But it wouldn't be the Wasting Mule if it didn't have an immediate Byline of
'The last 16 years have amounted to a waste' Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood launches attack on Labour
But Welsh Labour hit back, claiming 'Plaid Cymru are a party going backwards, devoid of ideas'
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood claims Labour’s 16 years in charge of the National Assembly represents the biggest missed opportunity in recent Welsh history.
Her attack on the party that has run Wales without interruption since the National Assembly was set up goes further than she has before and questions what has been achieved since devolution.
Ms Wood is due to launch a nationwide roadshow in Cardiff which will see Plaid consult on policies it will put forward in the run-up to next May’s Assembly election.
She will say the time has come to end Labour’s “managed decline” of the economy and public services, and will highlight what she claims are shortcomings in the Welsh Government’s handling of the economy, education and health.
Ms Wood is expected to say: ( So its a Press release then).
“It is almost 17 years to the day that Wales voted tentatively for the most modest measure of self-government.Ms Wood will ask people across the country a simple question:
“The period that followed was one of great optimism for Wales. An era of collective self-belief emerged. We were meant to see a new beginning for our country.
“It was not only meant as symbol of empowerment, but a vehicle of delivery. Yet the last 16 years have amounted to a wasted 16 years.
"They have been the greatest missed opportunity in Wales’ modern history.”
Ms Wood will say that a change in government from next May is vital and she will add: “People’s expectations have not been met but Plaid Cymru can reverse that. A Plaid Cymru government can restore confidence in our nation.
“May next year is Wales’ second chance - for people, for communities, for public services, for our economy.
“It is political leadership that has failed people in this country. It is political leadership that has turned devolution from a burning beacon of hope into the damp squib that it has become.
“They said there’d be clear red water; instead we got a stagnant swamp. Bereft of ambition, out of ideas.”
“Is this as good as it gets for Wales?”She is expected to focus on Labour’s record in health, education and the economy and will add: “Wales today suffers average wages 15% lower than the UK as a whole.
"Do people in Wales deserve to earn just 85p for every pound earned elsewhere in the UK?She will conclude by saying:
“Wales today has 25,000 more patients waiting longer than 36 weeks for NHS treatment than four years ago. Do patients here deserve to be treated as second class citizens?
“Wales’ children today are being failed with our country languishing at the bottom of the UK literacy and numeracy league table. Are our children not deserving of the best start in life?”
“If you share Plaid Cymru’s view that this just isn’t good enough, then be part of the change Wales needs.”
Responding to Ms Wood’s comments, a Welsh Labour spokesman said:( is he on tap for the Wasting Mule)
“Plaid Cymru are a party going backwards, devoid of ideas and these tired old attacks are a poor excuse for a campaign.
“Last week, we saw one of Plaid’s most prominent members, Ron Davies, soundly beaten by the Welsh Labour candidate in a council by-election.
“There is a clear choice for people in Wales next year, between Welsh Labour’s vision for a confident, fair and prosperous Wales and the narrow nationalism and economic illiteracy of Plaid Cymru.
“Leanne Wood’s comments will leave many people scratching their heads. Not only does she seem to forget entirely the four years her party served in coalition government, but her comments are completely out of step with people’s own experiences.
“Thanks to Welsh Labour in government, Wales has made huge strides.
"Unemployment is falling faster here than in the UK as a whole because our support for small business and our work bringing large employers to Wales and securing record inward investment.
“Only Welsh Labour will take on the Tories. It is telling that Plaid Cymru yet again seem unable or unwilling to take on the party that has slashed Wales’ funding and attacked our most vulnerable communities.
“Wales won’t forget that Plaid Cymru have tried before to get the Tories into power in the Assembly.”
It is rather typical of Labour to claim credit on "falling unemployment" for example whilst blaming the Tories in Westminster when it rises.
Can you have a "confident, fair and prosperous Wales" and still claim Wales is suffering under the Tories?
I have searched in vain for any real example of Labour in Wales taking on the Tories. Indeed there seems at times that there is relief among Labour AMs who can blame the Tory Government at Westminster for Wales's ails as they were unable to blame Westminster when Blair/Brown were in power and Wales constantly suffered from poor Central Government.
Still it looks like the battle lines are being drawn for Plaid it is important for them to be seen as a a Non-Tory alternative to Labour whilst avoiding any comparison with the Tories at the same time. It would appear at first to be a simple choice but Labour will attempt to paint all Opposition as being Tory Opposition and unfortunately they may well be successful especially if the Wasting Mule continues to help them.