Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Yesterday two of the main candidates for the Welsh Labour Leader (and therefore the next First Minister) started their campaigns. Mark “Red Cairns” Drakeford id the current favourite. The other being Vaughan “I haven’t worked out a funny name for him yet” Gething. I found it surprisingly interesting to hear what they had to say as it reveals how flawed they both are.
Let’s start with Mr Drakeford. For copyright reasons I can’t show it here but have a look at a particular promotional picture for his campaign. His face is in the front but at the back there is a young woman. Her attention is not with him but with something else. She looks as if she’d rather be somewhere else.
He speaks like a career politician. Talking about a “social partnership model to provide “collective solutions to collective problems”. Whatever that actually means.
Welsh Labour party tweets I’ve seen describe him as a radical leader and visionary. Yet he’s imposed cuts to local government grants which councils have passed on as cuts to service which will impact on many people within Wales but especially (as we’ve discussed with Bridgend) the venerable.
Let’s turn to Mr Gething. He has promised many things such as ending holiday hunger for children and removing tuition fees for Care Leavers. All very laudable. Except Labour have been in power for twenty years. He is the Health Secretary. He is the one who has coined the phrase “managing decline” seemingly acknowledging Labour’s failure and yet how can he being part of Carwyn Jones’ failure team now imply that he will make a difference to Labour’s approach when he helped manage it?
He also spoke about his ambition to create a National Care Service for Wales. Thing is we all have ambitions. But ambition is not a policy.
He also says that Welsh Labour was the only party committed to tackle inequality and poverty. Really? Bet he had his fingers crossed when he said that given that Plaid Cymru is committed to exactly the same thing.
Both men have projected themselves as “the alternative” but both men are part of the establishment.
Both men are suitable leaders for Welsh Labour.
Neither are suitable leaders for Wales.
Until the next time