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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Time to move on

If there is one word that sums up Peter Hain, then it must be relentless. That is because once he has his teeth into an issue he will not let go.

Normally that is a good thing, but sometimes you just have to admit defeat and move on, especially when you are not just swimming against the tide of public opinion but actually below their radar.

In other words most people do not care less about the boundary review, are tired of MPs pursuing their own self-interest and would prefer their elected politicians to be fighting on more bread and butter issues. That is not a reason of course not to take up an unpopular issue but do the Shadow Secretary of State's arguments really stack-up?

In this morning's Western Mail, Mr. Hain argues that the recent boundary review was designed to undermine the Labour party even though the outcome has actually been to consolidate their hold on Wales. He even acknowledges that the Conservatives, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Liberal Democrats will fare worse than Labour.

In fact evidence I have seen elsewhere shows that Labour could still come out with a majority across the UK on the new boundaries even if they secured a smaller vote share than the Conservatives.

Mr. Hain's other argument is that Wales is being done down because it has less seats. In fact Welsh representation is now on a par with the rest of the UK.

I find it incomprehensible that anybody could argue for Wales to have more than its fair share of MPs when it has the advantage of its own law-making Assembly in Cardiff. It is not as if a Welsh MP is any more overworked than his or her English counterpart.

On balance, the Neath MP is not just out-of-touch but he is also wrong.
Plus ca change...
Peter, there are very good reasons why Labour can win even with less votes. The first is that in safe Labour seats turnout is usually very low. Secondly the Lib Dems / Labour tactical voters mean that in Lib - Tory battles Labours vote is much lower than its actual support (surely you understand the principle of the "only Lib Dems can beat the Tories here" leaflets).

I'm not trying to defend the tanned one but it is odd for a party based on tactical support to decry its outcomes.
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