Wednesday, 27 October 2010


Despite the positive growth figures, which the Con Dem Government and their media coat-holders have understandably made much of, the cuts are still a major gamble (of epic Mississippi riverboat proportions) on the part of the Con Dem Government. This is literally a case of win or bust, the problem is that this is a major gamble not only with the state of the economy but on the lives of every person who live in Wales.

The reckless combination of slash and burn cuts and the crazed Thatcherite obsession with privatisation (Forestry in England, the Post Office, possibly even the Passport Office, etc) could lead to the loss of half a million public sector jobs - a figure which could well be doubled when considering the impact on the private sector. Certainly Con Dem Government suggestions that the private sector will be able to step in to the jobs vacuum left behind is not so much a case of staggering naivety and more of case of an utter failure to understand the realities of the intertwined nature of the public and private sector in Wales.

Certainly whatever economic planet the Tories (who may be on Planet Bullingdon) and their Lib Dem little helpers /partners /collaborators believe they are living on, certainly does not include Wales, where the private sector is not as strong as it could be, but, is thoroughly intertwined with the public sector and somewhat happily dependent on relatively fat public sector contracts.

There is something else though, which over the term of this Government (however long it lasts) may have a more lasting impact, and that is any scant thought about the impact of their decisions upon Wales or the people of Wales. Even the South Wales Argus, has picked this up (and it is no lover of ‘Welsh Nationalism) in relation to the on-going campaign to save the passport office, stating in it's editorial (27th October) that “Whitehall’s failure to recognise the inalienable rights of Wales to equality with the other nations smacks to us of institutionalised racism” – I could not have put it better myself.

Let's be honest, if the last New Labour Government was pretty ignorant (and somewhat London centric) when it can to Welsh issues (economic and other) and that with the alleged strong Labour voice's around the cabinet table, then this lot in the current Con Dem Government in London are going to be even more cut off from the economic, social and political realities of life as it is lived here in Wales.

I mean these people think that providing a pilot area (in Herefordshire) for next generation broadband project which are set to take place in Scotland and England - will suffice for Wales. Moving swiftly on, the impression given is that the current Welsh Secretary of State is less than a strong voice for Wales in Government. It may well be the literal case that she is not sat around the cabinet table, let alone in the same building or the same city when it comes to decisions being made that affect Wales.

What would be useful is a speedy reform of New Labour’s unfair Barnett Formula and need to be able to exercise control over levels of corporation tax so that our businesses can get the support that they will need during tough times. The reality is that we had better not be holding our collective breath and be expecting the current government to even notice if we collectively went blue and passed out over an issue of principle – get used to the fact that Wales is not and will never be on the Con Dem’s economic or political radar.

So there we are, we face instead the grim prospect of ill-judged and reckless cut backs in public spending, which may lead to an end result of our communities being blamed for being poor and lacking in aspiration by the Con Dem ministers. Wales needs to be in charge of her own resources, and free to make its own economic decisions so that we can mastermind our own economic recovery, rather than cling onto the Con Dem Government's coat-tails and hope for the best.

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