04 October 2006

Candle At Both Ends

I needed to leave for a flight early on Wednesday - here's what happened on Tuesday my last full day.

Went to a breakfast do with David Davis and other notables including the Head of The Bar Council. Davis is 100% behind elected Commissioners. Finally met Mike Rouse from Blue Torch Solutions. Finally, the blogging stand appeared to be working like a clinic. Met the Conservative Abroad guys to knock a few ideas about. More later. Met up with a few friends who had finally got into the Conference and went for a coffee!!!

Watched Osbourne's speech and meet the Candidates on the main stage. Ali Miraj destroyed the panel and won over a vocal section of the audience including me. Some incoherent ideas and terrible presentation skills from the women (eeek!) and George wasn't much better. Without any coercion on my part, the two young ladies I met later on yesterday were disparaging about the A-list tokenism and concerned by the poor quality of the A-list women who had been on stage ("worse than Blair's Babes" were the exact words).

Went to a great fringe on campaigning hosted by the effervescent Grant Shapps. Just the man we need to be in charge of our by-election strategy. It was great to see so many PPCs and A-listers attend the meeting. I went along with Bobby Alden who got a 50% swing to become Birmingham's youngest Tory councillor by working like a dervish and going ultra-local. I don't think he'll mind me quoting him as saying that he thinks that Sion Simon (who is the constituency MP in his area) is one of the most unpopular MPs around.

We ended up in a restaurant in an old church where I found myself next to the only non-blogger member of the successful Reinstate Roger campaign which I supported. I'd bumped into Roger earlier in the day, who kindly told me about an upcoming event in Prague and gave me one of his DVDs, which I will get around to watching soon. Next was an event in the Royal Bath for an event called Absolutely Equal organised by Stonewall and CRE. More skewed towards Somerville than Snoop though. I tried to explain that there are a few straight nightclubs in Prague that play the same sort of stuff, but I think it went over people's heads.

For some unknown reason I then found myself drinking in the packed-out Highcliff Hotel until 4.30 in the morning. Spent quite a bit of time chatting and having a laugh with amongst others Trevor Ivory, Matt Dean and a few Birmingham Tories. Last MPs spotted were Peter Ainsworth (who looks like a Dr Who) and Grant Shapps again. James Cleverly was making up for lost time.

The Boris thing re the school dinners is funny. Why don't the media get that the Tories stand for freedom of ideas and speech? I think that if I had to judge the media purely on their coverage of this conference I'd think they are a bunch of idiots...


Chris Palmer said...

Yes. Not sure which Reinstate Roger Campaigner you were with. It wasn't Richard because I phoned him and he said he was at the Highclif. Did turn up to the entrance of the 'Absolutely Equal' thing, but someone mentioned it was a 'gay event' so I decided to pass that one by. Sorry.

Praguetory said...

I broke off from the group after the restaurant (where I was sat next to Richard) to take my bag home. Called a mate of mine to find out what they were doing. He thought Richard had moved on with the group to Royal Bath, but I didn't see him there either by the time I arrived.

Ellee said...

I know Grant Shapps, he is superb, he has an excellent forum. My PPC Julian Sturdy went along to this event too, did you bump into him? Sounds like you had a fab time, made lots of good blog contacts.

I agree with what you say about Boris, but if there are no policies to write about, then it has to be Boris and pies.

There seem to be quite a few bloggers who want to meet up in Brum next time, btw.