Thursday, 3 April 2014


The debate surrounding the debate around the Wales Bill (and the important related issue of fair funding for Wales) which took at Westminster has flushed out some blatant contradictions within the party formerly known as New Labour both in Wales and in Westminster. So rather than bringing clarity to the Labour position on devolution in relation to further financial powers and fair funding for Wales we have ended up with an increasingly bizarre series of contradictions.

Differences of opinions (which have existed for some time) have now fully emerged between Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, Labour leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Welsh Secretary Owen Smith MP (an individual with diverse and contradictory opinions on the tax lockstep as he is both for it and against it) in relation to devolution and how it should or should not develop. Whatever Labour in Wales and Westminster is or is not saying about devolution in Wales, they are saying something different in relation to Scotland.

People may well ask just exactly who speaks for Labour on devolution and just exactly who speaks for Wales. Some of this, I think, can be put can be down to simple ineptitude and some of it can be put down to  barely disguised self-interest on the part of Labour in Westminster MP’s. I suggest this as some of these peoples comfortable jobs will be on the line if Wales gains more powers and the number of Welsh MP’s are understandably reduced.

Most of the responsibility for this  confused and inherently contradictory Labour vision for Wales is down to the fact that Labour in Wales remains deeply split over devolution. The problem is that this shambolic situation does not help the people of Wales very much who are struggling with the effects of the Con Dem Government’s ill-thought out austerity programme. It also further strains the paper thin credibility of Labour in Wales's claim to be standing up for Wales.

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