The deal Plaid left behind

More details are emerging of the deal Plaid turned down to concentrate solely on forming a rainbow coalition. It is thought Labour were offering a referendum on a Scottish-style parliament, a review of the Barnett formula AND a new Welsh Language Act (in some form).

I also understand that at the time Plaid voted to sever talks with Labour, Rhodri Morgan's team were perusing the very same document on health reconfiguration which had been submitted to the Lib Dems and the Tories. Even though Labour had earlier rejected the idea of a moratorium on the reconfiguration programme, the four AMs who voted against suspending negotiations clearly thought there was still hope of reaching an agreement on this and other key issues.

Nevertheless, the other Plaid AMs decided that talks were not progressing at a sufficient pace. And yet, had this offer been on the table on May 4th, surely they would have snapped it up?

UPDATE: It seems others within Plaid are contesting this version of events. They say that a Welsh Language Act wasn't on the table, only the watered-down promise of a 'Dyfarnydd' which appeared in Labour's manifesto. They also say that Rhodri Morgan was prepared to offer an assembly vote on a referendum, but stopped short of guaranteeing his members would support it.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 9:49 am,

60 Comments:

At 10:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've seen the document and it offered Plaid the earth. Wait until it comes out - Ieuan will have a very, very tough time explaining why he thought Nick Bourne was a better option.

 
At 10:17 am, Blogger Alwyn ap Huw said...

According to Vaughan Roderick who has also seen the document there was no agreement on a Welsh Language Act and no agreement on hospital reconfiguration.

 
At 10:17 am, Blogger Aran said...

So it was 'support plus sweeties', then?

Hard to see which part of that is more promising for Plaid Cymru than leading an administration themselves.

The referendum, at a stretch - but will Labour really want to campaign against a referendum?

 
At 10:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alyn - Vaughn is wrong. 'Agreement' can't be achieved in a document, but there were concessions that gave Plaid virtually everyhting they asked for on language, ditto health.

 
At 10:26 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

But there was talk of a Welsh Language Act, something Labour had previously been unwilling to offer.

As for health, I understand that negotiations were not complete. Labour didn't have time to respond to Plaid's proposals.

Aran, as for the referendum, you may be forgetting that this needs to be approved not only by a two thirds majority in the Senedd, but also in the House of Commons and the Lords too. There's also nothing to stop the secretary of state using his veto.

 
At 10:41 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The fact is that Vaughan Roderick and co may have seen the document but labour AMs haven't - and you want to know why? because neither Rhodri nor Hutt had any sort of mandate to offer these concessions.

 
At 10:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it's true that Labour AMs hadn't seen it, then it's a disgrace.

 
At 10:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's what I heard. There is a rumour that the 28 page document did not have the clearance from Labour and that Rhodri could not give his 100% committment to it, even at this late stage.

 
At 11:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a very desperate last attempt by Rhodri to keep himself in power. The party are used to being creative with the truth by now.

 
At 11:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People won't forgive the Nats for putting Tories in charge of public services, after crowing on for weeks in places like Llanelli and Caerphilly about how they were to the left of Labour.

 
At 11:50 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"People won't forgive the Nats for putting Tories in charge of public services, after crowing on for weeks in places like Llanelli and Caerphilly about how they were to the left of Labour."

First of all, there is not yet a deal, secondly, the Tories might not have public services if the deal goes ahead and finally, it's not like they can do anything nasty to them as the other two parties (and hopefully Labour although you can never tell) wouldn't let them.

The reality is that Labour still don't get the devolution thing and until they start putting Wales before their own personal interests, they never will.

 
At 11:59 am, Blogger Aran said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Blamerbell - but I have to admit that despite succeeding in reading no blogs for a few days, I hadn't quite managed to shake those key points out of memory...;-) I'm just not convinced they change the dynamic that much - can panicky Rhodri guarantee any of them? Would Labour want to swap places with the Tories as the party against powers for Wales? I'm not convinced.

As for the Language Act - I'll bet any spare cash I have that it made no commitments to the private sector, so Plaid Cymru might as well try to negotiate with the Tories and Lib-Dems (who also haven't committed to private sector legislation, as far as I understand) for a rainbow agreement.

