Lib Dems can conquer Wales!

On the streets of West Wales there are a lot of people disaffected with New Labour. Indeed, that’s something that people like to emphasise to me: the ‘New’ part. Whether people hark back to a Labour under Attlee or Wilson., I’m not sure, but I catch their drift.

Maybe there will be a Tory government after the next general election, or maybe not. No-one knows for sure. But one thing of which I’m certain is that the Tories will not make much headway here in Wales. Only in the pockets of Monmouth, South Pembrokeshire and Clywd West are they strong, together with a tiny part of Cardiff.

There are massive opportunities for the Liberal Democrats in Wales, and the time is right for candidates to get out on their soap-boxes on a Saturday in town centres, generating a bit of noise, pushing the party’s policies forward. One man or woman, one vote. The vote of someone on a low income is of equal worth to someone who hides away in the suburbs. Getting the Lib Dem message across on Council Tax, environmental issues, social policies, health, education and the economy is the key.

A lot of people are not aware of certain core policies of our party. The biggy is abolishing Council Tax in my opinion. It really tells punters in no uncertain way that the Liberal Democrats are different to the other parties. It gets people listening, it’s different, not the same old bloody message from political propagandists. Why should a mature person who happens to live in a nice house and who is on a low income pay more Council Tax than somebody who lives in a flat but whose income is five times greater?

An interview I conducted recently with Mike German suggests to me the Welsh Liberal Democrats do take environmental issues seriously. The Welsh Assembly’s Labour-Plaid administration policy on the environment is muddled and incomplete by comparison, while the Tories in Wales could not care less, as long as they can keep farmers happy, and continue being opposed to wind farm technology.

I feel Plaid voters, and ex-Labour and Tory voters may flock to the Lib Dems if we can get our message of difference across. The Welsh Liberal Democrats can, I believe, conquer Wales by the next Assembly elections.

* Bob Innes is a Liberal Democrat member in West Wales who blogs at Rhetoric Innes.

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This entry was posted in Wales.


  • It would be helpful thought if we could speak in the language they understand bob. As a member of the liberal democrats myself I have pointed out that we need to produce all our leaflets bilingually so to appeal to the Welsh speakers in the community across Wales. But the reply I often get is ‘yeah, well they can speak English as well’. If we are going to the votes out then we need to talk in the language of our electors.

  • Alun Williams 6th Sep '08 - 12:38pm

    I disagree, I think its more than 21% in my opinion.

    My second point is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats really need to develop their Welsh identity in Wales. Labour and Conservatives have really made strides during the last few years to develop this. But we are really behind on this one.

    Lastly, I know its horrible to say but we really need to improve the quality of our assembly AM team. We have one or two very good ones in there, but unfortunately we have also Eleanor Burnham. She really needs to go away.

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