Jeremy Paxman's Manchester missive
Here is Jeremy with what is coming up in tonight's programme:
I confess. I have not been loyally sitting through session after session here in the Manchester conference centre on your behalf.
This morning, I bunked off and went to City Art Gallery. There's a rather interesting exhibition of women surrealists there.
I shall resist cheap jokes, but will disclose that I was a long way short of being the only refugee from the conference there. They included one of the nation's most distinguished commentators, who seemed positively thrilled to have escaped.
So I missed Kelly Holmes talking to the Tories. Yes, that's Kelly Holmes the Olympic gold medallist. Didn't know she was a politician? Nor me. She followed in the steps of James Dyson and Kevin McCloud.
It's some sign of the times that the Conservatives can get people like that to turn up: it only seems yesterday that the best they could manage was Jim Davidson or Patti Boulaye.
There was no suggestion of either of them joining the government, although I suppose Lord Davidson of Billericay has a certain ring to it.
Maybe in the new era, it'll be Lady Emin of (Unmade) Bedfordshire. And a string of obscure baronetcies for Everyone She Has Ever Slept With.
It turns out that half the nation has been having these inconsequential fantasies. Including a bloke who called a Radio Five phone-in this morning and wondered whether Sir Richard Dannatt, the recently retired head of the Army, might like a place in the House of Lords. And then it turned out that David Cameron had been having precisely the same thought. How weird is that?
So, Sir Richard - or as he will doubtless soon be - Lord Dannatt of Dungeneralling - looks set to be joining the Tory ministerial team, if they win the next election.
Well, goody for Cameron. But if Dannatt did take a job with the Tories, wouldn't that mean that all the poisonous whispering from Labour ministers was essentially true? That when he complained about the government not giving the boys in Afghanistan the support they needed he wasn't speaking up for the poor bloody Tommy but plotting a tactical advance for the Opposition?
We'll be chewing that over with former officers now aligned with each big party.
We'll also be interrogating the shadow chancellor, George Osborne, about his Plan to Save The World. You'll recall that he's already told over four million people they'll be worse off if the Conservatives win, so that seems worth a good 10 minutes or so...
And we also have a piece from Mary Jane Baxter, a woman who used to be a journalist, decided to improve herself, and went into millinery.
She's exploring the new age of frugality which is said to have overtaken us. The spirit of make-do-and-mend is supposed to have taken a deep hold.
I rather wish someone had imbibed or dispensed a bit of it last week, when it proved impossible to send a report from Brighton to London. Hold on to your hats.
That's quite enough for now. Lots more at 10.30.