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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Clear red water

Eluned Morgan's comments at the Labour Party Conference are part of a wide-ranging debate that is well underway within Wales Labour about what went wrong in May and where they go from here.

In as much as this is an internal Labour debate it is of course none of my business, though clearly the outcome of these discussions have direct relevance to both Welsh politics and how other parties respond to them. The fact that the discussion is being conducted partly in public makes it a matter of interest both to myself and anybody else with a stake in the future of Wales.

I will limit myself to the observation therefore that the change of direction being mooted by Eluned Morgan became inevitable once Tony Blair stood down and was succeeded by Gordon Brown. Up until that handover the fact remained that most people in Wales were naturally suspicious of Blairism and New Labour, now they are undergoing a re-evaluation of their views.

In the circumstances, the creation of Welsh Labour (or Classic Labour as Rhodri Morgan would have it) and clear red water helped to inure traditional Labour voters to the increasingly unpleasant choice facing them. When that fell apart in May Labour had further to fall in Wales than elsewhere as levels of support dropped to those in England.

As Gordon Brown is more in tune with the views and aptitude of his party's voters in Wales, the need for distancing is not so acute. However, the corollary to all of this is that Labour support in future Welsh Assembly elections will be far more easily influenced by UK trends.
Has Rhodri actually called it "Classic Labour"? Because it strikes me that "Classic Coke" is what they initially called the original Coca-Cola recipe when it was reintroduced because people thought that "New Coke" wasn't authentic enough. Moreover, most connoisseurs (if such can be said to exist) claim that "Classic Coke" never tasted the same as it had before.

Can't imagine why that metaphor appeals to me...
I've noticed that Eluned is increasingly more Belgian in both her accent and demeanour. Maybe the odd visit home might help!

There obviously isn't so much red water as cultural divide between how Labour "want" to look and actually appear in Wales, depending which side of Offa's Dyke or the Channel you live.

There is no "Welsh Labour" only "Labour".

They got stuffed at the last election which suggests that she might actually be right. But I doubt it. The electorate appear to have lost faith in them irregardless who is at the steer or what divides they try and conjur.

Llongyfarchiadau on your blog accolade Peter. Well deserved.
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