Sunday, April 15, 2007

Labour election machine snubs Neath Port Talbot

Following Tony Blair's praise for LibDem-run Cardiff's renaissance, Welsh Labour's recent election broadcast highlighted the dramatic reconstruction of Swansea (run by a coalition in which Liberal Democrats are in the majority).

The Labour leaders of Neath Port Talbot council must be quite put out. There is large-scale building going on - the southern distributor road, the refurbishment of the Gwyn Hall, Llandarcy village, the gas pipeline (well, perhaps that last is a bit sensitive), yet Neath and Aberavon receive not even a name-check.

The uncharitable may think that the Labour parliamentary party does not like Dr Gibbons, Gwenda Thomas or Cllr Derek Vaughan. Coalition conspiracy-theorists could believe that Labour is deliberately boosting the Liberal Democrat vote.

The truth is more likely to be that the New Labour machine, run from London, has lost touch with the party's roots. It probably turned over the production of its election media to bright political graduates with presentation skills, but no knowledge of local government.
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