Tories end up on the Left

Nick Bourne is haring off leftwards so fast that it won’t be long before the Welsh Tory party stands to the left of Labour.

He kicked off his weekly briefing by advocating a £100 discount on their council tax bills for all pensioners. What about the millionaires ? For everyone, he replied; the matter’s too urgent.

Mr Bourne then slated the government’s removal of the 10p tax band: “Those at the bottom of the pile should be given help rather than those at the top,” he said.

Those two points followed his suggestion for what seemed suspiciously like a raising of the age for driving: insisting that youngsters below the age of 20 would not be allowed to carry passengers (as being considered in Belfast) is only one step away from making that the age for holding a licence.

Currently, power over driving licenses is held by London, so that would mean a transfer of functions Order.

And then there’s the issue of proportional representation using the preferred single transferable vote system, another issue being raised in the Assembly this week. Mr Bourne made plain his support at the local government level “from self-interest” and because, in a five-party world (with Independents), it is the only way of halting Labour domination.

Jonathan Morgan (Cardiff North) was sitting quietly in the back listening – one can hardly imagine him objecting to that sort of political agenda.

So which Tory AMs are possible objectors ? The Welsh party is changing so rapidly that I can imagine only three of the 12, and then we have to go back of political attitudes that they may have forgotten by now – Alun Cairns (South Central), William Graham (South East), and Darren Millar (Clwyd West).

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