Saturday 15 June 2024

Vaughan Gething loses confidence vote - No confidence in Welsh Labour to fight for the working class

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are standing two candidates in Wales 

Gareth Bromhall, Swansea Socialist Party

Welsh Labour leader Vaughan Gething, who took up the position just three months ago, lost a vote of no confidence after two Labour Members of the Senedd (the Welsh Parliament), both critics of his leadership, were absent. At the centre of the controversy is a £200,000 donation to his leadership campaign from a businessman twice prosecuted for environmental offences. Even the Labour Party wouldn’t accept the leftovers his campaign leadership bid didn’t use.

The vote was a completely symbolic move, with no constitutional consequences, so Gething refuses to stand down. After 25 years of Welsh Labour in power, many working-class people in Wales will be thinking: “We didn’t have confidence in you either!”

Our NHS is on its knees. Decades of underfunding and mismanagement have meant that waiting lists are longer, ambulances spend more time parked up at A&Es than on the road getting to patients, and dental provision has completely collapsed.

Public services have been cut to the bone. The Welsh government has handed down without resistance Tory cuts year after year and Labour councils have slashed services. Social care provision, or lack thereof, is a massive contributor to the NHS crisis. Schools are cutting support staff and non-statutory provisions as they struggle to balance budgets.

Save our steel!

Thousands of jobs at Tata Steel in Port Talbot and the downstream plants, and tens of thousands more in the local community, are at risk as the company continue their wrecking programme of redundancies and closures, destroying a key industry and the communities that support it.

Labour has fallen short of calling for what’s needed to save the people’s livelihoods. Their promised £3 billion and support for the Community Union-backed plan would still see hundreds of jobs lost. And Tata have dismissed these plans outright.

Gething and Starmer should pledge to nationalise the steel industry – taking public ownership of a key strategic industry and preserving good, well-paid, skilled work and maintaining virgin steel manufacturing in the UK.

It’s likely that Labour will win in Wales, not due to enthusiasm but because of hatred for the Tories and a desperation for change.

However, there is an alternative – the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition are standing two candidates in Wales – John Williams, a young hospitality worker and union activist in Cardiff East, and myself, an Ambulance Service worker and Trades Council Secretary, in Swansea West.

We are standing to pose the need for a new party of the working class – trade-union backed, with a socialist programme, bringing together anti-war activists, trade unionists and community campaigners with those who see the need for an alternative and want to bring about the socialist transformation of society.

Originally via https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/126015/12-06-2024/vaughan-gething-loses-confidence-vote/