SPRING conference season rumbles on, with the Welsh Liberal Democrats holding their annual event last weekend in the prestigious surroundings of a slightly tired-looking Swansea secondary school.
At least it had the accolade of counting Dylan Thomas as part of their alumni, but it did result in yours truly having to spend the weekend having bizarre flashbacks to late ‘90’s and early 2000s when I was at the mercy of the UK education system.
Perhaps inevitably given recent election results, the conference wasn’t terribly well attended, with attendees being told at one point to move closer to the front so it looked better on telly.
The fact that a good number of people have told me they spotted me on TV during coverage of the event speaks volumes about the number of supporters who showed their faces.
The upshot of this is the party actually made some decisions on its policies on issues including banks in rural communities, integrating students into communities and, in case you’d forgotten about it, Brexit.
While the previous week’s Newport-hosted Plaid Cymru conference was certainly a buzzier event, it’s difficult to determine what it actually achieved aside from giving supporters a boost ahead of May’s local government elections.
As someone who’d much rather see the people paid to represent us, or hoping to, actually getting things done, the Lib Dem model seems to be a better way forward.
There’s something you don’t hear very often.
Next up, its the Tories at Cardiff’s SWALEC stadium this weekend, with our beloved prime minister herself making an appearance to rally supporters.
I’m expecting more speeches and less actual decisions, but I’m prepared to be proven wrong.
Strangely, although the event is two days long, press are only being allowed to attend on the first day on Friday, with the second open to party members only.
They’re getting away with it by calling it a ‘Spring Forum’ rather than a conference, but it’s hard not to wonder what the party has got to hide.
Or maybe that’s just when they get the really good cakes out.
l I probably wouldn’t be able to call myself a political journalist any more if I didn’t say something about Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a second Scottish independence referendum.
Of course with Scotland making rumblings about independence again Plaid Cymru had to chip in from the Welsh side. But they did so in a rather limp manner, with Leanne Wood calling only for “a national debate” about the issue.
Not exactly the strong, decisive politics Welsh nationalists would be hoping for, I suspect.
l Last week I wrote about the row which had engulfed Plaid Cymru after outspoken South Wales Central AM and Cardiff councillor Neil McEvoy was suspended from the party’s Assembly group and the council after a hearing found he had bullied an employee of the authority.
When he was suspended from the Assembly group he said this was done as a formality and he could be brought back into the fold “within hours”.
More than 160 hours later he’s still sitting as an Independent.
And the widespread attention seems his suspension seems to have sent him on a bit of a power trip.
I know I wasn’t the only one to be taken a little by surprise by seeing an invitation to the ‘weekly Neil McEvoy press conference’ land in my inbox yesterday.
The ego needed to hold your own press conference aside, he may have got himself in yet more trouble.
While I didn’t attend yesterday’s exciting event as I had actual work to do, I understand Mr McEvoy used it to launch his campaign to retain his Cardiff council seat in May. This, unfortunately, is a breach of Assembly rules - AMs are allowed to call press conferences, but not for party political reasons.
So now he’s in trouble with the party, Cardiff City Council and the Assembly.
How long before he’s kicked out of Plaid altogether?