.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Opposition blues

As the Welsh Conservatives take over as the official opposition in Cardiff Bay, it was interesting to note signs at Westminster that they have not really changed at all, and that they are still the same English-based party they always have been.

The sign in question is the appointment of Lord Glentoran as the new Conservative Spokesperson on Wales in the House of Lords. As the Western Mail reports Lord Glentoran would not list Wales as his speciality if he were ever to appear on Mastermind:

“As far as the politics of Wales is concerned, as of 48 hours ago I knew absolutely nothing.

“I now know nothing, plus a bit. I know nothing about the politics but I know quite a lot about the geography, having climbed most of the mountains.”

Is it any wonder that Don Touhig refers back to the time when the Tories appointed a series of people to run the Welsh Office whose only connection to Wales was that they could see it from their constituencies?

"the Tories appointed a series of people to run the Welsh Office whose only connection to Wales was that they could see it from their constituencies?"

To be fair, I think that only really applied to the first two - Peter Walker in Worcestershire and David Hunt in the Wirral. John Redwood would have needed very good eyesight indeed to see Wales from Wokingham, and only a superhero would have been able to spot us from William Hague's Richmond constituency at the very northern tip of Yorkshire.

Still, Lord Glentoran doesn't seem to be in the Cheryl Gillan mode.
It was a good line though.
Nice to see the papers catching up with the blogosphere from yesterday - http://davidcornock.blogspot.com/2007/07/eton-trifles.html
A check on his antecedents reveals that his father did not take a whip in the Lords, but that the first Lord Glentoran was an archetypal Unionist:

"Rt. Hon. Herbert Dixon, company director. Born in Belfast, 23rd January 1880. Educated at Rugby School and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Served in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the South African war, and in Remounts in the Great War (mentioned in dispatches). Director of Thomas S. Dixon and Sons Ltd. (Timber merchants and shipowners). High Sheriff for County Kildare 1916. Member of the United Kingdom Parliament for Belfast, Pottinger from the general election of 1918 until 1922, and for Belfast, East from 1922 until he was created a peer in 1939. OBE 1919. An Ulster Unionist member. Sat for Belfast, East from the general election of 1921 until 1929, and for Belfast, Bloomfield from 1929 until his death in 1950. Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Finance (Chief Whip) from 7th June 1921 to 6th February 1942. PC (NI) 1923. Minister of Agriculture from 16th January 1941 to 6th May 1943. Created 1st Baron Glentoran 8th July 1939. Succeeded as Baronet May 1950. Died 20th July 1950."

[From Vacher and http://www.election.demon.co.uk/stormont/biographies.html]
Surely we should be judging him on his performance over the coming months and years - give a Baron a break! However, it is sad that a spokesman cannot be found who is Welsh or or Welsh descent (or one that is highly regarded at the very least).

Whatever next, non-Welsh men and women representing Welsh constituencies/regions? Where will it all lead to ? :>D
We should judge him on his performance but I can't imagine that the best person to represent Wales is someone who has no conection to the country and openly admits his ignorance to the politics here. Surely the Tory party could have found a more capable and relivent candidate. Or is it that they just couldnt be bothered to look!
Someone should give him links to a few Welsh blogs for his baptism into Welsh politics.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?