Saturday, December 08, 2007

Meeting the 'Party Faithful' again.

Eight hours on the road yesterday, taking in Cardiff and Newport, Pembs. In Cardiff for a party fundraiser in Salt, a bar in the Bay - chief guest was David Cameron. Great do with 300 present and about one third under 25. The sniff of power is bringing them out like butterflies in Buddlia season. First big Tory do I've been to since losing my AM slot. Really enjoyed it. Quite a few people commented on the Martin Shipton article that appeared in Thursday's Western Mail. Three guests clearly didn't agree, but they want the Assembly abolished (and probably India back as well). In fact, I was surprised by how much enthusiastic support I did have. I wish all these people would say as much to our three MPs. I'm not sure that the Party leadership approves of me being so forceful in my support for giving law making powers to the Assembly - but Nick Bourne offered to buy me lunch in the New Year. I'll take him up on that. I've not always seen 100% eye to eye with Nick, but I'm very keen that he should stay as Leader of the Assembly Group for the next two or three years at least. I very much agree with the direction Nick is taking the Group.

And then on to the excellent Trewern Arms at Nevern in Pembrokeshire to speak to North Pembrokeshire Conservatives. Probably around 70 there, and a very jovial crowd. I started off my speech by putting the blame for the streak in my character that has led me into so much controversy down to the Chairman for the evening. I discovered that John Davies was the PE teacher at Llanfair Caereinion High School for the first two years that I was there in the 1970s. John is well into his 70s now, and as irascible as ever. He must have been a very wild man in his youth. I do remember him introducing me to rugby, which played a big part in my life as a young man. I owe him. The evening ended with a raffle and the main prize was a 4foot high Teddy Bear, which was then auctioned for Association funds. I trust this donation will be properly declared. We also had a teddy bear naming competition. Mohammed came second. Winning name was Glyn - and I took no offence at all. I did put in a bid myself. I thought Ffion might like it when she's a bit older, but without my AM's salary I couldn't afford to stay in the bidding!!

I used the speech to launch my 'crusade' to persuade my party of the case for Assembly law making powers. Presceli Pembs is a part of Wales that might be considered to be a challenge. I'm not sure that anyone in the room disagreed with me - not openly anyway. And there were plenty of heads nodding, including local Assembly Member, Paul Davies. The boy will go far in his political career if he carries on nodding his head when I'm speaking! Home by 1.00, knackered and too tired to blog. So went to bed and was stung twice by a wasp which had snuggled in with Mrs D in my absence. Only blemish on a good 'political' day.


Anonymous said...

A wasp? In the bed? Haven't hot water bottles reached Montgomeryshire yet?

Glyn Davies said...

Sanddef - very impressed that you reached the last line of a rambling post. Wasps can be a problem this time of the year. They only seem half alive but they sting well. My finger is still swollen and unmovable

Anonymous said...

I am amazed at your capacity for work Glyn , I admire you tenacity.
I had hoped that DC would have shown some support for Nick Bourne in a more public way .I think Nick is doing a good job.
It is a strange turn around for me to be supporting so many Tory policies and people.
I have to say though the jury is stil out on DC for me.

Dylan Jones-Evans said...

Glyn - it was a great do on Friday.

You mention the under 25s but I don't think the Salt Bar has seen so many blue rinses since it was opened!!!

Cameron was excellent and far more polished than the speech to the Cardiff Business Club on Thursday. He is at his best when he allowed to speak openly and naturally without notes. He is definitely a PM in the making.

You know where I stand on the crusade and am ready and willing to help you slay any 'saracens' on the way!

Nick must be fully supported in ensuring that we become a powerful force in Welsh politics again. We did well in the last Assembly elections because we embraced devolution.

However, as Cairnsy said on the Politics Show, Cameron is right that this is a welsh issue and must be decided by the Welsh Conservatives.

In doing so, we can show that we can develop and deliver centre right Welsh policies to make a real difference to this nation.

Paul Rogers said...

Glyn - great to see you on Friday.

I completely agree with you Dylan, the Welsh Conservatives should have a constructive debate on the issue of powers and decide.

