Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Do the Tories know what they are doing?

I've always harboured considerable doubts about the Welsh Tories's competence to govern in Cardiff Bay and my doubts were realised when they published their draft budget which protects health spending but fails to say what happens to other spending priorities. We have previously commented on this in an earlier blog.

Further evidence of Welsh Tory incompetence is their claim that the draft Localism Bill which was published on the 13th December 2010, will give Welsh taxpayers a veto over council tax increases. Jonathan Morgan AM claims that this Bill will allow taxpayers in Wales the power to demand a referendum over council tax increases and this press release was published in full by our wannabee Clwyd South AM, Cllr Paul Rogers. Clearly neither of these two Tories have actually read the explanatory notes to this Bill otherwise they would have realised that very little in this Bill affects Wales because local government in Wales is a devolved issue and remains so. The only part of the Bill that really affects Wales is Clause 57 which reads:
Clause57 – Assembly Measures dealing with referendums on council tax increases.

216. Clause 57 confers legislative competence on the National Assembly for Wales. The clause allows the Assembly to pass laws (known as Assembly Measures) in relation to local referendums on proposed increases in council tax levels. This would enable the Assembly to make provision for Wales corresponding to the provision made for England by clause 56.

The Bill therefore grants the Welsh Government the power to legislate to allow a referendum IF IT SO CHOOSES TO UTILISE THAT POWER. I would argue that why waste money on a referendum which could cost as much if not more than the council tax increase proposed.

This is yet another example of Tory incompetence and really raises the question of whether candidates with so little knowledge of devolved government deserve the Welsh public's vote.

32 comments:

Marford Tory said...

The fact is the tory candidates are pointing out that the UK government are ensuring Wales isn't left in a position where legislation only benefits England.

Plaid Gwersyllt clearly is ignoring the fact that in Wales council tax doubled under Labour however it does not surprise me one bit that he is advocating council tax rises.

The Secretary of State for Wales has made clear that one of her key roles is to ensure legislation in the house of parliarment recognises Welsh affairs.

Anonymous said...

Who are Plaid to slate the tories? IWJ is completely incompetent and is wrecking the Welsh Economy

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Has IWJ the tools to manage the economy? i.e. Corporation Tax. Of course he hasn't and that's one of the reasons why we need a Yes vote on March 3rd.

John Broughton said...

The current arrangements in Wales [even worse if a yes vote is obtained] leave little scope for holding the Assembly and local authorities to account.

The Assembly effectively determines council tax through subventions.

Empowering the electorate at the most local level is highly desirable in any democracy worthy of the name. Erfo Cardiff should embrace the ability to hold local referenda.

If Plaid is genuine in its assertion that it "represents the people" it will embrace this Conservative policy which improves democracy.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Referendums cost money John! Why don't we just do direct democracy and leave it at that? because its too cumbersome and slow that is why we have elected representatives.

You advocate localism but you oppose powers that will simplify the process, you are a hypocrite.

Surely power in Cardiff is a lot closer to people in all parts of Wales than power concentrated in Westminster. AM's and Welsh Government Ministers are FAR more accessible than MP's and UK Ministers.

Emma B said...

Referendums cost money, this one is costing the taxpayer a fortune during very difficult times. A yes vote for Wales has no guarentees of extra funding from Westminster.

Plaid Gwersyllt should read the daily post today - Nick Bourne calling on the Labour-Plaid assembly government to leave the "cardiff bubble"

Royston Jones said...

My enjoyment of these recent exchanges is less than complete because the name John Broughton means nothing to me.

Could he, or someone else, please provide some information.

John Broughton said...

You keep on missing the point Cardiff sucks up power for the aggrandisement of the institution rather than efficient government. Since the Assembly came into being power has ebbed away from local authorities.

Call me a hypocrite [or any other offensive name that comes to mind] but my interest is good governance something yet to be achieved by the Assembly.

Anonymous said...

Excellent blog by Cheryl Gillan

http://blog.conservatives.com/index.php/2010/12/30/we-mustnt-let-labour-off-the-hook-in-wales/

Anonymous said...

Emma B - Which referendum are you talking about, the powers referendum in Wales on 3rd March or the AV referendum on 5th May or the referendums in England following the passing og the Localism Bill? You seem as confused about Welsh politics as your little mentor Paul Rogers, remind me Emma, how long have you lived in Wales?

Anonymous said...

You keep on missing the point Cardiff sucks up power for the aggrandisement of the institution rather than efficient government

and Westminster doesn't! Your arguments don't add up, pillock.

Anonymous said...

Jonn Broughton is a right wing Tory from somewhere in middle England, probably moved as part of the white flight movement to govern the Welsh. Now lives in Llandrillo plays no part in linguistic or cultural life and his only involvement is with the ex pat community which is why he's a Tory activist and agent and campaign manager for the vastly experienced Tory candidate for Clwyd South, Paul Rogers. If you follow his utterances on Twitter, he's the personification of Nigel Farage. He should be in UKIP or the BNP, he's far too extreme for the Welsh Conservatives.

John Broughton said...

You really need to understand political alignment. UKIP are of the right and the BNP is an extreme left wing socialist party.

As for your assertions about my involvement in Welsh culture and village/rural life just ask the two Plaid county council members for this corner of Denbighshire and they will put you right.

It is dangerous to conflate one's prejudices with facts as you do.

Royston Jones said...

