Friday, 29 April 2011

Carwyn dances to an altogether darker tune

Social security, benefits and most economic levers are not devolved. Labour could win 60 seats next week and none of these things will alter. It is a cowardice that a party that have stood solely on being against the Tories lack the cahones to take control of areas that will remain in the hands of those same Tory ogres.

And to be fair, I would happily prefer Labour AMs to be in charge of those policies rather than Tory (or indeed Labour) MPs. MPs in a Westminster context are beholden to swing seats in commuter towns in England, a rabid media that places scandal, pseudo racism and right wing nastiness at it's heart and the mythical 'middle England'.

All this is irrelevant though. Peter Hain's anonymous spokesperson made it crystal clear - anything not devolved is Ed Milliband's and MPs territory. Carwyn Jones is a siloed HR manager. So let's be clear what Labour's policy is in non-devolved areas and who is leading the debate on something like welfare reform.

Blue Labour.

Carwyn Jones could barricade himself to the IPPR office in protest, but the fact is that these policies are outside his payroll. It is why Peter Hain can vote for tuition fees, prescription charges etc for English voters, but then champion opposing them in Wales. It's why Carwyn Jones presents himself as the 'alternative' to the Browne report on tuition fees...commissioned by...Labour in Westminster.

Blue Labour is Labour in Westminster. It is the direction of thinking for all non-devolved areas. Carwyn Jones could be more left wing than Welsh Ramblings and this would not change - Heir to Blair, Heir to Blair, PFI, PFI.

Good post here by Ramblings.


  1. Gets to the point better than my post does!

    "Carwyn Jones is a siloed HR manager." Exactly. Not being disrespectful, some of his ideas are decent and he has genuine principles. It's just in the current set up he is not allowed to be anything more than a glorified council leader.

    Labour in Wales are making hay of the fact that, because of the referendum leadership, Plaid voters like Carwyn Jones.

    They won't be so keen when these limitations become more obvious after the referendum aftermath has died down (imminent). Particularly if Hain starts flexing the muscles and overruling Carwyn.

  2. True.

    But even 'his' ideas (believe me when I say Carwyn Jones was keen to trumpet his 'Scottish style parliament' credentials previously) are ditched at the alter of Westminster. It was astonishing and totally at odds with his personal views for him to dismiss tax varying powers and devolution of criminal justice.

    The whole tory bogeyman thing will die down, no matter how real the Tory barbarism is. Carwyn's limitations in terms of mitigating them will be the political death of him come next time.

  3. get real boys no-one will notice until we have a welsh Sun or Mirror. The fact is we have been conned by the Labour machine this election. Plaid cannot get the message out. Liebour have hoodwinked the donkey-zombie populace back into thinking that they are once again the socialist messiah and predictably they will vote for them like their grandad and great grandad did through pneumoconiosis and white finger. Nothing in return but a reversion Labour hegemony. Our weakness as a nation is media. End of. (don't think the BNP flags around everywhere today mean a return to British values. They just mean the UK media is all powerfull)

  4. Marcus- I agree that the Tory bogeyman will die down, if the UK economy improves. Alot of voters are easily convinced by the appearance of prosperity (they re-elected Blair several times).

    And if the economy doesn't improve and the Tories get even more discredited, Plaid will be able to point out how Wales never voted for Cameron anyway and Labour getting back in (which is out of our hands) opens up the space for nationalist concessions.

    There are plenty of strategic options in both of those scenarios.