4 october 2010, monday, birmingham

Amazing who you see at the conservative party conference these days, and I was amongst them. Alone in a lift after breakfast with ian duncan smith (27 may), who prodded his floor (3) and then turned his back, guarding the buttons, so I had to politely lean in front of him to prod my own (1). Andrew lansley (16 june), by contrast, who was walking in the hotel as I walked out, seemed a more affable chap. Saw the back of boris, who seemed to be jumping up and down even as he ate breakfast standing up. John hayes is a story for another day, and I stoppped counting odd ministers when I hit double figures. Greg « magna carta for localism » clarke had a few interesting things to say, but star of the day on the fringe, by a country mile, was the decidedly non-party lord digby jones, whose passion, experience and worldly can-do pragmatism would steal any show.