When Plaid says that the Assembly has few powers to tackle the issue properly, Normal claims that Plaid is being defeatist and that the party is reverting to type by pointing the finger at London as a defence.
The idea that Plaid is being realistic and honest doesn’t occur to our Labour sycophant.
Bethan Jenkins AM is Plaid's most outspoken champion on tackling Child poverty. What I hear her say is that it is a matter that needs to be dealt with at all levels of government, Assembly, Westminster, Local Authority and EU level. Rather than pointing a finger, I hear Bethan asking for better cooperation and understanding between all levels of government on this important issue.
Of course, if one level of government isn't pulling its weight, isn't doing all it can do to tackle the problem it is incumbent on the champions of the cause to point this out as both Bethan and Huw Lewis have done.
Having made his accusation Normal goes on to ask Why, then is Plaid so defeatist?
His answer is that:
Ending child poverty isn’t the Nationalists’ issue. Through its dogged persistence Labour has made the cause its own.
Ending child poverty is one of a dwindling number of policy areas that all shades of Labour can unite around. It reminds the party that real issues unite it in real ways. It is therefore an anti-wedge issue. The fact that the charge is led by Nationalist bête noire Huw Lewis only ratchets up the temperature. This is an issue that neither Lewis nor Labour can be seen to win on.
I find this difficult to believe.
It is true that everybody in the Labour Party wants to end child poverty. But everybody in every other party also wants to end child poverty. Child poverty is as universally hated as apple pie is universally loved. Indeed, one only has to look through Normal's own Questions to a Welsh Political Blogger posts to see ending child poverty pop up in answers from bloggers of all persuasions.
Child poverty isn't, in fact, a problem in its own right. Child poverty is a misnomer, a bit of Nu-Lab spin designed to unite the party on an apple pie issue.
Child poverty is a by-product of adult poverty. Most poor children are those who live in households headed by poor parents. The only way to take children out of poverty is to take their parents out of poverty.
Real policies that attempted to deal with parental poverty would split Labour mercilessly along the old / new fault line and along the middle England / industrial heartland fault line. The real problem - adult poverty, is a wedge issue in the Labour party.
My issue with Huw and especially Bethan is that whilst claiming the socialist moral high ground on this issue they persist in using the Blairite euphemism of child poverty instead of campaigning for what good old fashioned socialists use to campaign for - the ending of plain POVERTY.