Dodgy Dossier ... Barefaced Lies

It was one of those stunning election announcements that only the Labour Party could make:

Labour dossier lifts the lid on Conservative MPs

Welsh Labour has today launched an all-out attack on the Tories, with a hard-hitting dossier highlighting major splits in the Conservative Party over devolution.

Western Mail, 22 March 2010

The shock news, apparently, is that the three Tory MPs in Wales are against devolution. Gosh, the Tories were obviously trying hard to keep that a secret, so we must be grateful to Labour for pointing this out. Hard-hitting revelations indeed.

We are then treated to these insights from Carwyn Jones:

If Labour wins the next election, Peter Hain will vote 'Yes' to win the referendum


When you take a long hard look at the Tories on devolution, it is clear they still don’t trust people in Wales to make their own decisions. The Tories will never be a party for Wales, because they never have and still don’t understand the people of Wales.

Does Mr Jones want us to assume that Peter Hain will only vote Yes if Labour wins the May election? Does he think that Peter Hain's one vote will be the decisive factor that wins the referendum? Or would he like us to believe he hadn't quite woken up when he said these things?

But when he goes on to say that the Tories still don’t trust people in Wales to make their own decisions he is lying through his teeth. Yes, David Cameron's first declaration that he would allow a referendum was rather vague, but at least he took notice of that criticism and later made an unequivocally clear statement that a Tory government in Westminster would make sure we got the referendum we have already asked for.

In contrast Peter Hain has made it clear by his actions that he does not want the people of Wales to make the decision in a referendum, because he refused to take any action on that request when he was able to do so. It is he that doesn't trust people in Wales.


If that wasn't damaging enough, in stepped Adam Higgitt to throw a blanket of confusion over something that had clearly backfired on Labour. He claimed that Labour should be split on the issue because the people of Wales are split on whether to vote Yes or No in a referendum. He missed the point completely.

What the Tories are consistent about is that they want us to have the referendum. They know full well that their politicians are split on the issue, but I think there is a realization on both sides of that party that the matter needs to be resolved by a referendum. Some people have all too readily interpreted the Tories' unanimous backing for a referendum in the Assembly in February as a signal that they will all support the Yes campaign. But it is entirely possible that some voted for the referendum because they want a No vote, and believe that the sooner the referendum is held, the more likely it will be that people vote No ... after all, that's what True Wales had been pressing for until the polls showed beyond any reasonable doubt that the vote would be won.

For Labour the situation is different. There are a few Labour politicians who have consistently voiced their opposition to Wales having primary lawmaking powers. Of course I disagree with the likes of Don Touhig and Paul Murphy, but at least they're consistent about it. Labour has a far bigger problem with the likes of Peter Hain and Wayne David, who are always very anxious to point out how much they support primary lawmaking powers ... but not yet ... in fact not anytime soon ... in fact please leave it for as many years as possible. Are they being sincere, or is "Yes, but not now"—especially when the polls consistently show that we are ready to vote Yes—really just another way of saying No?

We can each decide that for ourselves.

But one thing is clear: Peter Hain and Wayne David's opposition to setting a date for the referendum is proof positive that they do not trust the people in Wales to make a decision. They had their chance but, when asked to actually do it, they did nothing. How did Carwyn Jones put it? Ah, yes:

When you take a long hard look at the Tories Labour on devolution, it is clear they still don't trust people in Wales to make their own decisions.

Hypocrisy and double standards. A perfect illustration of why Labour are going to lose yet more votes to Plaid in May.

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Anonymous said...

I don't understand Peter Hain. He could have set the question and the date of the referendum, but he has left it to Cheryl Gilliam to decide them instead. He shoots off his mouth, but can't make decisions.

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