Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The dirty business of 'Politics'.

There's no doubt about what the public think about politics and politicians. Not much at all, and the bit they do think is not good. The idea that members of political parties disagree, argue ferociously, and try to persuade the public that they are so much better than 'the other lot' is seen as 'posturing' or 'playing political games'. Many people like the idea that all sides work together for the common interest, setting aside their divisions. I fundamentally disagree with this proposition. There is nothing so dangerous for the people as when all political parties agree, and no-one is testing Government proposals by vigorous, even forensic examination. I'm pleased that Barack Obama's efforts to bring all sides together in support his financial stimulus has collapsed. All my instincts tell me that Obama is taking a terrible and unjustified risk with the economy of the Western world. Thank goodness that the Republicans are challenging what seems to me to be crazy levels of public spending and borrowing. I think the same about what Gordon Brown is doing.

The reason that this issue in my mind tonight is that three separate people have told me this week that they would like to vote for me at the next General Election, but cannot bring themselves to vote Conservative. Now, I may be something of a political maverick, and most of my public sector career has been as an 'Independent - but I do not believe that 'Independence' works at Westminster or at the National Assembly for Wales. It may be true that an 'Independent' can do the 'constituency work' , but cannot achieve much beyond that.

During my eight years as an Assembly Member, my most influential work was as Chairman of the 'countryside' committee. I hugely enjoyed the role, and felt that I made a bit of difference. The reason I was given that role was through my position as a Conservative. And if I were to be elected as an MP, my ambition would be to play an influential role in developing an effective relationship between the UK Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales. Sure, I could make a lot of noise as an Independent - but could make a difference only as a member of a mainstream party. I 'came out' in 1996, and I'm going to stay out. Its the most effective way that I can serve Montgomeryshire, and Wales.


Nick G said...

Perhaps, Glyn, more people would vote for you if you behaved more like a Conservative. I was very pleased to see that David Cameron ruled out a Welsh parliament during his visit on Monday. Why not take a leaf out of his book, recognise that his views are mainstream, and start working with, not against, fellow Conservatives to help build a stronger UK and undo the damage that devolution has caused?

Unixman said...

You have no choice but to join a party - and in your case I am especially glad it is the Tories. Unless there are _very_ special circumstances which are extremely rare (Wyre Forest and Tatton are the only two that I can think of - and the latter was especially oddball since the Labour and Lib Dems withdraw their candidates), independents have absolutely no chance against the well(ish) financed, professional canvassing and support of the main parties.

Be a Tory (and I think that you will win BTW) but keep that open mind that you show so well at the moment.

Candice Gruffydd said...

Come on Glyn!

You cannot stay silent!

This is problem with blogs. They are vehicle for the owners to opine endlessly (and boy, do so some opine!).

Then one day, out of the blue, alongs comes a subject that doesn't quite sit comfortably for the blogger.

His or her instinctive reaction is to stay quiet - lie low.

However, readers of the blog then think:

"This silence is a tad dodgy. He usually has a view on everythinng under the sun. I wonder why the silence on this issue?"

So, come on Glyn. We demand to know whether you agree with your boss, the Posh Boy Cameron, or not.

Do you think Wales should have law-making powers. Let's here what you have to say about it all!

P.S. Another trouble with blogs is they offer people the ability to search the archive for previous statements you have made. So be sure to check out what you have said historically.
We wouldn't want any daft contradictions being thrown back at you, now would we?

alanindyfed said...

Another point is the "Independents" tend to group together and act as a political party in alliance with Labour, as on the Carmarthenshire County Council, and are therefore not voting as true independents who we expect to behave according to their conscience and for the benefits of the electors.

Glyn Davies said...

Nick G - I support the granting of law making powers to the National Assembly (in those fields already devolved) because I believe it will deliver a stronger United Kingdom.

Unixman - Thanks.

Candice - If you do not like blogs that are based on opinion, don't read them.
You can't have visited this blog very often, or you would know what my opinion on law making powers for the Assembly is.
I hadn't posted on David Cameron's visit to Barry because I have spoken to only our press officer who was, and seemed totally unconcerned by what you describe as something out 'of the blue'.
I see from my Google Alerts' that some other blogs have spoken about my views on this issue - so its been put in my mind - so I might blog on the subject tonight.

Alan - In Powys, most Councillors are 'Independents', but all but two of them belong to groups, who act in just the same way as we do.

Anonymous said...

I believe in FULL law making powers for Wales but will still vote for you in order to help get O'Pickled out of Mongtomeryshire once and for all. Perhaps the three constituents who approached you, should bear in mind that he is the alternative to you. Anything has to be better than the part-time operator we have at present.

Nick G said...

So you disagree with Cameron? Does he know?

Glyn Davies said...

Anon and Nick G - I also believe in full law making powers, but only if approved of in a referendum. I've posted on the subject tonight. I do think far too much is made of this issue. Moving to Scottish style powers in already devolved areas seems to me to be a logical and not too huge a step. What would be a huge constitutional issue would be granting the same powers as Scotland to Wales. The best way of highligting the difference is by noting that two thirds of the Scottish Parliament's work is 'Criminal Justice' which there is no serious prospect of devolving - and which would only be practical with widespread use of the Sewell Principle. I suspect that David does know my opinion on devolution policy, though I've not had the chance to discuss it with him.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't necessarily mean that those three people will vote for Car Crash Lembit!
That's the secret - to get as many Lib Dem supporters as possible to turn elsewhere. Personally, I think they will turn their backs on Lembit Opik in droves. If those who just cannot bring themselves to vote Tory ( though I would imagine most people could vote for YOU because you're something more than the traditional boring Tory ) turned to Plaid or Labour, you'll be ok, providing you can build up your own personal vote. In order to acheive this, I'm afraid you have to start creating a bit more of a stink about the lying Lib Dums and lifestyle issues etc of a certain person in Montgomeryshire. People need to know that there IS an alternative in Montgomeryshire, someone who does not fall out of London nightclubs at 3am and who is proud to be Welsh. Go tell 'em!

Nick G said...

Well given that Cameron has ruled it out, you're not going to make much headway with that line, are you?

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - I do my best. I'm lucky in that several people are being helpful, and the local media is very fair to me. I hear that the Liberal Democrats in Montgomeryshire have had to issue an apology for the the content of their last newsletter - which upset a lot of people, who in turn are more inclined to help me. Bearing in mind that the Lib Dems are backed up by the staff employed by an AM and an MP, and the disgraceful Communications Allowance, I think we're doing quite well.

Nick G - You sound like someone who gives up at the first hurdle. I'm not.

Anonymous said...

Have the local paper covered the apology?
It's quite disgraceful and must be drawn to people's attention. I wonder how many people in Montgomeryshire really know what those two buffoons are up to???
Why don't YOU publish a leaflet?

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - While this blog doesn't have the reach of a local newspaper, it does attract around 10,000 visits a month, and I think most local media do read it. Edna did ring me about this apology, and I might just report what she said later on tonight.

Nick G said...

Glyn, show sufficient respect for the party leader to follow his line. He has done terrifically well and knows what he's doing. He's ruled out more powers for the assembly. Just accept that.