Jonathan Edwards, MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr and a key advisor to Plaid Cymru’s leader Leanne Wood, said: “We would be interested in offering a supply and confidence (not voting down budgets or supporting no confidence motions) arrangement for a non-Tory government.”
This is a sign to Labour that it will offer more than just numbers for a majority, but proactive support. However Labour must submit to policies which Edwards has said will contribute to a “great reformist programme” distinct from “Tory-lite” politics “that belong to the past.”
Edwards’ ideal policies would need the following:
- A tax system based on the reforms of France’s President François Hollande – 75% tax on incomes above £1m;
- Splitting retail and investment banking activity and the introduction of community banking models;
- Unilateral introduction of the proposed levy on financial transactions known as the Robin Hood tax;
- A fund and other incentives to allow the economies of the different parts of the UK to converge;
- Devolution of powers to the Welsh Government in areas including energy, broadcasting, policing, and the creation of a separate legal jurisdiction;
- Scrapping of the Barnett formula used to allocate Treasury cash to the Welsh Government and the introduction of a fairer funding mechanism;
- Measures to recognise English political identity;
- Nationalisation of the railways.
Though Labour will go out to win the next election, it is something of a relief that such contingency plans are already being made. It certainly shows how anxious people are to get rid of the coalition government.
But is Edwards’ programme of bones something that the Labour party could put meat to? Do we think Ed Miliband has come that far yet? Or do we think rhetoric like this could give Ed and Labour the confidence to reach far and wide for a progressive programme set to outflank the regressive politics of the current administration? What do you think?