Sunday, 22 September 2019

Welsh Labour not even a Branch Office and more off a P.O.Box.

It is surely a bit late in the Day for Unionist Politicians in Wales to start talking about reforming the UK.
The BBC reports that 
The UK must be reformed to survive, the Welsh first minister will tell the Labour party conference.The UK must be reformed to survive
Mark Drakeford will describe how the bonds keeping the four nations together are "being torn apart by Brexit" and "couldn't-care-less Tory governments".
In Brighton, he will also repeat a commitment to campaign to remain in the EU in an election or fresh referendum.
Mr Drakeford previously said Welsh independence was "rising up the political agenda".
"Our task under a new UK Labour government must be to build a new United Kingdom," he is expected to say.
"One that genuinely works for its four constituent parts."
It is the first UK Labour conference since Mr Drakeford took over as Welsh Labour leader and first minister from Carwyn Jones last December.
In his speech on Sunday, he will set out a plan to reform the union, saying it "can only be Labour that articulates a different vision for those repelled by the poisonous politics of division and despair".
Mr Drakeford will add that through reforming the UK and remaining as part of the EU, the Labour party can offer an alternative to "narrow nationalism and worn-out imperialism".
His stance on campaigning to remain in the EU has put him at odds with the UK Labour stance on Brexit.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said if the party wins power it will offer a referendum choice between Remain and a "credible" Brexit option
I must have not been paying attention for the last  20 years  as Labour who have run the Assembly either in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats  or Plaid Cymru have had a laissez-faire attitude towards on going devolution and  despite seeing a successful template in Scotland have made little attempt to seek parity with that nation .

Indeed they actually hamded back powers to Westminster

 In April the Labour Welsh Government agreed to the Westminster Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill which meant that Wales lost control over 24 devolved policy areas after Brexit.

The agreement said that Ministers in London can make changes to devolved fields even If Wales objects.
Today AMs voted to repeal the Welsh Continuity Act to allow the transfer of powers to go ahead.
The late and much missed Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for External Affairs Steffan Lewis AM said that Wales had lost its “legislative shield” which provided legal protection for Welsh devolution.
He said that it didn’t make sense for Wales to give up control when it seemed that the Westminster Government were sailing towards a hard Brexit.

Now faced with a growing Independence movement in Wales they make vague statements about reform , without putting any real radical proposals.

Indeed as Mr Drakeford  goes to his Party conference after being  humiliated after the Head Office   about who makes the rules on selecting Parliamentary candidates.

According to Wales Online 

This latest decision has prompted some Labour sources to claim Jeremy Corbyn's office has "completely mishandled" what should have been a straightforward attempt to clear up the rulebook.It has put the UK and Welsh wings of Labour on a collision course, and risked the previously good relationship between the two leaders.So, what's happened?Welsh Labour has power over selecting (and reselecting) candidates in council and Assembly elections.If there is an attempt to oust a candidate, Welsh Labour rules mean more than half of the branch association's membership have to vote to deselect the candidate and hold a a full selection battle, with nominations, campaigns and the like.But when it comes to selecting candidates for general elections, the rules are slightly different.In 2018, the UK Labour conference voted to reduce the percentage needed to force a re-selection battle to 33%. It was widely seen as an attempt to make it easier to "purge" critics of Jeremy Corbyn and hand power to left-wing groups like Momentum within Labour.In a bid to draw a clear distinction in Wales and give Welsh Labour MPs the same protection as Welsh Labour AMs, Mick Antoniw AM this week went as First Minister Mark Drakeford's representative to Labour's ruling body, the NEC, with a motion to ensure Welsh Labour rules applied to selection battles for parliamentary candidates in Wales.In essence, he was taking something to Labour's decision-making body that Mark Drakeford wanted approval for. One source told WalesOnline Mr Drakeford would only have done that if he expected it to have been backed.However, the NEC overwhelmingly said no.

The reality  is there is no "Welsh" Labour Party and indeed it is not even really a Branch Office more of the equivalent of a Post Office Box , which London has all the access to.

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