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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 October, 2003, 13:34 GMT 14:34 UK
Wales@Westminster newslog

It's Wales@Westminster Newslog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life. It's a two-way process though, so add your comments too.

Thursday 9 October

Cat and mouse
posted by David | 1335 BST | Add comment

When the cats are away, the mice come out to play.

With the 12 Tory AMs back in Wales earning their living in the assembly, it was left to the voluntary wing of the Welsh party to hold the fort in Blackpool.

Step forward Carole Hyde, the formidable chairman (no chairperson she) of the Welsh Conservative Party.

Yes, she loved Iain Duncan Smith's speech. Yes, the Tories would win the next general election under his leadership.

But there was more.

Mrs Hyde told me that the assembly should be stripped of its powers over health and education as public services under Labour were so "dismal".

This won't ever become party policy but it was striking to hear it from a member of the board, which runs the UK party.

I suspect Nick Bourne, leader of the party's assembly group, will be tempted to stay during next year's conference to keep an eye on his flock.

Devolution confusion
posted by David | 1005 BST | Add comment

More than four years after devolution, do political parties understand how the UK is now governed?

The Conservatives have unveiled several policies this week in Blackpool, only some of which would apply in Wales.

You wouldn't know that from reading the document waved by Iain Duncan Smith today - "Trusting People".

Nowhere does it explain how Tory policies on health and education would apply in England only.

The confusion extends to party members, even MPs and AMs - professional politicians who should know better. Let's hope things are clearer by the time of the next general election.

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