Monday, July 09, 2007

One Wales - why not here?

I’ve always had the feeling that I shouldn’t switch off when we debate devolution within UNISON just because London governance arrangements are so frequently ignored.

Looking at the One Wales deal having read the leader in today’s Morning Star I realise I should pay more attention. Within the limits of the authority of the Welsh Assembly, the full detail of the agreement between Labour and Plaid Cymru contains some good points.

“We firmly reject the privatisation of NHS services or the organisation of such services on market models. We will guarantee public ownership, public funding and public control of this vital public service.”

“We will move purposefully to end the internal market.”

“We will eliminate the use of private sector hospitals by the NHS in Wales by 2011.”

It’s not a full-blooded socialist programme for the twenty first century (although one is available…) – but it is a positive improvement on the policies of the Westminster Government. Is the reason for the greater success of the trade unions in influencing the devolved administrations due to deep rooted differences in the polity or is there something the unions are getting wrong at a UK wide level?

I must remember to exempt Wales and Scotland from some of the criticism of the general weakness of UNISON Labour Link at a UK level…

4 comments:

Bill King said...

No its still not perfect Jon but the deal had been done, we retain some of our core principles and urge others to follow our lead. UNISON still has three ministers in the Cabinet which means that our influence is at least as big as Plaid's.

Jon Rogers said...

That's good to hear Bill, although I did speak to at least one of your NEC members who had not been in support of the deal. It does seem to me, looked at from the outside, to be the best that could have been done in the circumstances.

Bill King said...

Now that the portflios have been issued it is clear that the big isssues health, education, housing will remain in Labour hands. Given Rhodri will use the manifesto to maintain the "clear red water" we will be able to deliver a stable government for the next four years and policies that will benefit the people of wales.

Jon Rogers said...

Well good luck! I think that some of the political certainties of the last century are shifting...