"One Nation Labour" in a UK of four nations

 

"One Nation Labour" is one year old. Do you know what it is yet?

My colleague James Landale was among the first to spot the challenge of Ed Miliband making a "one nation" pitch in a four-nation devolved United Kingdom.

This week, Owen Smith has tried to explain what it means for Wales.

So the stage was set for Ed Miliband as delivered his leader's speech here against a backdrop of One Nation Labour slogans.

Some of the announcements had been trailed overnight: reversing a UK-wide corporation tax cut to pay for a cut in business rates in England. The Welsh government would, presumably, get a cut of the extra spending on the business rates policy to spend as it sees fit.

The policy of building 200,000 new homes a year by 2020 - helped by planning changes to require private developers to use land they own or lose it - appears to be confined to the one nation of England.

The offer of wrap-around childcare in primary schools is also England-only, although the Welsh government points out that it pioneered (free) breakfast clubs at schools in Wales.

There was a passing reference to Wales in a passage devoted to the independence referendum in Scotland. "friends," said Mr Miliband. "Devolution works. Carwyn Jones, our brilliant first minister of Wales, he is showing devolution works."

Delegates cheered a section in which the Labour leader focused on the NHS, and the coalition government's record in the one nation of England. "Yes friends, we did rescue the National Health Service. So when you hear David Cameron casting around for someone to blame for what is happening in the NHS just remember it is not complicated, it's simple, it's as simple as ABC: when it comes to blame, it is Anyone But Cameron."

Devolution makes NHS performance a more complicated picture, with Labour in power in Wales. For all David Cameron's attempts to neutralise health as a negative issue for the Conservatives - by protecting the NHS budget in England - Labour still believe it's a vote-winner for them.

Mr Miliband spoke for more than an hour - without notes. Delegates who wanted more were given some bedside reading as they left with a booklet on Labour's plans for a "one nation economy".

 
David Cornock, Parliamentary correspondent, Wales Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

Their Lordships do the lockstep

The House of Lords has been debating plans to give the Welsh government responsibility for raising some of the money it spends.

Read full article

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 61.

    Ah the good old Barnett formula. This is the mechanism by which Carwyn gets his pocket money. Thing is, he is doing enough chores yet still gets a hand out and then the cheeky chap complains when it isnt enough. Now, its time for him to grow up and pay his way. Angie, can you spare him a Euro or two from your successful economy?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 60.

    Perhaps when Clochemerle is translated into Welsh (assuming that this hasn't already happened) Farteg would be a suitable name for the village.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 59.

    #57, C. S. Lewis did a good job creating (The Chronicles of ) Narnia...

    ... it's just a small step to "The Story of Varteg that became Farteg", the new Wales.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 58.

    #50 " To remove/refuse to sit in the Union Parliament they must get a new abstentionist mandate."
    Not so. " Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons, in 1918." Crucially, she never took her seat, because she was Sinn Fein and - essentially - did not recognise the authority of Westminster. However, she needed no new mandate: she just did it.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 57.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24282647

    You could not make it up could you - only in Wales

  • rate this
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    Comment number 56.

    #51,52,52 etc Do you not get it yet?
    The economy is being mutated in order that the UK's resources are exploited by foriegn interests: not least Water, Power, Infrastructure etc.
    Meanwhile the British are inculcated in debt from school and thrown to market dominant organisations.
    The British are caught between a government with no interest in them and a market with no fear of them.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 55.

    ... #54, no change then, the 10% with 70% of the wealth coupled with their political poodles of every flavour do as they want, the others pick up the pieces following epic decision making ...

    ... "based on principles of fairness and social justice" of course.
    .

  • rate this
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    Comment number 54.

    Someone should point out to Ed Milliband that there can ONLY ever be 'One Nation' in a British context following:

    a. The reunification of the Irish nation, state and island.
    b. The full and final merger of the 'union partners' of England and Scotland into one indivisible nation, state and island, in which Cymru/Wales would be a province.

    Any takers in London?

    Ha! I can hear hell freezing over!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 53.

    What mantra will CJ use in 2015 if Labour get in as EdM confirmed yesterday that they will be pursuing an austerity budget as well.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 52.

    Indy is correct, and Carwyn and chums tell us " [we have] pursued distinctive Welsh budgets that reflect our priorities, based on principles of fairness and social justice".

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-24272048 - para. 14

    Obviously the priorities are "a dysfunctional NHS and underperforming education", and they invest in a worthless airport ...

    ... social justice ?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 51.

    Due to Barnett if there is a cut in UK government budget there is a corresponding cut in budgets to devolved nations conversely if thre is a gain to UK or english budgets devolved nations gain.

    The issue is it might be more money for NHS or whatever in England but as it is not hypothecated the WG can spend it on what they like e.g. an airport, WG decision not to spend on Welsh NHS,democracy?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 50.

    #48
    The referendum cannot contain authority that is the point the Advocate General of Scotland Department has made.
    The 59 MP's from Scotland sit in the HOC because they were elected on a commitment to take their seats (to represent the constituency in the Union Parliament). To remove/refuse to sit in the Union Parliament they must get a new abstentionist mandate.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 49.

    Not playing nicely are we? Still its not unexpected since the separatists have no answer to the fundamental points 1. The UK government is not responsible for the shambles that is Wales and 2. neither they or Carwyn have either the money or clues to do anything about it.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 48.

    14 Unfortunately, Connell, illegal doesn't mean what you don't approve of ! but what has passed through both Houses of P, and been signed by the Queen. What happens if the European Court purports to rule that such an Act of P is illegal is a CRISIS.
    The word unconstitutional is of no meaning in the UK beyond the sovereignty of Parliament. Unlike Nixon, what P says can't be unconstitutional.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 47.

    Woodsey you are very keen to comment on the failings of the English NHS - any comment on the Welsh NHS sending heart surgery patients to England?

    Mab re you aware that budgets have been cut in all parts of the UK. Perhaps you could explain how Wales has suffered more? Whilst you are at it please justify the £700k that the WA threw at the hotel in N Wales and which is now "bust"

  • rate this
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    Comment number 46.

    #39 Referendun "no effect".
    If MP's attempted to legislate for the removal of their (Scottish) constituencies without asking the constituency electorate in an election for a new abstentionist mandate then such an attempt would be unconstitutional and illegal.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 45.

    40.wooodsey
    Thats more like it, and no need to mention those others or lay blame.

    I applaud when the WAG do something worthwhile, if you recall I was very vocal about the opt out legislation. Unfortunatley these occurrences are few and far between. Especially when we look at our economy, health and social areas.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 44.

    #40, the "New diabetes plan for Wales unveiled by Welsh government" is mostly process with very little product, a missed opportunity, particularly sad as at least one of the committee has type 2 diabetes.

    The most important aspect has been lost in translation, an effective plan for early diagnosis of the condition, this is where our administrators could gain a march on diabetes (type 2).
    .

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 43.

    This union of unequals means that the part of the UK that makes the money subsidises the fantasies of those that spend the money e.g. woodsey, who thinks that Welsh is not irrelevant in a UK context. More people in the UK speak Polish fluently than they do Welsh.
    You may not like the Barnet formula, but try running Senedd-on-Sea and S4C from taxes raised in Wales.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 42.

    I love this Union of unequals ( he says with sarcasm). Billions wasted by London on wayward projects whilst Wales gets a 10% Budget cut since 2010 & £1.5B on horizon, Welsh suffering more due to slanted Barnet Formula than England or Scotland are whilst our fawning little England twiglets of stature continue to protect a failing Unionist ideal like Al Qaeda does their twisted version of Islam.

 

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