Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Blair stays on !

Well not really it seems but it will be of interest to see what is said tomorrow and what happens in the coming weeks. I think we simply need Gordon in the hot seat asap to put his stamp on government.

Much will be said and mountains of words written (like these!) about the Blair era, but in reality it is in the nature of politics that we must get on with the here and now.

The here and now includes the ongoing Assembly negotiations which, whatever his personal views, the Blair era delivered via the devolution referendum. I still think the visits he made in his "golden era" to soft areas like Wrexham proved vital in the final referendum result.

Without that I would not have had the priviledge of being Labour's first Assembly candidate in Arfon. But more importantly I point to : national minimum wage, record investment in the NHS, a cracking economic record on economic stability, progressive policies in a range of social projects that mean we should be proud of 3 election victories and in the end thankful to Blair.

I still feel the big decision on Iraq was a negative and know from personal experience some will always see this single act as overshadowing all the positives when viewing the Blair era. In spite of this negative, recent election results show that on balance, if we are not careful, the country is unlikely to turn from Blair/Brown to a more socialist state but to the Tories. That is a harsh reality that has shaped my personal politics since the early 1990's.

That is why I see the the nationalist vote as such a waste - but that is for another time. We now await the deluge of words on Blair !


Cymro said...

Martin, I will agree to you that Labour has had many positive achievements to boast of, and I will not hesitate to congratulate on the minimum wage and economic stability. But the truth is that the major achievements took place prior to 2001. This is 2007.

The downside of New Labour has been its embrace of the free market, and Gordon Brown has been the architect of this policy. The investment comes at a high price, as the market entered education and the NHS. Fortunately, this is not true for Wales to the same degree, but this is not due to Blair or Brown.

As for Plaid Cymru being a waste, you are entitled to that opinion. I am a socialist and I want fairness and equality worldwide. But I love Wales and am unashamedly proud of my country, language and culture; and I want my country's status as a nation state with powers of self-determination to be acknowledged.

Martin Eaglestone said...

and it is an honourable stance. It is for the people of Wales to vote for it if they share that vision - which they have not done so far.

Indeed parts of Wales may head in a different direction - the Tories.