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07 May 2008
More on the realignment in British politics
One of the problems with living abroad is that a lot of events back home tend to get missed. Last night I argued that a realignment of British politics was under way - I just didn't realise quite how far advanced that realignment was. My thanks to the anonymous commentator at that posting for the heads-up.

In Wales certainly the realignment seems to be very advanced indeed. People's Voice is a new movement that is based in the south Wales' valleys and advocates just the kind of solid, old-Labour policies that are needed to ensure that Nu-Labour's journey to the cemetery is not long delayed. It was registered as a political party last year, so hopefully it will soon start to spread beyond its original home.

The movement's origins date back to the General Election of 2005 when the Labour Party decided that what the constituency of Blaenau Gwent needed was an all-female short-list for the Labour nomination. This was the straw that broke the camel's back for Peter Law, who up to then had sat in the Welsh Assembly under the Labour banner. He ran for election as an independent and overturned a 19,000 Labour majority to take the seat.

Labour was forced to apologise for this nonsense, but that didn't stop them trying it on again the following year, after Peter Law's sudden death in 2006. Labour ran one of their smooth, nice and neat candidates, who had previously worked in the media and then as a PR man.

People's Voice supported Trish Law, Peter's widow, for the Assembly seat, and a local electrician named Dai Davies for the Parliamentary one. Both proceeded to romp home to victory in the two by-elections. Since then the party has seen other victories at council level.

The fact that South Wales has a new party that seems to be enjoying a great deal of success does not mean that the realignment of British politics is over, far from it. Furthermore, People's Voice is still only one small voice, but as it and other small, local parties embed themselves into the popular culture that voice will get louder and louder.

Slowly but surely, the British working class is finally beginning to get its act together.

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3 Comments:

"I never thought I would see the day the Labour Party would lose once in Blaenau Gwent, but to lose three times in just over a year is hugely significant."

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Thank you for this article on South Wales. It's like being part of the Chartist Movement, all over again.

The History of South Wales was the history of Labour.

For us to en masse turn against the party that was our soul for at least 3 generations was a huge moment, that happen quietly, and overnight.

No one needed to say a word, we all secretly knew what had to be done, as it always is at times of great political upheaval.

But our history is that of the Industrial Revolution, the Secret Ballot, we've always stood for Democracy and Liberty.

So Labour should have expected nothing less, than for us to rewrite our own history, and that of the Labour Party. I'm proud that we do so.

7 May 2008 at 11:59  

One thing that I forgot to mention, but which the People's Voice site makes much of, is that Blaenau Gwent is Nye's old seat.

An old friend of mine, now sadly dead, was in the audience when Nye Bevin made his "lower than vermin" speech in Manchester.

It was always said that he was talking specifically about the Tories but my friend said that from the context it was obvious he meant the class that voted Tory.

That class is going to pay a terrible reckoning one day.

7 May 2008 at 13:35  

You don't have to be living abroad. The media here determinedly ignore things like this. Of course.

7 May 2008 at 17:50  

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