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Sunday, June 12, 2005

Surfing through the first weeks

The Observer today seeks to get to grips with the new intake of Conservative MPs and in particular what hope they offer for the future of their party. Amongst those featured is David Davies MP AM, who reveals a bit more about his misspent youth.

David Davies, the new Monmouthshire MP and former Welsh Assembly member, was puzzlingly described by one national newspaper as 'even more right-wing than his near-namesake [David Davis]'. But Davies told The Observer, without serious fear of contradiction, that he was 'probably the only new Conservative MP who used to wear earrings'.

Davies roamed the world after leaving school, working briefly harvesting grapes and tobacco, before getting a job at a backpackers' hostel in Queensland. He recalls that he used to pinch himself when he reflected he 'was actually making a living by taking surfers into bars every evening, with about a hundred dollars' worth of booze - on account'. Now 34, he still surfs whenever he gets a chance but is more preoccupied with how the Tories can again become a party of government.

'We have to look at areas of social deprivation,' he says. 'We have to demonstrate that a right-of-centre party can offer something to the least well-off. We must be a party for all of Britain.'

David's commitment to tackling social deprivation is of course admirable and there is no doubt that he talks a good game. However, he has consistently opposed changes to the funding formula for local government in Wales, which were designed to provide more resources for Councils representing socially deprived areas. In that case rurality seemed to be his overriding principle.

The one thing the article does not mention is that David has acquired the nickname Top Cat at Westminster. This is because he has asked for his middle two initials to be referred to in the chamber so as to distinguish himself from Tory leadership contender David Davis. Thus whenever he is called to contribute the Speaker announces David T.C. Davies. Perhaps this is a habit that should be continued in the Assembly chamber as well.
“the new Monmouthshire MP and former Welsh Assembly member”

Does the Observer know something we don’t??
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