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Monday, March 27, 2006

No separate agenda

The Wales Labour Party really are depending on Gordon Brown succeeding as Prime Minister in good time for next May's elections. Why else would they tie their political fortunes in so completely with the UK Labour Party by effectively dismantling their separate Welsh operation?

The risk behind this strategy of course is if Tony Blair hangs on. Labour will then find themselves pitching for votes to the Welsh electorate on the coat-tails of a discredited and mistrusted Prime Minister whose main appeal remains to middle England. You don't always get what you wish for Rhodri.
Looking back through your more recent posts, I was wondering when you'd be letting us know what the Lib Dems are doing.

By the way, in the phrase:

You don't always get what you wish for Rhodri

isn't the punctuation wrong?
Always happy to take constructive suggestions on my punctuation. What precisely do you want to know about the Liberal Democrats' position?
You don't awlays get what you wish for. Rhodri...

How's that?

No, really, just wondering if you have time to let the world know about the Lib Dems in between your thoughts on Labour and Conservative and Plaid...
This is news indeed. Labour are 'effectively dismantling their separate Welsh operation'.

Does this mean they will no longer have an office in Wales? Or staff in Wales? What about their Welsh conference and other policy making apparatus?

I'm grateful for clarification, as I could only see a meger of accounting units from the link you supplied.
David, You need to click on the link to follow the meaning of the comment. This site is not meant to be about the Liberal Democrats per se.

Normal mouth, clearly the symbolism of this move is more important than you and Labour appreciate. Legally, without separate accounting unit there is no Welsh Labour, only Labour.
Are the Welsh Lib Dems registered as a seperate party? How do you account for payroll and materials supplied from Cowley Street to party units in Wales?

I suspect this is nothing more than a simplification of accounting processes allowing Labour to free up more officers time for campaigning. As you pint out in an earlier post, trying to disaggregate accounts is tricky and the more accounting units there are the harder it gets.
Arguably thyere is still a Welsh labour its just subordinate to London Labour...
The Liberal Democrats have a long-standing Federal structure so naturally the Welsh party is registered as a separate unit. We also employ most of the staff employed here ourselves and account for it accordingly.
"Normal mouth, clearly the symbolism of this move is more important than you and Labour appreciate. Legally, without separate accounting unit there is no Welsh Labour, only Labour."

So... the operation is not being dismantled, it is merely a symbolic move?
In that it is symboloic of Wales Labour being run from London, yes!
This simply proves that only Plaid, of the main parties, is truly Welsh...
Actually it proves no such thing
What matters is how a party makes its policy in relation to (in the case) the Welsh Assembly.

As far as I can see Labour determines policy on devolved matters within Wales (there is a policy process open only to Welsh party units and affiliates) followed a series of votes at their Welsh conference). Reserved matters are similarly dealt with at a British level.

Where and how their bean counting is done is of secondary importance.
Normal mouth, you’re right. Welsh Labour has its own policy making “machine”, with members of the Welsh Policy Forum (made up of representatives from party units and affiliates from across Wales) also sitting on the UK forum (the National Policy Forum) which determines policy on reserved matters. The policies that Welsh Labour will be putting forward in the manifesto next year for the Assembly election will have come not only by the Welsh Policy Forum and constituency party policy forums, but also from the forums that were held at the conference in Swansea last week, which was, incidentally, the largest policy making event ever held by Welsh Labour.

Peter, Welsh Labour is not “run” from London. The Welsh Labour conference is the sovereign body, which takes the final decisions on our policies, organisation, etc. We have our own National executive committee; we have our own General Secretary and staff that help and assist the 40 constituency parties in Wales. And no, Welsh Labour is not being “dismantled”. The only political institution being slowly dismantled this week is the Lib Dem led “administration” in Swansea.

Unlike Plaid, who have been forced to go outside their own party to try and find policies for the next election (the fountain of ideas has obviously run dry), we have many innovative policies, policies that have been brought into the process by our members and not secret policy “commissions” that Plaid have set up.

The fact that the accounting procedures have changed has only caused “concern” amongst one group – the opposition parties. This change will undoubtedly free up staff time to concentrate on campaigning, policy development, etc, rather than spending time filling in forms. It’s a non event.
Considering it is a non-event you are protesting a lot Martyn.
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