At the Brink of Bankruptcy

And so to the last leaflet that I have time to review, from the Conservatives (courtesy of AW). And perhaps they’ve finally learned that exporting jobs to rich Tory constituencies at the same time as claiming to be fighting for local businesses doesn’t go down terribly well, because this one comes from the printing presses down Swansea way.

This leaflet is reasonably well designed with a good mix of images and text. I like the Q&A section – it gives an opportunity for the candidate to come across in an informal, conversational style. However he does the classic politician trick of not answering the questions – which is a bit of a surprise, because presumably he also asked them. So he doesn’t tell us what his first priority would be if elected MP, only saying that “one of the most important issues… is crime and community safety”. Or is that two issues?

I like the idea of weekly street surgeries. It would make a nice change because Alun Michael is practically invisible in the constituency – except for the ‘vote Labour’ signs outside his expensive house (largely paid for by you and me) come election time.

The factfile is a good way of presenting personal information, although on the same page I still consider “problem parking in Penarth” to be something way down the list of priorities.

Unsurprisingly for the party placed second in 2010 we have the two-horse race thesis, this time with a graph that was so curiously missing from the Lib Dem pamphlet. It’s worth quoting what I said back here about these ‘two-horse race’ arguments:

the ‘two horse race’ raises its tired nag’s head once more. I dislike these for the following reasons:

  • The graphs universally use misleading axes in order to distort the statistical reality
  • They lie (look no further than one recent by-election)
  • Worst of all, they attempt to stifle democracy by telling people not to vote for any other than two parties

I’ve taken Craig to task before for not coming clean on the tax breaks for millionaires, although the increase in the personal tax allowance is to be welcomed. Meanwhile, he’s banging the same drum on police spending “more time on the beat” even though this is ineffective in reducing crime. It’s a peculiar approach for someone whose apparent priority is “crime and community safety”. And his claim that ‘inflation is down’ needs to be put into historical context where it looks as though the Conservatives have spent the last few years focusing on nothing other than pushing inflation up.

Finally, not a word of Welsh. Not that you’d expect it from the Conservatives, who will try to con you into thinking they’re a Welsh party through affixing ‘Welsh’ in front of their name.

3 Sylw

Filed under Conservatives, Democracy, Elections, Westminster

3 responses to “At the Brink of Bankruptcy

  1. David Morris Jones

    I have undertaken not to enter into any controvery or debate on PAB. However perhaps this is an opportunity to pay tribute to the sterling service PAB has performed in the course of this by-election campaign .
    However I would like to just tweak a few facts here if I may:- .
    1. There are actually (for the first time ever, admittedly) no “Vote Labour” signs in any of the many windows of Alun Michael’s house. (I double-checked this morning). PAB regulars can make of that what they will.
    2. True the Conservatives may not have included any Welsh in their Craig Williams literature – but, as Craig himself admits he’s not fully conversant in Welsh, might I venture the thought that it might appear somewhat hypocritical for him to include a message in Welsh in his literature as it might give a false impression.
    3. Before we accuse the Conservatives of being “anti-Welsh language” perhaps it behoves us to remember that it was the Conservatives who first proposed setting up S4C (before Labour did ), and it was the Conservative Government, albeit with the odd hiccup, who put it on air. It was also the Conservatives who introduced the Welsh Language Act.
    Carry on the good work PAB.

  2. Thanks for the comments David. On point 2, the Welsh language is a gift to all the people of Wales, regardless of who speaks it. You seem to be suggesting that only people who are bilingual should be entitled to use Welsh on election literature?
    On point 3, I acknowledge absolutely the contribution made to the Welsh language by Conservative governments in the past, two of the most important of which you mention in your comment. But I don’t think there are many subjects where past good deeds can be used for present credit indefinitely. My point in the last sentence was more related to the fact that there is no Welsh Conservative Party – or is there? Is David Cameron, or David Jones, or Andrew RT head of this party – if indeed such a party exists? I’m drawing attention to the Conservatives’ constitutional mess in the hope that they might some day get round to fixing it.

  3. David Morris Jones

    All sound points and well made PAB. I think I was, albeit clumsily, trying to make the point that possibly some non-Welsh speaking candidates might perhaps have decided not to send out election messages in Welsh in order not to give a false impression that they are Welsh-speaking – although I have no idea whether this is the reason Craig Williams did not issue material in Welsh.
    .As far as the existence – or otherwise – of a “Welsh Conservative Party” is concerned, all I know is that during the campaign I checked from time to time a web site http://www.welshconservatives.com/ and found to my surprise that I couldn’t find any mention of Craig Williams, or indeed the by-election, on it.
    In the meantime I have to say I think anyone involved in planning any future election campaign can do no better than to review the information available here on PAB. It’s all absolutely invaluable.

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