"I'm fed up of hearing that lie repeated by the media and by our coalition government in Westminster. We have a deficit not because the legacy of the Labour Party, we have a deficit because we had a global recession which we acted to stop turning into a depression. We didn't have a deficit until 2008/2009 when the global recession struck. Its a lie and I'm fed up of hearing it."
For the benefit of Owen Smith here are Labour government borrowing figures (i.e. 'deficit') from 2002 until 2008, a period during which, according to Owen Smith, we had no deficit:
2002 - £19bn
2003 - £34bn
2004 - £36bn
2005 - £41bn
2006 - £30bn
2007 - £33bn
So, by my reckoning that makes a total of £193bn of cumulated debt ran up whilst Labour went on an unprecedented spending spree during the so called good years -- and long before the first cracks emerged in the UK economy when the government was forced to nationalise Northern Rock in February 2008. Northern Rock, incidentally, was a bank which failed not because of a global recession but mainly because it had seriously overstretched itself with aggressive mortgage sales based an overinflated house price bubble in this country -- not elsewhere in the world. So much for Owen Smith and "we didn't have a deficit until 2008/2009 when the global recession struck".
What we can conclude is this: after undoubtedly being more than partially responsible for running up the largest government debt since the second world war, Welsh Labour figures like Owen Smith now seem content to withdraw from the field and jeer at those trying to tackle it, whilst at the same time telling the rest of us that they had absolutely nothing to do with making the mess in the first place.