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David, George, Eric and ... Roger

Betsan Powys | 16:14 UK time, Saturday, 28 March 2009

So what have we learned?

From Local Government spokesman Darren Millar that "under a Welsh Conservative Assembly Government every pensioner household in Wales would qualify for a 30% reduction in their council tax bills" - which would save the average pensioner household somewhere around three hundred pounds.

From Party Chairman Eric Pickles that he wished he hadn't lost it on Question Time when asked about his second home allowance and that the party has the funds at the ready if Gordon Brown calls an early election.

Mr Pickles spoke in hushed tones and wandered to the front of the stage, getting close to his audience before telling them that if they had 'friends' who thought they might teach the government a lesson but weren't sure whether to give their vote to the Conservatives - they should send a message to those 'friends' direct from Mr Pickles: vote Conservative. He didn't add 'or else' in that hushed tone of his but you just thought, for a moment, that he might. His performance - well honed you suspect - had them in the palm of his hand.

Obama's campaign struck a chord, he said, because he had something to say. The Chairman seemed unconvinced that the party were able to do that yet on the doorsteps. "It's about trust ... we need to bring back their trust". That's the only way he'll get that lump in his throat when David and George make it to numbers 10 and 11.

We learned that Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan is hoping for a rugby team of MPs in Wales after the next General Election (not 7s in case you were wondering, she means the full 15) and hopes she'll still be 'managing' that team. "She's speaking positively about the numbers and good luck to her" said Jonathan Evans MEP. As a former team of one in Wales, he was rather more modest in his targets ... not to say he, too, wouldn't fancy the job of manager of course.

David Jones MP? He went one step further. He's hoping to see "a full team - and a few reserves besides". Any advances on 17?

Mr Pickles had better hope his pep talk worked. Before closing he spoke warmly of the party's outgoing Welsh MEP - his pal Roger Evans. "You should say 'thanks Derek'" whispered a colleague in Jonathan Evans' ear.


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