Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones will step down shortly and wants to say ‘thank you’ to his ‘most important’ supporters – and he’ll only charge them £69-£129 a head for the privilege.
Jones has emailed details of his last ‘bash’ as leader to donors, whom he describes in fulsome terms
A couple of things leap out. ‘thank all of the people that have supported the party’? But this seems from the rest of the email to be linked to financial support. Does other support count less or not at all? Certainly those invited to be thanked would need significant resources, as we’ll see shortly.
The other is like the first: Jones is looking forward to thanking ‘many of our most important supporters’. Not ‘most important donors’, but ‘supporters’ – and he’s specific that he’s talking about those at the dinner, not elsewhere, as he says explicitly ‘on what promises to be another memorable evening’. So is ‘support’ for Mr Jones financial?
If so, then the ‘support’ involved in attending the evening to receive Carwyn Jones’ thanks is not insubstantial – as the accompanying booking form makes clear:
The cheapest ticket to the gala dinner is a ‘member’s ticket’ at £69, so Jones is not envisaging that every ‘most important supporter’ at the dinner will even be a party member. Another indication that financial support is considered more important than the day-in-day-out support expressed through membership.
Even the famously self-regarding Tony Blair is only charging £35 a head for his fundraising dinner organised for him next week in Sedgefield by the constituency’s MP, Phil Wilson.
But ‘guests’ pay £97.00 and ‘premium’ guests £129.00 per head – and individual guests can’t even book. Instead, they can only buy tables for ten people at a time.
But premium guests get to sit near the great man and his guests and receive complimentary wine. So that’s alright then.
It’s time for change in Welsh Labour. ‘More of the same’ is not what the country needs. Hopefully the party’s decision at a recent special conference to elect its next leader by OMOV (one member, one vote) – the last of the British Labour parties to do so – will help ensure ‘more of the same’ is avoided.
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