It was Harold Wilson who said that a week is a long time in politics, how right he was.
It actually started on the previous Thursday. Keith was at a meeting of the Longbridge Consultative Group expecting to chair the meeting as Steve Bedser was on his way back from Brighton when he and Richard Burden MP came bouncing in like a couple of puppies. Steve was full of it, OK, I know, he usually is, he rushed up to Keith telling him that the Labour Party were going to smash us at the election, they were going to get rid of Cameron, turn our leadership into a revolving door and bring about the implosion of the Conservative Party. He hoped we had not booked a full week at Blackpool. We shall not be offering to clean the egg off his face, I'm sure he can cope with that himself.
We had a good run up to Blackpool. There were 8 of us altogether in a B&B we had used 2 years ago. Its very clean and cheap and serves a damn good breakfast. We all had travelcards provided by Blackpool Council and used them to travel by tram & bus. Very useful.
Blackpool itself is rather disappointing. It looks shabby and on Saturday night was full of stag & hen parties whose main aim seemed to be to see who could get the drunkest, quickest and deposit the greatest amount of vomit up the wall. I think the hens just about shaded it.
Sunday started very well with a great opener by William Haque, he set the tone and it got better & better.
The one exception was Micheal Heseltine with his enthusiasm for Elected Mayors. This just seems a way to give Labour a way back into some of our towns and cities where we are in control. If we have so many Councillors and control so many Councils why turn them into hostages to fortune? He is yesterday's man and should be sent off to Oxfordshire to enjoy his wealth and position.
We managed to get to loads of fringe meetings and gatecrashed a lot of ticket only events in search of food. It is a matter of principle that the only food you pay for is breakfast.
We also bumped into Peter Hitchens and had a conversation, His view is that both main parties are left liberal parties and he would like to see the end of the Conservatives and the emergence of a sort of super UKIP which would leave the EU and dismantle the welfare state. We think this would be more likely to lead to a one-party labour state but he puts his ideas across well and should not be dismissed.
The week got better with the tax-cut announcements from George Osborne and good speeches from David Davis, Liam Fox and especially Micheal Grove and Greg Shap.
The Cameron speech was fantastic. We don't care how long he is supposed to have rehearsed the speech, it was a triumph.
We had been telling everyone before the Conference that we had to stand firm behind David and he made us feel fully vindicated.
A good trip back to all the speculation about the election. Keith had a lecture from a senior Conservative Councillor on why Brown would call it and he disagreed and said he thought Brown would bottle out. Keith has expressed this opinion since the beginning of the furore and will take great pleasure in telling everyone "I told you so". 4 of the nicest words in the English language.
We are currently putting out a leaflet introducing our PPC and local election candidate. Not quite as urgent as it was a couple of days ago.
We took a few shots while we were at conference so we will put them up for you.
Back to normal next week. Council on Tuesday so we should have some fun.