Posted on the Bevan Foundation blog on 17 November 2008
The First Minister's analysis of Labour's problems in Wales is bang on the money.
Of course he's not the first to say that Labour will never win a majority again unless the party reverses the public’s perception that it is anti-Welsh.
But it's important he acknowledges it, not least since it now gives the debate over who will succeed him some focus.
As Rhodri Morgan suggests in his IWA essay, 'winning in the west' will require the party to address the perception that it is hostile to 'rural Wales and ambivalent about how to express its 'Welshness'.
The difficulty with the First Minister's analysis is that he has been the leading apologist for many of the policies he now blames for Labour's perception. He defended Post Office closures and the closure of rural schools. He was silent on the Iraq war and critical of moves to toughen the law around the Welsh language.
The unanswered questions remains, how will his successor be different?