Monday, 14 May 2012
Let me build a barrage
So Peter Hain is taking himself to the back benches to build himself a barrage.
The 62-year-old Neath MP’s standing down
as current shadow Welsh secretary to concentrate all his energy on trying to get a Severn barrage built.
But Hain being Hain says he’s open to offers should young Ed Miliband become Prime Minister.
That’s good of him, eh.
Labour have a list of bright young things waiting in the wings to take centre stage, but one questions why any of them should be queuing up for such a non-job.
Even before devolution Wales hardly got much of a look in Westminster. Now it’s not even worthy of Westminster’s glance.
Power has moved to Cardiff Bay. It’s Carwyn Jones that runs the Welsh roost. God knows what the Secretary of State for Wales does to fill her days, and even less so what the Shadow is expected to shadow.
As we say in the valleys “what’s it for?”
At best it can only be seen as a stepping stone for a job with something of an humph about it. But the danger for any ambitious politician is that they get stuck in the job, much as Peter Hain to his own despair found himself.
Whilst holding the post the temptation is always for the Labour shadow not so much to hold the Secretary of State to account but to interfere with what Labour is doing in the Bay. After all the devil makes work for idle hands.
Mr Cameron, once the Scottish question is settled, will surely scrap the post.
If Scotland remains in the Union then a ministry for all the devolved nations will be established. If Scotland outs itself, well who knows what new arrangements will be made for the remaining rump. But you can bet your bottom dollar there won’t be a Welsh Secretary.
So as Peter Hain says goodbye to the front benches it won’t be long before Wales says goodbye to the Welsh Office itself.