David Cameron claims that he's Welsh

At the start of the Welsh Conservative manifesto for this general election, David Cameron writes a personal introduction in which he says:

Over the last four years, Welsh Conservatives have travelled the length and breadth of Wales and seen first-hand the difficulties many people face. We’ve met parents, patients, students and workers who are rightly angry at the way Labour continues to run this proud nation down. We’ve fought your struggles in opposition.

Conservative Manifesto, 2011

I suppose the Tories want us to be grateful for small things. Cameron seems to be saying that before he became leader, Welsh Tories didn't travel the length and breadth of Wales or see anything first hand.

But I suppose there is a rather more realistic way of looking at it: namely that his claim to have seen these difficulties at first hand is as convincing as his claim to be Welsh.

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In complete contrast, if we search through the Tory Manifesto for Scotland, here, David Cameron isn't mentioned once. That can only mean that Tories in Scotland know full well that any mention of Cameron is likely to cost them votes.

Yet in Wales, where they must surely know the same, the poor Welsh Conservatives are kept on an even tighter leash by their masters in Westminster than Welsh Labour is. Their original Welsh manifesto was apparently called in at the last moment, and all traces of the party in Wales having "gone native" expunged from it. It shows.

So even though I don't have much time for Tory policies, I have to say that I feel a little sorry for Nick Bourne as a person. For he's meant to be the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, but gets relegated to third place while both David Cameron and Cheryl Gillan take the spotlight. Yet his counterpart in Scotland, Annabel Goldie, gets top billing with no mention of Cameron at all. If we're looking for a reason why the polls show Labour streaking ahead in parts of Wales where they could expect to be challenged by the Tories, this might be part of the explanation.

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6 comments:

Siônnyn said...

Isn't Cameron a quintessentially Scottish name? Is the man confused about his Celtic roots, as he is about so much else?

I agree with you, MH , about Nick Bourne - he is trying to forge a Welsh identity for his party, (who were rewarded for it in May 2010) but is now being frustrated and humiliated. Goldie, on the other hand, who's party in Scotland has clung doggedly to their English identity, and paid a heavy electoral price for it last year, appears to have been rewarded by being given her head. Where is the sense in that?

Perhaps to expect sense from this lot, who's every policy in London appears to be falling apart, is too much to ask.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

If it wasn't for the fact that I am a happily married man (or so the wife tells me) I would go a wooing Annabel Goldie, she is the second most interesting person in UK politics after Alex Salmond.

Why can't Welsh politics have such charismatic leaders as the Scots have?

Imagine a "leader's debate" between Carwyn, Ieuan, Nick, Kristy and Annabel. Aunty Annie would wipe the floor with them all!

Welsh Agenda said...

I noticed that their recent party Election Broadcast they featured David Cameron but no sign of Bourne.

What kind of message does that send out?

'We have so little faith in our AM's that we wont even let them in our election broadcasts, please trust them to run the country for you.'

Siônnyn said...

I actually quite like Nick Bourne - a civilised Tory, most unusual, but he does 'have something of the night about him', does he not? Perhaps that is why they are keeping him away from the cameras?

MH said...

I missed the Tory election broadcast, but just looked at it here on iPlayer, and WA is right ... not a mention of Nick Bourne, but instead a heavy emphasis on "David Cameron's leadership".

The Scottish version, here on iPlayer, was completely different in that its main focus was Annabel Goldie (Alwyn, don't watch this if your wife is in the house ;-) ... and although Cameron did come in at the end, it was to endorse her with a very personal "Vote for Annabel".

If I were Nick Bourne, I'd feel hurt and rather angry at the difference in the way Welsh and Scottish leaders are being treated by their masters in Westminster.

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As for "something of the night", Siônnyn, here's a picture of two Tories that look rather at home in a north Wales graveyard. Spooky.

Owen said...

It must be because we have "so many" Tory MP's in Wales from the last election. We must really, really like David Cameron. We certainly know when to tug a forelock or two to a "strong leader".

I concur with Siônnyn too. I like Nick Bourne, in fact I like quite a few of the Welsh Tories, I even like a fair chunk of their manifesto.

However if any Welsh Tory strategists are reading this, MH has highlighted a reason why I'd struggle to bring myself to vote for them.

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