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Jolly boating weather!

Birmingham canals Photo: Press Association

Birmingham! With its miles and miles of canals is but Venice by a different name. And it's here that the Conservative Party are holding their conference . It's in an old Ark, tethered to the banks of Brindley Place.

Already a light cheerful humming can be heard as first arrivals go about their business of checking in and being hauled aboard for some light canapes and a glass of something fizzy and chilled.

All happy and larking about like characters from Jerome K Jerome's novel, Three Men in a Boat.

As we grow closer , they're singing a lovely tune. It goes.

"Jolly Boating Weather, And a hay harvest breeze, blade on the feather, shade off the trees, swing, swing together, with your bodies between your knees"

Good gracious !

But where are the Welsh delegates ? They seem to be taking their time!

Andrew RT Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives at the Assembly, has had an early start. Milking out of the way, Farmer Davies has leapt aboard his red tractor and has been steaming up the motorway for several hours with cries of "Ambition! Action! Achievement! It will certainly be an achievement if he gets there before the two Welsh events tomorrow.

RT will want to talk about an end to what he's calling the culture of dependence in Wales. By this he includes free prescriptions , free school breakfasts and free bus passes for the elderly.

That's why he has arrived by tractor to represent the farming community and to show that, by Jove, if he can get up off his bottom so can the rest of us:

Change can happen in Wales. It can't be found in the beauty parade of other opposition parties trying desperately to out left the left. It can be found with Welsh Conservatives, the only party committed to empowering local communities and giving them the chance and ability to succeed.

The brakes must be slammed on an ever increasing state centred. approach.

– Leader of the Opposition ,Andrew RT Davies AM

With that he jumped from his tractor and caused a four car pile up behind him.No politician was injured in the execution of this article.

Now, who's that arriving in a gondola? Ah, it's new Welsh Secretary, David Jones MP bringing with him a party of friends. All happy and smiling as they step out to join the Ark.

There's Junior Minister Stephen Crabb, one of the crack team at the Welsh office. He's nimbly helping Mr Jones to carry an overflowing hamper of goodies up the gang plank.

Let's lift the lid and take a quick look. What have we here? Foie gras? Truffles? An assiette de legumes? Main non! Not a delicacy in sight. Just lots of pictures of motorways, a piggy bank, a model railway line and some IOUs ! Good thing he's got a new best friend at the Senedd.

Oh dear, there's someone left behind in the gondola crying. Who is it ? Its poor Baroness Randerson. They won't let her onboard. What a shame. It seems she hasn't got an invitation. Never mind , Jenny, it was a lovely trip down the canals.

And now hot footing it from the airport is a woman talking into a mobile phone. Its a strange language she speaks. She's getting nearer. Something about Libor. Then something about liquidity ratio, Dax, Footsie and Dow Jones.

Dow Jones? I guess he must be one of the delegates? I hope she can find someone who speaks her language!