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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Don't Panic!

I have a really busy day today so I will not have the time to blog properly. However, I would draw your attention to this article by Matt Withers in the Wales on Sunday, which sums up the rather transparent and unsubtle tactics currently being employed by the Welsh Labour Government to blame everything on Westminister:

“Yesterday, it was Remploy, today it’s the Green Investment Bank,” briefed a Welsh Government source.

“What have the Tories and Lib Dems got against Wales?”

This is the narrative which Labour wish to imprint on people’s minds over the coming weeks, months and years. Not just that Tory/Lib Dem policies are damaging Wales – but worse, they’re doing it specifically to damage Wales.

Yet these are two different issues.

True, the UK Government announced the closure of Remploy factories in a spectacularly cack-handed way. In terms of timing, not only was it at the same time of welfare cuts to the disabled, it was slipped out while Parliament was busying itself with the Diamond Jubilee.

And then worse, it was done through an oral statement and a list of closures filed in the House of Commons library, leaving the unpleasant spectacle of people finding out they had lost their job from Sky News.

But that’s not to mask the fact that job losses at Remploy began under Labour, or that it was impossible to find a single disability charity in Wales which was prepared to argue in favour of the continuation of a scheme set up to provide employment for those men who arrived home from World War II with a disabling injury.

With the Green Investment Bank, the Welsh Government’s reaction is in danger of looking not so much like politicking as outright paranoia.

Cardiff’s bid appears to have been rejected in the first round. Some commentators have speculated that ministers’ anti-business rhetoric – whether that be Carwyn Jones calling for a tax on financial transactions or Business Minister Edwina Hart’s public musing about “regretting capitalism” and urging a re-reading of Karl Marx – may have been a factor.

In actual fact, it’s more likely to have been simple logistics. Not only do the English and Scottish capitals already have the infrastructure for large-scale financing, but one of the requirements is to be within three hours of Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris – a target only achievable for Cardiff come an upgrade of its airport or the invention of the teleporter, whichever comes first.

It has even got to the point whereby the First Minister and other members of the Welsh Cabinet seek to avoid answering questions on their own record and instead jusr renounce Westminster instead. It will all come back to bite them in the end.
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