Today has been a day of endless fringes. At lunchtime I chaired a Climate Change discussion for the Conservative Women's Organisation, which was quite a genteel occasion. Earlier this evening I spoke on why Parliament is so unrepresentative, and even got heckled. I had the temerity to disagree with Theresa May, who reckoned one reason women don't get involved in politics is because the media discuss their appearance too much. Rubbish, I said. It was the same for men. Had she not heard people discussing William Hague's baldness, David Cameron's partings or Gordon Brown's funny jaw? This provoked one woman in the audience into paroxysms. Well, I exaggerate slightly, but she certainly wasn't about to join the Iain Dale Fan Club.
Then it was on to my final fringe event in the Freedom Zone, where I chaired Tories Got Talent. I had expected the whole thing to be a disaster, but in the end there were too many people wanting to take part. It was great fun, with the real speaking talents on display. Rupert Matthew won the competition - he's number three Euro candidate in the East Midlands. He gave a brilliantly funny speech titled "Don't mention Europe - I did, but I think I got away with it. James Cleverly came second, with Shane Greer, Zehra Zaidi and Robert Cook featuring in the Top Five. I hope this event will become a regular.
Anyway, I have now driven home, and for personal reasons will be missing the last day of the conference. I will explain the reason tomorrow.