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  Top » Catalog » Politics

Clear Red Water

Clear Red Water

Clear Red Water: Welsh Devolution and Socialist Politics

by Nick Davies & Darren Williams

Paperback 222 pages
ISBN 978 1 903427 44 6

Socialists with an interest in the national question will find this an entertaining and illuminating read.

John McAllion in Scottish Left Review

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As remarkable as it is welcome.

David Barnes on

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Clear Red Water is a valuable publication, highly recommended for student, politician and activist alike... telling a story of other possibilities, socialist successes and refutations of that favourite New Labour notion that there is no alternative’.

David Moon in Renewal: a Journal of Labour Politics, 2009

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‘I hope every Labour activist in Wales, and the many who have almost lost hope of ever seeing a UK government lead them in their own interest rather than crawl to the playboys, playgirls and speculators who own our economy, will read this book. It deserves to have as big an impact on Welsh politics in the 21st century, as did The Miners’ Next Step in 1912, Nye Bevan’s Why Not Trust the Tories in 1944, and Gwyn Alf Williams’ When Was Wales? in 1985. With the casino economy crashing around us, we have to develop a new programme, for a renewed Labour movement. This is the book we shall need.’

Dr Julian Tudor Hart

’Nick Davies and Darren Williams provide a detailed critique of the differences between New Labour and Welsh Labour.

Martin Shipton, Wales Online April 2009

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Their analysis of the limitations – some of them self-imposed – on Welsh Labour’s economic strategy is incisive. They advance alternative economic, social, energy, and environmental policies which challenge the free market interests of the transnational corporations in favour of state intervention, planning, equality and sustainability.

Robert Griffiths, Labour Briefing, May 2009

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Those in and around Downing Street should fork out £7.99 for this book. It would be one expense no one would query.

Tony Heath in Tribune, 24 April 2009

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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.

Mick Jenkins in Planet Magazine: The Welsh Internationalist Issue , No 200

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The book

While the Labour party in Westminster moves further from its roots, alienating its traditional supporters by its readiness to follow the United States into disastrous foreign wars, its tolerance of inequality and its commitment to the free market, a Labour-led administration in Wales has pursued a very different programme, underpinned by a sincere commitment to equality and social justice.
In 2002, Welsh first minister, Rhodri Morgan, said that these policies were putting ‘clear red water’ between Wales and Westminster.

This book is a timely examination of the devolution process and the ambitions of the ‘clear red water’ programme, arguing that it draws on Wales’ rich traditions of radical politics, as well as a resurgent national consciousness. Warning of the dangers posed by the incomplete devolution process and the democratic deficit in Labour politics, the authors call on Welsh Labour to consolidate its initial achievements and follow a consistently socialist path to place Wales in the forefront of the struggle for a just and equitable world order.

The authors

Nick Davies and Darren Williams are chair and secretary of Welsh Labour Grassroots.

> Nick Davies reflects on the result of the 2010 general election.

> Nick Davies gives his views of the Labour Euro-election disaster in Wales and reports on the conference ‘Wales and the Ecomomic Crisis’.

> Listen to recordings of the authors of Clear Red Water at the book’s London launch


Paul Flynn MP speaking at the launch of Clear Red Water in Swansea, April 2009

From the blog of Paul Flynn MP:

Future imperfect

A bracing afternoon of Old Time Socialism was enjoyed in Swansea this afternoon with the launch of Clear Red Water.

All recognised that we are a turning point in history.  The past was an age of extravagance, self-indulgence and the profligate plundering of the planet. The future will be an age of austerity, thrift and reverence for our fragile human habitat. 

Nick Davies and Darren Williams spoke eloquently of their conviction that Welsh Labour has established a solid foundation for meeting tomorrow’s challenges. New Labour’s inheritance is pock marked with failing concepts and lost fashionable causes.

There were powerful contributions from the audience who were united in their determination to continue the legacy of Rhodri Morgan. Tomorrow he will set out his plan for the future in his final speech to conference as Leader. He remains unique at a national leader with a 65% approval rating after being 10 years in office.

Wales will value the legacy that our clear red water has delivered. England would benefit by following our example.

This product was added to our catalog on Friday 13 March, 2009.
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