A Labour-Plaid coalition would have been interesting - but it seems as though it was never on the cards. I reckon that Plaid supporting Labour (for whatever sweeties) would also have done some real electoral damage next time round.

I'm finding it hard to decide if Plaid have been in a no-lose situation or a no-win situation - but it's all a lot more interesting than Lib-Lab...

 
At 12:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"First of all, there is not yet a deal, secondly, the Tories might not have public services if the deal goes ahead and finally, it's not like they can do anything nasty to them as the other two parties (and hopefully Labour although you can never tell) wouldn't let them.

The reality is that Labour still don't get the devolution thing and until they start putting Wales before their own personal interests, they never will."

Yes, but they will have let Tories into Government in Wales. People round here remember the 80s.

And, I don't think Plaid are so much 'putting Wales first' as putting power first - and there's a big difference. According to your maxim, is there anyone who you wouldn't deal with in order to get the FM's job?

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

Anonymous said...
"People won't forgive the Nats for putting Tories in charge of public services, after crowing on for weeks in places like Llanelli and Caerphilly about how they were to the left of Labour. "

That's true. Labour were not telling you that they were almost as right as the Tories yet that was acceptable to many without a question. Now we see even Cameron might be adopting New Labour ideas because they are so close.
So Plaid were telling the truth, but they are a responsible party, putting people and WALES before personal issues. To ensure that we as a Nation of mix bag opinions get a government that CAN WORK.
It's not going to please everyone, modern politics is not going to be the same as 30 years ago, and we will have to learn and live with it.

 
At 12:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Support plus sweeties' - Is Rhodri allowed to share out Peter Hain's sweeties? I'm sure he'd 'object'.

 
At 12:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yes, but they will have let Tories into Government in Wales. People round here remember the 80s. "

What do you think New Labour is?
They are so Right even Cameron is finding there are nice pickings to pinch from their table.

Also, why do you think we have a bigger rich/poor divide since New Labour? More than under the Tories. Facts speak louder than dreams.

 
At 12:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
/'Support plus sweeties' - Is Rhodri allowed to share out Peter Hain's sweeties? I'm sure he'd 'object'. /

Surely Hain cannot be eating sweeties with those teeth. They must have cost him a fortune.

 
At 12:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

they were offering a referendum. there's nothing saying they wouldn't support it. language act the same. Plaid didn't even give Labour the respect to reply to the reconfiguration document.

 
At 12:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

According to Peter Black,Lord Carlile is suggesting that the Leader of the largest party should become First Minister and then the governnment should be judged on an issue by issue basis.The difficulty with the rainbow coalition is that it is quite clear that there is strong opposition in both the Lib Dems and Plaid. This cannot be the basis for stable government. If we are not careful Wales will have a government with a figure head First Minister in Ieuan Wyn Jones and each minister doing his or her own thing.

 
At 12:59 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

I really dont see what Labour could have offered Plaid beyond those things you mentioned- it does to me offer a great platform for the next welsh Labour leader to work off though and show a new 'devolutionist' Welsh Labour Party...

http://renewedlabour.blogspot.com/2007/05/vote-plaid-get-tory.html

 
At 1:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

qaqzqbcThe demographics of Wales are changing. If you take the Three Wales model, one of those, the valleys, is dying -literally because eveyday tradional Labour supporters kick the bucket.

It seems to me the Rainbow coalition is a bringing together of Y Fro and a British Wales that is increasingly less British.

If this means a turning away from the class and linguistic divides of the past then that is a good thing, a good thing for Wales, the language and for the valleys where socialism really is a dead end.

Will the gang of four scupper this? HMJ has a mandate but the other 3 owe their position to the party list. If they stand out against the party majority then they should be kicked out of the Assembly. Is there a mechanism for doing this?

If the four do scupper the deal then that would also be positive if Plaid would then kick out its dinosaur wing and move on.

 
At 1:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't deal with the BNP or UKIP and I will not take criticism off Labour for accusing Plaid of putting power before Wales-you lot define yourself by this adage.

