This post is unashamedly partisan and is only suitable for dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives. It is a very anti Welsh Labour post.
Rhodri Morgan played his trump card this week - and hardly anyone noticed. Sure, Tomos Livingstone in the Western Mail and both of Thursday's political TV shows, Waterfront and Dragon's Eye covered his 'Venus di Milo' speech in Swansea - but this is minority coverage in the wider scheme of things. Most people, even in Wales, take the UK media and it completely ignored his announcement that New Labour is dead, deceased, gone with Blair. The First Minister's desperate attempt to distance himself from the sinking ship, HMS Blair was a near total flop. And it deserved to be - because it was gibberish.
Comparing the New Labour Project, built as it is on image rather than acheivement with a genuine work of art was just plain daft - and I'm surprised anyone mentioned it except to mock the stupidity of it all. And then there is the illogicality of 'interring' New Labour in the same breath as lauding Gordon Brown, who was probably more its creator than any other single person.
And Rhodri Morgan's record is not what some commentaters crack it up to be. His 'good result' at the last Assembly election was down to a complete loss of direction and focus by Plaid Cymru - and the continued popularity of Tony Blair and the continued failure of my party to reconnect with voters to any significant degree. I never thought the rubbish about 'clear red water' had any effect outside the tiny little political village in Wales. For several years the performance of Rhodri Morgan in the National Assembly has lacked any authority and he has looked more like a 70s trade union official than a First Minister. He has been a poor 'ambassador' for Wales. Who can forget his excruciating performances on Newsnight and Question Time. Just like John Prescott, Rhodri has become the subject of humour rather than the exponent of it.
Anyway the 'clear red water' philosophy is no more than the wholesale distribution of taxpayer's money. It worked in the short term - but the chickens have come home to roost because the Asembly Govern,ment does not have the power to raise taxes (except indirectly through Council Tax). The reason the First Minister's latest attempt to portray himself as the 'change Wales needs' will fail is because the Welsh people have sussed out Rhodri Morgan. He deserves to be removed from office. It will be the most massive indictment of the opposition parties if the Labour Group is not significantly reduced in size next May.