Sunday, 29 June 2014

Huw Lewis attacks "Colonial Conservatives". How about Colonial Labour?

After Yesterdays Blog Gove dons a Colonial Governor's hat. on Michael Gove interference in Welsh Education  I expected others to take up a similar theme.

I did not however expect one of them to be Welsh Education Minster Huw Lewis to agrree

Mr Lewis who went on Wales Online to argue more or less what I had written.

He writes... is, I think, one thing Michael Gove and I have in common.
We are Education Ministers who aspire for world-class education systems. So it puzzles me from the outset as to why, in his article, he would suggest that Wales should use England as a template for excellence.
All the recent evidence from around the world shows that there are two dozen other systems we should (and do) look at first. It betrays a troubling attitude that has little to do with education reform.
I have long maintained that the biggest threat to the United Kingdom would not come from a resurgent Plaid Cymru, or from the SNP in Scotland, and certainly not from the barmy English Democrats.
No, I think the biggest risk to the union comes from the seemingly indestructible colonial attitudes buried in the dark heart of the Conservative Party in England. And Michael Gove has again demonstrated this dangerously old-fashioned and potentially destabilising attitude in today’s intervention. Despite his claims to be pro-devolution, his prose drips with disdain, displays a total ignorance of our current reform programme, and vainly holds up his Free Schools experiment as an answer to boosting school standards, without a scintilla of evidence.
WalesOnline readers know that even objectively reported, making bald comparisons between England and Wales on education and health doesn’t really give a clear picture – it ignores our vastly different demographics.
Mr Lewis makes a fair point but by doing so I wonder how well it will go down with his Westminster Colleagues   who have not entirely taken devolution to their hearts .

I wonder what their attitude (and maybe Mr Lewis himself) would be if Labour were to be in power in Westminster and there was say a different led administration  in the Assembly.

Of course there may be a  difference between a Plaid led administration or a Conservative because Ministers could not use an example of the former of what would happen in England if they were in power in westminster.
Which was the main reason for Gove's attack and that of prime Minister David Cameron's  constant references to the NHS in Wales during Prime Ministers Question Time..

But I'm not convinced that Labour in Westminster, will not adopt the same colonial attitude as the Conservatives.

Indeed we only have to look at the response to the Silk commission from "Alas Smith and Jones"  where it seems it is Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith s who seems to be conducting Labour's response and not First Minister Carwyn Jones.

Is it possible that Four years from no we can see Huw Lewis backing a Westminster colleague telling a Non-Labour led Administration in the Assembly how to run itself?

It wouldn't surprise me.

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