101 ways to prop up a 'failed Labour administration'*

Peter Black, newly re-elected Lib Dem AM for South Wales West, knows exactly what he is doing.

Yesterday's blog post got the ball rolling. 'It is clear that we now need a fresh approach and a radical re-think,' he wrote. For 'radical re-think' read 'leadership contest,' I responded. He had opportunities to deny this both on my blog and on Radio Wales. He chose not to do so.

And today, he's at it again: 'My instincts are that the Welsh Liberal Democrats do not have to be the deal-makers in this process. We have our own issues to sort out first around where we are going as a party and what sort of image we project to the Welsh public.'

It's now acknowledged that the leaders of Lib Dem councils are not keen on a Lab-Lib pact. Their long-term strategy is based on undermining Labour, not propping it up. In addition, one third of the Lib Dem assembly group have now spoken out against a Labour coalition. OK, so that only adds Eleanor Burnham to the mix (so far), but that's the Lib Dems' fault for only getting six assembly members. When the numbers are this small the fractions are more significant.

These prominent dissenting voices make a coalition with Labour increasingly unlikely. It was also the least preferred option of people quizzed in the little-reported BBC election night poll.

So, where does that leave Welsh governance? Heading towards either a rainbow coalition or a Plaid/Labour agreement, I guess. And as I trawled through the archived articles of the election period, I came across this quotation from Plaid, time and time again: 'We would not go into coalition under a Conservative First Minister and we would not prop up a Labour Government either.'

Only once did a caveat pop up. And it popped up as Ieuan Wyn Jones and Matt Withers were licking the froth off their coffee spoons in Cardiff Bay. 'We wouldn't prop up a Labour government simply by agreeing on minor issues,' said IWJ as a spot of cappucino foam inadvertantly perched itself on the end of his nose.

I would've thought, then, that working out what constitutes a major issue would have been a priority for the new Plaid group as it met for the first time yesterday.

*-100

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:53 pm,

25 Comments:

At 1:07 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

The people have spoken - but I'm not sure exactly what they said. I think they probably had different messages in different places, and to different parties. But it is not surprising the Liberal Democrats are feeling dissension. A third 6 in an Assembly election is not the ringing endorsement it would be in a figure skating contest.

Further, the fact that their regional vote across Wales was so poor seemed to have undermined their strategy of gaining list seats. Strange really, as with Labour being so vulnerable in so many places one would have expected at least some progress.

Having said that, I think nobody had an uniformly good night and each party must examine its options in the coming days. Yes, each party can spin something good from the result, but I don't think that will satisfy sections in each party.

Somehow I think the time for spinning is over and the time for an honest appraisal of position is upon them.

 
At 2:13 pm, Anonymous Dave Rodway said...

the momentum remains with Plaid - they've stopped the rot, increased their shwowing, taken 2 seats off Labour, and despite having a nonentity leader have managed to fight a very strong and very highly cash-backed Tory challenge.
Imagine where they might have been with Wigley still there or with Adam Price in charge at Cardiff Bay. He incidentally shoudl make his intention of standing in the Assmbly clear for 2011. There are rumours only.
I am not sure Plaid shoule prop up Labour. They shoudl focus on 2011 right away, getting their base wider and avoiding the mistakes they made after 99.
As for the new 'welsh tories', lets see shal we? Darren Millar, a xtian homophobe who hasn;t learned any welsh despite representing a constituency with loads of welsh speakers. Ditto Carms West and Preseli - 2 speak no welsh candidates and devolution-sceptics in high devolution and high welsh areas.
Any views from Guto Bebb and The Prof?
And without Glyn Davies, I fear we will see the real unsprayed (should that be unspayed?) Tories pretty soon.
Interesting comment from Huey Lewis in the news: Labour shoudl change.
I sense a grant application for my research into the woodland defecation habits of bears.
One thing they could do however is ask themselves whether the tribalist ravers liek Huw and 'Vote Plaid get Tory' Leioghton Andrews helped their cause.The concensus seems to be that it didn;t; that it made them look negative, intolerant,and aggressive.
Obviously, being crap in power didn;t help much either, but we forgive a lot in Wales - 26 seats makes it look better than it is. The disilusionment is near-total.
happy weekend, and thanks for keeping us up to date, Blamer
DR

 
At 2:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

daran said:
Somehow I think the time for spinning is over and the time for an honest appraisal of position is upon them. //

I agree. While Rhodri is at the helm of Labour it is not a healthy party to work with. The Welsh needs to feel that whatever government we have in the Assembly will not be putting the whims of Westminster abouve the needs to the Welsh electorate.

It was worrying to see Tony Blair(!!) saying that Labour was back in power in the Bay again. So arrogant, so insenstive, so iappropriate . He knew he had power over Rhodri's strings. Whatever happens in the next few days I hope that any coalition will take into account that the Welsh people are tired and frustrated at the way Labour governed in the Bay.

 
At 2:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could someone tell me please.
Do we now need to wait till 2011 or is there a mechanism for calling another election?

Gwil ap Tomos

 
At 2:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dave rodway said:
Interesting comment from Huey Lewis in the news: Labour shoudl change. //

Yes. Says a lot. At least one honest Labour AM saying it as it is. That won't go down well with the Labour mafia but it is a view that must be heeded to move forward in working with other Welsh represntatives in wales.

 
At 2:36 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

"Ditto Carms West and Preseli - 2 speak no welsh candidates and devolution-sceptics in high devolution and high welsh areas."

