Labour MP calls on ‘Westminster bubble’ to ‘take notice of grown-up politics thriving in Wales’
A Labour MP has called on the “Westminster bubble” to “take notice of the grown-up politics thriving in Wales”.
Beth Winter, who represents the Cynon Valley, has taken aim at Westminster, saying it is “divorced from the real world” as well as riven by “petty factionalism” and “personality clashes”.
She contrasted that with the cooperation agreement between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru, which she described as “grown-up politics”.
The joint policy programme agreed by the two parties in Wales covers 46 areas
The wide-ranging agreement includes action on free school meals for all, strengthening the Welsh media, a north-south railway, the teaching of Welsh history, second homes, and a larger Senedd.
The deal includes moves to establish rent controls, childcare for all two-year-olds, the creation of a National Care Service and limits on second home ownership.
It will also aim for a replacement for council tax, the creation of a publicly-owned construction company and an energy company, including a statutory guarantee of gender balance, as well measures to promote the Welsh language.
In an article for LabourList, Winter said: “I knew before I arrived that Westminster was a bubble, divorced from the real world, but I was not prepared for the scale of the disconnect. It has been a complete culture shock.
“Petty factionalism, personality clashes and focus groups dominate the short-sighted news agenda. White noise, as Unite boss Sharon Graham calls it.
“While there are lots of honourable MPs who want nothing other than to represent the interests of their constituents, the overriding culture at Westminster is one of short-termism and self-interest, political point-scoring and one-upmanship. This culture serves nobody but the rich and powerful.
“Meanwhile, people back home are worrying about how to pay the rent, feed their children and heat their homes. The contrast with the concerns of the Westminster bubble could not be more jarring.”
‘Different type of politics’
She added: “The co-operation agreement between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru signals a different type of politics, a ‘grown-up politics’, where the needs of the people of Wales are held above party politics. Together, Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru will deliver universal free school meals to primary-aged children, expand childcare to all two-year-olds, take radical action on unaffordable housing.
“Together, they will work towards a National Care Service and a publicly owned energy company for Wales. Together, they will consider constitutional reform to strengthen the democratic rights of the people of Wales.
“The proportional system in the Senedd has helped to foster this culture of co-operation and partnership working. This is an advantage that many of us would love to see in Westminster and one that has the support of a large majority of Labour members.”
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