Friday, 22 July 2016

Owen Smith Pro Devolution , anti Austerity . His record shows otherwise/

Labour leadership challenger Owen Smith  seems intent on remodelling himself by denying that he is anti-devolution.
The former shadow Welsh secretary said he wanted First Minister Carwyn Jones to play a bigger role in Labour at Westminster.
Mr Smith said he would have Mr Jones sit in a shadow cabinet with metropolitan English leaders and the Scottish Labour leader.
Mr Smith said the perception that he thought there should be no further powers devolved to Cardiff Bay was an impression Plaid Cymru was "keen to build up as they were trying to drive a wedge between me and Carwyn Jones".
He said Mr Jones knew "that isn't true".
So why is he  not vote for the  recent Plaid Amendment  hand energy, transport and other powers to Cardiff Bay ,
Its all rather reminiscent  of  the "committed devolutionist " response to the Welfare Reform Bill despite his claims to oppose austerity.
Back in the days of the coalition government and when he was Shadow Secretary State fir Wales Plans to devolve even more power to Wales Own Smith was acused of blocking further devolution .
Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies said Labour had "undermined" First Minister Carwyn Jones by not letting the St David's Day agreement go even further.
Th  then Lib Dem MP Jenny Willott understood Mr Smith was "less devolution-friendly than some of his colleagues".
Ms Willott said:
 "There are plenty of things that we would like to see devolved... that basically Labour are not happy to sign up to."My understanding it's more Owen Smith that's less devolution-friendly than some of his colleagues."

Mr Smiths commitment to devolution seems to be "that's as far as you go.

Mr Smith said the Welsh Labour leader and first minister "should be much more associated with big decisions being taken in Westminster".


He explained he would have First Minister  Carwyn Jones 

"alongside other leaders from metropolitan bits of England and the leader in Scotland, sitting regularly in effectively a regional shadow, national shadow cabinet to make big decisions, to think about defence, economic areas where there isn't responsibility held in Wales but where there is clear interest in Wales, or in Scotland, in those decisions."
Seems a bit like  the  Old Soviet  Union practice of  summing the leaders in Satellite States to Moscow to receive their orders.

Pontypridd MP Mr Smith also said that voters in Labour heartlands had lost faith and hope in Labour because of Mr Corbyn's leadership and failure to speak powerfully for the party at Westminster.
Meanwhile he blamed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for the party's fall in support at the assembly election.
"We've lost credibility, we've lost respect in many of our communities, communities that have been traditional Labour-voting areas.
"For us to almost lose Blaenau Gwent, for us to lose the Rhondda, these were hammer blows to the Labour Party and that's something Jeremy Corbyn needed to respond to, but he's been poor at taking Labour's case to the Tories in
Westminster and he's not been successful in going beyond slogans."
Labour  lost the Rhondda because Plaid Leanne Wood  stood  and the near loss of Blaneau Gwent  was probably down to the unpopularity of local AM Alun Davis.

Labour oss on votes in Wales was also die to the lethargic government of Carwyn Jones whose failure in government  has disillusioned many voters to the extent support for the Assembly's existence is threatened. 

Mr Smith appears to be capable of sating anything that he believes will go down wel with Labour supporters .

His actual record on supporting further devolution  and opposing the Austerity program of the last six years is very poor.

Its not foe me to tell Labour members who to vote for . Bit can they really think they can vote for someone  , who has such a poor memory of his past in sitting on his hands , when measures attacking the poor and disposed were put forward  by the Tory LibDem Government and giving real powers to the Assembly that we desperately  need.

1 comment:

  1. Owen Smith has a very blinkered view of Welsh politics, in the same way that his father Professor Dai Smith has a very restricted view of Welsh history.

    What's important to Owen Smith is how best to serve his political masters at Westminster. The interests of Wales do not concern him as he picks and chooses the bits of labour policy that he hopes will get him elected as leader of the Labour Party.

    Very much like Neil Kinnock who often reinvented himself to become leader, shedding those awkward tenets of socialism that got in his way.

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