Saturday, 9 April 2011

"Who gives a rat's backside?"

The gloves are well and truly off in the Assembly election campaign - and it could be a lot more fun as a result.

Labour launched its campaign by trying to make this a way to kick the Con-Dem coalition in Westminster. That's no surprise for two reasons:

• Labour's always been focussed more on winning power in London than serving the people of Wales and

• They haven't got any new ambitious policies for Wales.

Labour's vision for Wales seems to consist of continuing free prescriptions, free bus passes and free school breakfasts. There's a vague promise to provide more funding for schools but without any idea why and they want 500 more Police Community Support Officers. In Wrecsam that would mean an additional 12 PCSOs for the entire borough. Strangely, Labour in Wrecsam were opposed to PCSOs when they were first introduced. Ain't life strange?

But where is the vision, the ambition needed to drag Wales up in terms of wellbeing, confidence and prosperity in the broadest sense?

As for the idea that Cameron and Clegg will be bothered that Wales rejects the Tories - um, Wales has been rejecting the Tories since people had a democratic vote. The real conservatives in Wales are a hidebound group of dinosaurs in the Labour Party, who have had to be pushed by Plaid to move things forward at every step.

Plaid minister Jocelyn Davies put it as politely as she could:

“They’ve just come out of a 13-year spell as the party of government in Westminster and during that time they refused to introduce fair funding for Wales, they refused to act to stop the Treasury creaming off millions of pounds of council house rents, they left Wales’ electrification scheme unfunded before they were kicked out of power in London, and, of course, left the UK economy in ruins which has opened the door to the severe cuts which we’re now seeing.

“So now that they’re out of government in Westminster and completely unable to justify their actions they are now embroiled in the great exercise of rewriting history and they try to claim that they stood up for Wales in government.”

Referring to Mr Hain’s call to use the vote to send a message to Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg, Ms Davies said: “If that is your plank – well, let’s send a message to the UK Government – the UK Government won’t give a rat’s backside if Labour have got a majority in Wales. It won’t make one jot of difference. They’re not going to lose one bit of sleep over it.”

In response, some Labour nonentity described Plaid as a "promiscuous and pernicious fringe group". Lovely.

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