I also remember the 80's and despise Thatcher, yet I have watched a New Labour Government in London pass policies that were too far even for Thatcher. I have also watched 8 years of Labour in Wales, where the opportunity was there to be radical and get awy from Blair and what do we have to show for it? Free prescriptions and free buses for the elderly?

If the 3 party coalition does happen then I accept criticism that is deserved. However, it's a shame you can't take your blinkers off and resist indulgence in pre-emptive criticism.

Oh and on the issue of trusting Labour on a referendum, the four rebel Plaid AMs have very short memories. Don't they remember what happended in 79 when their party supported the Labour yes vote and Labour fought agianst their own policy? Then there was 97 when most Labour activists sat on their hands.

There are ways of getting to a Parliament but trusting Labour in an agreement is a very questionable way indeed.

 
At 1:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I'm Labour and I want Labour to go into opposition because:

(a) It's the only way to get rid of Rhodri. The showman era of politics is over uin Cardiff and in London, but Rhodders doesn't know how to leave the stage - so he needs to be kicked out.

(b) It's the only way to get rid of deadwood like Hutt and Gibbons and Davidson. Those three wouldn't know a public service reform if it landed on their head - they have never done much more than apply the policies of William Hague with some more money.

(c) It's the only way the party is going to get over its fetish with Bevan and enter the real politics of the 21st century

 
At 1:21 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

“secondly, the Tories might not have public services if the deal goes ahead”.

(Anti-Conservatives have of course suggested that Wales might not have public services if the deal goes ahead...)

Surely the Conservatives would have to have one of the big spending ministries? Without at least one there’ll be accusations they’ve been hidden in the cupboard. Finance and Culture etc aren't enough without a big public spending ministry too.


“The difficulty with the rainbow coalition is that it is quite clear that there is strong opposition in both the Lib Dems and Plaid.”

And amongst some Conservatives too, but not necessarily those in the Assembly.

There's nothing wrong with this. The reality is that ALL parties are divided about coalitions and who to talk to about the future. Look at the debates in Labour over recent weeks as well as the open feuds in Plaid and the Liberal Democrats. If parties were united about who to work with and who not to work with, they might as well have stuck it in their manifestos and make it open.

And remember that there were sections of Labour and the Liberal Democrats openly opposing that coalition in the first Assembly, but the deal struck was stuck to. Yes, there have been and will be tensions, but surely if the rainbow emerges then each of the colours will have invested too much to let it fade away easily?

There is nothing wrong with division – it prompts party debate – and that’s what we’re going to continue to get for the next few days. If the rainbow warrior parties had tried to railroad these huge agreements through without honest debate then they would have fallen apart once the members had a chance to fight back.

 
At 1:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The four Plaid AMs in question are a principled wing, have a huge part to play in the future of the party and generally represent a significant proportion of Plaid, but I suspect not in this case.

I believe that Plaid have ended up in this position by accident rather than by design, mainly due to the incompetence of Labour and the slippery Liberals. I have no idea what the Conservatives have agreed to but suspect that it is significantly more than Labour.

In such circumstances, one has to ask what alternative is there if Plaid do not join up in the rainbow coalition. From what I can filter from the media, Labour may still be a partner but have handled themselves very badly. Therefore, the alternatives are working an agreement with Labour, which will no doubt be less now that the rainbow would be over or allowing Labour to continue as a minority Govt.

Plaid would I believe come out badly from both these options, particularly now that the media appear to favour a change. My impression is also that Plaid members want a change and see this as a real opportunity. I wait with interest for the conclusions of Saturday's events.

 
At 1:30 pm, Blogger Pads said...

/Will the gang of four scupper this?/

Only if they can persude Plaid's National Council to reject it. The Party hasn't made a decision yet, so they can't be accused of going against Party policy.

No, they can't be kicked out, and they've done nothing to deserve it.

 
At 1:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tell you that Plaid members in Rhondda are overwhelmingly against any coalition.

 
At 1:48 pm, Blogger Penddu said...

The four are just voicing their opinions - they hope to get Plaid exec to scupper the deal, but Bethan has publicly said that she will support whatever deal is made - presumably the others will also fall into line.

