Coffee House

Is Ed Miliband’s Welsh tour wise?

20 June 2014

Ed Miliband is in Wales with the Shadow Cabinet today, and they’ve been busy praising the Labour government there for ‘leading the whole of the United Kingdom into economic recovery’. It’s interesting that the Westminster Labour party is so keen to hang out with Welsh Labour, as doing so simply allows the Tories to attack Miliband again for admiring a party with a rather mixed record in government.

The Welsh government has presided over a 16 per cent drop in the number of affordable homes being built from 2011/12 to 2012/13. One house builder, Persimmon, has stopped building in parts of Wales because the planning regulations there are so burdensome.


Its record on the NHS is wheeled out regularly, with longer waiting times and consistent failures to meet major targets such as the urgent cancer treatment target, which the government hasn’t met since 2008.

Wales has the worst education in the UK, according to the PISA rankings, which places Welsh schools 43rd out of 65 for maths, 41st for reading and joint 36th for science. It dropped down in the rankings for all three subjects.

Funnily enough, Labour hasn’t mentioned these problems when praising the Welsh government, instead pointing to a bigger fall in unemployment in Wales as something a Westminster Labour government would copy if it won next year’s General Election. And I understand that the reason strategists are relaxed about the Tories bringing up Wales repeatedly when trying to scare voters about what a Labour government would look like is that they don’t think voters will notice. Unless you are a voter in Wales, you probably won’t get all that aerated about the performance of Welsh Labour, so the reasoning goes. But this assumes that people don’t absorb snippets about a party as they go about their daily lives, and that they don’t notice very much indeed. What they do notice does still matter – and given UK Labour is very keen indeed to fight in 2015 on a platform of protecting ‘our NHS’, Ed Miliband’s Welsh tour looks a little less wise than you might think.

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  • Fraser Bailey

    Even the Labour audience members during a recent edition of Question Time in Wales were very critical of Labour’s performance there. They seemed to be slowly waking up to the fact that always and everywhere, Labour’s rule will be disastrous.

  • jesseventura2

    Put a labour Rosette on a donkey from Porthcawl beach and many in Wales will vote for it?
    Who would notice a difference given the clowns now sucking on the public purse supposedly representing Bridgend and Ogmore to name just two?
    Can anyone point to something the unprincipled Kinnocks ever did for Wales,other than becoming very rich without ever having had jobs?

  • Christopher Gage

    Try living here!

  • Gwangi

    Well, England has had an inquiry into its NHS, but the Welsh government has been refusing to have one for 2 years or more, which has meant the whole issue has become a political football. There’s petitions to sign demanding one:

  • Thomtids

    Milib and who?

  • BoiledCabbage

    Milliband should copy ISIS and start an insurrection in the Welsh desert. Then he can gather his forces in a Toyota pickup and drive on London down the M$, stopping for bacon sandwiches on the way, and dodging Coalition airstrikes by camoflaging his vehicle in UKIP colours?

  • DaveTheRave

    Frankly, is anything this party does at all wise?

  • LadyDingDong

    I would like to punch him in the throat.

    • DaveTheRave

      How about a handbagging?

  • HookesLaw

    A tour of Wales by Miliband would be brilliant if he promised to stay there.

    • john king

      Don’t wish that on us please.

    • Daviejohn

      Blaenafon, is very deep and worth a visit, could seal it after he enters.

  • Mazzzz

    The NHS in Wales under Labour but is it that much different in England?

    A total of 13 nurses have since been suspended, including the three who have been charged.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Which only goes to show that Labour aiming their pitch to people with an IQ below 80. Only the intellectually sub-normal would be accepting of such a crass complacent attitude. I have been of the view for a while that the Tories behaviour and particularly Cameron’s suggested that they didn’t want to stay in government. Increasingly it looks like Labour don’t want to be in government either.

    It’s quite astonishing how politically inept the establishment parties have become. We really do need to replace these muppets with real politicians.

  • alabenn

    I thought he was in a little delusional world of his own.
    He must have something going for him, he has dragged the rest of his party into his fantasy, did they go to Wales over the Severn Bridge or did they fall through the back of a wardrobe.

