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Caerphilly MP Wayne David’s blog: February 20

Published in Comment, News at 13:00, Monday February 20th, 2012.


Caerphilly MP Wayne David.

At one time, it would have been unheard of for a Conservative Government Minister to ‘praise’ a Plaid Cymru Council. After all, the Conservatives are on the ‘right’; Plaid is supposed to be on the ‘left’. The former are in favour of Britain; the latter want Welsh independence. And yet these days, the difference between the Tories and Plaid is very small.

I will explain. A little while ago, Ed Vaisey MP, the Minister for Culture in Cameron’s Government, praised Caerphilly County Borough Council for its Libraries policy. The Plaid-led Council was delighted with this accolade to such an extent that a number of Plaid Cymru Councillors, including the Leader of the Council, Allan Pritchard, have highlighted Vaisey’s comments on several occasions.

Why does this say a lot about the politics of Plaid Cymru? Because Cameron’s Government is unquestionably a right-wing administration and they only give praise to those who they believe are ‘on their side’. Moreover, to be proud of praise from a Conservative-led Government to me says only one thing – Caerphilly’s Plaid Cymru Councillors see praise from the Tories as a ‘badge of honour’.

Make no mistake about it, if the Tories congratulated me, I would consider that to be the biggest insult I’ve ever had. The reason why Plaid are so pleased to be Ed Vaisey’s friend is because Plaid in Caerphilly and the Conservatives now share largely the same politics.

This can be seen in the way the Plaid-led Council behave with regard to Libraries, the issue which drew praise from Ed Vaisey. Yes, the Council is investing in the Libraries Service but they are only bringing to fruition the plans drawn-up by the previous Labour administration, however at the same time they have scrapped the Schools Library Service and are in the process of closing Aberbargoed Library. This is hardly a policy approach that Plaid can be proud of.

The convergence of the political approach of Plaid and the Conservatives is also clearly seen with regard to the Nationalists’ policy of ‘freezing’ the Council Tax. Without making any criticism of the Tories, the Nationalists are instead enthusiastically trumpeting the same arguments that David Cameron puts forward with such enthusiasm. Plaid are telling the people of the Caerphilly Borough ‘vote for us and we will save you a few pennies on your Council Tax’. What they are not saying is that this will mean either huge increases in the future or drastic cuts in services for the most needy. This speaks volumes about the politics of Plaid Cymru in the Caerphilly Borough.

No wonder the Tories are so pleased with Plaid Cymru. And no wonder that Plaid are so happy to quote the Conservatives.

Wayne David
Labour MP for Caerphilly


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  • ronjames

    This blog is basically nonsense, no one has a monopoly on good ideas, and it is blatant electioneering to try and smear Plaid with being Welsh Tories. We already have two brands of Welsh Tory, the real tories in the Conservative Party and the wannabe Tories in the rump of Tony Balirs Labour Party, which by any measure you like to adapot is to the right of Plaid.

  • Steven Jacket

    wayne david you cannot criticise councillors in cardiff for raising council tax and caerphilly for freezing it! your barmy you do not know anything about politics, laid cymru is the only party that stands up for welsh people, if your voting record is anything to go by you should be ashamed

  • James Pritchard

    There is certainly one truth in politics and that is 'Plaid don't like it up um'. Wayne David accurately points to the facts which back up his argument that indeed Plaid are not too dissimilar to the Tories. Whether its their stealth charges, closing down library services or copying the flagship Tory policy of freezing council tax they have shown themselves to be on the right of the political spectrum. Everybody knows if you freeze council tax you will get less money in which will lead to more cuts. This is exactly what is happening in Tory controlled councils all over England.

    Plaid has had the opportunity to show that they are on the side of people in tough times but they have failed miserably. So intent on copying the Conservatives, they have stupidly opened themselves up rightful criticism from the residents of Caerphilly County Borough who have never in any great numbers voted for the Tories. Caerphilly County Borough deserves better from Plaid and in May we will have the opportunity to show them the red card.

  • Trefor Bond

    Plaid Cymru – Rents and service charges UP

    Conservatives – Utility Bills and costs UP

    Plaid Cymru – Death Taxes UP

    Conservatives – (Living) VAT UP

    Plaid Cymru – Car Parking Charges UP

    Conservatives – Petrol and Derv Costs UP

    Plaid Cymru – Council Tax – Flat lined

    Conservatives – Wages – DOWN

    Plaid Cymru – Employees still working – DOWN

    Conservatives – Those still working – DOWN

    Plaid Cymru – Proposing privatising social housing

    Conservatives – Privatising anything which moves.

