Normal service has resumed. Parliament is back; for all bar a small, obsessive minority, memories of the party conferences have faded. As usual, they provided polling as well as political dramas...
David Cameron's conference address may have been a long way from that sweaty room behind the church hall, but his tone was exactly the same: Overbearing, condescending, burnished with a membrane deep veneer of sincerity. We all know the world doesn't owe us a living Dave. We've been living in it all our lives.
Ukip represent the greatest danger facing the Eurorealist cause within the Conservative Party. Why? Because on their current heading they could deprive the Conservative Party of the marginal seats and votes in Parliament to fend off a Lib-Lab coalition. That would spell the end of Britain's chances of a referendum, of an exit from the EU, or even a renegotiated relationship with Brussels.
David Cameron's criticism of Labour captures the broader frustration of many listening to the political parties play benefit bingo over the last few weeks. Shirkers - check; something for nothing - check; hard-working - check; tough - check; work that pays - check.
The case of Amanda Hutton, who was jailed this week for allowing her four-year-old son Hamzah Khan to starve to death and who hid the body for two and a half years, is almost too horrifying to contemplate. But with 198,000 babies in the UK living in complex families with a history of substance abuse or mental illness this will not be the last case of its kind.
Cameron's speech was solid, professional, and well-delivered, if a little sedate and dry. The error he made with it was designing it for a constituency of voters that he discarded, and that he does not have the tools to recapture.
For the vast majority who don't go to party conference and who pay them next to no attention, then, they may as well not take place. But for those who attend, they fulfil a whole bunch of functions...
In his speech to the Conservative party conference, David Cameron spoke for over 50 minutes but he said very little. No policies to deal with the huge cost of living crisis that has left people on average nearly £1,500 a year worse off since the General Election. For most people it must seem like Cameron is not so much trying to "finish the job", but finish them off.
While I have some concerns about the detail of the project, in principle I remain supportive. This is not because I am infatuated by un grand projet. HS2 is a refreshing example of long-term strategic planning in this country which too often in the past we have shied away from and is one of the reasons why many parts of our rail system are currently overcrowded.
George Osborne's speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester dealt with themes we have come to expect from him: an emphasis on fiscal discipline and assurances that he is on the side of aspirational, "hard-working" people the length of the country. There were, however, also features we haven't heard before...
Ed Miliband wants to talk about the cost of living. Good. Hardworking people would be worse off under Labour. It is one of those eternal truths in politics: Labour would spend and borrow more of your money. All the glittering giveaways, the puffed pledges, the demands of union bosses - there is only one person who ends up paying for it all. You.
Syria's brutal conflict has killed over 100,000 people, driven seven million from their homes and created the worst refugee crisis for a generation. I intend to welcome the Prime Minister's recent vow to lead the world in aid for the Syrian people, and to ask the Secretary of State to ensure that no stone is left unturned in diplomatic efforts to improve humanitarian access and bring about peace talks.
MPs are incredibly lucky. We have a job that we love. Most people are not so lucky. Many would love to work but don't have a job and many more do the right thing and take a job that doesn't pay very well and which they don't enjoy to make ends meet. These are the people whose side this Government must be on.
The truth is that Tory sceptics have been emboldened by a disturbing change in tone from their frontbench since David Cameron entered Downing Street. The administration he promised would be the "greenest government ever" now boasts an Environment Secretary who doesn't believe in climate change, an Energy Minister who has described climate change as a matter of "theology" and a Chancellor peddling a perverse false choice that we cannot combat global warming without "putting our country out of business."
The benefit cap is now in place across the country. This means that benefit claims are limited to a fair level, a maximum of the average working household income of £500 a week. The taxpayer who funds the welfare state has the assurance that someone in receipt of benefits no longer has an income that's beyond the reach of the average working family.