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Friday, June 09, 2006

The nuclear option

The opposition of the Assembly Government and at least three of the four parties in the Welsh Assembly to any more nuclear power stations in Wales seems destined to come to nought. The Prime Minister used his weekly question time on Wednesday to make it clear that Wales cannot be treated as a special case when it comes to making a decision on building new nuclear power stations.

This is the third big issue on which Labour in Cardiff Bay are at odds with their compatriots in Westminster. The other two are the loss of the Post Office Card Account and the creation of a single police force. In all three cases however, it looks like it will be Rhodri Morgan who will be on the losing side.

Rhodri has been keen in the past to put clear red water between Wales Labour and New Labour and these disagreements may well be seen to be part of that mood music. However there is a difference between policy distinctions that take into account Welsh needs and aspirations and seeking to disown those bits that Wales Labour think will lose votes.

At some stage Rhodri Morgan has to decide whether Wales Labour is a separate and independent political party or part of the UK movement. If it is the latter then he has to accept responsibility along with UK Ministers for the actions of his Labour government on UK issues.
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