It was Peter the Pain (Hain) wittering on, on Radio 4's ‘Question Time’ from Chepstow the other week, that started me train of thought, he was having a go at the Lib Dems for not defending Wales. Naturally the panel contained no Plaid representatives but there would be Plaid representative the following week on the edition from Stroud. This sort of thing is now a simple irritant, perhaps you get used to this sort of sort of institutionalised not quite bipartisan behaviour from the BBC after a while.
I digress; it was the Pete the Pain’s behaviour that convinced me that this was the latest party attack / defence line from Labour Party HQ. Already the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, had claimed that the Conservatives by criticising the NHS and the education system in Wales were actually attacking Wales and Welsh values. While this is a less than subtle response to David Cameron's attacks on Labour in Wales it is potentially quite effective.
The basic principle of distraction is the substitution of a headline grabbing untruth, as with most blatant untruths it's simple and the more times it is repeated the more believable it will become. What's actually occurred was in the run up to the recent Welsh Conservative Conference, DC was trying to score some political points at the expense of the Labour party in Wales (and Westminster).
Labour in Wales's less than subtle response to this was to suggest that the Labour Party in Wales is standing up for Wales and that it is the natural choice for Welsh voters. The problem is that this approach falls short of reality. Even the most disinterested observer may have noted that the Labour party in Wales (and Westminster) are split (if not downright dysfunctional) over their attitudes to devolution and to Wales.
Reasonably regularly Labour in Westminster's MP's who represent (electorally at least) geographically Welsh seats have put their own personal and Labour party self interest ahead of the Welsh national interest and the needs of the Welsh people. Part of the reason for this is that the transfer of more powers to the National Assembly will mean the call to reduce the number of Welsh MP's in Westminster will grow. The English electorate (and English MP's) will question the validity of Welsh over representation in Westminster and their influence on English only legislative matters.
One pretty predictable result would be fewer jobs for the boys - sorry fewer opportunities for Labour elected representatives to become geographically Welsh MPs. This is only a matter of time; the Con Dems have already looked at this once before dropping it as the coalition partners fell out of the democratically disastrous referendum on electoral reform. No doubt this lead too much relief on the part of our largely sitting Labour MP's in Westminster as this particular boundary commission bullet was dodged. This issue, is not however, going to go away...