I'm not going to blog much about Ann W's birthday do, as it was a private occasion, but I am sure she won't mind me telling you that we were serenaded by Aled Jones and treated to very funny speeches by Simon Hoggart and Ann herself. My stalker was there too. In case you don't understand that, this is what I wrote in the Spectator Diary this week...
At every conference there’s always one person who becomes your personal stalker. You see them everywhere. This year mine turned out to be the 13th Marquess of Lothian, better known to you and me as Michael Ancram. Everywhere I went, he went. Every party I went to, he was there. Why should this bother me? It was I who took to the airwaves and the newspaper columns to denounce his recent pamphlet. I called him a dinosaur, Sir Bufton Tufton and God alone knows what else for breaking ranks on the eve of a conference and a possible election. But we never spoke. Either he hasn’t a clue what I look like (probably) or he decided to blank me (unlikely — he’s too polite). I wrestled with the dilemma of having a chat with him about it all, but then thought it best to let sleeping dogs lie. What a wimp.
Well guess who was sat at Ann's top table and directly in my line of vision? Yup, Michael Ancram. I thought I had got away with it until Simon Hoggart started his speech and retold an anecdote about how Ann used to sell her books at the Politico's stand at party conference: "No sex, no violence, no swearing!" He then added the words "And the man who used to run Politico's, Iain Dale, is here tonight...". I looked at Michael, he looked at me, winked and grinned. He later came over and we had a good laugh about it all. "I thought Sir Tufton had better come and say hello," he opened with. Respect.
UPDATE: Seeing as speculation on certain blogs seems to be running wild, I will tell you that my meeting this morning was with the County Councillor who represents the village where I live. It had absolutely nothing to do with anything remotely of interest to anyone on this blog!