This article has been written by CWS Board Member Cllr Adrian Mason:
Given the significance of events of the last few days, the outcome which will have profound influences on Wales and the Welsh people, I was curious as to why Welsh Conservative Assembly Members maintained and continue to do so, a wall of silence?
What is commonly known as the Brexit White Paper, following on from the Chequers Agreement is a significant piece of impending legislation that will determine the United Kingdom’s future arrangements with the European Union and the World at large. Given the controversy that these proposed arrangements have produced, I was interested to know where our Conservative AMs stood on the issue. So, last week, I sent out an open Tweet to them asking for just this information. Did they agree with the Chequers deal and subsequent White Paper: Yes or no?
Unfortunately, I had no response, not even a private communication to answer my question. It led me to believe that they are keeping their powder dry. It may have something to do with the impending leadership election, nobody prepared to put their head above the parapet for fear of upsetting Conservative Members. Where they then putting their own political aspirations above their democratic duty to speak out on matters of national importance?
It is no secret that very many of our current Conservative AMs campaigned for remain. Notable exceptions of course were Andrew RT Davies and Janet Finch Saunders. Both valiantly supported Vote Leave in defiance of the wishes of the Westminster government and many senior Members in the Welsh Conservative Party.
Once again, Welsh Conservatives are out of step with the electorate by nominating two candidates for leader both of whom campaigned to remain. As we all know, Wales voted to leave the European Union and yet, whoever is elected, every political party leader in Wales will have campaigned for remain. How can this represent the majority?
It is an open secret that some Conservative AMs are very much open to the prospect of a grand coalition of enemies, teaming up with Plaid Cymru to seize power from Labour. This unlikely alliance between Unionists and Nationalists would betray the deeply felt views of both sets of voters. Nevertheless, this is what they plan. With both leadership candidates emanating from the left of centre of the Conservative Party, there will inevitably be a vacuum of representation for those who occupy centre-right views. Can they assure voters that as long as they are the leader of the Welsh Conservatives that there would never be an alliance with Plaid?
The Assembly in future, will offer the electorate a very narrow political viewpoint and that must be to the deficit of democracy. There is no desire to promote policies that set aside Conservatives from the socialists such as low taxation, enhancing enterprise and the rolling back of nanny-state type initiatives. The general support of Conservative AMs towards minimum alcohol prices is a prime example of supporting left-wing policies.
The two Conservative leadership contenders really do need to talk more about their own political ideologies so that Members of the Welsh Conservative Party are able to have an informed choice before casting their votes. It may well be that there really isn’t any choice at all in substance and it will all be down to personalities, but at least we would know what we are getting and, more importantly, where they stand on the current issues relating to Wales. It is all very well them ‘spinning’ their way through the Country taking advantage of nice photo opportunities. What people really want to see is substance including where they want to see Wales post Brexit. They can start off by telling us where they stand on the current White Paper.
Reverting back to my original question then, now updated after last night. Do Conservative AMs support the contents of the Brexit White Paper: Yes or no?