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Welshness don’t belong exclusively to Labour says Wales’ Tory leader as he calls for ‘distinct voice’

20 May 2022 3 minutes Read
Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies. Picture by Matthew Horwood.

Welsh Conservative Leader Andrew RT Davies has used his conference speech to say that “Welshness doesn’t belong exclusively to Labour” as he called for the Tories in Wales to have a “distinct voice”.

He used the speech to break with the UK party on funding for rail infrastructure, arguing that Wales should get its share of money allocated for HS2 which has been designated an England and Wales project.

He also said that he would continue to make a case for St David’s Day as a bank holiday, adding that it was a “no brainer” after the UK Government refused a request to make it so.

His speech came after large Conservative losses in the Welsh local elections and a disappointing Senedd election last year where Labour won half the seats.

“Going forward, we need to continue to build on the Welsh Conservative brand and build our own identity as a proud Welsh party,” he said.

“Proudly British, proudly Conservative, we need to be promoting what we do in Westminster but standing strong and tall in the Welsh wheatfield – not bending in the wind.

“Much like our world-famous choirs, our unique whilst assertive voice must be distinct, whilst at the same time be in harmony with our political brothers and sisters across the United Kingdom.

“Sometimes the notes might sound different to reflect the needs of Wales and our people. But we are Conservatives and we have Conservative principles running through us.

“Because Wales and Welshness don’t belong exclusively to Labour. So let’s get together. Let’s pull on that red jersey. Let’s show Wales it can be done differently.”

‘Jobs’

He added that they needed to “pull the dead hand of Labor’s failure from the wealth windpipe of hope”.

“We’re making the case that Wales should receive its fair share of HS2 spending,” he said.

“We believe that instead of banning roadbuilding like labour, we need to push on and build a modern and sustainable transport network of road and rail.

“That’s the way that we can bring our country closer together. And we can put up the sign that says Wales is open for business. Only that way we can attract the jobs we need to close Labour’s wage gap.”

He added: “We will continue to make a case for St David’s Day to be made a bank holiday. That frankly is a no brainer.”


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Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
1 month ago

….I’ve been waiting for them to start coming from this direction. This is where the Welsh Conservatives, who wish only to conserve that which their masters in Westminster tell them to, are now going to ramp up into the identity politics grift and they are going to try and tell us that we are a divided country that can only be brought together by English Nationalism with a Welsh flag draped over it to try and hide all of the nastiness and suffering and horror and terror and subjugation that English Nationalism is all about and porkbarrel politics (“our Tory… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
1 month ago

Superficially correct. This is merely an electoral expedient for RTD2. His rambling speech reveals how awkwardly it sits with him. He took the Welsh Conservatives away from Nick Bourne’s vision. He is the full throated voice of British Nationalism in Wales. I don’t think anyone will be fooled by this sticking plaster response to an electoral kicking. Davies needs something of an epiphany – that his “conservativism” is radicalism to those of us who identify as Welsh. What he advocates is detrimental to and will lead to the loss of what makes Wales a distinctive nation. Consequently, the name “Welsh… Read more »

Calum
Calum
1 month ago

“Proudly British, proudly Conservative, we need to be promoting what we do in Westminster but standing strong and tall in the Welsh wheatfield – not bending in the wind.“Because Wales and Welshness don’t belong exclusively to Labour. So let’s get together. Let’s pull on that red jersey. Let’s show Wales it can be done differently.” So we can expect that the “Welsh” Conservatives are not “proudly Welsh” then, but rather they are just pulling a red jersey over their union jack clown suit. Is it conincidence that this weak handed, mealy-mouthed speech has come right after the collosal losses of… Read more »

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Calum

The Welsh wheatfield. Hmmmm …. so Monmouth? A crop our nation grows but is not renowned for.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago
Reply to  Cynan

Perhaps we should start growing more wheat but the Tory party is more interested in promoting fields of solar panels so their big business chums can make even more loot out of the energy scam.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

“We need to be promoting what we do in Westminster “. No you dont, as Cymru does not need to be turned into a country that turns it’s back on people fleeing war, take money from dodgy dictators ( Putin), refuses to feed hungry children during school holiday time, while increasing peoples reliance on food banks, while letting multinational companies turn billions in profit while inflation soared. Keep that over the border, and if that is what you desire, move there, now, and work with the criminal liar who runs the show.

