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Thursday, February 24, 2005

Is this a dagger I see before me?

Like Banquo at the feast the Labour MP for Blaenau Gwent, Llew Smith, appears to delivers a parting shot at his New Labour colleagues. Mr Smith has blasted the Prime Minister for creating a Labour Party so "in tune" with Conservative policy it amounted to "dumping so many Socialist principles". He branded his party's agenda as "Thatcherism with a human face".

I was struck by how closely his analysis resembled that of the Liberal Democrats:

Mr Smith rounded on a party he believes is increasingly in step with the Conservatives, by introducing top-up fees for university students, house arrest for terror suspects and privatisation of public services.

He said, "This Government hasn't even the courage or good political sense to tax those earning over £100,000 at a modest 50% rate.

"So inequality is safe in New Labour's hands."

Mr. Smith is, of course, standing down at the next election and is to be succeeded as Labour candidate by the product of an all-female shortlist. This has brought great disquiet to Blaenau Gwent and split the constituency Labour Party down the middle. It is strongly believed that local Labour AM, Peter Law, a close ally of Mr. Smith, will stand as an independent.

It is just possible that Llew's outburst is the first salvo in the battle for him to be succeeded by his favoured candidate and that it was designed to help set the agenda for Peter Law's campaign.
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