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Friday, September 21, 2007

Scratching the surface

Monmouth MP David Davies has done it again. He has single-handedly dissed the consensus that was building up around the further devolution of powers to the Welsh Assembly and opened up a significant rift within the Welsh Conservative Party that may haunt them for years to come.

Having spent eight years learning his trade in the Welsh Assembly, David has finally and publicly made it clear that he was sitting there under false pretences. He had tried to make it work (really?) but at the end of the day he could never get past his view that it cost a vast amount of money, that it undermines the stability of the United Kingdom, and that it would be used as a stepping stone towards an independent Wales.

Alas, the only stepping stone involved was that which helped David into the UK Parliament. Maybe he should re-pay his wages to the taxpayer for those eight long years that he was made to suffer in an institution so alien to him that he can barely bring himself to utter its name without grabbing his taser.

Welsh Liberal Democrat Montgomeryshire Assembly Member, Mick Bates, is quite right when he says this morning that “David Davies’s remarks show the Conservatives haven’t changed. Scratch the surface and the old beliefs are still there. Behind the snake-charming rhetoric of Cameron and Bourne lies a party still in thrall to Thatcher’s legacy.

“The longer David Davies spends away from the Assembly, the more the truth of his feelings are exposed. Until the Tories are united on this issue, they cannot offer a credible voice in the ongoing debate about the constitution of Wales.

“David is right to say that the English question needs to be addressed, but that should not be allowed to hold back Wales with a settlement which ties the Assembly’s hands. He is in a shrinking minority if he thinks Wales wants to go back to the days when unaccountable MPs for English constituencies decided how Wales should be run.”

And where does this leave Nick Bourne? Apparently, his support for a full law-making Parliament is contrary to Conservative policy and was given entirely in a personal capacity. Like Cameron he finds himself out-of-step with his own party. With Tory MPs lined up on opposite sides of a barricade to their AMs, we are in for a very interesting General Election campaign here in Wales.
What a waste of a seat.
Time an MP was elected there who believes in the existence of Wales as a nation.
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