.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Should he stay or should he go?

It was inevitable really, Rhodri Morgan says that the Assembly election campaign should be about Welsh issues, so the Western Mail rings around all the Labour AMs to ask them if they think Tony Blair should stand down before the May elections. The response was lukewarm to say the least.

Only one Labour Assembly Member was prepared to offer unequivocal support for Tony Blair to stay on. The rest stuck to the party line, which is basically 'we are trying to pretend he is not there.'

What was interesting for me was the admission that the Prime Minister is planning to play a full role in the Assembly election campaign with a series of high-profile visits already pencilled into his diary. This is going to make Labour's 'Welsh issues' strategy very difficult to sustain. I can think of no better way to associate Wales Labour with the failings and scandals of the Blair government than by having the man himself campaigning in Wales during the Assembly elections.
Every Labour AM knows Blair will go in the Summer.

None of them in their right minds want the distraction of a leadership contest to kick off while the Party in Wales is in campaigning mode. It is going to be tough enough to talk about Welsh policy given the penetration of the London media.

If you take the view that any publicity is good publicity if it chimes with your message then involving Blair makes some sense. He is the most formidable British politician of his generation and the most successful Labour Leader in history - a kind of British Clinton. Now it is clear he is on his final tour, one might find Labour supporters are more likely to look at his record favourably.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?