Thursday, 28 June 2007

That Loyal! The Labour Dilemma


The members of the Labour Party in Wales are facing a dilemma, and it concerns loyalty. Should they give their loyalty to Wales or to the Union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland? If Wales is a nation, which most of us agree is so, is Britain also a nation, or is this a contradiction? Do they give their loyalty and trust to Rhodri Morgan, Chief Minister of the Welsh Assembly, or to Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of Great Britain? It must be highly confusing to them. Are they Welsh first and Labourites second - Welsh first and British second? They are certainly not Socialists. New Labour has very little relation to Socialism. These days it has more in common with the Conservative Party. In their efforts to grab the centre ground of politics they have given up their principles, so that it is Plaid which is to the left of Labour. Many Welsh Labour members are in favour of greater devolution for Wales, whereas many of the Welsh Labour M.P.s in Westminster are frantically pulling on the brakes. Rhodri is doing his best to sell a Plaid/Labour coalition to his members, while his colleagues in London are actively campaigning against it, with Lord Neil Kinnock at their head. It is a real dilemma for them. What can they do?

I have a suggestion which I would like to float.

My suggestion is that the Welsh Labour members vote to sever their links with the Labour Party UK and form a Social Democratic Party of Wales. By doing this they will move to the left, and regain the socialist principles that were abandoned by New Labour. They will be free to pursue the progressive policies which the people of Wales are demanding, without the guilt of subscribing to the policies of New Labour. They will adapt the policies of Keir Hardie and Aneurin Bevan to conform to the exigencies of the present age, the 21st Century, and in company with Plaid Cymru, they will present a radical programme of reform to the people of Wales.


5 comments:

Charlie Marks said...

I concur, but wouldn't bet on it happening. As for the name "social democratic" feels too close to the old SDP... How's about Workers' Party of Wales -- aliterative and has the word worker in it. Imagine the irony of Blair and Brown leading a New Workers party...

The most out-there suggestion is that Welsh Labour and Plaid merge post-independence...

Anonymous said...

You really are rubbing our noses in it Alan. Dod you return to this country and join Plaid this year to destroy it?

Iolo said...

Hey, come on. This fusion of political programmes by Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru could give us the strongest socialist government since 1945. They say some Labour AMs have been liberated by working on this deal.

It's fascinating to see Lord Kinnock trying to bring the Tories back into power for a second time. If he stops the Labour conference backing the coalition, that will be the outcome.

Of course, he did this before in 1979 by wrecking devolution then' leading to the fall of the Callaghan government and Margaret Thatcher's victory.

But then, unlike most Labour supporters, he's done well out of being a Brit nationalist.

Charlie Marks said...

I think the point about devolution pre-1979 is very important. A lot of comrades forget that the Thatcherite assault would have been much harder had Labour been in power in Scotland and Wales *at that particular time*...

Having brought in legislation for devolution, it was sabotaged, and what could have guaranteed resistance throughout the 1980s was lost: a degree of representation for two of the nations within the UK.

The level of entrism and radicalism within labour is unthinkable today, and if devolution had occured at that time, Labour might have loosened the attachment for British imperialism...

One thought about the Atlee govt: although nationalisation took place, it was of the Morrisonian variety and was done on good terms for the ruling class.

I was dismayed to read in the Our Wales document no mention of citizen-initiated referenda, which got a mention in the "rainbow" document.

The democratisation of the state within Wales -- in terms of local government and the devolved assembly -- is of great importance, and i hope that something more concrete than promises to be more deliberative and participatory emerge over the next few months.

Morgan Hen said...

So you are Hayzell David!!