"Look at what is happening In Wales," is destined to be a repeated request to the electorate from Conservative politicians over the next couple of years – possibly as frequent as the plea: "Look at what is happening in France." It is hard for Ed Miliband to repudiate his allies but also hard for him to deny their failings.
A recent salvo is from the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles on the housing record of the Labour-run Welsh Government.
Mr Pickles says:
We do not need an alternative speech; we need to look only at Labour in government in Wales. Let us look at Labour’s record on housing there. Labour has failed to boost house-building starts by a mere 1% as compared to 19% in England.
Labour in Wales hit the housing market with extra red tape, adding £13,000 to the cost of building a new home in comparison with England. Labour has cut the right to buy, abolishing it completely in parts of Wales. Labour has failed to introduce support for new home buyers. Their new-buy scheme will not start until next year.
Whether it be in England or Wales, Labour’s economic policy could be summed up, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, as “If it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it; if it stops moving, subsidise it”.