Thursday, 19 January 2012
No trip to seaside for Welsh Conservatives
The Welsh Conservatives are to scrap their annual conference with only two weeks to go. They’re replacing it with a rally. The big question is, why?
It was only under three weeks ago that they were sending out invitations. It would seem quite bizarre to cancel it at such short notice. Their official reasons are here in quotes,
“2012 is an important year for Welsh Conservatives and we need to continue the work we have begun in building our activist base.” So there you have it.
It’s an important year although there is no explanation as to why it’s so important. Surely if they are building their activist base, a conference would be a good place for all these “activists” to meet and debate and discuss and meet their elected representatives.
But “particularly important are the upcoming council elections across Wales, and in order to give these the fullest support, we are changing our plans for Welsh Conservative Party conference this year. The new format will be a one-day Rally launching our Local Government Campaign for party activists.”
The local government elections are held every four year. The party has had all the time in the world to plan for the event. If the party runs the country with the same degree of forward planning we need to all start worrying.
No, none of the reasons hold water.
There must either be a catastrophic fall in the number of those ordinary delegates wishing to spend two-days by the sea side in Llandudno that they’ve had to cancel at the last minute. Or the recession is even deeper than previously thought and it’s even hit the Conservative party hard. So hard indeed that they worry they can’t pay the bills. It sounds like the real world, doesn't it.
Of course, there could be a political reason. Cabinet ministers just don’t regard Wales as a priority and have just refused to commit to coming to the Welsh conference. Their trips out of London this year will be to Scotland to try to prop up the union.
Or they will stay at home to help Boris remain as Mayor of London. In either event Wales is not in Central Office's game plan.
The Conservative party Scottish conference is still to go ahead, as planned, even though there are council elections there.
But there in lies the rub, Wales isn't threatening to take its ball away and quit the Union. Those rebellious Scots get all the attention because of their tantrums. Result attention, for the Scots and Wales are put firmly in their place. No conference. Spending money on a Welsh conference, where's the gain?
Wales was waiting with bated breath to Andrew R T Davies’s first speech as leader of the opposition and leader of the party in Wales. Oh, sorry, got that wrong he’s not leader of the party in Wales that’s David Cameron. And as leader the PM's, told his Welsh membership to stand at ease until he’s ready to make an appearance.
Oh Mr Davies when will you get your first standing ovation from the members, not this year clearly?