The ASTONISHING Admission!
In an astonishing admission today, Lee Waters, Labour’s (London) Welsh ‘branch’ economy minister and Llanelli AM admitted what the rest of Wales had known for years.
In an ironic twist – as the Welsh economy has been criminally neglected, Waters said to leaders of the co-operative sector at a lunch in The Clink restaurant at Cardiff Prison:
There’s a degree of disappointment among some people … who feel that devolution hasn’t achieved its potential.
For 20 years we’ve pretended we know what we’re doing on the economy – and the truth is we don’t really know what we’re doing on the economy. Nobody knows what they’re doing on the economy.
Everybody is making it up as we go along – and let’s just be honest about that. We’ve thrown all the orthodox tools we can think of at growing the economy in the conventional way, and we’ve achieved static GDP over 20 years.
The levels of GVA per head now are the same they were in 1999. And that’s not from a lack of trying. There’s no failure on the part of ministers and civil servants. Boy, have they tried!
But it’s an approach that has its limits for Wales – and we need to try a different approach.
Mr Waters also joked about his precarious hold on the Llanelli constituency, saying:
As many of you will know, I’ve got the smallest majority in Wales, and no AM for Llanelli has ever been re-elected. So that focuses your mind about what it is you’re here for, and what you can do in the time-frame you have to work within. I’ve got 18 months to make this worthwhile, before I scuttle off and try something else to do, probably.
Typical Westminster ‘Ya-boo’ Response From Plaid
The typical Westminster style of politics continued to be played out down the Bay when a Plaid Cymru spokesperson said:
It is quite remarkable that the Welsh Government’s own deputy economy minister has admitted that Labour hasn’t known what it’s doing on the economy for the past 20 years.
More remarkable still is the startling acknowledgement that throwing ‘all the orthodox tools [they] can think of’ at growing the economy has achieved static GDP over the last two decades.
While Lee Waters may find it amusing, we certainly don’t. Stalling growth, increasing child poverty, and life expectancy in decline are no laughing matter.
In his speech to co-operative sector leaders, Mr Waters said there was ‘a degree of disappointment among some people … who feel that devolution hasn’t achieved its potential.’
The truth is that it is his Labour party that has failed. They have run out of ideas, and as Mr Waters himself said, the Labour party is ‘making it up as [they] go along’.
So What’s The Cunning Plan From Plaid?
It will be interesting to see what new-fangled ideas Plaid have planned, as they themselves have come up with nothing in the same amount of time except the same type of policies that could be easily interchanged between the two socialist parties.
Plaid Cymru seem to have short memories as they have propped up the Labour party’s Welsh branch on more than a few occasions, including a stint as junior coalition partners in the One Wales Coalition from 2007-11.
More to follow . . . . .