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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Sleep-walking to disaster?

Labour AM, Huw Lewis, has published an on-line pamphlet this morning in which he warns that his party it will “sleepwalk” to electoral disaster at the next Assembly election in 2011 without major changes. It can be read here.

Huw argues that Wales Labour needs to be fully staffed and more effectively organised, in effect that it should be on a permanent 'war-footing' so as to connect better with the electorate. He also advocates the adoption of a 10-year policy programme by the party, saying, “The idea that we have to present surprise policy commitments a few weeks before an election in order to grab the news agenda for the day is unhealthy and as we have already seen can lead to undeliverable commitments and gimmickry.”

In particular Huw wants to engage better with the Trade Unions, giving them a guaranteed seat at the decision-making table, a role that will inevitably be controversial amongst the wider electorate.

Huw's pamphlet is the start of an internal debate within Labour that will be mirrored in every other political party in Wales over the next few months as they get to grips with the lessons of the 2007 Assembly elections. I am writing my own contribution to the Welsh Liberal Democrat debate, which I will publish once it is finished.
Do you see that Huw Lewis, by his actions, has widened the gap between the two sections of the Labour Party, the progressives in the Assembly (apart from him and 4 women) and the backward-looking Labour clique of Welsh MP's which include Don Touhig, Kim Howells and Paul Murphy, and who sit at the feet of Neil Kinnock?
Watch out for falling debris as the party splits asunder.
alanindyfed said: "the progressives in the Assembly (apart from him and 4 women)"...

Good to see that you've added offensive misogynism to your list of character traits, Alan, to go along with the political ineptitude and blinkered nationalism.

Peter – look forward to your contribution.
Huw Lewis telling the Labour party now to wake up to their election result is laughable. Think he would be so angry if he still had his Deputy Minister's salary???
Just read the pamphlet. Lots of nice things to say about the trade unions and the Welsh MPs/MEPs who make up over 50% of the electoral college. Also interesting to note that internal labour polling said that rhodri was as unpopular as Tony Blair!

Could this be the start of a Huw Lewis leadership bid?

Interesting to see if he now goes on a tour of Labour constituencies. My guess is that if Mr Lewis sets foot in Alun and Deeside in the next year then he's running (there is no other possible reason for going to deeside)
Is this the Huw Lewis, AM for Merthyr who lives up the road from me ... ?
Robbie needs to get his facts straight; the mere mention of four women in the Assembly does not constitute misogynistic views. It is he who needs to show respect.
Have you seen David Jones' MP's response to Huw's pamphlet?

He mentions some of the good people he came to know during his brief Assembly membership:

There was the genial Dafydd Wigley, .... who was always unfailingly kind to me. There was Phil Williams, ... with whom I shared a love of jazz. And there was the impish Peter Black, a fine orator who became a friend, years later, when we both took our seats at Westminster.!!!!

Congratulations on winning a Westminster seat, Peter, but - if I may be so bold - choose your friends wisely before parking your btm on the green benches ;-) !!!
It is not often that I am mistaken for David Davies MP. I am rather unsettled and disturbed by the mistake.
"It is not often that I am mistaken for David Davies MP. I am rather unsettled and disturbed by the mistake."

Are you sure this is the case? His discussion is of "political opponents" he met in the Assembly. I read it that he's either predicting that's where you'll end up, or there's a Peter Black impersonator in the Commons. Charisma free of course ;)
Right, he confused me with Peter Law. Not so unhappy now.
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