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Extraordinary circumstances

Betsan Powys | 06:58 UK time, Tuesday, 30 September 2008

David Cameron walks across a narrow walkway high above the conference centre's vast entrance hall to get to his latest round of tv and radio interviews.

A nice fusion of form and content there as he continued to walk a narrow path for the next half hour - the one that allowed him to lay some blame for the economic crisis at Gordon Brown's door, while at the same time making clear his intention to 'do what he can to help'. He may not have suspended his critical faculties during the walk over the suspended walkway but here was the responsible Leader of the Opposition who is listening to those in his own party who advise against giving a Prime Minister who is down a good kicking.

'I spoke to the Prime Minister last night ...' he told each and every interviewer. 'Today is a day for working together'.

I don't imagine he'd had time to hear the people of Dudley having their say on Breakfast News. If his advisers had been listening, they would have heard one ordinary voter after another sending him a message that showed Gordon Brown's 'no time for a novice' jibe had struck home.

Welsh activists out and about last night may be utterly convinced that George Osborne is up to the Chancellor's job and that David Cameron turned the credibility corner long before coming to Birmingham. They sense that the prize is near now and they just can't wait to get the job done. But in Dudley - and it's fair to assume in Delyn and Dwyfor Meirionnydd - they're really not so sure. And with every day that the economy plunges deeper into crisis, with every share price that falls through the floor, David Cameron will have to persuade them one by one that they're wrong. He was on the case this morning:

'The lesson from the US is clear today of all days - we must work together'.

The later the election, the more time he has to do that; then again the later the election the more time those Welsh Labour MPs have to hold on to the desperate thought that 'maybe, just maybe' the economy will somehow save them from ruin.

As for Lord Wyn Roberts' report on further powers for the Assembly, Mr Cameron told Radio Wales this morning we'd learn more about it 'in good time'. From memory his answer on further powers was almost identical to the one he gave last year as the sun rose over Blackpool: 'we want to make devolution work'. You won't be surprised to learn that the issue is nowhere near the top of his agenda. He initially seemed a little uncertain when interviewed yesterday whether the report had been published yet. That doesn't point to buring bad news. It points to having nothing clear to say yet and so having little motivation for saying anything at all. He has, after all, plenty of other things to talk about these days. But 'making devolution work' won't cut it as a policy position for much longer.

And what about a decision on the future of Alun Cairns as parliamentary candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan? There is, he says, 'plenty of time to make that decision'. The suspended Alun Cairns might take some comfort from the fact that his leader spoke very warmly about him. 'He's worked extremely hard ... he made a mistake and apologised for that'. Mr Cameron will 'look at the circumstances'.

But given the extraordinary economic circumstances and even one or two rumours that the conference here in Birmingham may come to a premature end, he might not have time to do that for a little while yet.

Perhaps those Welsh delegates who haven't yet made it to Harvey Nichols - and one or two haven't, how shall I put it, let the credit crunch put them off - should hurry up.


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  • 1. At 10:58am on 30 Sep 2008, James Gibson-Watt wrote:

    I notice from the BBC website that when Mr. Cameron was challenged about his lack of experience on the economy, he reminded us all that he once worked in the Treasury. Yea, during the Black Wednesday debacle as Norman Lamont's special adviser. Not something he should be reminding us about.

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  • 2. At 6:40pm on 30 Sep 2008, Crossroads wrote:

    Maybe you would like a list of the serious errors that Gordon Brown made during his time as chancellor.

    I suspect that even the rawest novice would not have even contemplated making some of the idiotic decisions made by our Gordon.

    For instance, his early announcement of the sale of 400 tonnes of the nation's gold reserves,which were sold at a measly $275 an ounce.

    By giving the market advance notice of his intentions, against the advice of all his advisors. The gold price plummeted, which ultimately cost this country many times the loss made on "Black Wednesday".

    When other c*** ups are added to the list, it soon becomes apparent that Gordon Brown really was the worst chancellor, possibly of all time.

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  • 3. At 10:36pm on 30 Sep 2008, brynt41 wrote:

    At least the Irish Government has guaranteed people's savings in Irish banks for the next two years.

    Here we have the bunglers who helped to create the problem with poorly regulated lending for the last 15 years... the old Tories and the New Labour tories... getting together to tell us that they will do 'whatever it takes' to sort it. In the meantime they're not doing very much at all, as one bank after another lurches on the verge of collapse. The last B and B crisis of the weekend ended with the assets being sold to a Spanish bank, and the toxic debts being handed to the taxpayers. What a deal!

    So, what about us in Wales?

    Time to get shot of these useless politicans from other people's countries... there have been so many of over the last century... Blair and Brown being the latest examples who have ensured that Wales remains in a mess on just about any measure you care to name. (Take a look at the child poverty map, for example... nearly all of Wales rates at a high level).

    Of course Cameron isn't going to be excited about more devolution for Wales... there are no votes in it for him, and that's true of Brown and Labour too. Time to tell them where to get off. Lets start putting our country in order, with our own people, who will not have other people's priorities to consider. 'Making devolution work'.... a tractor with a lawn-mower engine won't get very far, and that is exactly what's wrong with the Assembly. These wealthy London politicians just don't care about us. Lord Roberts wasn't good enough to become Secretary of State for Wales during his long stint at the Welsh Office, he had to make way for the likes of Redwood. Even if in the unlikely event he recommends a Parliament with real teeth, Cameron will simply ignore it. Wales has no future with either of these bankrupt parties, which have done us down every which way.

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  • 4. At 10:35am on 01 Oct 2008, Crossroads wrote:

    You have just been reading a party political broadcast on behalf of the "Iwan Youth" movement.

    Guaranteed to make your average citizen vote for just about anyone other than the appalling Plain Glumly party.

    That's right, the WNP bunch who despite hanging on to Labour's coat-tails in order to keep "in government", still snipe at their partners while keeping their snouts firmly in the assembly trough.

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  • 5. At 11:57am on 01 Oct 2008, brynt41 wrote:

    Noah would prefer a return to the good ol' days, when Wales was run as a protectorate by John R and others, who actually sent money back to the Treasury as he thought it was a waste of money spending it on the peasants.

    Too late, Noah, the genie's out of the bottle. We're waking up to the bad deal we've been having. We even sparked the Scots into doing likewise (Gwynfor was first at Westminster), and they're now boarding the independence express. Cameron is as likely as not the one destined to blow the whistle which will send it on its way. What follows will be an entirely new ball game.

    The Cardiff branch of UKIP or similar may not be around much longer to get your support.

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  • 6. At 3:33pm on 01 Oct 2008, Crossroads wrote:

    So Brynty, you reckon the old days are gone do you?
    Careful now boyo, you are in real danger of letting your fevered imagination run away with you......aboard the "independence express" no doubt.

    Thought 'Gwynfor' was a taboo subject nowadays, ever since his bravery among the Carmarthen tomato fields during the war had come to light.

    Glad to see, in keeping with your Plain Glumly cronies, you finish up with a reference to a political party which is of not the slighest interest to me.

    Still, makes a change from your usual BNP bull***.

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  • 7. At 9:29pm on 01 Oct 2008, osian wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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