A “war on Wales” led by Conservatives in the UK Government is harming the nation’s reputation across Britain and around the world, according to Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith. The Labour Pontypridd MP is writing to David Cameron to express his concerns about the impact of high-profile criticism of Welsh infrastructure and health services. In recent weeks the Prime Minister has attacked the Welsh Labour Government’s record on NHS waiting times and Education Secretary Michael Gove has blasted the performance of Welsh schools.
“In recent meetings with Welsh business leaders I was worried to hear their stark warnings that the constant public undermining of Wales, from the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues, risks tarnishing our reputation across the UK and internationally. It is little wonder that the attacks on Wales co-ordinated by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Wales are starting to have an impact on business confidence.
“Over recent months it has become increasingly apparent that the Tories have given up on winning in Wales at the 2015 General Election or standing up for our interests. Instead they are content to subject Wales to a wellspring of negativity for narrow political ends.
“Just last week David Jones used a platform at [the] Policy Forum for Wales to yet again run-down Wales. He drew false comparisons between Welsh rail infrastructure and that of Albania, damned our broadband internet connectivity and bizarrely described the infrastructure network as obsolete. The Prime Minister’s deeply offensive branding of Offa’s Dyke as a ‘line between life and death’ shamefully demeans his office and he maintains this theme almost weekly at Prime Minister’s Questions. Fifty-four percent of British people will have seen or heard PMQs in the last 12 months and it is beamed to the USA and across the world.
Eurfyl ap Gwilym, a Plaid Cymru-supporting economist said it was “fairly cynical” of Labour to “turn attacks on the record of the Welsh Government into attacks on Wales”.
He said: “
The performance of the Welsh Government in some areas does need to be criticised, it needs to be scrutinised effectively as well; they need to respond and say what they are going to do to make things better, and I think that’s perfectly legitimate.”
Warning against being “too sensitive,” he said:
“If there’s poor performance anywhere we should be ready to accept criticism.”
He acknowledged it would not be “helpful” if the only headlines about Wales in the UK press are negative but said:
“I’m sure Owen Smith will do his best now to exaggerate the impact of that criticism.”
And that's the point Clearly Cameron's attack on the running of the NHS and Education in Wales is to use it as as an example of what would happen in England if Labour would the next General Election.
But it is an attack on Labour in Wales and it is the Job of Own Smith to defend his Party record here. If he can.
I started this piece by saying that maybe Labour are the true "Pary of Wales".
In reality they are
The Party that Failed Wales"
Their lethargy in power in the Assembly and failure to come to grips with the challenges facing Wales and recently simply hoping people will blame the Westminster Government have led them open to the attacks from Cameron and his cronies.
Both sides are cynically using Wales in the General Election Phoney War.
Both sides are damaging the future of Wales and its time we give them both the boot.