Great to see so many young people!


Glyn Davies said...

Dylan and Paul - You both make the best rebuttal of all this criticism of David Cameron for not taking the lead in 'devolution' policy. I want to see us debate this issue - in Wales. I want the debate to be good natured and open. The reason that I'm so committed to a law making Assembly is that I fervently believe it is right for Wales, for a united Britain and for the Conservative Party. And I want to debate the issue with those who genuinely disagree. I do think we should win the arguement in Wales before expecting David Cameron to make great supportive noises.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: I am on the fence on this issue, not because I don't want Wales to be running its own shop, but because I am concerned about the tribalism that exists in much of middle-Wales. Sometimes it is better when parties are still operating like tribes to have a common foe so that they feel better able to work together. That 'foe' was the Welsh Office Secretary.

Also, the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG) has had 10 years free swing on many devolved powers, yet after 10 years of WAG rule, Wales has an education system that has gone backwards - where math and science are treated like dog poo – pupils avoid studying physics and hard science subjects at advanced level. Wales has gone from a nation where its education system was regarded as better than England to a backward nation. The lack of basic understanding of science and math in Wales is appalling as evidenced by the recent OECD figures. The buck stops at the WAG.

Then there is the Welsh economy.
The Welsh economy is going backwards. After 10 years of being in charge of much of the funding that goes into research spend at Welsh Universities the output of intellectual property output is close to zip from some of its universities and overall compares VERY BADLY with foreign research based universities in business orientated economies. A single research university in the Far East (a former third world country) generates more patents than all the universities in Wales combined. WAG is simply not paying attention and Wales as a nation will PAY A VERY HEAVY PRICE.

WAG talks incessantly about Wales being a small clever country and yaps on about converting its economy into a knowledge based economy but does not provide its scientists with the means to protect the intellectual property generated in Wales - as a result, great discoveries and inventions are not protected, and as a result there is next to zip private investment in discoveries coming out of Welsh universities - what company in its right mind will invest in a technology that can be copied and sold around the world because no patent was sought?

Wales must undergo a fundamental rethink on how to develop a strong knowledge based economy; it must stop shedding its scientific and engineering talent. Discoveries and inventions made in Wales should be receive patent protection so that the technology can be invested in and developed to turn wee acorns into big trees of the kind that employ people and benefit the wider community.

In short, Wales needs a strong indigenous knowledge based economy, and that is not going to happen until WAG wakes up to the need to copy intellectual property driven Far East universities who are filing patents and developing large amounts of well paid jobs to the huge benefit of their economies.

Glyn Davies said...

Christopher - good comment, much of which I agree with. In so many areas, the Welsh Assembly Government has performed poorly. But that misses the point of what I am saying. You are making the case to consider abolishing the Assembly - which is an entirely sound arguement. But its not going to happen. All of the failings you describe are the result of poor Government performance - which is why I'm keen that Conservatives develop a centre/right programme and philosophy that end the one-party rule which is so damaging to Welsh democracy.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: I just don't want Wales to turn into a 'small silly country', but I fear that is where WAG is taking beloved Wales. It is shameful that Wales doesn't have better leadership, the Welsh economy is going to pay a very high price, and the buck stops at the WAG.

But I concur, the WAG is here to say, so better to work with it and hope against hope that the WAG finally wakes up to the need to THINK BIG and protect its intellectual property (IP).

I am an expert on protecting IP on the US side of the wee pond. I have tried to talk to WAG people in NYC - to at least one member of Plaid Cymru, and to any WAG AM via the internet. But no one at WAG seems to understand that spending money on research absent providing funding for filing patents - particularly in the USA which is one of the cheapest and best places to file a patent and offers the biggest market for patent protected goods in the word (50 states including California on the west coast and New York on the east coast). The USA has a patent filing system where scientists can publish their findings in learned journals, but can still file for up to a year after such publications and still get a patent - not so in the UK/EU - that is one reason among many that the US has such a strong economy - but WAG AMs are not interested in hearing about how important it is to fund IP protection - they just don't get it or don't see how it helps them.