    Conservatives refusing to speak to and consult medical experts on their destruction of the NHS in England.

    Plaid Cymru representatives refusing to consult the electorate on most things.

    Could Wayne David be right?????

    laid Cymru left of Centre?, I don`t really think so.

  • Cllr Colin Mann

    I wanted to respond to comments in Wayne David’s column.

    I can understand why the MP should seek to undermine the achievements of the Plaid-run council, given it is less than three months to the local elections. But readers deserve a bit of balance and they won’t get that from the MP.

    Firstly, he criticises the council leader Allan Pritchard for mentioning praise for our investment in libraries from a Westminster Minister. He forgot to mention that the Labour Welsh Government Minister Huw Lewis also praised the authority on the same issue.

    The MP also attacks the freeze in council tax. I guess he would have preferred a rise of 2.49%, as imposed by Labour-run Rhondda Cynon Taf council. Residents living in a Band D house in RCT pay £261 a year more than in Caerphilly.

    Caerphilly is the council which is creating 150 apprentice and training places for young people, has produced the highest recycling rates in South Wales and opened new libraries and Customer Service Centres at Bargoed, Blackwood and Risca. Others are being commissioned at Caerphilly Town and Cwmcarn.

    Of course, the best judges of an organisation’s performance are the users or residents. And in a recent survey 78% of them said they were satisfied with services – the highest level ever.

  • David Rees

    I don't like to call Mr. David's views as construed nonsense…but I am forced to call it construed nonsense. As Cllr Mann points out, Labour AM Huw Lewis has also praised Plaid's policy on Libraries. Is he a Tory as well then, Mr. David? Should Plaid be as disgusted by his praise? And anyway, you seem to make a lot out of the closing one library in a village right next to a large town!

    And as for the council tax freeze, you'd rather the people of Caerphilly were made to pay more of the money we haven't got? It may be a Tory policy, but I'd imagine its one of the few that the people of Caerphilly might approve of from that party!

    If the Labour Party somehow get back in this May, I'd hope they remember not close anything or shove the council tax up yet again, otherwise we'll be right back to the merry go round of who runs Caerphilly council which we've had for the last few elections…

  • Gareth Pratt

    The total ideas bankruptcy that exists in Plaid Cymru is once again illustrated by the fact that yet again, Plaid attacks on Labour focus on Tony Blair! Hey guys we've had two leaders since then. While you're at it, why not keep blaming Eden for Suez, or Lloyd-George for wrecking the Liberal Party. Do we keep banging on about how Plaid was under Ellis-Thomas or Dafydd Wigley? No we don't, because parties change and evolbe time. Blairs time has gone now. The fact that Plaid still witter on about Blair, shows how utterly fixated they are with the past, and unable they are to deal with the current resurgent nature of the Labour Party. They have no new ideas other than to reuse and recycle old Tory ones.

  • john owen

    The Labour party may have had two leaders since Tony Blair but his influence is still strong in the Labour Party, I may be naive but it always amazes me that Labour leaders like Lord Kinnock and Tony Blair see politics as a way to make money. My proverbial grandmother, a strong Labour activist a century ago must be turning in her grave to see whats become of her party. Of the leaders since Blair, Gordon Browne was ineffective, being a Scottish Lawyer with no contact with the working class and Ed Miliband may be an intellectual but his contact with the population is as estoric as David Cameron whose only job was that of a PR man. I`m not a member but looking a the rest the only way I can look in the mirror when shaving is to remember I`m a Plaid voter.

  • Arthur

    So it`s you John Owen, a few of the towns residents wondered who it was.

  • john owen

    By the results of the polls theres more then just me, and I dont feel the need to hide under a nom de plume.

  • john owen

    As a PS, I suppose the Labour Party should be my natural home, but Imalways remember my grandmother saying, it was a mistake letting the English join the Labour Party in Wales, because they have a different agenda, they are more concerned with what happens in England than whats happens in Wales. Like in the coment from Educating Rita, they are marching to a different drum, not a better one.

  • ronjames

    Why is it that Arthur and his friends dont mind people voting for the the Labour Party (aka the British Nationalists),the Conservative Party (aka the English Nationalists), bur objectd to people voting for Plaid(aka the Welsh Nationalists), isnt that a form of colonialism?.