Mick Jenkins July 26, 2018

Clear Red Water. Really? Rhodri Morgan (retired First Minister) takes centre stage in this book. Written by two left-wing Labour activists (that’s a rarity in itself), it is an interesting and passionate analysis of Welsh Labour rule and the Plaid/Labour Coalition which followed. It seeks to explain the implications and importance of Morgan’s “clear red water” speech, showing how radically post-devolution Welsh politics has differed from its New Labour counterpart in Westminster. The authors acknowledge…

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Tony Heath

Oh for the good old days when colour defined political parties by hues recognisable, clear and unambiguous. A certain fading has occurred in recent years, a watering down occasioned not just by a glib whitewash drip from on high but by “events, dear boy, events”. True blue and radical red have both received the loving attentions of politicians groping for power while an increasingly sceptical and disenchanted electorate turns its back. So it is refreshing…

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Martin Shipton

Party activists urge Labour to keep Plaid Cymru on the team Welsh Labour should ditch tribalism and forge firmer links with Plaid Cymru and others on the socialist left, two of its leading party activists have said. In their book, Clear Red Water: Welsh Devolution and Socialist Policies, Nick Davies and Darren Williams provide a detailed critique of the differences between New Labour and Welsh Labour. They propose that Labour and Plaid should extend their…

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Robert Griffiths

This book arrives as Wales is poised for another battle in the long campaign for substantial devolution of powers from Westminster and Whitehall. It is a particularly refreshing contribution to the debate because it is written from a left of centre, pro-devolution standpoint within the labour movement. Such a perspective still retains some novelty, given the traditional hostility to Welsh national aspirations and even to the Welsh language from most sections of the Bevanite and…

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David Moon

Clear Red Water is a valuable publication, highly recommended for student, politician and activist alike. It is also a political book in the most engaged sense of the term: a mix of history text, policy outline and political polemic. Less an academic manuscript, this is more a resource for reminding, illustrating and educating readers as to what its authors see as the important gains and individual policies of Welsh Labour under Rhodri Morgan in the…

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David Barnes

This meticulously researched and impeccably produced volume is the remarkable achievement of Welsh Labour Grassroots, a network of left and centre-left activists in the Wales Labour Party who campaign for democratic renewal and the development of a socialist policy agenda within the Welsh Labour Party. It is not surprising to discover that they regret Labour’s shift to the right under Messrs Blair and Brown. They recoil with distain from the Bush/Blair ‘War on Terror’ in…

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John McAllion

The maverick Labour MP Paul Flynn has been around Welsh politics since being elected as a councillor in the early 1970’s. In his foreword, he describes “Clear Red Water” as a “delight”, yet admits to being shamed by the extent to which this polemic on Welsh devolution and socialist politics has exposed his own lack of awareness about the real achievements of the Welsh Assembly and Government since 1999. His ignorance will be multiplied many…

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