Spotting a Gap in the Market

Laura McAllister, Professor of Public Policy at Cardiff University School of Law and Politics, and regular columnist in the Western Mail and Walesonline.

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A PROMINENT newspaper columnist has flagged up the need for a new centre-right party for Wales.

In her column for the Western Mail on Saturday, Prof. Laura McAllister said such a party could provide some long waited opposition to the present Labour/Plaid duopoly, and invigorate Welsh democracy at the very same time.

Prof. McAllister said such a new party was sorely needed, in the first place because of the fact that the Welsh Conservatives were following such a timid ‘know your place’ version of devolution.

But that it was even more important now with the emergence of what she terms a new ‘hard right’ in Wales: composed of now TWO Abolish the Assembly Parties along with the Brexit Party remnants in Wales.

She added that all this left a yawning gap to be filled by a ‘Welsh-leaning, moderate, centre-right party’, to better represent the Welsh population.

‘A new party might free up those who are definitely not Labour or Plaid, but who without a Lib Dem presence here now, could be looking for a new political home’ she said.

Stephen Morris, Gwlad’s Policy Director, welcomed Prof. McAllister’s comments, saying she was articulating the very points that the party had been making from the outset.

‘Wales needs a decisive break from the Labour policies and economic damage inflicted upon her for the past 20 years’ he said.

‘But we are not interested in seeking to replicate Welsh Labour, only wearing a bigger leek.’

Dr. Morris said Gwlad fitted Laura McAllister’s political wishlist perfectly by being primarily a grassroots movement for those who are politically homeless, and who can’t identify with any of the present parties.

‘We think our emphasis on freedom and fairness – creating a successful economy with freer markets, more enterprise, balanced with a social safety net (citizens income) – can appeal to a lot of people at the election next May’ he added.

It is good to see someone of the stature of Laura McAllister recognising the need for a native centre-right entity in Wales.

Correctly identifying that the Welsh Conservative Party has not really fulfilled its obligations in that respect over the years.

And that it is, in essence, weighed down even more by the unending incompetence and cronyism displayed by the Conservative Party in power at Westminster.

In view of this truism, along with the group think of the left and the growing presence of a ‘hard right’, there is most definitely a gap in the market for a new pragmatic and moderate centre-right party here.

Welcome on board Laura!

 

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