Thursday, 6 January 2011

Labour claims a Welsh Idenity (For now)

Pontypridd Labour MP Owen Smith has been posting on Left Foot Forward on  the forthcoming year in Wales electorally.

Since he is new MP  he doesn't completely carry the baggage of the failure of the past Labour in premoting the Welsh Idenity and values  he now claims for his Party in wales. but he surely   cannot expect to make such statements as.
Thirteen years after we first voted to create a National Assembly – years in which the relationship between Labour in Wales and London has significantly evolved, and in which the ambitions of a confident and distinctly Welsh Labour movement have forcefully (re)emerged – Labour is now clearly understood to be the natural home for supporters of a radical, progressive and Welsh agenda. 

When Welsh Labour cannot  produce a bilingual website and it is not separately registered with the Electoral Commission under the terms of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act, nor is it part of a federal organisation (such as the relationship between the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the Liberal Democrats, for example). As such it does not have an office of Leader (Unlike I understand the situation in Scotland) .although Carwyn Jones is de facto leader because of his position in the Assembly. This is because of the existence of the Assembly and not because of Labour's constitution in Wales if it has one. I believe that they used to be registered as a "Welsh Labour Party" but ceased to do so, perhaps because their finances are to tied to Labour London HQ.

 But it does seem that in opposition Welsh Labour has discovered it's Welsh Identityn, as their counterparts in Scotland found theirs in the Thatcher era. Clearly Owen Smith thinks this will run well in Wales he writes

While Plaid voters, once sceptical that the Wales Labour party could stand up to the London leadership, are now increasingly comfortable with the strong Welsh flavour of our policies and of our politicians. For many ex-Plaid voters, especially in the south and south west, whose ambitions stop short of independence, Labour now appeals as the most effective and robust means of having a Welsh ‘writ’ run at home and Welsh lilt heard in Westminster.

He may well be right but I have not really seen much of a Welsh flavour in Labours policies recently Unless they really think simply not being a bunch of right-wing ideologues like the current Lib-Dem coalition is? This ideology they seem to have ignored under the leadership of Tony Blair : But if it is more than this I predict that any New Welsh Identity will fade after next May's assembly elections maybe to resurface time and time again to reassure us: But if I suspect many pf those Plaid Voters Own Smith mentions will still be sceptical that if Labour were ever to attempt  promote a  a true Welsh identity to then Ed Milliband and the rest of the British Labour leadership would silence them swiftly particularly  if this didn't go down well with the London Media and if he was to reach the position of Prime Minister then Welsh Labour will revert towards what it as always been.Just a name on a masthead.


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