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Bourne: Trafalgar inspires fight for brighter future

Speech to the Caerphilly Conservative Association.

"First of all I would like to thank you for allowing me to speak at this celebration of one of Britain's finest military victories.

Today we mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, a battle in which the tremendous courage and tenacity of the British people was a more effective weapon than the greater number of ships and men that sought to invade our nation.

The Battle of Trafalgar on the 21st October 1805 saw Admiral Nelson leading 27 British ships against 33 French and Spanish vessels.

The intention of the allied Spanish and French fleet was never in doubt; Napoleon was seeking to crush the British Navy and in doing so clear the way for a full invasion of Britain.

However, Napoleon had not reckoned with the spirit of the British Navy and the genius of the command into his strategy, omissions which would ultimately determine the outcome of this pivotal battle.

Admiral Nelson was undoubtedly a military strategist of the highest order. Prior to the Battle of Trafalgar Admiral Nelson spent time preparing his strategy and employed tactics never before witnessed in maritime conflict. By employing these methods Nelson was able to outmanoeuvre Napoleon and to gain the upper hand despite being outnumbered.

It is great to see Anna Tribe - Nelson's great-great-great-granddaughter - play such a prominent part in the celebrations.

So how do we translate the events of 200 years ago to the modern era?

What can we learn from the day when Nelson defended Britain and expected 'every man to do his duty'?

The answer is that we can learn more than just military tactics from the Battle of Trafalgar.

We can learn from the actions of a man with an awesome ability to inspire and a determination to succeed.

We can draw inspiration from the way in which the British navy worked together.

Vice-Admiral Collingwood said on the day of the Battle of Trafalgar; 'Let us do something today which the world may talk of thereafter'.

These words should inspire us all.

In the Assembly it is my duty to hold the failed Labour government to account and stand up for the needs and hopes of the Welsh people.

Stealth taxes, such as council tax revaluation and waste on a massive scale, such as the new Assembly building, have eroded people's faith in Labour and politics in general.

I believe there is a real alternative.

My group in the Assembly will defend Welsh culture and the Welsh way of life.

This means fighting to protect our communities - small schools, post offices, village shops.

I want to protect our beautiful Welsh landscape - not obliterate it with Labour's giant wind farms.

Although I am not surprised by Labour's plans - they are strong on wind and hot air.

Welsh Conservatives will fight for first class hospitals and schools.

More money must reach the frontline, at the sharp end where it really matters.

We must ensure that more must be done to help pensioners and others on fixed incomes.

It was a Welsh Conservative motion that ensured that Welsh students will not pay top up fees at Welsh universities.

We want to do much more.

The Battle of Trafalgar was fought under a Conservative Government with William Pitt as Prime Minister.

We are firing warning shots at Labour.

They are now a minority government and face a party that is highly motivated and focused.

A party that will stand up for Wales.

Today we can mark with pride the spirit and achievements of the British people 200 years ago.

It is the duty of all of us to ensure that those achievements are not forgotten and that we fight with equal determination for a bright future for Wales and Britain as a whole."

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