Pride is London is too commercial - really? Pride is well resourced, marketing is at an astonishing level, London in the weeks running up to Pride is away with rainbows and public open gestures.

So what are the perceived problems?

Wednesday just gone was my political birthday - 29 years ago to the day, on 24th May 1988, I joined the political party that I still champion today - my receipt slip for the Stamford and Spalding constituency records me as a member of the Liberal Party, but I was clear I was joining the merged Social and Liberal Democrats.

It is a decision from 1988 that I still have no regrets over today.

Then I was living in Spalding, Lincolnshire and right now I'm sitting in Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. The journey I realise is literally coast to coast with very many places in between. Then I was angry about fair votes, about civil liberties, angry at Labours failure, scared by Conservative dictator and inspired by The SDP/Liberal Alliance.

So what happened - the day after the night before the four weeks ahead - what really happened?  It's Friday May 5th 2017.  Yesterday was local election polling day.

Labour have slumped into the ground - they can still win elections, but they risk becoming a faction, but their meltdown, that was talked of, did not happen.  Thy lost but will and can over a long period of time, recover.  The swathe of 100+ UKIP councillors have been wiped out, but their vote has been assimilated, collected, harvested, vacuumed up by the Tories who emerged as the biggest winners in the night.

 

So 24 hours at home (in fact as I type this I realise it was in fact 19 hours) and I'm back on the train dashing back to Cambria - Wales, Ceredigion, Aberystwyth.

And as I leap on the train - mid conversation to the team my husband gesticulates furiously drawing me to the doors.  "The seat you have grabbed," he whispers, "its next to Quentin Letts."  Mercifully and timely the countryside of Cheshire intervenes to cut off my conversation and I return to my seat more aware and more guarded now.

The calm before the storm... perhaps an over-used phrase, but I'm sitting here in the Liberal Democrat HQ in Aberystwyth and it is very quiet.  The light is dropping fast, the shops are closing and even students are drifting homewards - the pub will wait until the weekend.

But tomorrow the people of Wales will go to the polls in the local elections.  In many respects, and in the views of lots of people, local government doesn't matter - but tomorrow could not be more important.  Who wins and who loses will set up and frame the result of the General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017.  Let me put it more clearly - the local elections are being used, even abused, as a means of accentuating the scale of Labour failure and bolstering the result of the Conservative Party.  Theresa May, advised by Lynton Crosby, has sidelined the debate on local services and local government in the interests of securing a larger mandate in her vision of elected dictatorship.