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Labour likely to be in power in Wales ‘forever’ says prominent Welsh Conservative

28 May 2021 4 minutes Read
First Minister Mark Drakeford. Picture by the Welsh Government.

The Welsh Conservatives must face up to the fact that Labour is likely to be in power “forever” and look for ways of circumnavigating the Welsh Government, a prominent member has said.

Former Deputy Chair of the North Wales Conservative Party Executive Adrian Mason said that the Senedd election in which 16 seats were won was likely to be a “high watermark” for his party.

Writing for Conservative Home, he welcomed the Levelling Up fund, in which money will be distributed by the UK Government in Wales rather than the Welsh Government, as the only way that “gives those of us in the North some independence from Cardiff Bay”.

There is the “very real possibility is that these very respectable results may turn out to be the high-water mark for the Conservatives in Wales,” he said. “So, the plain question has to be asked: where has it got us?”

“Despite the immense hard work put into the Conservative election campaign, Wales is still trapped in a socialist orbit,” he added. “Nothing has changed, and we now face another five years of Labour government.

“That is the way it has been since devolution was implemented 22 years ago, and unless something extraordinary happens, it is likely to be the position forever. That is the reality we face.”

Adrian Mason picture by Conwy Town Council

He added that Wales’ post-industrial valleys seats in the south of the country hadn’t budged towards the Conservatives at all.

“No crumbling ‘red wall’ there, and any chance that they can be turned blue in our lifetimes is for the birds,” he said. “All a party needs to achieve a majority in the Senedd is 31 seats, a mountain as high as Snowdon for the Conservatives to climb.

“So far, we are halfway up – but the path may have run out!”

‘Mandate’

Without the ability to win an election, the only way to get around the Welsh Government was for money to be given directly to local authorities by Westminster he said.

“Firstly, taxpayers will receive all the funding, not having it ‘top-sliced’ by the EU and, crucially, it will be available directly from Westminster,” he said.

“Again, this is excellent news for local interests here in North Wales. It will allow local authorities to select their own priorities without having it blocked for political reasons by the Welsh Labour Government.

“Although the political outlook in Wales remains discouraging for Conservatives, notwithstanding the good results last week, initiatives such as the Levelling Up Fund and Shared Prosperity Fund gives those of us in the North some independence from Cardiff Bay and allow our elected MPs to influence the direction of travel.”

The UK Government’s attempts to override Wales’ devolved powers was criticised by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething at the House of Commons’ Welsh Affairs Committee yesterday.

“If UK ministers don’t like the approach of the Welsh Government, the answer isn’t to simply to say let’s ignore the election results of the people of Wales who voted for the Welsh Government,” he said.

“If you want to change the Welsh Government, win an election. People have just voted and we’ve got a mandate.

“The answer can’t be that a UK minister in Whitehall says, I don’t like how you’re using your powers so I’m going to change the outcome. That is essentially what is happening.

“There’s been no discussion with us about any of this, and we’re talking about the use of devolved powers here as well.

“If you’re looking for a confrontation it’s a good way to start one.”

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Ric
Ric
16 days ago

The Tories pulled a slight of hand with Thatcher inspired “trickle down economics”, then austerity for ten years or more and now the remarkably similar sounding “levelling up”…..and they wonder why they fail to get voted in? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Siân
Siân
16 days ago
Reply to  Ric

But they get voted in, in Westminster so that argument doesn’t quite work. In spite of everything they are still high in the UK polls. It’s a crucial time for Wales & the devolved nations. We can’t lose these powers now.

Ric
Ric
16 days ago
Reply to  Siân

To some extent that is the fault of the Westminster left of centre parties performance over several decades and of course a very long running and concerted demonisation of the left by the generally Tory controlled Press. Many I suspect vote for the Tories because of that deliberately generated negative perception of Labour even though they would benefit more from Socialist policies. We know from recent experience where the right of centre stands but does anyone actually know what the Westminster Labour Party actually represents now? They have fully endorsed the neo-liberal laissez-faire economics of the Globalists that takes them… Read more »

cudyll
cudyll
16 days ago

It’s clear. Tories don’t like democracy, they only want their own way. Wales is a socialist country and they can’t stomach it. They should realise that Labour could say the same in England!

Hywel
Hywel
16 days ago

This woe is me doesn’t seem entirely genuine as the Tories will be in power in England (and by default the rest of the UK at that moment in time) until at leas 2030, probably 2040 and beyond! And that’s where their real power lies.

Quornby
Quornby
16 days ago

Ah! We can’t win so let’s sell our soul to Westminster says Tory. Who’d have thought it?

Stephen Amos
Stephen Amos
16 days ago

So, the Tory approach is to ignore the people of Wales and serve their masters in London. Surely, if they really want power in Wales, they should adapt their politics to the electorate in Wales.

Richard
Richard
16 days ago

Ironically the best hope for the centre right in Wales might be the very thing that the Welsh Conservatives are most determined to prevent, namely independence. At the moment the Conservatives are faced with the baggage of being perceived by many as the “English party in Wales” which undoubtedly puts many patriotic right leaning Welsh people (of whom there are plenty) off even considering voting for them. Freed from that “English” baggage a rebranded centre-right party could then emerge in an independent Wales and appeal afresh to such voters. Welsh Labour have managed to cleverly package themselves as a “nationalist”… Read more »

Rob
Rob
16 days ago

What the Tories need to do is identify where Wales lies on the political spectrum and go from there (perhaps Plaid should do the same). We are much more of a left leaning nation than England, but perhaps not as left as how Plaid would have you believe. Yet England on the other hand is more left leaning than the USA, if it was the 51st state its electoral college would always be going to the Democrats. Take California as an example, the most left leaning state in the US, but has elected Republican governors in the past – Swartzenegger,… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
16 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Welsh (?) Tories are heavily dependent on the English 21%. Same case with Brexit.

Richard
Richard
15 days ago
Reply to  Rob

Welsh people probably do lean slightly more to the left on economic issues than English people (although not by as much as some think) largely because of the history of industrial relations in Wales, a less entrepreneurial culture and an economy more dependent on the public sector. On social issues I don’t think there’s any difference between the two nations.

Chris Armstrong
Chris Armstrong
16 days ago

I like how he said “give the north some autonomy from Cardiff bay”

What he really meant was “if we divide the country, the Indy movement will stop”

Fat chance fat cat!

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
16 days ago

I am not a Labour voter and continual one party dominance in Cymru can not be good for democracy here. However, I am glad the Tories are no where near power – they would make us a county of England. Cymru will never see any of this leveling up money or shared prosperity fund – it’s all an electoral gimmick and a way to control us.

Mandi A
Mandi A
16 days ago
Reply to  Steve Duggan

Tory power in Wales = Abolish the Assembly (they can’t spell Senedd).

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
13 days ago

Unfortunately, the UK Government has got the Welsh Government over a barrell as regards their “levelling up fund”; and they have a second arrow in their quiver in terms of “cirumnavigating the Welsh Government”, namely the Internal Market Act. Wales can expect more of this in the foreseeable future. The onus will be on the Welsh Government to use devolution as effectively as possible, not only to counter this policy, but also to make devolution work for Wales in a way that Welsh Labour has been reluctant to do up til now, save for a few successes such as promoting… Read more »

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