week marks the beginning of the UK conference season. Politicians, lobbyists and journalists gather in airless rooms to trade policy ideas, predictions and, of course, gossip. The Liberal Democrats are first up, by the seaside in Bournemouth, where they will amass their phonebox worth of MPs to talk about how they would shape the Government were they ever to be part of it again. It went so well last time, after all.
In all seriousness, conferences can be dry and dull affairs – they have certainly tested my sanity before – but they can also be places where thoughts are formed and speeches are delivered that can change the country, for better or worse. It is worth paying attention.