Party Conferences are largely self-regarding, self-glorifying, alcohol fuelled jamborees for lobbyists and journalists. Little of real substance is discussed, the main target being not members of the respective parties, but the drooling vampires of the media, hanging on every split, U-Turn or gaffe. Do you remember the Lib-Dem one? Probably not, apart from poor dear Vince trying to make some smutty joke, but getting his words all mixed up. Talk about a dead parrot.

Labour were all over the place with regard to Brexit, being unclear as to whether or not they favoured a second Referendum, and producing a demonstrable fudge at the end of it. But theirs was nonetheless a pretty slick operation, designed to appeal to the largest number of voters, in the vain hope that they would not look too deeply into what they were being promised, nor how it would all be paid for. It was a real old piece of communism in some respects, but they managed to dress it up so that no one spotted it. A couple of slick Party Political Broadcasts rounded off a bit of a remodelling of Kington St Michael boy, Jeremy Corbyn, into something at least vaguely resembling a PM in waiting. Their uncosted promises will unravel pretty quickly, but for now they had a good week.

I managed to avoid the Tory Conference as I have done for some years now. By the time you read this it will have had wall-to-wall coverage. We can but hope that it’s better than last year’s which was a bit of a PR disaster. The only show in town – and I hope the outcome from the Conference – is the question of how dead the Chequers proposals are. (Just about as dead as the parrot and the Lib-Dems.) I hope that the PM leaves herself enough ‘wriggle-room’ to switch her allegiance to some kind of free-trade deal resembling that agreed by the EU with Canada.

My new book, Full English Brexit, is out this week. Catchy title, don’t you think? It’s about my own views of Brexit, but perhaps more importantly it’s about what I think the UK should look like over the next 50 years. What can we contribute to the world? What will a post-Brexit UK look like? It’s meant to be a light and quite amusing read, and perhaps to stimulate a few lively debates. It’s a highly personal account, and I hope that you may enjoy it. In bookshops near you at £14.99, or direct from the publishers, Halsgrove in Somerset; or if you want a signed copy (at no extra cost) let me know - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I hope we can now put the Conference Season behind us and get back to Parliament and some real hard work – not least, but not limited to, sorting out what really is the best kind of “English Brexit.”