Personally, as long as there is not a Conservative FM, and the Conservatives are not given Education or Health then I can live with them. Give them Agriculture (most farmers vote Tory) & Enterprise (ditto businessmen).

 
At 1:52 pm, Blogger Penddu said...

I think that what we are actually seeing is a realignment of Welsh politics - Plaid's 'Red' wing are more at home with Welsh Labour (& Forward Wales if they still exist)- Plaid's 'Green' wing seem comfortable with the new Welsh Tories - leaving Unionist Labour on the far left and Old Conservatives/UKIP on the far right.

The LDs are in any case irrelevant

 
At 1:57 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Hopefully in oppisition Welsh Labour will get a proper devolutionist leader, who will make Welsh Labour, WELSH Labour. Welsh poltics changed when we had devolution, and Labour as one of the 4 major parties in Wales has to changed and adapt to modern Wales in order to survive as a political party in Wales, that means becoming a true Welsh party and a true party of Wales. (I will go on about what I would like to see happen to Welsh Labour in my blog later on today, once I get the time)

 
At 2:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, those four especially the two new members have been very brave. The clear reason they are in Plaid is to deliver a proper Parliament and that's all they wanted was a bit more time to see if Labour could be pushed all the way. Their actions were responsible.

At the end of the day you have to ask where have Labour been. 20 days since the election, and only now they seem to be taking the prospect of opposition seriously. As blamerbell stresses, why wasn't the deal ready for May the 4th.

 
At 2:33 pm, Anonymous RinMachen said...

Apologies if this has already been posted, but the next Plenary meeting has been called for Tuesday 29th May.

http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-business-notice.htm

 
At 2:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Labour are in meltdown even the SPADs are arguing now, Marcusian and Luke Young are at each others throats. Long may it continue :)

 
At 2:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

,,,If they stand out against the party majority then they should be kicked out of the Assembly. Is there a mechanism for doing this?,,,

As someone who has supported Plaid right through this campaign I am very worried about where this is going. Maybe HMJ got away with things in the last Assembly but this time it will have more responsibilities. And she has more responsibilities, the biggest now to work for a government for Wales and not start splitting hairs because she represents a socialist area. It's such a shame. I hope the other three have powerful reasons why they are doing this.

 
At 2:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Anonymous said...
I tell you that Plaid members in Rhondda are overwhelmingly against any coalition. '

Not surprised. They are still bleeding from the election fight. But most Plaid are resilient and will see further than the local thugs who give a bad name to politics.

 
At 3:06 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Labour are in meltdown even the SPADs are arguing now, Marcusian and Luke Young are at each others throats. Long may it continue :) "

Another gutless anon post! Well done. *Bloggers in different point of view shock* What is even funnier is that your also wholly incorrect as well.

come on, what is your name? dont be scared.

I am not SPAD either...i work for Parliament.

 
At 3:11 pm, Blogger Luke Young said...

To add on to marcusian's point - I'm not a SPAD either - I work for no one!

one word - Gutless!

 
At 3:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said...
"Not surprised. They are still bleeding from the election fight. But most Plaid are resilient and will see further than the local thugs who give a bad name to politics."

Are you saying that Labour are thugs?

 
At 3:16 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Anonymous said...
Labour are in meltdown even the SPADs are arguing now, Marcusian and Luke Young are at each others throats. Long may it continue :)

2:46 PM



Urmm, just because people disagree does not mean they are argueing, all political parties have disagreements (Look at the Lib Dems with Peter Black and Mike German, or Plaid Cymru over the Rainbow deal, or the Tories over Grammer schools) All political parties are board churches with many different opinions and views in them, but common believes and values.

 
At 3:23 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Geraint,

Whats even funnier is that we actually wasnt disagreeing on anything! i misread the date of Luke's post and made a comment based on that.

 
At 3:35 pm, Blogger Robbie Clifton said...

Good to see debate flourishing on this site. Shame the same thing cannot be said of certain other blogs. Posted my concerns about the 'gang of four' on Bethan Jenkins' blog earlier today - not sure if it was the content or the language it was written in (I'm a monoglot, sadly), but it hasn;t made the cut.

