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‘Welsh devolution has become a project of nation-building’, Tory MP complains

08 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
James Davies MP in the House of Commons

A Tory MP has complained about Welsh devolution becoming a “project of nation-building”.

James Davies, who represents the Vale of Clwyd, is unhappy about the way in which the parliament in Wales has been given more control of Welsh laws.

In an essay for Strength in Union, in which he makes the case for preventing the breakup of the UK, he hit out at the “ever-increasing transfer of national powers” to the “power base” of the Senedd that is “competing” with Westminster.

The practicing GP, who was educated at King’s School, Chester, suggested that the “consequence is an increasing divide between Wales and England”, which is leading to the UK Government “becoming less relevant”.

In his essay he said: “Real devolution should be about harnessing the benefits of truly local decision making. While it was not intended as such by Tony Blair, Welsh devolution has become a project of nation-building, whereby an ever-increasing transfer of national powers to a competing and centralising power base in Cardiff is sought.

“The consequence is an increasing divide between Wales and England, with the UK Government, British institutions and ultimately British identity all becoming less relevant.”

‘Reality’ 

He added: “Whitehall has not always been cognisant of this reality when faced with apparently anodyne requests to gift another tranche of competencies. An ever-inward-looking mentality within devolved politics also results in Wales exerting increasingly less influence on British and foreign affairs.

“Evidence from polling suggests that a significant proportion of the electorate have been oblivious to the extent of ongoing constitutional change.”

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Mike
Mike
14 days ago

The Conservative political agenda to deprive Wales of any choice in the way regional policies are conducted and to centralize all choice to an unrepresentative body in Whitehall is being promoted by Tory MP’s such as James Davies. It is a blatant attempt to overthrow the democratic choice of the people of Wales for whom it is apparent he gives not two hoots.

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago

So they “gift” us certain rights from Whitehall. This master – servant attitude towards us is starting to make me angry and is not going to end well. I am beginning to feel a real animosity towards these people right now.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
14 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

That has always been the reality of devolution, it is in effect not a gift, but a privilege that can be taken away on any pretext that the UK government decides is appropriate. We are in grave danger of losing what little autonomy we have, and I won’t be alone in having noticed a recent upsurge in attacks on Welsh devolution by Tory politicians. For me, devolution was always just a step on the road to independence; an important step to show to the many sceptical Welsh that we are capable of running our own affairs. In the past it… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Great reply. You have far more patience than I, and I am told I can be rather volatile in my reactions. Reasoned arguments against these types only seem to go so far, as we have the might of the English press lined up against us. The only way I see forward, is if we can find a true orator who can inspire the nation to stand up to this oppression, because that is what these essays are, oppressive propaganda. We need inspiration now, before things turn ugly. Is there a person out there, who can do this for us.

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
14 days ago

So they want to steal our democratically votes for powers to control us easier from abroad.

Erisian
Erisian
14 days ago

Another backside kissing swot handing in his paltry project homework to BJ’s Junta in the hope of preferment, and the chance of hitching a ride on the back of a unicorn to the sunny uplands of a newer, shinier, Global Britain™

Strength in Union ? Too little too late – mae’r llong ‘na wedi hwylio!

Mark
Mark
14 days ago

the monolithic institute that is whitehall is quick enough to take the Welsh government to court when it thinks we’re over stepping our powers. Perhaps if these tories actually got on with doing their job, instead of wasting time writing these fantasy “what I did in the summer holidays” stories, things might improve, OR, is this just another distraction?

Dafydd
Dafydd
14 days ago

Yesterday I wrote that I, despite totally dissagreeing with his politics, I wished, as a Welshman, that RTD would have a fast recovery. This guy takes subservient a##e licking to such a low level that I would find it extrememly difficult to wish him the same under those circumstances … why is it that some so called Welsh people seem to have such a low opinion of their country and its people that they think we must be controlled from outside?

Gareth
Gareth
14 days ago

These self serving lickspttle , just want to be accepted as equals to the masters in London. It reminds me of a time, when I was 16 and just started work, a worker had just been promoted, and one of the men said, he will be a bad boss, as the worst bosses are the one that used to work on the shop floor. It would seem that the worst type of Tory is the one who is from our country, where he seems he has to justify himself by putting us down to his London masters.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
14 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

A llyfed y taeog y llawr : And the servile lick the floor.
It sounds so much better in Welsh.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago

“…devolved politics also results in Wales exerting increasingly less influence on British and foreign affairs.”

Yeah right, because we have so much influence whilst we under Westminster’s heel don’t we?

Dr Keith W Darlington
Dr Keith W Darlington
14 days ago

He is right to say that Blair did not want it. We now know that Blair wanted a glorified county council and did his best to prevent the leader from being bestowed with the title First Minister. Furthermore, he treated the Welsh Assembly with more contempt than a county council because he tried to impose Allan Michael as the leader rather than the choice of the AMs which was Rhodri Morgan at the time.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
14 days ago

*Cultural Genocide*

Cultural genocide – Wikipedia

Vaughan
Vaughan
14 days ago

“a project of nation-building”
Too right! Long may it continue!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
14 days ago

Sorry James Davies. Welsh devolution is not simply a project of “nation building” , but one of nation rebuilding after years of Unionist cultural, political and economic wrecking ball diplomacy by morons like you.

#YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Ymlaen 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #Unionism 🇬🇧👎

Last edited 14 days ago by Y Cymro
Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
14 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Devolution was,and still is, a change to remain the same. It doesn’t challenge the status quo one bit.

