Thursday, 26 March 2009
Welsh poverty - a Labour success story!
A new low in political campaigning has been reached.
Labour's new website launches with one of those painfully amateurish "satirical songs" that don't quite scan and never ever rhyme.
To hear that it was written by Eluned Morgan, a sitting Labour MEP, makes me wonder what we're paying her to do in Brussels.
For those of a sensitive nature, who may be unable to endure the full three-minute version, Labour is claiming credit for getting European funding for West Wales and the Valleys.
Objective One funding is given to those areas of the EU that have an income of less than 75% of the average GDP, i.e. the poorest parts of the continent. The only other parts of the UK to receive O1 funding were Cornwall and Merseyside, two economic basketcases.
Between 2002-08, £1.2 billion went on a variety of projects and such was the impact that Welsh GDP continued to fall in relation to the rest of the UK and we qualified for yet more European funding! The top-down nature of the funding has been heavily criticised by community groups, local enterprises and economists who feel the money has been squandered by Labour on pet projects that haven't delivered sustainable jobs or infrastructural improvements.
This enduring poverty is what Eluned Morgan and Labour consider to be a result - another Labour success! Perhaps she can explain being poor enough for another six years of European handouts is anything to sing about?