The Labour Party (once formerly known New Labour) are quietly hoping that people will simply forget the terrible mess they created when they were in power at Westminster and the cuts they would have implemented had they not been deservedly thrown out by the electorate. New (and Old) Labour were pretty good on sound-bites but well short on actual delivery, Harold Wilson, once talked about "The white heat of the technological revolution" (on October 1st 1963) yet once the dust had settled after six years of Labour Government very little had changed and very little was delivered as vested interests in the Labour Movement thwarted any real economic reform.
History has almost repeated itself, save for that now after nearly 13 years in power the Labour Party is now back wallowing in its comfort zone, safely out of office at Westminster, safely free from responsibility, they are enjoying what they love to do best – attacking the Tories. And talking up the Tory threat (as well practised by Peter Hain) in the Welsh General election is Labour's bottom line and works along the line of if you tell a simple big enough lie often enough then people will eventually believe it.
There is a long history of to the Labour sound-bite, Harold Wilson said in his 1961 Labour Party Conference speech "The Labour Party is a moral crusade or it is nothing". It seems that the answer is that it is nothing. More recently Tony Blair said "It is not an arrogant government that chooses priorities, it's an irresponsible government that fails to choose". New Labour consistently failed to choose to act to make Wales better and consistently choose to put Party interest before principle and the interests of the people of Wales.
At one very basic level, why not? There is certainly a great deal to attack the Tories (and their Liberal Democrat little helpers) for when it comes to our public services and our economy. But do Labour, not so New, Not so New Labour or whatever they choose to call themselves actually have any real credibility when it comes to attacking the Tories on these issues?
Certainly the party formerly known as New Labour's recent history is marked by a series of of opportunities wasted by Labour in government, the things they could have done, and were supposed to fight for, but chose not to. Fair funding for Wales under Labour, so that would be a No then. Electrifying the Great Western from Swansea to London, that would be a very reluctant Yes, but only after Plaid (and Ieuan Wyn Jones) put them in a situation where they had no other option - originally they planned to electrify the Great Western from Bristol to London - perhaps they helped that we in Wales would not notice.
To sum up, Labour are the 'friends' who are never there when you need them. Labour was the friend that the people of Wales turned to for the best part of one hundred years when faced with economic and political adversity. Through strikes, recession, the Thatcher and Major years the people sought comfort from their natural political home and got scant reward for it during the 13 years of Labour Government. New Labour did nothing to curb the irresponsibility of the bankers and little to support our manufacturing industry and or small to medium sized businesses, that are the lifeblood of much of the Welsh economy.
When given the opportunity (and the Westminster majority to match) to implement real and lasting improvements to the lives of its loyal supporters, New Labour was the friend that offers warm words in opposition, but is never there when you really need them, when they actually had the power to deliver for the Welsh people, they chose not too. Come the 5th May, we all to remember New and Old Labour's failure to deliver for Wales, and cast our votes accordingly.