    • HookesLaw

      It is absurd to pretend that it is somehow Wales ‘leading’ the rest of us into economic recovery. But then Balls is absurd. The statistics are marginal at best and the money the Welsh governmemnt spends comes from the rest of us.

  • Jonathan Levy

    I really hope the UK government doesn’t follow Welsh Labour’s lead. We’d be doomed! This is from a person born in the Rhondda.

  • ExasperatedMe

    Welsh unemployment falls every summer thanks to seasonal work in tourism.

    No can we have some good news os gwelwch yn dda

    • Dutchnick

      …And could do so much better, the Tourism authority in Wales fails the people seriously by being jobs for the boyos with no regards to actually getting the visitors in.

  • eclair

    Sorry, I cant take him seriously. If only his eyes werent so close together and did someone spread his nose like that for him or is it part of the fixtures and fittings?

  • Ron Todd

    With the intellectual socialist it is the ideology that is important not how difficult life becomes for those outside the ruling elite.

    • telemachus

      In any society well being and satisfaction depends on perception of fairness
      If folks by and large are perceived to get a similar deal then they are happy
      Labour Wales is egalitarian and happy
      Now come to the gross inequalities in England
      Now do you understand

      • Ron Todd

        No I don’t understand. If I become poorer and rich people lose even more would I be happier?

        • Ron Todd

          I live close to the border know many people from Wales, can’t say that they are especially happy.

          • telemachus

            My wife’s family are from Wales and I visit frequently
            There is a level playing field for almost all
            The ethos is cohesive
            They care not about English imposed targets

            • Ron Todd

              If you are claiming that Labour policy in Wales has stopped anybody from getting rich I would consider that a failure of police not a success.

            • Kitty MLB

              And what have Labour done to the NHS in Wales.
              Ed Miliband should stay away or they might
              place little Ed upon a very large mountain.
              I have also noticed how he resembles Frankenstein in the photo..very creepy.

              • telemachus

                You have fallen for the narrative
                The NHS point is an irrelevance
                The Welsh are happy with Labour because there is no big social divide

                • Whizjet

                  You trail your red petticoat with the suggestion that lack of social divide is preferable to having a good education, good healthcare and prosperity.

                • Gwangi

                  Utter tosh. Try visiting a small house in the Rhondda or Port Talbot (get that for £25k) and then visit Gower which has the Mumbles, the most expensive seaside town on Britain (terraced house = £300k). Wales is essentially the same as England in its social divide, if you don’t include London.

              • Mynydd

                Remember Wales when you pay your £8.05 prescription charge. If like me you have 4 items that’s £32.20 a month, If like my wife you have 3 items that’s another £24.15 giving a total of £56.35. Now if you have children it’s even more.
                Remember Wales when your children pay £9000 fees against the £3000 a Welsh child pays.

                • monty61

                  There is a season ticket system where you pay no more than £30 per 3 months. You should look into it.

            • john king

              You’ve got a wife???

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Just an imaginary friend

            • Dutchnick

              Are you serious? Try running business in Welsh speaking Wales if you are not a Welsh speaker. The Government jobs local and national are reserved for Welsh speakers to the extent that competence may actually be a handicap, evidence points that way.The education ( I was a parent governor) was an absolute disgrace indeed every meeting was only about the preservation of their jobs and the employment of friends and family, hopeless. 26% of kids in Wales leave school without one single qualification, all other problems are nothing compared with this. Generations of kids are blighted for life and whereas this may keep the bedrock voter for Labour happy, ( who would not vote for the skivers party when you have no hope). Just think for example what would happen to car company that produced 26% of cars that were unroadworthy, they would be out of business and I would suggest that the directors would be in jail, unless they spoke welsh that is.

              • McRobbie

                But at least in wales they are all equally poor, equally uneducated and equally scared of going to hospital..thats what labour lovers want… equality for all.

      • saffrin

        The divide between with and withouts increased under Labour and that t-shirt, why would Miliband sport a t-shirt outlining some of Labour’s faulings?

        • telemachus

          Whether or not your thesis is relevant to England is debatable but it is neither the reality or perception in Wales
          The to us and ours philosophy of the English Chancellor is not a feature in Wales

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