Thursday, September 29, 2005

Aussies dont give a xxxx for political correctness

I have always liked the Australian sense of humour and this article in today’s Telegraph goes a long way to explaining why.

In a splendid send up of the minority rights industry, students at the University of New England Australia have appointed a “heterosexual rights officer” whose job will be to “promote the welfare of heterosexuals.”

Ridiculous? Of course it is. But Mr Dave Allen, the holder of the post, knows that it is no more ludicrous than appointing "rights officers" for every other kind of racial and sexual group.

When not promoting “straight rights” Dave apparently spends his time on blokish activities like shooting and drinking beer. So tonight I raise my glass in his honour and wish him “bottoms up” or perhaps, given the circumstances, that should be “cheers.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The lady in Cardiff Bay knows what’s good for you

Plaid Cymru’s Leanne Wood exemplified socialist thinking in the Assembly yesterday as she condemned Conservative politicians for encouraging people to become property owners by buying their own council houses.

The Conservatives would now like to extend this scheme to those living in housing association properties thereby enabling yet more people to get onto the property ladder.

I pointed out to Ms Wood that surveys consistently show that these ideas are popular with those who are the main beneficiaries. Back came the rather sinister reply “Sometimes, what individuals want is incompatible with the greater good”

Indeed! How silly of the Conservative Party to think that politicians are elected to serve the people and to carry out their wishes. Leanne knows only too well that we are greater beings who always know exactly what is good for are electors whether they like it or not.

A full transcript can be found on this link

Saturday, September 24, 2005

New website

My new MP website can be accesed on the David Davies MP link.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Uganda visit

Apologies for not blogging for a fortnight. In justification I was in Uganda for a week with a small group of British MPs. “Junketing MPs” some may say, I would strongly beg to differ. Within Uganda approximately 1.2million people are living in refugee camps as a result of the rebel activities of the “Lords Resistance Army.” We visited one of these camps near the Sudanese border which was an experience that will remain etched on our minds for many years.

I was also able to meet with an inspirational constituent, Kate Rees from Llandogo who has spent 20 years helping homeless children in the country. We spent an afternoon at an orphanage with which she is involved. The desperate poverty and yet surprising cheerfulness of the children who were there was humbling.

The delegation consisted of 2 Conservative and 3 Labour MPs and 2 members of the House of Lords and I can honestly say that political differences will play no part in the report which we will shortly submit to Parliament.

The political situation in Uganda is somewhat complex but in brief we will be urging the Ugandan government to deal more effectively with the LRA insurgents and to begin re-settling the displaced people currently living within the camps. We will also aim to give practical support for the move away from a one party state towards democracy with multi-party elections expected to take place early next year.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

upsetting the grievance brigade

Oh dear. The legions of the politically correct failed to see the funny side of my application for a lottery grant to explore the traditions of the "settled" community. I have been branded a racist and several Assembly Members have now said that if I am not “disciplined” they will report me to the Commission for Racial Equality.

I am not quite sure why criticising a fatuous lottery grant and calling for everyone (including a minority of travellers who are of largely white European stock anyway) to obey planning regulations and clean up their litter could be construed as racist.

Mind you I half hope the threat is carried out as I would dearly like another opportunity to quiz the CRE about what they are doing to prevent racism and bigotry amongst all ethnic and religious groups within Britain. I am still waiting for them to sign my compact.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Assembly building "on budget"!!??

A glossy publication from the Welsh Assembly and funded by the generosity of council tax payers across Wales arrives on my desk. It boasts that the “Landmark” new Welsh Assembly building will be finished this summer “on budget”. In fact, when it was first mooted in 1998, the estimated cost of the building was £10 million. Since then AMs became used to the regular announcements that costs had gone up - except for a period when worked stopped during a dispute between the architects and the Assembly Government. When the building is finished the price tag will be around £66 million – over three times the amount which Monmouthshire Council tax payers have lost as a result of the under-funding of their council. I wonder how many will feel that their money has been well spent!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Economic Development in Wales

A recent poster campaign by the Welsh Assembly’s development agency summed up all that is wrong with economic policy in Wales. At one site, in Abergavenny, potential entrepreneurs were urged to set up their own businesses. My objection – the poster was entirely in Welsh in the heart of the most anglicised part of the principality! It might have pleased the Welsh Language lobby, not mention the advertising industry, but a serious entrepreneur would have concluded that those responsible know nothing about researching your target market.

Across the world there is a growing acceptance about the role of government in developing an economy. In summary this should be about putting in place a decent infrastructure – transport links, IT connections and so on.

Ensuring that the available workforce are healthy and well educated, that reasonable standards for employees are complied with, and reducing taxation to a level which encourages existing businesses to expand and outside companies to relocate.

Short term state help for those wanting to set up businesses is also important but will only be effective if the above conditions already exist.

Policymakers in Wales have largely ignored the most important conditions and AMs demonstrate their fragile grasp of basic economics on a regular basis. One day they will call for more to be done in the third world. The next day the same AMs will be condemning a bank for moving a call centre to India.

Let us ignore the fact that the jobs created in the third world by outsourcing are responsible for the increased living standards which politicians claim to want. Instead let us remember that companies go to India and China because they offer a better climate in which to do business.

In Wales major road building projects are on hold. The health service is a disgrace, well run local schools are being shut down and we are turning out an army of graduates who can now get a degree in “surf studies” but are unable to understand basic maths.

Company taxation levels are far lower across the Irish sea something which has surely played a far greater role in Ireland’s economic success than it’s membership of the Euro.

Here we have opted to keep taxes high and spend spend spend in the public sector. The workforce of the Welsh Development Agency alone has doubled over the last few years. Ministers believe that more “advisors” and “consultants” will equal more jobs.

This has appeared to work. Many jobs have been created in the last five years, but almost all of them are in the public sector and being paid for by the dwindling number of people who are actually contributing something tangible to the economy.

To be clear we should support and increase in teachers nurses and policemen who make a very important contribution to the economy for reasons already explained. But there is plenty of scope for saving money which could be spent improving the infrastructure, educating the workforce and cutting taxes, allowing Wales to compete with the rapidly emerging economies of Eastern Europe and China.