This post was originally published on this site

Via @glynbeddau

The thing about the “Welsh” Labour Leadership contest is that it resembles a Assembly or General election campaign in the promises the candidates  make oddly more akin to opposition parties who know they are going to lose.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has portrayed himself as the candidate for change as he launched his leadership campaign in a further education college near Cardiff.

Against a backdrop of young people, he told his audience: “I believe that I can offer the change and the leadership that we will need to win a Welsh Labour majority in 2021. But change takes courage.“I want to make sure that the whole of Wales benefits from capital investment. Across Wales we’ve seen new schools, new hospitals and new transport links.

“I want to see more housing investment, including a much more ambitious approach to co-operative housing and council housing.
“We must continue to press the case for tidal power in both north Wales as well as south Wales. We should not wait for future industries to be created in other countries and paid for by us.
“The fight against poverty and inequality brought so many of us into the Labour movement. That’s why it will be a central priority for me.“However, we need to transform our approach to tackling poverty. We need to provide more work and better work to break the back of poverty.
“I want a radical external review to give us a no-holds-barred account of how we act and make the best possible use of Welsh Government powers. That will require honesty about where we haven’t succeeded in the past, when we had much greater resources.”

Just a reminder, Labour have been in power  in Cardiff Bay since it first met in May 1999, so we have had nearly 20 years of Labour lethargy in which Mr Gething has been a AM since 2011.

He said it was essential there should be a People’s Vote on the final terms of Brexit:

 “We can argue for a general election, and of course we should have one as soon as possible to get rid of the Tories. However, we know that isn’t going to happen.
“I don’t just support a People’s Vote because of the mounting evidence that Labour and trade union members back it in ever-increasing numbers.
“I firmly believe it is the right thing to do for our children’s future, for our country’s future. I am not prepared to be swept away by the fantasies of Tory hard Brexiteers.”

So why did he vote along with his Labour colleagues against  a Plaid Cymru Motion for a peoples vote this week?

 Mr Gething, who represents Cardiff South and Penarth, said that as a Cabinet Secretary he had kept his promises to local government.

He said: 

“I have made sure there are real resources to be shared between health and local government. Joint priorities and joint decision-making.
“More than that – for the first time I have directly funded social care from health spend. My choices, showing that I have kept my word.
“I will continue to argue for local government to be treated fairly. I firmly believe that local government must be first in line for any additional funding from the Autumn Budget.”

Referring to a number of policy pledges he has made, Mr Gething said:

 “Ending holiday hunger will make sure that our children are fed year-round. We will build on successful work already being done here in Wales.
“Removing tuition fees for care leavers, to make sure that their ambition post-18 is not limited by the care system.
“The National Care Service for Wales. A universal service free at the point of use for our older generation with dignity at its heart.
“Welsh Labour will be ambitious and practical for our future. We will create a new political consensus. My pledge for Wales delivers for every generation.
“This campaign is about the future. About setting out our vision for a future Wales and acting in a way that is open and honest.
“We face this contest after the tragic events of last November. This contest should help to bri
ng u, but s back together. To remember the values that unite us.

Yes it looks great but Mr Gething surely knows that  in reality in order to make the changes he wants then he needs to obtain , not only fair funding from Westminster but the parity with Scotland so he can emulate the SNP government, who are attempting (despite what Jeremy Corbyn claims) to make a diffidence in the wake of continued austerity from London.

As far as I can tell not one of the three candidates for Welsh Branch Manager of Labour  have called for increased powers.
They have only made statements largely to reform what has been their remit for twenty years.
Maybe we should have Labour leadership elections every year.