A shapeless transfer of power from nominated successor to nominated successor within the folds of Cymru / Wales's equivalent of the old unreconstructed barely awake local branch of CPSU (Labour in Wales) is unlikely to encourage any optimism on the part of observers of our fledgling democracy post BREXIT. A former Plaid candidate once to me that to perform the same action time and time again is one thing, but, to do it and to expect a different result is simply foolish.
To expect Labour in Wales to shake of its self indulgent lethargy (especially having spent years redefining inertia) is similarly foolish. Simply waiting for a Labour government with a majority in Westminster to deliver for Wales (let alone stand up for Cymru / Wales) is just not going to happen. Labour in Westminster (the vast majority of Labour in Wales MP's included) are simply not interested in our national interests and concerns.
As has been noted elsewhere Kier Hardie and others may (once) have believed in home rule (for Wales and Scotland) as a means of avoiding the bureaucratic centralism that characterised much of the European socialist parties of that time. That, however, that's not what we have ended up with, once Labour fell in lust with the trappings and trimmings of power at Westminster (in 1824) the dead hand of centralism (and party interest) settled in as the party ethos running through the Labour Party at all levels in our nation and across the various component parts of the UK state.
Labour with a vast majority in 1945 offered, five modest promises:
- A Secretary of State
- A separate Welsh broadcasting corporation
- An end to the forced transfer of labour to England
- A north - South Welsh trunk road
- A central body to plan and develop the Welsh economy
None of them were delivered between 1945 and 1951 even when Labour in Westminster had a vast majority of seats. We have been here more than once - Labour in Wales promises to deliver much for Cymru / Wales in Westminster - with a massive majorities (in 1997 and 2001) they did not deliver for Cymru / Wales. Post BREXIT (if we ever get that far) if the Labour Party in Westminster wins a majority, our national interests will be the least of their concerns.
Labour in Wales's unnecessary hasty and craven sycophantic repeal of the Continuity Bill (carefully drafted and presented by the late and greatly missed Steffan Lewis) which would have provided a degree of protection in the face of what almost certainly appears to be a post BREXIT attempt to re-centralise power at Westminster should not have been a surprise. This action (not repeated in Scotland) should open people's eyes to the reality of the current Labour administration's (and leaders) bland ambitions or lack of them and is a clear indicator that Labour in Wales remains deeply Brit centralist in nature.
I have little doubt that the re-centralising of Britain will be attempted via combination of undermining / ignoring the existing devolved institutions and seeking to repatriate as many (read all in the case of Cymru / Wales if they can get away with it) of those functions that had drifted to an EU over the previous 50 years.
Now thanks to the newly installed Labour in Wales First Minister we now have no Continuity Bill to even begin to provide a measure of protection from a House of Jaw that appears to be increasingly focused Post BREXIT on re-centralising a Post BREXIT Britain focused on Westminster (and the South Easts needs and interests) at our (Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and relatively distant (at least from Westminster) Northern and South Western England).
Post BREXIT here in Wales we must find a way to create an open future rather than seek to live in closed nostalgia dominated imitation of the past cynically recast as our future by Labour and Conservative. Those unionist politicians in Wales are too timid, too ambitious to get their noses into the Westminster trough, genuinely limited in outlook or simply utterly bereft of any vision to try to do anything else but repeat the mistakes of our past. We will never fix our society and re-boot our economy by simply reverting to being Poor humble and obedient West Britons.