Keir Hardie would be turning in his grave. This is what the Labour party has become. A party until recently wholly committed to austerity, that repeatedly fails to vote against the wilful savagery inflicted on the poor by their Conservative-cut-accomplices in Westminster, a party that delights in lavishing untold billions on weapons of mass destruction.
And in Wales, Keir’s adopted country, a Labour machine brimming with lickspittles and toadies who want to import those nuclear warheads to Pembrokeshire, a party morally and politically spent, acting only in the interests of whatever it takes to retain its tired grip on power.
This paragon of socialist success, Wales, the victim of the longest-running one-party government in Europe.
A Labour party so replete with failure, incompetence and listlessness that its 52-page programme for government contains only the tiniest handful of measurable targets*.
A Labour party that stuffs the institutions that govern our daily lives with party apparatchiks. And the Welsh Government’s defence? That most appointees “did not declare” an affiliation with the Labour party. What they don’t mention? That you only need to declare an affiliation if you’ve been a candidate at election, an agent of a candidate, or a branch Treasurer, Secretary or Chair. That means there are potentially thousands of Labour party members quietly filling up positions in public life with a nod and a wink. What proportion of the 90% of appointees “unaffiliated” to a political party is comprised of Labour party members? We don’t know – and the Welsh Government will never tell us.
A Labour party ruthlessly determined to reduce opportunities for scrutiny and accountability. Using feeble excuses for halting publication of Ministerial decision reports. Consistently fail to meet one of the few targets you yourself invented? Not a problem for Labour. Change, or delete, the target.
So who’s to hold the Welsh Government to account? Not the NGOs. If the environment sector is a representative sample, then the Welsh Government and its agencies apparently use the threat of reduced funding to eliminate criticism.
The media? Well, for a country overly dependent on public service broadcasters such as the BBC, don’t hold your breath. This is a media that treats Carwyn Jones with the sickening reverence usually reserved for the monarchy. Not that all politicians are treated with kid gloves. Jason Mohammad’s pillorying of Leanne Wood for sticking to her principles and not singing the national anthem of another country was astonishing. But then, Leanne’s not an establishment figure, royalty or from the Labour party – goodness knows the backroom deals Labour has done to ensure favourable treatment.
The political opposition? It’s pretty difficult to get your message across if the media is Labour supplicant.
Cai Larsen has pointed out in the past that if your desire is for you and your offspring to get unfair advantage in life, then you stand a much better chance of doing so through membership of the Labour party than through being a mason.
This is what the Labour party in Wales has become. A club for sharing out the spoils of victory to its anointed brethren. An apparatus for stifling dissent, for strangling criticism, and for ensuring its own continuation. The lofty ambitions, the socialism, the ideals, the beliefs, all tossed aside. You don’t need ideals when your status in society is ideal.
Remember this, dear readers, when you flock to the polling booths next May.
Leanne Wood – in that same interview – told Jason that ‘we’re not in North Korea’. And she’s right, we’re not. Yet. But we’re a country that’s been crushed under a Labour administration that’s been in power for 16 years, with another 5 in its sights.
This is the suppurating reality of Welsh public life.
Keir Hardie would be turning in his grave.
* Our inspection revealed just two measurable targets in 52 pages. But do let us know if you can find a few more squirreled away.
- Increasing spending on Wales’ schools by at least 1% over our block grant, and raise the amount delegated by local authorities to schools to 85%.
- Fund and facilitate the employment of 500 Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Wales.