Saturday, 27 April 2019

"Welsh" Labour or The Labour Party in Wales, there's a difference.

There seems to be a very real possibility  of "Welsh" Labour candidates in the forthcoming Euro Elections will be saying different things on the doorstep, whilst people are reading the official campaign leaflet,.
BBC Wales reports that 
Two Welsh Labour AMs have warned their party is in danger of handing victory to Nigel Farage unless it pledges to campaign for a further referendum in the European elections.
Lynne Neagle and Alun Davies spoke after a draft campaign leaflet emerged that did not mention the proposal.
Ms Neagle, AM for Torfaen, warned the party would lose remain voters.
Labour said the leaflet sets out the party's commitment to "bring our country together".
The draft Labour leaflet, initially published on the Huffington Post website and featuring UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, said the election was a chance for voters to "tell the Tories you are fed up with their divisive and incompetent government".
A bilingual version of the leaflet - a product of Labour in London rather than Cardiff - will be distributed in Wales with the same images and Welsh Labour branding, but without a reference to Welsh Labour leader Mark Drakeford.
A senior Welsh Labour figure said the leaflet was "staggering" and that Mr Drakeford should be in it.
"We should actually set out our policy on the big issue of the day in what are, after all, European elections," the source said.
Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle said: "We are in danger of handing Farage victory on a plate by not having the courage to speak out for a People's Vote."Former UKIP leader Mr Farage has formed the Brexit Party to fight the European elections.
Ms Neagle told BBC Wales it would be "unthinkable for us to go into these European elections without a clear commitment" on a further poll, warning the party will lose the votes of those who want "a clear position".
Ms Neagle said she knew of one party member who had resigned over the draft leaflet.
She added she was pleased that the four candidates on the Welsh Labour list for the election were backing a further referendum, but said the "mixed messages" from the party centrally were "dangerous".
Alun Davies, Blaenau Gwent AM, said on Twitter if the party expects "any of us to distribute this material it will need to change".
"I'm not going to support a campaign that doesn't reflect the position of Welsh Labour or UK Labour," he added. The party committed to keep a further referendum on the table at a party conference last year.
A Labour spokesperson said: "It is a short pre-manifesto leaflet to introduce our candidates and set out our commitment to Leave and Remain voters to bring our country together.
"It highlights how the Tories' chaotic handling of Brexit has left our country in crisis and how our MEPs will fight for proper investment in communities, housing, jobs and industries.

"Our full manifesto, which will address the issues of a Brexit deal and the circumstances of a referendum, will be published after the local elections [in England]."
ITV Adrian Masters writes

"I also understand that those candidates have been reprimanded by officials for stating their support for a fresh referendum in an online article.
There had already been criticism of the draft leaflet elsewhere.
According to a report by Huffpost, senior figures such as the shadow Brexit Secretary, Deputy Leader and shadow Foreign Secretary weren't consulted about its wording.
It makes no reference to the push for a new referendum sometimes known as a "People's Vote" or a "confirmatory referendum," despite it being party policy.
"As far as a people's vote is concerned, this out-and-out war now," one senior Welsh Labour figure told me, referring also to a public apology made by the staunch remain campaigner Lord Adonis in a statement some claim he was forced to make by the leadership.
I understand that neither the Welsh Executive Committee (WEC) nor the four candidates in Wales were consulted. Though senior Labour figures point out that that would be normal practice. Since European elections aren't devolved, the WEC wouldn't be involved and while candidates have an input, they don't have a final say over party policy".

There are a number of other questions to be asked

  • Will there be a separate "Welsh" Manifesto?
  • Who is paying for the leaflet , "Welsh" Labour or Central Office.
  • Will any Labour member in Wales especially elected AMs or MPs face discipline if they refuse to obey their London bosses?
  • Is Scotland also going to be dictated from London and "Scottish" Labour as a branch office?

It appears that Corbyn and those around  him have once again failed  to understand  or perhaps even accepted the reality of devolution and look on Wales as a region of England.

Something shared by the Change-TIG group who referred to Wales, as a Region when announcing their candidates something they did not attribute to Scotland.

I suspect however that it is not  the "danger of handing victory to Nigel Farage" that "Welsh" Labour are worried about a surge in support for Plaid.

Maybe its time they were honest and drop the whole "Welsh" Labour charade and officially become the Labour Party in Wales 

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