hello Bloggers. All I can say about this blogging business is that it is very hard work. Please can you wait until tomorrow morning when I will be posting an incredibly exciting article from the Daily Telegraph about radio masts...In the meantime, I am passing you now to my brilliant parliamentary secretary, Melissa Crawshay-Williams, who is coming with me to Bournemouth next week for the Tory conference. She (I hope) will say a little about what she thinks the Tories have to do now to capture the political initiative, and what she wants from the conference. Over to Melissa. ---------------------------- Boris put me on the spot here. Tories - you are the sun to me. Let's crystalise ideas that will bring out the best in each individual and deliver the best of British to the nation. There is so much bonhomie at Conference - it's got to be the best party of the year. Let's hope that the movers and shakers really blow the clouds away. Melissa Conservative Party Conference 2004 Highlights include: Monday 1.00pm Boris will be speaking on "The Arts and the Next Government" 5.00pm Lord Saatchi, Advertising guru, "The Way Ahead" 5.45pm William Hague will speak on William Pitt the Younger (paving the way for his return to frontline politics?) Tuesday 9.45am Michael Ancram and Michael Gove (The Times) to speak on "The World After Iraq" 10.30am David Willetts, Rob Parsons (Care) and Ed Mayo (National Consumer Council) on "The Debt Time-bomb" 11.45am Address by Michael Howard 12.45pm Daily Telegraph debate. Chair: Jon Snow Speakers: Boris, Matthew D'Ancona, James May, Alice Thomson, Liam Fox 5.00pm Malcolm Rifkind speaking on "Britain's Place in The World" (making a bid for strong recognition on his impending return as MP) 5.45pm Michael Portillo, Mark Simmonds and others on "Skills for People Or skills for Business" (Portillo's swan song at conference?) Wednesday 10.00am John Redwood and Daniel Hannan MEP on "EU and its Constitution" 12noon Ann Widdecombe, John Midgley "Putting a Stop to Political Correctness" 12.45pm Andrew Tyrie "Re-engaging the Electorate" 1.00pm Boris and Lord Strathclyde - general discussion 4.00pm Boris and Malcolm Rifkind to take questions from the floor in the main Conference Hall Thursday 12.00 Michael Howard's Final Speech Ambassadors from Iraq, China, Israel and Saudi Arabia will also be addressing meetings at Conference.