I am a Conservative Member of the House of Commons representing the Welsh seat of Montgomeryshire - to which I was elected in May 2010 with a swing of 13.2% against the supposedly 'resurgent' Liberal Democrats. There was one larger swing somewhere else in the UK, but against demoralised Labour. It was a spectacular result. Many commentators, searching for an explanation blame Lembit Opik, the Liberal Democrat incumbent who has a high profile as a 'celebrity' - despite this having been Lembit's style ever since his first election victory in 1997. Against a very good Conservative in 2005, he had won approx. 16,000 votes against 9,000. I have not minded one bit that so many believe that the Conservative victory was little to do with the particular style of 'Conservatitism' that underpinned our campaign in Montgomeryshire. Usual response has been "Look at the score on the door". But it is beginning to grate a bit on me, though not for the self-serving reason that I've no doubt has come to your mind, dear reader.
I think I can reasonably claim to have been a significant part of the face of Conservatism in Montgomeryshire for 15 years, along with Simon Baynes, Dan Munford and David Jones. My 'pitch' has always been based on my 'Welshness' - hugely proud of having learned the Welsh Language, a lover of Welsh culture, and totally committed to a successful future for Wales and the National Assembly. I've been publicly very supportive of granting law-making power to the Assembly - until I was recently appointed a PPS, which requires that I be neutral. The point I'm making is that reasonable extrapolation suggests that the Conservative Party in Montgomeryshire is comfortable with what I stand for. And I pont out to those who have only a Z- knowledge of geography, Montgomeryshire lies adjacent to English England, with a huge number of English immigrants.
So why am I having to read and listen to so much garbage about the Conservatives not caring about Wales - and a Coalition Government at Westminster instinctively wanting to ignore Wales and treat her as if she didn't exist. Prominent Yes campaigners are popping up in the Western Mail on almost a daily basis to claim that a No vote would put devolution into reverse. What on earth are they on about? No it wouldn't. There is no justification for any of this misinformation. Rhodri Morgan puts forward a much more balanced argument to this week's Montgomertshire County Times - "Same destination but one path longer than the other". No stupid talk about reverse. For some reason, commentators in Wales dismiss Conservative MPs from Wales as not representing Welsh interests. Its complete baloney - just because the Welsh media cannot be bothered to get off it's **** and find out what's happening the other end of the M4. I read reams of similar utter tosh about S4C a few weeks back. Lets get it straight. Whether there's a Yes vote or a No vote, there will be Welsh Conservative (and all the other parties as well) every bit as committed to Wales and Welsh interests as members of the Welsh Assembly will be. And Conservative voters in Montgomeryshire would not have it any other way.