succeed in its work serving the people of Wales. And I refect that just like the M4, respect is a two way street.