David Cornock's insight into the Labour Party's soul searching after its May election setback is interesting:
Eluned Morgan said Labour had to face up to the fact that in some areas "people simply don't like what we are doing".
She added: "We should not be tiptoeing around the nationalists despite being in coalition with them."
Former Secretary of State Paul Murphy told the meeting Labour should resist the possibility of "an obsession with identity in Wales".
(Assembly) Leader of the House Carwyn Jones said Labour should proclaim its unionist beliefs more - a move welcomed by one devosceptic MP.
Former first secretary Alun Michael said the Assembly should be increased to include 80 members, two per constituency, with no regional list AMs. He also suggested a Northern Ireland-style power-sharing deal in which all parties would share responsibility for making devolution work.
Eluned Morgan's point about tiptoeing is something Plaid Cymru should bear in mind, as it tiptoes round the new coalition partner for fear of causing it to collapse. Let's get one thing straight - One Wales is an agreed set of objectives with 2/3rds of the AMs backing it. Criticising Labour on anything outside that is fine and, indeed, should be a priority as Gordon Brown sets about making his bizarre Britishness a key aspect of any forthcoming election.
Labour, as Carwyn "the devolutionist" Jones, reveals is Unionist to its core and is therefore the enemy of anyone seeking self-determination for Wales (as are the other big two London parties).
Having said that, Alun Michael's point about increasing the number of AMs is interesting and would be a vast improvement on the unworkable list AM set-up, which has created second-class AMs with few of the constituency ties or workloads of the First Past The Post AMs.
So many blogs, so little time... so here's a few good 'uns:
Smiling Under Buses
Green Welsh Anarchist
probably the best Plaid blogger at the moment
interesting Welsh Labourite blogger
English leftist blog that *shock horror* understands Wales is a nation
UK anti-fascist info
Dave's Part, top leftie journalist
from which the following has been shamelessly nicked...
Friday, 21 September, 2007
The class politics of government bail-outs
In October last year, 150,000 low-income families lost a total of £45m when dodgy Christmas hamper racket Farepak collapsed. As a result, some of Britain’s poorest yet most thrifty people – the very people who don't whack a few hundred quid on the plastic to pay for their Christmas, because they can't afford to - saw their festivities ruined. No government bail out for them.
About 125,000 workers and pensioners have lost some or all of their pension entitlement after their employers went under or shut down insolvent occupational pension schemes. No government bail out for them, either.
Of course Alistair Darling was right to guarantee the deposits of Northern Rock customers this week. But why the selective treatment? Building society savers have no more intrinsic merit than Farepak punters or pension contributors.
In round numbers, seeing the Farepak clientele alright would have cost exactly 1% of the £4.55bn value that the taper relief tax break extends to venture capitalists every single year.
As Nick Ferguson, head of SVG Capital, pointed out recently, venture caps pay a lower rate of tax then their cleaning ladies. And cleaning ladies are the kind of people that save with Farepak and who at best have a couple of grand in savings. A Labour government should consider their interests too.