I've heard the BNP called many things but never "an extreme left wing socialist party".

So this means they're not really fighting ideological opponents in the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party and the rest, they're merely competing for members in the same sector of the political spectrum.

I can only assume that such a ludicrous statement is based on a half digested understanding of 'Strasserism'. Which might be OK, were it not for the fact that the English extreme right has always adored the man who murdered the Strasser brothers - Adolf Hitler.

When it gives Nazi salutes, when it celebrates Hitler's birthday, when it regards non-whites as inherently inferior, then it is a fascist. On the extreme right of politics. No matter what John Broughton may say.

John Broughton said...

You are deluded Royston, read the BNP's manifesto pure left wing socialistic rubbish.

Hitler, since you mentioned him, also led a party dedicated to nationalism and socialism - nothing right wing about his party either.

You simply cannot deny deny the facts.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

I suppose this Wikipedia definition of the BNP is wrong then:

The British National Party (BNP) is a far-right political party formed as a splinter group from the National Front by John Tyndall in 1982. The BNP restricted membership to people it referred to as "indigenous Caucasian", effectively excluding non-whites, until 2009 when its constitution was challenged in the courts on grounds of racial discrimination

Royston Jones said...

I have no intention of reading the BNP manifesto, though obviously John Broughton has. My guess would be that what he views as "socialistic rubbish" is in fact benefits and privileges very narrowly applied.

I hope someone is recording these John Broughton insights, for the world should know that Hitler was really a misunderstood socialist!

And if the Nazis and the BNP are to the left of John Broughton where the hell does that locate him!

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Congratulations Royston, you have stitched up John Broughton nicely. Don't worry his uterrings are safe in our archives for future use!

John Broughton said...

And what has that to do wth right or left.

Incidentally if you know anything about Wiki then you will also know its limitations and innacuracies,

Royston Jones said...

I can imagine other Tories reading this blog shouting, 'Shut him up somebody, for God's sake!'

When in a hole . . .

Anonymous said...

Broughton is an ignorant bully who is doing more damage to the Conservative cause in Clwyd South than even that other idiot John Bell. Rogers needs to ditch him now.

John Broughton said...

You are a pathetic bunch who cannot argue your corner. Any comment I've made here I stand by.

When you apply logic and reason there is merit in continuing with a discussion.

Someone used the word bully; generally it is the bully who first uses the word- for the sake of clarity that means "anonymous" who has such courage of conviction so as to supress their name.

Courage mon brave!

Anonymous said...

Oh dear the man who can't tell the difference between fascism and socialism has finally lost the plot. Game, set and match to Plaid Cymru I think.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Having known that great radical and proud Welshman Royston Jones for more years than I care to remember the last word I would use to describe him would be delusional. He's probably a lot more rational than many I've met. There's a lot to be said for the Jacks!

The Judge said...

"Broughton is an ignorant bully who is doing more damage to the Conservative cause in Clwyd South than even that other idiot John Bell. Rogers needs to ditch him now."

No! We need Laughing Boy to keep him! Every time Broughton taps his talons on his keyboard, he costs Rogers a couple of hundred votes.

Royston Jones said...

By a strange quirk, while I was enjoying John Broughton's contributions here I was also posting on Glyn Davies MP's blog. https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=34112832&postID=8050907366189504450

Glyn argues that the Tory party in Wales is now much more Welsh than before. Mmm.

Nothing I said over there could prove my point about the Conservatives being an essentially English party better than John Broughton and his playmates.

Anonymous said...

Well we all know the Stapleys will never be in power!

Ian Johnson said...

On-topic.

The Localism Bill is an excellent example of why we need a yes vote on 3rd March. At a stroke it will remove the need to pore over hundreds of pages of legislation and explanatory notes to work out what is and is not relevant to Wales.

We will make our laws and England will make theirs.

Marford Tory makes the point that the Conservatives are ensuring that Wales has access to the same opportunities as England.

This is correct, but there are 2 points.

1. The mirror clause, which should be introduced whenever a new power is given in England, is not used in other areas of the Bill, e.g. duties regarding homelessness, where powers are given to ministers in England, but not to Welsh Ministers. Plaid will argue at the Bill's second reading for these to be included.

2. The press release from Jonathan Morgan (published before the Bill, incidentally) very strongly suggests that the council tax referenda would apply to Wales. Given that the boundaries for Welsh Assembly powers are fluid and it can be difficult to determine who actually has the power to do something (again a reason for a Yes! vote to tidy that up) this is highly misleading - to the media to whom it was sent and to the public who were the intended recipients. Of course, this was before the Bill was actually published, so it might be better to give him the benefit of the doubt and suggest that he (or his press team) had been wrongly briefed by his counterparts in London, rather than deliberately misleading. Neither outlook is fantastic, though!

The Judge said...

"Well we all know the Stapleys will never be in power!"

There are enough of us to form a bigger bloc than Clwyd South Tories! :-)

Anonymous said...

John Broughton's comments are the funniest things I've seen this Christmas. Unfortunately I suppose no one would believe he's real if he had a radio or television programme.

Anonymous said...

I reckon that if you put Broughton on TV and radio he'd be like like Kelvin Mackenzie on QT. Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other US shock jocks would welcome Broughton onto their shows he'd be the nearest you'd get to Dan Hannan.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

John Broughton's wit and wisdom can be followed at @grahnat on Twitter.