I saw Paul Davies on Newyddion s4c last night and he certainly seemed to be speaking Welsh - but I was VERY tired...

 
At 2:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gwil, there will be another election automatically if no First Minister is nominated in 28 days. The Assembly can also vote to hold a new election but that requires a qualified majority of (IIRC) 40 AMs

 
At 3:13 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear they are looking for a new National leader too
Mings cards ar being read
Valleys Mam

 
At 3:29 pm, Blogger Dylan said...

Paul Davies is very much a Welsh-speaker. Not sure what his views on devolution are though.

It will be interesting to see how "Welsh" the "Welsh Conservatives" will pretend to be, now. The loss of Glyn Davies in particular will be a blow. What are Millar and Burns' views on devolution I wonder?

I'm still gobsmacked at the latter's victory. As presumably is she!

 
At 3:59 pm, Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Anonymous said: "Do we now need to wait till 2011 or is there a mechanism for calling another election?"

Under the new Government of Wales Act, an election must be held if a government is not formed within a month (or 28 days, I think)

Dylan said: "Paul Davies...not sure what his views on devolution are...What are Millar and Burns' views on devolution I wonder?"

Not sure about Burns. But Millar and Davies are both enthusiasts for more powers.

P.S. - anybody else up for blogging the local elections next year???

 
At 4:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To start a tangent, Laura Anne Jones lost to Mohammed Asghar on the South Wales East list by 312 votes. Good or bad swap?

 
At 5:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad. Laura a stunner - easily the best-looking AM ever, after Peter Balck

 
At 6:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To start a tangent, Laura Anne Jones lost to Mohammed Asghar on the South Wales East list by 312 votes. Good or bad swap?

Excellent swap
She was dire and had a lot of issues that could have been dire if exposed

 
At 6:36 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

I think it's absolutely wonderful that 'Oscar' is now an AM. He will add some badly needed spice.

I'm told his favourite quote is "Wales is a flower, let it groooow."

 
At 7:36 pm, Blogger hafod said...

Are any of the bloggers going to do a trawl through all those "whispers" and "tips" to see how many were incredibly inaccurate? Like the news that Plaid were pushing Andrew Davies in Swansea W or Ieuan Wyn Jones was in trouble in Anglesey?
Or am I just a little tired of uninformed speculation (mmm, guess it's time to stop reading blogs then!)

 
At 8:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hafod said:
"Like the news that Plaid were pushing Andrew Davies in Swansea West"

Good grief, if you were in some parts of Swansea West then you could be forgiven for thinking Plaid were walking it! Unfortunately it was the student factor. Lots of enthusiasm but they voted elsewhere. Plus a low turnout.

 
At 11:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any party leader joining Labour in a formal coalition doesn't have the long term interests of their party at heart.The Lib Dem leaders know that they run the councils on an anti Labour ticket. Supporting Labour in the assembly would cause them real problems in next year's council elctions. The main winners would be the Tories in areas such as Bridgend and Cardiff. As for Plaid and the Tories their tactic should be to allow Labour to form a minority administration which will achieve nothing but have to take the difficult decisions in a new less favourable financial environment. By 2011 Labour could be on its kness reduced to the donkey areas which returned some of the dullest politicans in the UK on thursday night.

 
At 11:44 pm, Blogger Luke young said...

Have you seen Peter Blacks latest post? Seems to be going for an all-out bitch fight with German just days before a possible return to government...

 
At 12:13 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Yes, I've seen it. Not his own words but evidently endorsed.

Letting Labour rot is a tactic I've heard mooted from a number of different people, particularly in some of the parties most likely to now prop them up.

The problem is that this would provide weak government and they've all vowed to try and cobble together something stable.

 
At 12:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blamerbell said:
"The problem is that this would provide weak government and they've all vowed to try and cobble together something stable. "

So why bother with elections?
Why don't we save the country the cost and ask a random lot of volunteers (see candidates) in the Bay to form a committee to run Wales? That's not democratic.

We deserve better than a mish mash of making the best of a bad result (for who, Labour?)

 
At 1:02 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Well, the standard line they spew out is that the people of Wales will decide the composition of the next government. And I guess, in a way, they have.

They've said we'll take either a Rainbow coalition, a Lib-Lab pact or a Plaid-Labour pact, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, the ballot paper can't be specific enough to state a preference.

It's now up to the politicians to decipher which it will be, but if we are talking about the result of the election, then a lot of people have voted for Labour to be a key part of any coalition.

 
At 7:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Politics is a long game. What advantage does any party have in supporting Labour in the long run. They want to replace Labour as the party of government at all levels. Their support would be in Lenin's famous words the same as arope supports a hanging man. The solution is to allow Labour to run a minority administration and treat Labour's proposals on their merits. 2007 should be seen as the springboard for 2011 when there could be real change in Welsh politics if the opposition parties adopt the right tactics.Rhodri Morgan is abusted flush and should resgn as Lbour leader. His own vote fell and he presided over the worst Labour result since 1918. It would have been evn worse if UKIP had not stood.Labour's core vote is in decline and it needs to rethink its policies.

 
At 10:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
To start a tangent, Laura Anne Jones lost to Mohammed Asghar on the South Wales East list by 312 votes. Good or bad swap?

Excellent swap
She was dire and had a lot of issues that could have been dire if exposed

Don't just leave it there! What are the dire issues? And has she seen a priest? Or any sort of clergyman?

 
At 12:49 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She always struck me as a raving nympho.....or was I dreaming again??

 
At 2:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, but HAS she seen a priest? Or a Methodist minister, even?

 

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