"One Nation Labour" in a UK of four nations
- 24 September 2013
- From the section Wales politics
"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".