Thursday, 22 October 2015

Can the British "Left" realise Wales needs more powers.

The Wasting Mule appears  to be entering "Reds Under the Bed" phase with a report that "Welsh Labour’s draft manifesto for next year’s National Assembly election ignores Jeremy Corbyn’s politics, according to a radical group that says the document lacks “even a moderate socialist vision”.

Although Martin Shipton for the Mule points out that Left Unity, which was formed in 2013 following a call for a new left-wing party by veteran film director Ken Loach, is separate party from Labour it appears at time the Spectre of Millitant as a Trotskyist entryist group in the British Labour Party.

However its worth looking at because the nature of the   critique of Labour's draft manifesto saying that  that it fails to address the impact of spending and welfare cuts.
The critique says: 

“Estimates ... show that from the onset of the financial crisis in 2008, together with planned cuts up to 2018, Wales will have lost nearly £3bn in funding or 17% in real terms. In addition, by 2018 people in Wales will also have lost around £1.5bn in welfare cuts.”
The group, which strongly welcomed the election of Mr Corbyn, derides Carwyn Jones’ assertion in the draft manifesto’s foreword that “with five more years of Tory Government intent on further cuts and limiting public services, we will need to be more inventive, more agile and more innovative in how we deliver”.

“This is a totally weak, inadequate, and frankly insulting response to the destruction that these cuts will bring to the people and public services in Wales.
“With this level of opposition from Labour in Wales, it is little wonder that the Tories and Ukip do so well in elections. The people of Wales deserve better from the Labour Party in Wales.”
“There is a complete lack of even a moderate socialist vision. In part due to the acceptance of the Tory cuts regime and in part due to a lack of commitment to the radical change needed to deal with the problems facing people and the planet, the proposed policy priorities are narrow and almost unintelligible.”

The Mule goes on to say Left Unity says Welsh Labour should be proposing ways that finance could be raised in Wales, in addition to directly challenge the cuts.
It says the challenge of climate change should be taken seriously, and that policies should be aimed at ensuring people’s needs are met “in terms of work, health, housing, lifelong learning, eradicating poverty and sustaining welfare”.

The critique adds: 

“A socialist manifesto for Wales should include a commitment to immediately act on specific matters such as stopping the effect of the bedroom tax in Wales. The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party is a historical game changer.
“It has put the need to oppose capitalism and argue for a socialist agenda back on the table.
 I find myself somewhat in agreement  with the Critique but struggled to find any indication that Left Unity want a substantial increase in the Assembly powers.

I could be wrong it is difficult to imagine how the Assembly can  stop the effects of the bedroom tax in wales without the real powers that we need.

I hope I'm wrong and would welcome clarification from Left Unity over this.

All to often there have been a tendency of Left Wing groups to oppose not only any idea of Welsh Independence but Wales having parity with Scotland or to claim the latter is aside issue and "not relevant in the struggle for true socialism".

A critique of Welsh Labour's weak and ineffective government is welcome but is meaningless unless its also met with Wales getting the powers to carry out the reforms that Left Unity and others cal for.

1 comment:

  1. On a related note have Jeremy Corbyn or any of his followers given any hint as to whether he is for, against or indifferent to Wales and the need for adequate powers for the Assembly?