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

I mean they could…because then the people of Cymru can see what a bunch of mafia pigs they really are.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

So pulling on a Welsh jersey but trying to sell Westminster to us? How’s that going to work then? The red jersey is just a disguise? A chihuahua in sheep’s clothing?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

What the hell is Andrew RT Davies AKA The Mouth on about again? “Welshness doesn’t belong exclusively to Welsh Labour” rubbish! Is this the same man who represents a Conservative & Unionist party that demanded that in Wales all UK Government buildings must fly the Union Flag every day, a flag that doesn’t even represent Wales. Has the Tories in Wales & Whitehall ever considered flying the Y Ddraig Goch. A big fat Tory NO! For centuries have been attempting and failing to turn Wales into England. Their only successes was to turn Monmouthshire & South Pembrokeshire into Conservative enclaves.… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

He was also once advocating for the devolution of Air Passenger Duty. How long before he gets disciplined and is made to fall in line with the Boris Johnson narrative?
Devolution isn’t threatening the union its the stubbornness of the narrow minded muscular unionists within the tory party.

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
1 month ago

Welshness belongs to ALL of the varied peoples in Cymru, that’s what makes us so flipping great. You can come here from far away, stay and before anyone really knows it you are in with us.. because we aren’t inward-looking wallys, we have a less nasty country to live in, unlike the one that Westminster Tories have made over the way. Welshness isn’t something that either the people or Welsh Labour or Plaid Cymru do or can squirrel away and guard jealously…. RT Davis, like a lot of people who don’t pay proper attention to the actual people that live… Read more »

Cathy Hill
Cathy Hill
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

Sorry for the spamming.. it’s just I love Cymru, I love freedom and I hate tyrants and spivs.

Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago
Reply to  Cathy Hill

Go for it. I suspect the vast majority of us agree with you. I think you nailed it. We have no interest in doing others down, or oppressing or claiming nationalistic exceptionalism. We are welcoming and tolerant of all who come in need or with respect and we just want the freedom to elect representatives from our OWN people who share and enable those values and will do the best for our nation. Not the authoritarian representatives of the nation next door who see us only as a place to take things from.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cynan
Cynan
Cynan
1 month ago

Indeed Welshness belongs to the Welsh people you ridiculous pink oaf ARTD!
The Tories will not win votes here by “pulling on a red jersey” or grudgingly criticising Westminster.
You will not win us over with gestures and trinkets. And you are unable to change your patronising, authoritarian, hectoring and downright nasty core values.
Honestly, just leave. Up sticks and move to Cheltenham or Hertfordshire or West Somerset where your kind traditionally gathers. You would be happier there. We would also be happier if you were there.
Welsh people just don’t trust Tories

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

Is this sudden change of direction a consequence of finding their lost Welshness, I wonder, or… to gain more votes in the future? Hmmm, a tough question…. yeah right. I’ve never trusted the party and never will, it does not have the interests of Cymru at heart.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

If, heaven forbid, I was right wing inclined, I’d vote for Gwlad, who are at least Welsh, not England’s cast offs and eternal snivelling nobodies.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

Welshness doesn’t belong exclusively to Labour. Its not owned by any party and certainly not by a branch office of the Westminster conservative club, to which our all of a sudden ‘pseudo Welsh RTD and brethren so desperately want to be.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
1 month ago

Welsh Conservatives? Surely an oxymoron?

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago
Reply to  Mick Tems

Welsh Labour, another oxymoron? They are British Labour in disguise.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cwm Rhondda
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

‘Welshness’ belongs to the Welsh people.
I invite the Conservative Party in Wales to start caring about the Welsh instead of displaying their usual dismissive condescension towards us.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Williams
Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago

What RT and his clan repeatedly fail or choose not to understand is merely selling English conservatism in Wales does not make it Welsh.

RT just can’t bring himself to mention let alone prioritise the word ‘Welsh’ amongst his priorities can he … “Proudly British, proudly Conservative…” FHS!

Steve George
Steve George
1 month ago

“Doesn’t” not “don’t”.

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve George

Diolch. Good to know we have the trivial English grammar police lurking about the site.

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
1 month ago

“Welshness doesn’t belong exclusively to Labour” ??? I can’t believe he said that, Welshness belongs to Labour??? The British Labour party in Wales have been happy to suppress the teaching of Welsh History in Welsh schools for the last 100 years. The British Labour party are devote unionists who have rebadged themselves as Welsh Labour in Wales to fool the electorate into thinking they are a Welsh focused party – they are Brits. Listen to Chris Bryant for example he’s an archetypal Dic Sion Daffydd just like that other Rhondda British Labour politician Lord Tonypandy.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

“We’re putting on that red shirt! And we’re building you a shiny new nuclear reactor. Oh, and we’ve got a book on the Queen for you”.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
1 month ago

This is not going to work. By embracing “Welshness”, RT will alienate the anti-Welsh, pro-British contingent of his party. Also, he is a bit late to the party. I don’t see the Labour and Plaid strongholds defecting to the Tories here anytime soon.

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