My partner thinks I am mad. "What on earth are you doing, going to North Wales to speak to 60 people who've never heard of you?" he asked on Thursday night. "Are they paying you?" It was an interesting question. I find it very difficult to explain to people outside politics why I do what I do. Most sane people would think my partner has a point. Why would I drive 300 miles there and 300 miles back for absolutely no reward?

But all I am doing is what scores of politicians of all political persuasions do each weekend. OK, I am not a politician, but Michael Dobbs does it, Matthew Parris does it, Michael Brown does it. We do it because it's one way we can help local parties raise much needed funds to fight their campaigns. We do it because our lives do not allow us the time we used to devote to doorstep campaigning and we feel a little guilty about that. So I have a rule of accepting two speaking engagements every month to help raise money for the Tory Party. My partner still thinks I am mad, but there you go. I'll show him this email which I got earlier today from one of the dinner guests on Friday night in Aberconwy.

It was a pleasure both to meet you and to hear you speak. You asked why so many would want to pay money to come and listen to a person they had never met. Let me tell you, there are 60 people in North Wales who would be delighted to hear you again, should you ever return!

And that is why I do it. Because invariably they are thoroughly nice people.