 
At 3:37 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Good to see debate flourishing on this site. Shame the same thing cannot be said of certain other blogs. Posted my concerns about the 'gang of four' on Bethan Jenkins' blog earlier today - not sure if it was the content or the language it was written in (I'm a monoglot, sadly), but it hasn;t made the cut."

although i couldnt comment on bethan's comment policy, i get more annoyed by 'anons' who will just poisoned the debate and hide.

 
At 3:43 pm, Blogger Robbie Clifton said...

Am with you on that, marcusian, up to a point.

There may well be some people who wish to contribute but need some sort of cover due to the jobs they work in - there are, in this thread alone, some considered comments from anons. Equally, there are some who are new-ish to the game (like me!) who may struggle to get the necessary online username etc.

What is beyond doubt is the poisonous nature of some anon comments - all too often containing particularly malicious personal, not political, attacks.

 
At 3:44 pm, Blogger david h jones said...

just seen the Labour proposals on Vauagh Roderick's Welsh language blog. If Labour are serious about this and Rhodri could deliver it, then maybe Plaid should consider.

I'm a nationalist - I'll work with anyone who will promote the self-govenment of Wales and the Welsh language - the Rainbow coalition or Labour.

I'm bored of the Tories as bogey man story story so I have no problem cooperating with them, but if Labour's proposal is stronger for the language and self-government that what the Coalition can achieve then its gives Helen Mary a strong card.

 
At 4:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unless it had a clause in there that said "Ieuan will be First Minister with a big car just like Alex Salmond's", no chance.

 
At 4:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Unless it had a clause in there that said "Ieuan will be First Minister with a big car just like Alex Salmond's", no chance.

Is that the sound of a nail being hit on the head?

 
At 4:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did they mention that Rhodri apparently started wobbling on some of the proposals and the hospital cofiguration promise is utterly meaningless.

Having said that, I wish that they had put that on the table even a week ago. Leaving it so late has left it too late for many AMs, which I think was part of the problem.

 
At 4:27 pm, Blogger Lucy Sheppard said...

The whole thing semms a bit dire from where I'm sitting! Studying politics for my degree, and my lecturers rarely agree, but they all seem to think this is a bit of a mess!

Worrying thoughts that too wide a rainbow will just take the safe, and easiest, route on many things.

 
At 4:43 pm, Blogger Robbie Clifton said...

Lucy - Huw Lewis makes this very point on his blog. Interesting times ahead...

 
At 4:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just hope it's a crock of gold that's at the end of the Rainbow and not the other type!

 
At 5:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do Labour want a rainbow coalition?

I ask this because every move they have made since May 3rd has encouraged it. Even now when they are claiming that their 28 page document is the answer to the Lord's prayers, yet again they have been economical with the truth.

Watch the news and learn whose pants are on fire!

 
At 5:01 pm, Blogger bethan said...

anyone is free to comment on my blog bar anon's. I'm happy to argue my case, for the record.

 
At 5:05 pm, Blogger Robbie Clifton said...

Glad to hear that, Bethan. It just took a long time, and several other comments appeared with no sign of mine. Thanks for posting it, though - I happily take back my earlier comment in its entirety.

 
At 5:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marcusian said...
... i get more annoyed by 'anons' who will just poisoned the debate and hide. ....

There are too many for you to fight Marcusian. You will make yourself ill. I have no clue who they are but there are obviously some knowledgable bloggers who have enlightening views.
another (female) anon

 
At 5:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't agree with Bethan's decision on the future governance of our nation but as a new Plaid voter, I think that she has a great future.

There are not many Welsh politicians with backbone; a part of the anatomy more relevant to her gender than one suggested by the former Conservative member for Mid and West Wales.

 
At 7:05 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Is it me, or are the BBC big wigs still ignoring this?

 
At 7:59 pm, Blogger Guto said...

ignoring what geraint?

 
At 8:32 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

The political sitution in Wales

 
At 9:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They are watching this blog instead.......

 
At 10:01 pm, Blogger gethin said...

The Tories kicked off at half six. The Lib Dems at seven. I thought we'd at least have some sort of statement from the Tories by now, if not Mr German.

Anybody heard anything from Llandrindod?

 

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