Monday, 12 May 2008

A different blame game

Some respite for Gordon Brown, currently more beleaguered than a relegated Premier League manager. Ken Livingstone isn't the only Labour figure prepared to take responsibility for this month's electoral drubbing rather than blame someone else.

Lynne Neagle chairs the Labour group in the Welsh Assembly. She is also AM for Torfaen, where Labour had a pretty grim day on May 1.

Here's her take on what the elections mean for Welsh Labour:

"The electorate has just told us that we haven’t done enough – and what we have done clearly hasn’t been communicated well enough."

"The very idea that none of what happened in the local elections in Wales has ended up at the door of the Assembly is monumentally worrying – it must make us question just what kind of an impact the institution has made on the Welsh psyche?

"We control education, health, housing, community regeneration – and according to some – we’ve established clear red water between ourselves and an unpopular UK Labour Government.

"And yet on May 1st, the clear red blood of good Welsh Labour councillors ran thicker and faster than their counterparts in England. It is time to take some responsibility.

"Playing the blame game just undermines the value of the Assembly in Wales – and indeed there was little in the results of last week that wasn’t foretold in the Assembly elections of last year. Our reaction to that result has been sluggish, and we’ve paid the price.

"The communities for whom only Labour will ever deliver are tired of waiting for lasting change and they’ve just got that message across in the clearest way possible.

"It takes a strong character to ask for a discussion with the person who has just bloodied your nose – but that is what Welsh Labour must do with the electorate, starting today."

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