Typical of the Tories

I thought this statement by Tim Montgomerie of Conservative Home perfectly expressed the rather odd way in which Tories think:

“Replace Ms Gillan with Stephen Crabb. Representing a Welsh seat, bright, articulate, politically savvy and from a humble background, Stephen is exactly the kind of person who would be a great representative for our party in Wales.”

Wales Online, 16 August 2012

Really? I thought the point of a Secretary of State for Wales was to be a great representative for Wales at the cabinet table.

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Cai Larsen said...

No, you've got it wrong I fear - Tim is right.

As far as the Tories are concerned the SoS is their representative in Wales. That's why their choice of SoS rarely represents a Welsh constituency & usually doesn't have the remotest connection with the country.

That said, if I remember correctly one of them (I forget which) could see Welsh hills from parts of his constituency - with the aid of a telescope.

Colwyn said...

Bill Wiggin, shadow SOS under Howard.

Welsh not British said...

So this would be one of those Freudian slips then.

Neilyn said...

Andrew RT Davies, here's your big chance to demonstrate an alternative vision for the Conservative Party in Wales, one that thinks and acts in the interests of Wales and the Welsh people.

Anonymous said...

"Andrew RT Davies, here's your big chance to demonstrate an alternative vision for the Conservative Party in Wales, one that thinks and acts in the interests of Wales and the Welsh people."

Impossible. And I don't mean that in a "the tories are bogeymen so will never do it" way, I mean it's actually impossible. The Tories in Wales are less administratively devolved than Labour, and far less than the Lib Dems. The only devolved function is a Wales Management Board which can discuss issues with the Group Leader in the Assembly (he isn't even the leader of the Tories in Wales).

Beyond these bureaucratic issues there are also alot of divisions within the Tories in Wales, between Gillan and the Assembly group, and within the group itself.

I don't particularly care or want the Tories to take the right decisions in Wales but what RT Davies should do is put out a statement saying that the Tories should appoint a Welsh MP as next Secretary of State, as a matter of principle. That would be a way of accepting something the other parties (including Labour) have always recognised. But I suspect Davies will not do this because he is not strong enough to win his own Group, let alone challenge Cheryl Gillan.

Owen said...

The trouble is many of the Conservative MP's in Wales are, how shall I put this, a little bit "cooky" (perhaps with the exception of Guto Bebb, or at a push Alun Cairns and Jonathan Evans). Glyn Davies wouldn't want the job I'd imagine, even if he'd be a good fit.

It's unlikely David Cameron would want to promote another Lib Dem into a cabinet role even if it is "only" Welsh Secretary. I think we're stuck with Cheryl. Let's face it, she doesn't have that much to do, she isn't doing much harm and she does a good job of trolling Welsh Labour.

Anonymous said...

The Tories have largely reverted to type in Wales. Mainly because Nick Bourne accidentally lost his seat. Bourne came across as liberal, not that right-wing.

MH said...

It's always struck me as odd that the Tories have eight MPs in Wales, and yet not one of them is considered cabinet material. I'd expect more of their selection processes. Are they really, even by Tory standards, so second rate? It certainly feeds the idea that they have a contempt agenda for Wales.

I had thought that they might consider Jonathan Evans, who was an MP as long ago as 1992, and who was in fact leader of the Conservative group of MEPs. But I was given the impression that would never get a senior Tory job while Cameron was leader. Perhaps there's something personal involved.


I'm inclined to follow Owen's reasoning (although I at first misread what he wrote as "cocky" and wondered why Guto Bebb was an exception). As Governor General, Cheryl can't do much harm. But I think she'll go eventually, and I'm sure David Jones would love the job, or non-job, even though it's way above his level of competence. I think things will depend on the constituency boundary changes. BlogMenai flagged up that six of the eight Tory MPs are against the changes, so if the Tories decide to press ahead with it then there are only two MPs left who would be able to hold positions in government. But they might drop it.


One change I would like to see is a LibDem as number two in the Wales Office, and with so few to choose from, Jenny Willott would be about the only possibility. I'd like to see it because the Wales Office is one of the few departments in which there are no LibDem ministers, and I think there would be a better chance of more openness and transparency if it were not in the hands of just one party.


As for Andrew RT Davies, part of me feels sorry for him, for he seems to be treated by his Tory bosses with as much contempt as they treat Wales in general. Perhaps the two go hand-in-hand.

But do I want a strong Tory party in Wales? Of course not. So I hope he continues to be down-trodden and humiliated. It will be an example to others that no-one who makes any noises about standing up for Wales is going to get very far in the Tory party.

Anonymous said...

Sad to say I agree with MH's desire to see the Tories flounder. I think the 'Welsh Parliament' card was Davies' top trump. A pretty poor one. It only served to infuriate Gillan and Nick Ramsay while the Welsh Government said it was an 'interesting idea'. It's also hugely out of touch with the people of Wales.

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