Sunday, December 30, 2007

Thoughts and reflections

It is that time of year when we seek to ignore the seasonal bugs causing ill health and mayhem and offer a few thoughts on the year passing and the prospect for 2008. Gordon Brown offers his thoughts and perhaps it is time to lock away the credit card for a few months !
Meanwhile some people seem just about ready to recognise the leadership change - about time - while others detect a Tory revival. I'm not as sure on this last point as I think the polls reflect the series of unfortunate events that beset Labour in the second half of 2007 rather than any great stride forward by the Tories. Do governments loose elections rather than opponents win ? Well history suggest they can if they don't get their act together.
Cameron has made one major change in reminding the Tories what the democratic contest is about (gaining power for your Party to implement policies) and it is for that reason that we in Labour need to put the last few months behind us and build a solid platform of progressive action during 2008.
In the year now passing a number of things stick with me. The honour of contesting the Assembly seat in Arfon and, in spite of the difficult climate, the pleasure of meeting people to make Labour's case. This new seat is a genuine Westminster marginal and with Plaid's internal wrangles over schools reorganisation it will make for some interesting times ahead.
Of course recent events also make me thankful that we can contest democratic elections where the most heated it can get is a "stunt" outside your political opponents conference . Of course weeks later (well make that a couple of months) and Ieaun passed a Tory test by signing up for coalition with Labour, not the Tories. I happen to think that was a wise decision as it gives Plaid some experience of government, the Assembly Government a reasonably stable base and changed the dynamics of any future post election negotiations. It was perhaps Rhodri's great achievement of the year to make that deal when it often seemed gloomy for Labour. We would have walked away from power at our peril.
In the year ahead it will be a time to steadily build another election campaign, to see if Hywel Williams wants to apologise (he hasn't yet) and welcome numerous visitors to help raise Labour's profile as we build for a victory in the Westminster election.

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