Friday, February 25, 2005

Do You Remember This?

....Turned Out To Be True, Eh?

So says a Welsh Labour party veteran MP who attacked Tony Blair's government with such venom he branded his party's agenda "Thatcherism with a human face".

Llew Smith MP, blasted Blair for creating a Labour Party so "in tune" with Conservative policy it amounted to "dumping so many Socialist principles". Mr Smith rounded on a party he believes is increasingly in step with the Conservatives, by introducing top-up fees for university students, house arrest for terror suspects and privatisation of public services. He said, "This Government hasn't even the courage or good political sense to tax those earning over £100,000 at a modest 50% rate... So inequality is safe in New Labour's hands."

Adam Price, Plaid Cymru's economics spokesman, jumped at the chance to grab votes "I know a lot of people in the Labour Party in Wales who are absolutely aghast at what is being done in the party's name. People are particularly angry that when Labour were elected in 1997 they had a historic opportunity to shift the whole terms of political debate over to the left, in the same way as in 1945. People have come to realise that opportunity has been squandered, and whilst policies like the minimum wage are minor moves in the right direction, Blair has not taken the chance to shift politics, society and culture. When the political pendulum swings back to the right, there is not really that much for the party to undo. This is a blistering attack on New Labour that even we would have been hard pushed to come up with. If I did not know Llew better, I would send him a Plaid Cymru membership card."

Bill Wiggin, Shadow Welsh Secretary, bristled at the thought of Mr Blair being likened to Margaret Thatcher. "There is nothing Thatcherite about Labour... The people will remember the Iron Lady who stood up for council house owners' right to own their own home, who fought against the bullying of the European Union, and who led Britain against the Argentine invasion of the Falklands. There is no comparison at all to Tony Blair, the poodle."

But he said, "Llew Smith has every right to be heartbroken - so does every Socialist who believed that things could only get better and if Labour win a third term, things will get a great deal worse."


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