Sunday, 28 September 2008

Chat Show Cheryl

If it's Sunday, it must be Birmingham. Manchester and Bournemouth are disappearing in the rear view mirror as the party conference circus arrives in England's second city.

The Tories are in town "preparing for government" without looking too triumphalist about recent opinion polls.

Conservative conferences are often a struggle for hacks in search of a Welsh policy but there was a hint of one in the conference session just ended.

Tory Assembly leader Nick Bourne told party activists that a Conservative government might lift the ban on candidates standing in both individual constituencies and on regional lists.

Labour introduced the ban "to stop losers becoming winners" after several AMs found themselves elected to Cardiff Bay despite polling poorly in individual seats.

Mr Bourne may have been lulled into letting slip the idea by the comfort of his IKEA-style tub chair, his stage home for a conference session on the nations and regions of the UK.

The idea of re-storing dual candidacy may have been in the Tory manifesto for the last Assembly elections, but there's a big difference between a request to a Labour Government at Westminster and introducing a policy as a UK Government.

It was chaired by Cheryl Gillan, who looked very much at home in the role, more Trisha than Jerry Springer.

"Chat Show Cheryl" clearly has other options should she not find herself around the cabinet table in a Conservative Government.

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