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Thursday, October 02, 2003

Peter Hain

I was starting to feel sorry for Peter Hain. No, really. So he tries to be New Labour in Westminster by defending Foundation Hospitals and Top-up Fees, whilst supporting Rhodri Morgan's "Classic Labour" ( a bit like classic cola, but more corrosive) in Wales in opposing those very policies, so what? Well actually it is quite important. The South Wales Evening Post picked up on this today with an article highlighting Mr. Hain's inconsistencies. They lined up local politicians to have a go at knocking him down. I was quoted as saying that "Peter Hain appears to have two personae - one for each side of the Severn Bridge." Plaid Cymru's Dai Lloyd rather originally called him a "yes-man", whilst Tory group leader, Nick Bourne, waded in with reference to his Janus-type qualities. "Is he a Blairite, a Morganite - or just plain ambitious?" asked Nick.

Any vestige of sympathy for Peter Hain I might have had disappeared when I read his speech to the Labour Party Conference. He was quoted as saying "Charles Kennedy is right wing in the shires and left wing in the cities. No wonder he can't walk in a straight line." Now the stance that the Liberal Democrats take on various issues may be fair game but the analogy was a deliberate reference to malicious and untrue rumours about Charles' alleged drinking habits and attempted character assassination put about to undermine him as a successful leader of a popular third party. If as Leader of the House of Commons, Mr. Hain can't keep out of the gutter then he deserves no sympathy whatsoever.

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