Thanks to DJ for sending the pdf of this Labour leaflet. If Stephen Doughty doesn’t up his performance on sending the pdfs himself his election address will vanish into the ether.
And we know that he’s getting at least 3 votes, because Lily, Miriam and Iris are backing Stephen. Lily from Splott thinks that Stephen has opposed cuts to police forces from the start, despite the fact that devolution of policing and criminal justice – which his party specifically rules out – is the only way to protect Welsh police forces from the “massive cuts to police numbers”, as Stephen describes them. And Miriam’s concerned that the UK Government has plans to pay Welsh workers less. I’m sure she’d be horrified to hear that Stephen’s party was the one to introduce less pay for Welsh workers when the courts service became the first to have regional pay imposed. And I don’t know if Iris means ‘lower energy prices’ when she says ‘fairer energy prices’, but those are largely out of even David Cameron’s hands, let alone Stephen Doughty’s.
And so to Stephen’s pledges:
- Cuts to police forces
- Campaigning for more local jobs
- “Push for fairer energy prices”, and a new watchdog to pass on energy price cuts to customers
- Campaigning against regional pay
- Fighting for “the best deal” for pensioners
I’ve dealt with this Labour’s policy on police numbers elsewhere, but I’ll just repeat that their policy on this is horribly hypocritical: oppose devolution of the very powers that would enable cuts to be stayed. On energy prices, I just don’t see what can realistically be done in the market-based system we have. There’s possibly some merit in either beefing up or replacing Ofgem – after all, the energy companies can hardly plead poverty – in order to make sure that retail prices are reduced when wholesale prices come down. But I’d be delighted to see further detail on this pledge.
Hypocrisy is making a robust appearance in this leaflet, with Stephen campaigning against the regional pay championed by his party back in 2007. And he doesn’t spell out what “the best deal” for pensioners might be, but this year’s record increase in state pension seems pretty hard to beat in a time of severely curtailed state spending.
On layout, this is a messy leaflet with a hotch-potch of colours and fonts. Stephen appears to have been taking advice from this book, which as the armchair psychologists amongst us know, tells us that personal testimonials, and making yourself seem popular, are good for sales. However it helps if you’re actually visible in a small photo of 30 people.
You’ll have guessed by now that the Shadow of the title is someone a whole lot less glamorous than this guy. It’s Owen Smith, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales.
But not a laughing matter is the pathetic attempt Stephen makes to suggest he cares a jot about the Welsh language. In case you missed it first time round, you can find the micro-font in the bottom right hand corner of the pamphlet, which invites people who would like information in Welsh to “get in touch on the details provided on the back of this leaflet”.