An interesting response to the Budget in the Western Mail yesterday from Pontypridd Labour MP Owen Smith which you can read here.
It was a reasonable attack on the ConLib budget and at times you could easily replace Plaid for Labour in the text.But his call for a plan B when his own party doesn’t have any plans for the UK in the economic crisis let alone Wales beggars belief
.As he says,
"And what about Wales?
We barely merited a mention in the speech – the words Wales or Welsh don’t feature at all among the 51,379 words that make up the Chancellor’s 126-page plan for growth".
How many times in the Labour Budgets 1997 -2010 was Wales mentioned, how many specific projects were proposed with a Welsh Flavour were there? Of course devolution means that much have been passed to the Welsh Assembly ,but Wales has always been ignored in Westminster Budgets with very few proposals targeted to the plight of the Welsh in any economic crisis..
It seems that in opposition Labour Welsh MPs have decided to wave the Draig Goch .relying on the idea of “Clear Red Water” separating Wales from Westminster and the cuts or at least giving the impression that under Labour things would be done differently.
Own Smith is a new MP so he can't be held responsible for the fact that the majority of Labours Welsh MPs in the last government did nothing on the excesses s of the Banks, did nothing to reverse the Thatcher attack on the Unions and failed to rebuild the manufacturing base in Wales decimated by the Thatcher government in its effort to woo Middle England.
"Mrs Gillan should recall from her time in Wales that we’re a shrewd lot and recognise a swindle when we see one".
Unfortunately we can't We swallowed the Tony Blair swindle and we will probably swallow Labour new “Welsh Identify”.
This will be in evidence in the Assembly throughout the ConLib government and there will be the occasional outburst from Westminster MPs whilst making sure to keep in Ed Millibands good books and be prepared to slapped down by Peter Hain if they go to far. But such independence will disappear like morning dew once they get their bottoms on the government benches again and any possible rebel will be riding in a ministerial car.
Mind you if Welsh Labour were prepared to accept Carwyn Jones as the leader of Welsh Labour and make Hain (or his successor) somehow subordinate to him it would be a start.