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Saturday, February 01, 2014

What is going on with the Welsh Conservatives?

It is a fact that all of the three main parties accomodate differences of opinion on how Welsh devolution should develop. Whilst there is unanimity in Cardiff Bay that the recommendations of the Silk Commission should be adopted in full, that is certainly not the case in Westminster.

Labour MPs, including Shadow Cabinet Members appear to be biting their lips, reassured by the fact that the draft Wales Bill does not take them too far out of their comfort zone, whilst those Liberal Democrats who have Ministerial responsibilities are tied into collective responsibility, having done everything they can to negotiate a progressive deal for Wales. Coalition is about compromise and both sides have had to accept provisions they are not entirely enthusiastic about.

The Tories on the other hand appear to be a completely different kettle of fish. Like the Liberal Democrats they have compromised at Westminster, but differences of view on either side of the Severn Bridge have become an excuse for open warfare. In truth their disagreements on policy have turned into a proxy argument that is allowing personality clashes to surface publicly in an on-going power struggle over who really runs the Welsh Tory Party.

The Western Mail and other media are reporting these clashes with glee. They say that the war of words between the two most senior Welsh Conservatives took a new twist after it emerged the Assembly group’s leader has written to the Welsh Affairs select committee rebuking Welsh Secretary David Jones for suggesting that Mr Davies’ views on income tax powers and a name change of the National Assembly were a “personal view”.

They add that this is the latest spat in the split between the two, who both stake a claim to be the lead voice of the Welsh Conservatives, which had emerged during the Tory party conference in October, when Mr Davies suggested the Wales Office should be scrapped.

It is little wonder that Labour are describing David Jones and Andrew R.T, Davies as the Laurel and Hardy of politics. They are so busy bickering amongst themselves that the task they both need to be addressing of getting Welsh Devolution fit for purpose, has become a side show for them.

The rest of us are watching on with bemusement. As with Laurel and Hardy we are laughing at them not with them.
Mr Davies’ views on income tax powers and a name change of the National Assembly were a “personal view”.
That is Andrew, not David, I take it ("Radio Times" not "Top Cat")?

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