Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Fib Dems are at it again

The Lib Dems in South Wales West have published a leaflet claiming they are campaigning to save adult neurosurgery in Morriston hospital. Slightly disingenuous it could be argued, as most their Assembly group including their health spokesperson voted in favour of centralising the service in Cardiff.

The only party who remained consistent in their position on this issue was Plaid. Let's hope the people of West Wales don't get hoodwinked by yet more cynical opportunism by the London parties.
update - several Labour candidates in the Swansea area are also claiming in literature that they are against closing the neurosurgery unit in Morriston. if its such a defining issue then the honourable thing to do would be to leave the Labour party as it is primarilly their policy to centralise the service in Cardiff.


Peter Black said...

But the fact is that the Liberal Democrats in South Wales West are campaigning to keep neurosurgery in Swansea.

Ted Jones said...

your obviously not campaigning very hard if even your own health spokesperson doesn't agree with you.

the people of west wales deserve a clear commitment on this issue.

Peter Black said...

They have a clear commitment from all our local candidates. This is not a party political issue and local people will not thank you for turning it into one because that is the surest way to lose neurosurgery altogether.

bethan said...

Peter, sorry but this is party political. There was a vote about this in the Assembly, and only Plaid voted as a party against moving Neurosurgery to Cardiff- this is a fact.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

How did Peter Black himself vote on this issue in the assembly?

Ted Jones said...

The point I am making Peter is if you can't deliver the whole of your Assembly Group your local commitment dosn't count for anything.

Che Grav-ara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Che Grav-ara said...

I think Peter's comments that the local candidates are supporting it whilst the group at the Assembly, including the health spokesperson voted aginst it, perfectly demonstartes how fickle the Lib Dems are. They will say one thing to your face on election day and knock your neighbours door and say the opposite. Peter you can say this isnt party political but you cant get anymore party political than voting against retaining this much needed service at the assembly and then distributing leaflets at election time saying you support it!

bethan said...

yes totally che. Some lib dems voted for, some against. It was mostly along geographical lines.

It was only Plaid who had any clear strategy to support the campaign to keep neurosurgery in Swansea, and so it remains.

Nevertheless, I am sure we will see Lib dems try and hijack the demo in Swansea later this month before the election!

Peter Black said...

The only people doing any hijacking here Bethan is Plaid and it will come back and bite you.

For information I spoke and voted in the Assembly to retain neurosurgery in Swansea. I remain committed to that campaign as do all the other South Wales West Liberal Democrat candidates. It is only fair to tell people where we stand and how we will vote in the Assembly, though actually the final decision will not be subject to a vote of the Assembly but will be made by the Minister. I have a clear commitment on this issue and will continue to maintain one.

That commitment is not insignificant within the Assembly as a whole. There is nothing fickle or inconsistent about that. This is not a party political matter, this is a matter that affects the whole of South and West Wales irrespective of party affiliation and the important thing is that all the local politicians are lined up behind the campaign to keep neurosurgery in Swansea.

Ted Jones said...

Peter, I admire your tenacity!

Surely in your leaflet therefore you should have said something along the lines of - 'lib dems in south west will campaign to save neurosurgery in swansea, but the rest of our politicians in Wales will vote to centralise in Cardiff.'

You are deliberately trying to mislead the electorate into thinking that the Lib Dems en masse are against the proposals, which the Welsh wing of you party clearly isn't.

It's is in the public interest that your inconsistencies as a party are exposed. Otherwise elements for the electorate might vote for you on this issue based on the misleading impression you are setting out.

Peter Black said...

Given that our leaflets are espousing the election of local candidates it is perfectly right that the phrasing should be as it is. I am astonished that Plaid are seeking to exploit this issue in this way. They are hijacking a cross party campaign and putting its success in jeopardy.

Ted Jones said...

'given that our leaflets are espousing the election of local candidates it is perfectly right that the phrasing should be as it is.'

It's not a cross party campaign cause your other AMs voted for centralisation in Cardiff.

The very fact that you as a local party ar attempting to missinform the electorate shows that you are the ones exlpoiting the issue for political gain.

Peter Black said...

Can we just have a reality check here and ask what leaflet you are referring to? The one in Swansea East specifically says that 'Helen Ceri Clarke is fighting to keep Adult Brain surgery in Swansea." Not only is that statement accurate and true but it reflects her commitment (and mine) to this campaign. It in no way commits the entire Welsh Liberal Democrats to the cause as you inply and, as we do not operate a Stalinist whip as Plaid seem to do, she and I will be free to take this campaign into the Assembly.

Surely that is what the people of Swansea are looking for in a candidate, somebody who is independently minded and puts their interests above those of the party. There is no misinformation here whatsoever.

As for your assertion that this is not a cross-party campaign I am sure that those in the Labour, Tory and Welsh Liberal Democrat parties who have been working together with Plaoid members on this will be very interested in that statement.

It is demonstrably a cross-party campaign and that is why Plaid attempts to hi-jack it will lose you support.

Peter Black said...

For clarity that should read: "Surely that is what the people of Swansea are looking for in a candidate, somebody who is independently minded and puts local interests above those of the party. There is no misinformation here whatsoever."

Ted Jones said...

far from me to offer advice to the candidates of another party but it's time to stop digging Peter.

The leaflet this whole debate is referring to is the 'South Wales Observer' - Lib Dem publication.

I won't reply to anymore posts I'll let it to the good people of West Wales to decide for themselves.

Peter Black said...

Well the South Wales Observer specifically refers to the stance of four individual candidates. Your problem is that whilst I am digging your party is suffocating in your own opportunism.

Che Grav-ara said...


I have to say that I disagree with your view that voters in the Swansea and surrounding areas are not being misled by your party on this issue.

You say that you are stating that as local candidates you are fighting to retain this service. However your own health spokesperson voted for moving the facility to Cardiff. Surely this is a clear indication of your party's health policy. It is quite clear that if the Lib dems were to enter into any form of government their policy would therefore be in favour of moving neurosurgery away from the people of Swansea. As such I do not feel it is fair for you to be hoodwinking the electorate into thinking that you, or any other candidate claiming you will fight for neurosurgery in Swansea, can or will make a difference.

The only party that is consistent in their approach in this matter (irrespective of geographical obligations) is plaid cymru. As a result the only party that can say with certainty that their entire membership is committed to neurosurgery in Swansea is plaid. Ipso facto, if you wish to save neurosurgery in Swansea then vote plaid. If you wish to be told one thing by a local candidate knowing full well that party is committed to moving neurosurgery away from Swansea, and that party's health spokesperson has even voted to do just that. Vote Lib Dems