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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Forked tongues and Wales Labour

Welsh Labour spokespeople are starting to get predictable now, in the vehemence of their attacks on the UK Coalition Government, their failure to provide an alternative and, in the case of Peter Hain, the very personal nature of his remarks about the Secretary of State for Wales. This morning's Western Mail piece is a case in point.

In the first instance we have Professor Mark Drakeford, Assembly Member for Cardiff West and a former Government Special Advisor, whose comments indicate that some of that academic rigour he once applied in his former profession may have worn off.

He trots out a familiar argument, claiming that David Cameron's veto of a new European Treaty has irreparably damaged Welsh interests in Europe and yet he then goes on to say that the deal on the table at Brussels was "one which no-one of sane economic mind ought to be prepared to contemplate. It commits its signatories (assuming that there is, in the end, a deal to which signing-up actually takes place) to a period of Europe-wide deflation and austerity which is utterly self- defeating.”

So what would he have done differently? He predicts dire consequences for the Welsh economy but never makes the link as to how the veto has put us in this position. That is because there is no link. Instead many of the problems facing Wales are structural and a consequence of the recession and economic mismanagement of the last Labour Government. The Welsh Government, led by Labour for 12 years also has a significant responsibility for this.

Still, if Labour shout loud enough then maybe people will start to believe them. That is certainly the tactics adopted by Peter Hain. Surely though, even the most non-political individual must have got to the point when they conclude that the Neath MP is protesting just a little bit too much.

As it happens I agree with Peter Hain on regional pay, but let us not forget that the only instance of it being introduced was under the Labour Government in which he was a Minister. With that knowledge, Hain's protestations start to sound a bit lame.

As for his claims that Cheryl Gillan has no influence and that Carwyn Jones has lost confidence in her, well so far so predictable. Any relationship is two-way and in my view any breakdown is as much the fault of the Welsh Government as it is the Secretary of State for Wales.

Peter Hain can play games with this if he likes, but his little strategms do nothing to advance the interests of the Welsh people.
'Peter Hain can play games with this if he likes'
hopefully not with disabled people and people who produce stuff, the remploy factory closure
Just strikes me that the Welsh Government ("WG") is focused more on rhetoric and criticising than rebuilding the Welsh economy.
Reflecting on Peter's post... it really is time that the WG sought to build bridges with all parties including the UK Coalition Government ("UCG") to help secure the UK's future, which naturally includes Wales.

It is a sign of immaturity that the WG instead seeks stand-off rows - arguments that don't advance solutions.

The economic situation is now so serious it is now a national security issue - if we don't work together to come up with solutions that turn the UK economy around (also that of Europe as a whole), we will have to accept that we are no longer 'in the game' and that other nations will overtake us, which is already starting to happen as evidenced by China moving to the #2 spot and now Brazil which knocked the UK out of its former spot. Former third-world nations will overtake the UK and even Germany if we don't come up with a business model that puts manufacturing and exports at the top of our list of priorities.

An economy driven by consumerism and debt will turn us into a nation of yesterday.

We have to export to survive.

There should be a MASSIVE focus on innovation/protecting innovation, manufacturing and EXPORTS.

The "City" ('Square Mile') is fine and earns the UK a lot of money and prestige, but absent a strong manufacturing base we have too many eggs in one basket (The City).

In the matter of Wales, the WG should focus on indigenous export focused businesses. Wales needs a broad manufacturing base focused on innovation, and not merely satellite manufacturing plants which close down at the drop of a hat when it’s cheaper to shift production to some other plant in some other country.
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