I'm the Hen Ferchetan. This is my take on the world through the eyes of Wales. While mostly about Welsh politics (that most famous of dour topics!) I try to scatter some humour around, but I doubt anyone but me will find it funny! Have a read, and if it bores you then feel free to never come back!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Will This One Think?

So the new Welsh Secretary's first piece of business in Wales is launching a new Welsh Labour think tank. Before the Electoral Commission start grinding their swords and Paul Flynn starts preparing his defence I should point out that this think-tank seems ready to do a whole more lot of thinking than Hain's version!

Apparently Welsh Labour have never really had a think tank all for their own (depending on the London think tank I guess, just as they depend for the London party's finance). From the report in today's Western Mail it seems that one of the leading lights of this think tank will be ex Labour parliamentary candidate (i.e. failed candidate) and cultural historian Peter Stead. The quote from Mr Stead is exactly what you'd expect from a combination of a politician and historian (confusing!), so I'll try and translate for you.

"A new culture has been developing in Wales which has largely been led by other groups and it has not always been clear what Labour’s role in that has been."

Welsh Labour is so divided it's hard to know what we stand for

“I think Labour needs to tap into the cultural energy that is now around in Wales, which in a sense is more important than the details of the constitutional developments. "

Don't mention the referendum

"It’s quite ironic that Wales is being allowed more freedom now, at a time when its economic freedom within the UK has diminished from the days when we had a thriving coal industry, for example"

Remember the miners? Proper Welsh they were. They voted Labour you know.

“There was a lot of negativity around at the time of the Blaenau Gwent by-elections, which is not good for Wales."

People in Blaenau Gwent hated Labour. That's bad for Labour.

“The example of Tower Colliery, on the other hand, is inspirational and had an enormous impact in persuading people that they could do things for themselves. A lot of people in Wales are not natural entrepreneurs, and we need to get away from the victim culture. It’s the kind of energy exemplified by Tower that Labour needs to tap into.”

Weren't the miners great? They voted Labour, that's us. What a wonderful age that was, when being proper Welsh meant voting Labour

Hope that clears things up for you!


Southpaw Grammar said...

Beneath your humour, you do make a serious point. Essentially that there is a worry, even by members themselves, that this is little more than a cosmetic excersise and not an attempt to actually have a debate and more importantly be told some home truths by non members.

Hen Ferchetan said...

Maybe it's just us being cyncial, but that was my feeling too. I have an image of all these people sitting around a table asking each other "How can Labour get more votes" rather than "what will help Wales"

Valleys Mam said...

What about Bevan Foundation?

Hen Ferchetan said...

Apparently the Bevan Foundation is not officialy linked to any party (Cough!)

Victoria Winckler said...

Cough all you like, Hen, but it is all too true. The Bevan Foundation is NOT linked to the Labour party or any other party - we get no money, no support, no nothing. Anyway, if they liked the Bevan Foundation why set up their own outfit?