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Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Sudden impact

We all strive to have an impact in Plenary but few of us achieve it quite so dramatically as Monmouth AM, David Davies did today. David was fully engaged in one of his customary rants against the evils of the Welsh Assembly Government and their alleged policy of raising the Council Tax in Monmouth to unacceptable levels. He was explaining to us why some of his constituents had considered withholding payment and emphasising that this was not a course of action that he would personally follow. He does want to be an MP after all. He was just reaching a crescendo in reply to some substantial barracking with the assertion that "I have never condoned breaking the law" when the lights went out. I have never seen the chamber stunned to silence in quite that way before.

David went on to explain how the Tories will achieve savings in Local Government. He listed a whole string of jobs that he believes are not necessary for the delivery of services. "Just open the job pages of the Guardian," he urged, "and you will see the jobs we want to axe." For a moment I thought he was abandoning his famed committment to freedom of speech and was advocating the abolition of the Guardian itself.

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