Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Welsh Unionism

Blamerbell in his provocative style asks a legitimate question in a recent blog ‘Is there such a thing as Welsh unionism?’

The Labour party in Wales have a clear unionist wing, currently led by the likes of Leighton Andrews, Huw Lewis and seemingly Peter Hain. The Tories are still officially called the Conservative and Unionist Party – so that’s clear enough.

It’s the unionist wing in the Labour which has been calling all the shots of late. It was they who came up with the farcical Vote Plaid get Tory strategy – in which the Tories were quite happy to dovetail as it was of equal benefit to them. Here is the real coalition in Welsh politics of course, the unionist wing of the Labour party and the Tories.

It's no secret the Labour Party in Wales is facing meltdown at the Assembly elections, and it seems increasingly improbable that Rhodri Morgan will be able to continue to lead in those circumstances (He has actually gone on the record as saying that he’ll go once he loses the confidence of the people of Wales – based on whether Labour get an overall majority – in that context with nobody in their right mind expecting an overall majority for Labour after May, Rhodri Morgan is a dead man walking).

When Rhodri stands down after the election, the Labour Party will inevitably be forced into civil war as the Welsh and unionist wings strive for control. The reality is that a strong performance by the Tories will aid the internal arguments of the unionist wing within the Labour Party in Wales.

One of the major reasons for Labour’s lack of vision for a third term is that all the main contenders for the Labour Assembly Group leadership are positioning themselves ready for May the 4th.

The real dynamic in Welsh politics is between the forces of progression and those who wish to hold Wales back. Between those who want to see Wales move forward, and those who will stoop to anything to hold on to their position of power, be it at a Welsh level or in Westminster.

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