Thursday, 29 May 2008

Senedd Circular w/b 25 May 2008: Them dry bones

This article appears in The Wardman Wire:

Putting up with the stench of a dead Labour carcass, can never be described as 'robust and fun', unlike the party politics of an unhealthy party political election battle. But to lose one Labour seat in 12 months may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two looks like damn right carelessness [thanks Oscar]. Let this Labour candidate put it all down to experience, and perhaps there will be a third time lucky - if there's a constituency that's willing to pull a well-worn application form, out from a rather tired looking red bin.
This week, Miss Wagstaff has been climbing down from a high octane family weekend, only to pick at the odd bits of Welsh news before raking over the bones of the Labour electoral turmoil of weeks past... it seems that it will take a while before we get over recent events – London fell; Councils fell; then it was the turn of Crewe and Nantwich. It's no wonder that God invented recess!
Attacking opponents from the last century
In times of trouble – yes, right now - Rhodri Morgan, Wales' Labour First Minister, specialises in rummaging around in the Conservative party's distant past in order to score points, just as you or I might place our rubber-gloved-hands into the toilet pan in order to give it a good scrub with a well-used scouring pad and disinfectant, that have been sitting in the cupboard for more time than we care to remember, and now used as a desperate measure. He doesn't just do it for the press either, and can be heard to chant his anti-Conservative [Tory, of course] mantra in the Senedd too. What's always been interesting here is that Morgan rarely comments on current Conservative policy and where they are as a party at the moment. It's also not what he says that's at fault, but what he doesn't say. This makes him shockingly old-school, and predictably average.
Put aside UK Labour politics for a moment as the problem has also spread to Welsh Labour politics. Welsh Labour needs a new leader and has found itself having to wait for a countdown not dissimilar to that of a Eurovision Song Contest, whereby the end result may be expected to a certain degree, but not wanted as a whole. The majority of us will have to wait for BBC Wales' own 'Terry Wogan' to remind us that the contest has started, and for us to take our seats.
Glad confident mourning
On the other side of the fence, David Cameron may be a UK party leader, but his pronouncement last week that Labour's recent performance showed the "death of New Labour" left many wondering whether to start mourning; its tremor was certainly felt in Wales, particularly in the North and South, where current Labour MPs must be putting mathematical skills to good use, before wondering whether to hit the panic button.
Morgan's advice in the meantime is for Labour to hold firm, and not to split and turn in on itself. Miss Wagstaff suggests holding onto your hats, as a storm is brewing. Others may suggest holding on to something else, but I fear that would be too late to prevent excruciating pain.
And finally…
As a final thought, the words of Douglas Adams spring to mind... Don't panic!


Dave 30 May 2008 at 09:42  

Support for the Labour party at its lowest ever (Daily Telegraph). 23 points against the Conservatives’ 47.

Anonymous 30 May 2008 at 09:48  

Crewe & Nantwich was partly won by a decent candidate up against someone who would try anything to win, and part by the hard work ut in by a mixture of young activists and old steady hands from the Conservative party.

Welsh Windbag 30 May 2008 at 09:55  

David Cornock from the BBC talked of fantasy politics. A loss of 13 of the 29 Labour seats - from the more predictable Vale of Glamorgan and Cardiff North to the rather less likely Cardiff South and Penarth and Cardiff West via Delyn and Newport West.

We all know that's unlikely to happen. We are a strange lot in Wales!

Anonymous 30 May 2008 at 10:09  

The most amusing story I heard about the by-election was about a leaflet. The leaflet that said that Tamsin Dunwoody had phoned the chancellor and got the 10p tax problem fixed. As Paxman said "so you phoned the chancellor, and he said, thanks Tasmin, we hadn't realised?"

gill 30 May 2008 at 10:22  

And just who are the toffs, when Labour's elite claimed baronial rights in Wales from one generation to another?

Gill 30 May 2008 at 10:25  

PS Rhodri will need to hold his wife's hand when she loses Cardiff North. Still, there will be a decent resettlement package for them both to see them well into old(er) age.

welsh lobbyist 30 May 2008 at 12:28  

Rhodri Morgan doesn't comment on current UK or World events or current Labour policy either, its not just current Tory policy, not sure what is says about him thou.

Valleys Mam 30 May 2008 at 20:02  

Who is Rhodri Morgan?
Answers on a post card to Ieuan WJ
somewhere in Wales

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