NHS Wales: the threat of a good example

By Darren Williams

It is clear that Welsh public services – and especially the NHS – will be a key battleground in the next UK general election, as Westminster Tory politicians invoke the supposed shortcomings of the Welsh model in an attempt to justify their own ‘reforms’.

While English health care is increasingly fractured, marketised and handed over to the private sector, devolution has allowed Wales to restore the NHS to its original Bevanite vision, albeit in an updated form.

What happened to the Clear Green Water?

By Nick Davies

Throughout the history of devolved Welsh government, a distinctive theme of Welsh Labour and, therefore, of Welsh government policy has been a commitment to sustainability. This commitment was pursued most energetically by the former minister Jane Davidson under whom, between 2007 and 2011, sustainability had its own cabinet portfolio.

Tony Benn: the best leader Labour never had?

By Nick Davies

Almost exactly thirty years ago I was at Lambeth Town Hall, Brixton, where Tony Benn held a packed house of trade unionists, socialists and members of the local black community in the palm of his hand as he explained at length, fluently, and with passion that the miners’ strike was not just about the coal industry, it was about class, power and the use of the state apparatus against the labour movement.

Dear Comrade

In this bulletin:

1.  WLG news: next meeting; Llansamlet victory; steering committee; forthcoming events

2.  Welsh Labour consultations: physical punishment of children; and Severn Barrage

3.  Commentary: Cardiff reshuffle; Crimogenic capitalism; State surveillance; porky pies 


Discussion: People’s Assembly – where to now? – Len Arthur

The People’s Assembly on 22 June was a success. Around 4,500 attended and it was an exhilarating breath of fresh air to hear speakers say what was needed to be said, with such telling turns of phrase. If leaders of the Labour Party spoke and said the same things, I would not be worried about taking the fight to the Tories or the outcome of the next general election.

All the main speeches are on the People’s Assembly website.

Discussion:  Labour and the spending review - Peter Rowlands  

Labour’s acceptance of Tory spending plans for 2015 – 16 is a watershed moment. I believe it to be fundamentally wrong and a move that is likely to lower Labour’s vote in 2015 and possibly cost it a majority or keep the current coalition in place.

The views expressed in this email and blog are those of the individuals whose name is attached to the posting. They do not represent a collective position of the WLG or the Labour Party

Dear Comrade

In this bulletin:

1.    WLG news: last meeting, forthcoming events & ongoing campaigns

2.    Commentary: (i) The politics of hate; and (ii) NHS reorganisation or cuts


Discussion: Challenging capitalism in the UK and Wales – Len Arthur

Ed Miliband, in a recent speech in the Google Big Tent, argued that it was now more relevant to talk about ‘responsible capitalism’ as opposed to replacing capitalism with socialism. As pointed out in a commentary in the New Statesman, Miliband’s speech refers back to the importance of Tony Blair’s change to Clause 4, effectively re-burying the idea of socialism as distinctive system of democratic ownership and control.

Discussion: Labour Party, People’s Assembly and Left Unity – Len Arthur

As socialists and Labour Party members, a main aim of our political purpose, is to ensure that our narrative makes links between the problems people experience, as a result of the crisis in financial capital, and political answers. Clearly this can, in part, be achieved as the result of supporting single issue campaigns.

The views expressed in this email and blog are those of the individuals whose name is attached to the posting. They do not represent a collective position of the WLG or the Labour Party

Dear Comrade

The next meeting of Welsh Labour Grassroots (WLG) will take place on Saturday, 18th May at the Ogmore Constituency Labour Party Social Club, Bryn Glas, Bryntirion, Bridgend CF31 4ES, 11.00 am – 1.00 pm.