Anthony Christopher spent many years as deputy leader in the shadow of his former colleague and leader Russell Roberts, but it seems he learned a few tricks from him along the way. The art of hypocrisy for example, and a certain penchant for conveniently forgetting anything that doesn’t fit into the fairy tale they keep peddling to the public.
His column in today’s Pontypridd Observer is again the sort of imaginative tale of which the Brothers Grimm would be proud. A fanciful tale of big bad wolves and knights in white armour riding to the protection of the underdog.
“In October, we received the provisional local government settlement from the Welsh Government. Thanks to the cuts being imposed on the public sector by the Tories and Liberals in London, it makes for very grim reading. The Welsh Government has once again done all it can to protect local government and the important public services we provide from these swingeing cuts being imposed on Wales.”
Heart rending stuff isn’t it? Or vomit inducing, depending on your point of view.
The Labour party everywhere have a habit of either trying to rewrite history or forgetting that it existed in the first place., nowhere moreso than in RCT. Luckily I keep records aplenty and am always more than willing to jog their memories and those of others. And one of the great things about the internet and having a web site is that it is easy to refer back to letters to the press such as this one.Their message was getting tired even then (Sept 2011) - Labour good, Westminster Government bad. They complained about cut backs in Council budgets, blaming it entirely on Westminster, overlooking the fact that their budget came from the Labour Welsh Government as it has for years.
The letter refers to some interesting quotes. On 3rd January 2008 Russell Roberts was quoted as saying
"We have approached Rhodri Morgan (Labour First Minister) and Ieuan Wyn Jones (Plaid Deputy First Minister) to try to get an increase but we haven't heard from them since. We do now face some serious challenges in terms of providing local services"
In a letter to the Local Government Minister Brian Gibbons (Labour) at the time Russell wrote
"Given that the total Assembly pot is increasing by 4.8%, we are disappointed again with the lack of priority given to local government in the draft Assembly budget"
A year later again complaining about the budget settlement.
"The totally inadequate level of Assembly support has now forced us into reviewing service provision and fees and charging arrangements. The council's strong financial stability will not be comprised, which will ensure we maintain our core services that are being given short shrift by the politicians in Cardiff Bay."
So when Labour were in power in Westminster then the budget cuts were the fault of the Welsh Government. But the minute the coalition Government took over in Westminster then cuts were all their fault, and the Welsh Government, who up until then had been the evil ones in all of this suddenly shined up their halos and put a protective shield around the good people of RCT.
As reported here the situation this year is far from new and there have been several very critical comments appearing in Council reports over recent years. Yes times are hard, yes cut backs have to be made, but this degree of hypocrisy shows the Labour party for exactly what they are.