Labour’s love lost
I’m writing this under a framed photograph of Keir Hardie. Opposite me is one of Nye Bevan leading an NUM march, with a little explainer about the Fed superimposed on it.
Given my tendency to sink into mushily nostalgic hymns to our Socialist past, you’d be forgiven for assuming that I’m at home, taking a break from lecturing Mrs. W. about the dangers of bourgeois television series and avoiding the washing up again.
But no, these remaining scraps of our heritage are in Wetherspoons. I don’t know if Nostradamus had a specific prediction about this eventuality, but its certainly within his wheelhouse.
Down the docks, Plaid Cymru leader Rhun ap Iorwerth is speaking at the Norwegian Church. The trailed part of his speech is that Sir Keir Starmer is ‘disinterested’ in Wales. I wouldn’t take that too personally, as it’s becoming apparent that Sir Keir loses interest in things very easily.
He lost interest in nationalising our utilities as soon as he became leader of the Labour Party; capping bankers’ bonuses had him all excited for a while but, you know, whatever.
The £28 billion pledge to supercharge a green economy is now rusting in his back garden next to the BMX he got for Christmas.
The puzzling aspect to Labour’s abandonment of everything that tastes of Labour, is that nobody seems to be demanding these reversals.
The only institution in the country that isn’t wheezing its final breaths under the weight of Tory malfeasance is the Labour Party.
Whilst everything else is hacking off limbs for food, Labour is sailing serenely towards government on a sea of unprecedented poll results.
Until now, that is. Anybody following Labour Party pronouncements this week will have noticed a marked shift in the party’s attitude towards the conflict in Gaza.
Previously content to nod sadly at the carnage whilst frantically mouthing, ‘I’m not Jeremy Corbyn,’ Labour figures have started to speak with portentous urgency about their support for a two-state solution.
The reason for this shift in tone, it turns out, is that polling suggests that Muslim voters are deserting the party in favour of pro-ceasefire independent candidates.
Can anybody think of another block of reliable Labour voters whose core values are being ignored by the party they have faithfully supported for generations?
As it stands, Labour is making no offer to Wales at all. Shadow Welsh Secretary Jo Stevens’ dismissal of devolving police powers sums up the attitude we can expect from the incoming government.
The party does not trust us to police ourselves, let alone take our place as a meaningful national entity within the UK. Gordon Brown’s proposed constitutional reforms have been binned with everything else that stands in the way of a landslide victory later this year.
In the Senedd, the proposed use of closed lists for expanded elections is an affront to democracy. Along with revelations about attempts to ‘stitch up’ the leadership election in favour of Vaughan Gething, this seems to come from a cartoon Wales in which government by closed-shop committee is tolerated.
It is as if the running of the nation has been handed over to the WRU. God help us all.
The political organisation demonstrated by disaffected Muslim voters in English cities is the only way to right the Labour ship for those who object to its current direction.
If the party will not work for our votes, then Wales must show it that it does not own them by right. Plaid Cymru are viable in some areas, independents would fare better in others.
Wales needs to become a collection of marginal seats, or else see its priorities steamrollered once again.
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