I campaigned for devolution fully aware that the deal on offer was no more than that which had been offered in 1979, namely a super county council, a talking shop to give a semblance of democracy to the running of the Welsh Office.

Devolution for me was always just a step in the direction of independence.

We now need to move towards taking that step.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
14 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Yes, I agree . At present devolution is merely democracy on a Whitehall leash

Only with independence can we decide our own future and reach our full potential as a country. The status quo, as said is not an option. Devolution should be a stepping stone not a ball & chain.

j humphrys
j humphrys
14 days ago

Well, we ARE a nation, despite you and your ilk, poodle!

Dafydd
Dafydd
14 days ago

James bach – what nation building? We have a country and its caleld Cymru – get used to it pal!

Arwyn
Arwyn
14 days ago

Completely and hoplessley wrong but once again providing clarity on his British Nationalist credentials. Wales is an historic Nation. We are in no need of “nation building.” Devolution is not even a case of “state building.” It is only the limited licensing of power to be exercised on behalf of the state. But James Davies might have unwittingly given us a prompt here. My goodness does Wales need to begin the process of building a state. Not least because in not one national election in the history of the democratic franchise have we the Welsh electorate handed a mandate to… Read more »

Last edited 14 days ago by Arwyn
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
14 days ago

Yes it has, so what’s the problem??

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
14 days ago

Nation building has a nice ring to it…as for the rest of his ‘essay’ it is a typical hostage piece, written under duress, in some North Korean hell hole. Unfortunately we know that this is not the case and this ‘look at me Boris’ drivel should be enough for the people of Clwyd to vote this spineless sycophant out of office at the next election. Same goes for the rest of the anti-welsh welsh Tory MPs.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
14 days ago

“Welsh devolution has become a project of nation-building”. Well, not really; the nation’s already there, it simply requires the necessary powers to decrease the democratic deficit that enables political decisions about Wales to be made elsewhere by a party that has never been voted into power by the Welsh electorate. Sadly for James Davies, this will self-evidently mean a reduction in the influence of Westminster over Wales. Otherwise, what’s the point of devolution? If this leitmotif of “British versus Welsh” (and the implications for contrasting notions of political power that it entails) is a reflection of the likely direction of… Read more »

Grayham Jones
14 days ago

Kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Hedda Mulgrew MSc (Econ)
Hedda Mulgrew MSc (Econ)
14 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Kick all nationalists out of Wales. 80% want the Union. Give their houses to refugees.

Wales for the Unionist majority!

🇬🇧!

Undeb am Byth!

Richard
Richard
14 days ago

Enjoyable read 😂 your Masters degree no doubt ?

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
12 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Hey Richard

You’ll probably find that it’s a copy-and-paste Wikipedia Regurgita Masters degree from an online ‘university’ based in somewhere like the British Indian Ocean Territory.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
12 days ago

Mr Dearest Hedda I would sincerely like to thank you for this and all of the other comments in favour of so-called ‘unionism’ (or English nationalism as I like to think of it). The very fact that you are taking the time and going to the trouble to post rabidly anti-Welsh, anti-devolution and anti-independence comments on what is very clearly a pro-Welsh independence website goes to show just how worried you are by the prospect of Welsh independence (and every other English nationalist nut job who posts comments on nation.cymru for that matter). Ten years ago, or even five years… Read more »

George
George
14 days ago

Do Scottish Tories hate Scotland as much as Welsh Tories hate Wales? Does the Tory Mayor of Birmingham write how he shouldn’t be allowed to make decisions and instead Westminster should decide for him?

It’s not my political persuasion but I’d love Wales to have a Conservative political party rather than a “we wish we were English” party.

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
14 days ago

The entitlement from English politicians to another country is shocking, they honestly believe they own us

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
14 days ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

He’s Welsh. Born in Wales with many generations of Welsh ancestors. Makes his comment seem worse really! I suppose he was educated in a private school over the border so had his Welshness ‘cleaned’ out

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
14 days ago

Dr Davies qualified in 2003 but was already a county councillor in 2004, suggesting he already had other plans. Confirmed by his being an MP in 2015. Seems an awful waste of a medical education, especially at the very time there is a shortage of doctors. His place could have gone to another student who might have spent more of their working life in the NHS.

Richard
Richard
14 days ago

Nation building comes from the bottom / community upwards James. – not the top down. From the days of Cymru Fydd, WRU , Welsh FA, the establishment of our national university, national museum, National Eisteddfod through to the Church Dis Establishment movement and the establishment of the Royal Welsh Show, Wales Arts Council and the W Tourism Board Education through the WJEC .. policy via the Council for Wales and Monmouthshire along to the growth of the Welsh Office etc etc – – this has been a journey of 150 years…and continues reflecting a nations developing confidence…into the modern world… Read more »

Dafydd ap Robart
Dafydd ap Robart
14 days ago
Reply to  Richard

Ni fydd wedi dysgu dim am Gymru, yn enwedig nid ein hanes, yn ei ysgol breifat yng Nghaer.

Mike
Mike
14 days ago

Look at this man’s record on voting in Westminster. He has consistently voted against rises in welfare benefits for the sick and disabled people. This man should be disbarred as a GP. He is a disgrace.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago
Reply to  Mike

He is just the type to have done the dirty work for Atos…

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
13 days ago

That is why I support devolution, leading to independence. Cymru am byth

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