Monday, August 18, 2008

Me a Tory? Never!

As I mentioned yesterday, I was at a wedding at the weekend. I met some new and interesting people, many of them barristers or solicitors since the groom was a partner in a law firm. As you'd expect, when I mentioned my job, politics became a topic of conversation. There was one person in particular who questioned me on a lot of my core beliefs when it comes to economic policy, the future of education in Wales and criminal justice. Me being me, I had an answer to all his questions and may have ever so slightly gone into ranting/ preaching mode. I wasn't really following party lines, but rather giving my own view on how I see Wales developing in the future. It was good fun to be honest, and it was nice to be able to discuss things and speak on behalf of myself rather than Plaid Cymru, which is what I usually do since I'm paid to do so!

My vision and policies are based on pragmatic but socialist principles. No shock there. Much are based on the experiences I gained during my time in Ireland, and in particular, the time I spent representing Ireland on various European committees. I won't go into them here, but imagine my shock when the person I was talking to at the wedding asked if I'd ever considered running as a candidate in England as my policies were so marketable. In particular, he asked me to consider running for the Conservative party! Imagine my reaction to that...

It got me thinking that there might be something seriously wrong with my ideas. So I checked them with some of my really left wing friends, and they on the whole agreed with me. That was a relief! So then I started thinking how lost the Conservative party must be if one of its members thought my policies and ideas made sense, and might be transferred to their party? I much preferred the Tories when they were firmly right wing and proud of it. At least then, I knew what they stood for and knew why I hated them. This soft and moderate approach is just so creepy... Not only will they be hugging those in hoodies now, but also handing out teddy bears to all the electorate before the next general election.

I can safely say that I will never do a 'Guto Bebb' and change my allegiances from Plaid Cymru to the Tories. I just couldn't do it. I remember what the 80s were like under them, and I hate the Euro sceptic nature of the party. There are tons of other reasons, and no doubt I will rant about those in future posts. But for now, let me just firmly state that you will never see me running as a Tory candidate in England. Or anywhere else for that matter! If I do, you have my full permission to have me sectioned as there's no way I'd even consider doing so unless I was having some kind of serious mental breakdown. Not that I'm saying that you have to be insane to be a Tory of course... honest!

9 comments:

Ordovicius said...

imagine my shock when the person I was talking to at the wedding asked if I'd ever considered running as a candidate in England as my policies were so marketable. In particular, he asked me to consider running for the Conservative party!

The "why don't you run for the Conservative Party?" line is an old favourite among Tories.

Heledd Fychan said...

Ah, so I should hear that again in the future then! First time its ever been directed at me, hence my shock but good to know its nothing to do with me coming across as being right wing!

Glyn Davies said...

So the Tories don't quite fit the stereotype that you would like. Perhaps you should just be a bit more prepared to listen to what Welsh Conservatives are saying. Our committment to an economically and culturally successful Wales is every bit as strong as yours. It would be a pity if someone who writes as well as you do, carries on living in the past - and with your Montgomeryshire roots as well.

Heledd Fychan said...

Ah, but you must remember that I was talking about the Tories in England not Wales in my post. And I definitely think they are a different breed to the Welsh Conservatives as I'm sure you'd agree. The vast majority are anti Welsh devolution, and I could never see eye to eye with them.. And neither could many Welsh Tories that I know in because of that!

There are many positive things I could say about how the Welsh Conservative Party has responded to Devolution but I honestly don't like the Conservative party as a UK party despite the re-branding - far too many of the policies are similar to New Labours, and not in a good way. There's also a very silly reason. I can't stand David Cameron, he's far too similar to Tony Blair. He's also managed to let a heavy door in Norman Shaw South swing back and hit me in the face on three separate occasions. I know he's a busy man, but surely he can hold a door open? I'm sure its not intentional, but no one else has done it to me since I've been working in Parliament!

david h jones said...

you need to think more about policies and less about labels. I cringe at some of the positions the left wing took in the 1980s too.

www.sionjobbins.com
The Legacy Thatcher and the 1980s (Cambria April 2007)

Heledd Fychan said...

I also cringe at the things I was forced to wear in the 80s... Not a good decade in many ways! Thanks for the link to that article.

Let me assure you it is because of policies not labels that I could never be a Conservative. Whilst there are some policies all parties agree on, there are also vast contrasts and I find my politics and own view point is better matched to Plaid than any other party. I have always kept an open mind at all times, and if another party proposes something I agree with I have no problem saying that. Indeed,I did come out on this blog supporting David Davies when he took his stance over civil liberties recently.

In the same way, I don't always agree 100% with my own party, but I agree with the vast majority hence why I'm a member.Easily, I could have written a post with the title: "Me a Lib Dem? Never!!" or "Me a Labour supporter? Never!". Plaid Cymru is my party of choice, and that's that.

It will be interesting to see what will happen to political parties in Wales in the future, assuming the next referendum is won. New ones might emerge to reflect the new Wales.. Maybe that will force all of us to re-consider our allegiances, maybe not. As always, time will tell!

Richard Thomson said...

can't stand David Cameron, he's far too similar to Tony Blair. He's also managed to let a heavy door in Norman Shaw South swing back and hit me in the face on three separate occasions.

I wonder what it is about Tory leaders and doors. I once held a door open into the Central Lobby for Ian Duncan Smith. Gentleman that he undoubtedly is, he then immediately stood aside to let an attractive young lady through, who took her time in so doing [After you! No, after you! No, I insist, after you! Oh, ok then, thank you!], leaving me to hold the door all the while.

Result? She thanked him for his 'courtesy', he went on his way without a backward glance, and I was left with a sore arm for my troubles... it would never have happened in Holyrood :-)

John said...

They never give up... So far in a couple of months I've been invited to join the Tories, Lib Dems, and, err, Plaid Glyndwr (one man and his spouse, I think...)Mind you, I suppose Owain himself started off in a small way ... :)

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

What are your beliefs In re Welsh economy?