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Y Barcud Oren #2

Rushing headlong into a year-in-review column feels somewhat precipitate, given that this is only the second flight of the kite (as it were). Then again, I’m always keen to fulfil my contractual obligations to the blogosphere and it seems positively churlish to let the highlights(sic) of 2008 in Wales pass unmarked…

All Quiet On The Socialist Front

It seems rather strange to say that the party with twenty-nine of Wales’ 40 MPs, twenty-six of its 60 AMs and in power in both Westminster and Butetown had a quiet year, and yet that’s what it was.

Part of that is down to the One Wales Government’s failure to do, well, anything much in particular. Equally, however, it reflects the increasing efforts of Welsh Labour to divorce themselves from anything yon Scunner Broon might get up to. Even the year’s opening gambit, Peter Hain’s resignation from the government over problems with donations to his deputy leadership campaign, failed to stick to Welsh Labour so much as to Westminster in general.

One area where the divorce strategy clearly failed was the local elections, which were nothing short of calamitous. Llafur lost one quarter of their councillors, 124 in all, and lost overall control of six of the eight authorities they had held previously. The losses in those authorities were dramatic enough (eight apiece in Blaenau Gwent and Newport, nine apiece in Merthyr and Caerphilly, thirteen in Flintshire and sixteen in Torfaen) but the decimation that occurred in places where Labour weren’t even running the show locally (nine losses in Wrexham and fourteen apiece in Carmarthen and Cardiff) was perhaps even more remarkable.

And yet Llafur continued to fly under the radar, letting their Westminster brethren and their coalition partners take the hits.

Posted in Wales | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments
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