Conservatism, Character and Constitution

The fightback has only just begun

It seems very premature and very much a distant thought to be speaking about investment opportunities and job growth in Wales, when for the past 8 months, people’s livelihoods have been broken and shattered by a Labour-led government in Cardiff Bay that has failed to protect them, writes Felix Milbank.

The people of Wales have had a hard-hitting shock at the Welsh Governments poor performance and it’s no wonder that so many are counting down the days to next May’s Senedd Election, when they can finally wave goodbye to Mark Drakeford and welcome in a new administration led by Senedd Members who have a real vision for the future of Wales.

On next years ballot, Wales have a choice between two parties, led by two separately passionate Welshmen who seek to change Wales for the better. We can either vote for Adam Price, leader of Plaid Cymru, and chart ourselves on a course for an independent Wales or, we can support a man who believes in uniting the people of Wales – who from all walks of life, will work together to secure our young people a fighting chance in a post-COVID Wales – deliver on new jobs, growth and security for our industrial sector and a sustainable green nation that paves the way in adapting to, and mitigating against the growing threat of climate change.

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Paul Davies, will not be an unknown figure to those that read Gwydir. He’s a proud Welshman who has had both failures and successes within Welsh politics. His passion and determination for a better Wales is something that resonates with us all. Despite losing a by-election in 2000 and an election run for the Senedd in 2003, the business manager from Haverfordwest was finally given the opportunity to begin his time in the Welsh Political arena in 2011. At the gratitude of the electorate and after almost a decade into his public service, the people of Wales saw him for what he was, a Welshmen like us who shares our frustration and disappointment of how little has changed for the better. Elected leader of the Welsh Conservatives in 2018, Paul Davies has shown us that coming from a small village in west Wales does not stop you from being able to stand up for your community and earn your place on the ballot paper to be the First Minister of Wales.

Wales is often dressed as the ‘politically sleepy nation’ of the UK by her neighbours. However, 2019 showed us the complete opposite. Labour voters, Liberal Democrat voters and the silent Conservative voters in both North and South Wales realised the need for a change of direction in which the Welsh Conservative Party was able to facilitate.

The fightback against Welsh Labour and its out of touch attitude towards Welsh voters has begun.

The momentum for a Welsh Government led by Paul Davies and the Welsh Conservatives is not only growing but becoming popular. In a recent ‘Cabinet League Table’, a survey of party members published on the website ‘Conservative Home’ put Paul Davies 12.8% ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson when it came to popularity among members. Liz Truss, the Secretary of State for International Trade topped the poll with a net satisfaction rate of 75.4%.

As a nation, I believe that we are on the cusp of welcoming in a new era of Welsh Politics, where the people of Wales are championed not pitied, offered opportunity not redundancy and with support of the Welsh Conservatives, led by Paul Davies, we have an opportunity to save Wales from the last 20 years of incarceration under Welsh Labour, to have a party that excels our nation and champions Wales, its peoples and its culture, not only around the British Isles but on an international and global stage.

After years of Labour rule in Cardiff Bay, our nation needs a prescription of brwdfrydedd (ambition), to not only make it one of the leading Economies in Europe but also one of the most diverse and enriched societies.

We are a nation of 3 million strong and our patience has grown weary of waiting for Welsh Labour to put us, the people, in our deserved place at the heart of Welsh politics. We refuse to be told by an outdated party that has failed to serve the interests of Wales for two decades that they are the only option for a successful future. Welsh Labour has passed its sell by date, and a fresh, healthy, and compassionate Conservative Party led by Paul has the propensity to deliver us the perfect recipe to satisfy our deepest cravings of a governing party who will serve us first, not themselves.

I write this not necessarily to fellow Conservatives, but to our friends in the Labour Party who have been let down in our communities by broken promises and fractured trust. Together, we can throw out the monster from inside our wardrobe and walk together down a path of new beginnings in a land we all old dear to our hearts.

Felix Milbank is a Lobbyist and Policy Writer for EDS at the European People’s Party in Brussels.