Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Welsh Labour Conference.

The Wales Labour Party has been holding its spring conference at Llandudno this weekend. We're holding ours in Cardiff in two weeks time. Labour remains the biggest party in Wales, so this has to be treated as a significant event. There are but two aspects of the proceedings that I want to comment on.

Firstly, there's the overall theme. which is 'to protect Wales from the Coalition Government at Westminster', and to "send the Coalition Government a message". It seems awfully dismissive of the National Assembly for Wales to be treated as no more than a tool for influencing the UK Government. Its supposed to the Welsh General Election. I hope we don't replicate this approach at our Welsh Conference, even if we are holding our UK Spring Conference alongside it. We'll be just two months from the Assembly election and I hope we take the opportunity to showcase our Assembly candidates and our Assembly policies.

The second eye-catching aspect of the Conference was Peter Hain's call "To kick Nationalists out of government". Now its inevitable that Labour should want to form a Government on its own, but this is no way to talk about about your coalition partners. Two weeks ago, Matt Withers in the Wales on Sunday informed us that the vicious campaign to undermine Ieuan Wyn Jones was being orchestrated by someone close to Peter Hain and an ambitious AM who is not in the Cabinet. It does not take a Sherlock Holmes to work out the identity of the two individuals he meant. I really do hope we can maintain a more civilized approach to our Lib Dem partners before the next General Election.


Dylan Jones-Evans said...

I also noticed that much of Ed Miliband's speech on the NHS on Saturday seem to have been written specifically for an English audience:

"It is the same optimism - the same devotion to the cause of the common good - that means we must fight David Cameron's plans to break apart our health service in England today. The NHS is too precious for ill-judged reforms. It is too precious for experiments in right-wing ideology. Labour will always have a restless desire for a better NHS. Our achievements in office show that. Shorter waiting times than ever before. Higher patient satisfaction than ever before. More new hospitals than ever before. So the NHS must continue to reform and change, because the status quo will never be good enough for Labour when it comes to the health of the British people."

Did no one in Welsh Labour tell Westminster Ed that the NHS in Wales is devolved and that it is his party which has failed to protect the budget?

Anonymous said...

Yes I cringed when he said "our NHS" on the Tories reforms.
Clearly he didn't know that his NHS, wasn't the same one the delegates have (for good or for worse!)

Glyn Davies said...

I don't think that the leader of the Opposition cared. It's becoming obvious that the Labour Party is running everything from London now - and all the lines are agreed and everyone must stick to them, irrespective of whether they are in Wales or anywhere else. Carwyn Jones and the Labour AMs must have been furious.

Anonymous said...

i think it's a safe bet that labour will never win a seat in montgomeryshire