Dealbreakers

The reason Ieuan Wyn Jones might just be sworn in as first minister by the end of the month is that there is actually a remarkable amount of overlap between the parties looking to form a rainbow coalition. I know because I read the bloody manifestos. And if the Lib Dems ever dare to produce a document as long and tedious as that again I'll ram it up their letter box:)

Beyond the really important issues, like the free laptops, lightbulbs and toothbrushes, there is agreement (or wiggle room) in a number of key areas. Whether it's a new Welsh language act, moves towards a referendum on further devolution, PR in local government or making the green switch, the parties have much in common. And now that talks are underway, they'll finally be able to stop pretending they are all so incredibly different.

It's the Tories, however, who have most to lose in terms of traditional ideological ground. While Plaid and the Lib Dems may be bargaining on the basis of specific policy commitments, the Conservatives might prefer to negotiate in terms of future influence. The price they could extract in exchange for caving in on PR, for example, is more likely to be a prominent role in cabinet than an equivalent policy initiative.

Nick Bourne said yesterday that the Tories are in this to govern. There's no reason not to believe him.

Labels: , , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 10:09 am,

58 Comments:

At 10:32 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tories will do anything they can just to get a grasp of power. I don't think they'll be that concerned about the detail.

you say 'the parties have much in common' but that could be questioned....

 
At 10:56 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

I think that although Blamerbell is right to highlight some of the policies they do agree on. They are hardly huge vote winners are they, will any of these policies gain the three parties more votes than last time?

Ciaran's analysis totally forgets the fundamental differences that exist. What happens when the tories get behind the NO campaign on a proposed referenum? Does that send a mixed message? What about the core tory vote who are unionist and against further powers? or the Plaid that want independence? What about the lib dems...YEAH ACTUALLY WHO CARES ABOUT THE LIB DEMS!

 
At 11:05 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

The way the current legislation is constructed actually makes it easier for the Tories to support a referendum.

They can say that the assembly needs to be able to make its own decisions in order to escape the suffocating veto of the Secretary of State.

Cameron will spin Conservative involvement in government as an early success story of his regime. His line has been to give devolution space to breathe for some time.

I would be very surprised, therefore, if the Tories fronted a no campaign as they did last time.

 
At 11:12 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The big question is if the Raibow Coalition goes through with a referendum, would Labour campaign unequivocally for a Yes vote? Or will they throw their toys out of the pram because everyone knows only they are allowed to deliver devolution to Wales?

If the raibow coalition goes ahead, I've a felling we may see the truw colours of some within the Wales Labour Party.

 
At 12:06 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

What about if Cameron wins the next general election? Is a veto only suffocating when its a Labour secretary of state? Will cameron want a nice cosy Tory/Plaid government in Wales when he wants to win the north and west wales marginals against the nats?

I would vote yes in referendum no doubt.

 
At 12:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If, as anonymous suggests, Labour throw their toys out of the pram with respect to a referendum if a Rainbow Coalition emerges, and if Plaid's primary goal is achieving this referendum, wouldn't they be better off negotiating a deal with Labour than going for a Rainbow Coalition:
- The GoWA 2006 states that 2/3 of AMs must approve a referendum
- Rainbow coalition < 2/3 AMs
- Labour + Plaid (coalition or agreement) > 2/3 AMs

 
At 12:29 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Neil Kinnock opposed devolution in 1979 (Labour was in power) and in 1997 (Labour in power again) so there are always a few in Labour who oppose devolution on principles in all the major parties (excluding Plaid, who just want to use it as an excuse to see Wales sail off into the sunset away from England)

What would be interesting is the split between the Devolution Wing and anti-Devolutionist Wing of the Welsh Labour Party and how willing wil the Anti-Devolutionists be to oppose more powers if Labour is in oppisition (since most wouldn't want to rock the boat while Labour is in power, since it be a defeat for the government)

I think the offical line would be supporting it though, like in 1979 and 1997, just so long as the rainbow coalition is not going to last longer then 4 years....

 
At 12:43 pm, Blogger Tortoiseshell said...

Exclusive @ tortoiseshell - before any of the TV channels (or Labour Party) refers to Welsh politics in the context of an old children's favourite...

 
At 12:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see why we are so surprised. There are only a small number of trots in Plaid membership. As chapel-going small c conservatives, this represents a centre-right coalition.

One of the only problems they have is a couple of people on the left like Leanne (who has been entirely silent) sitting with rabid neo-nazis like Darren Millar.

Also, they don't agree on the language. They agree on a new act, but the Tories would not countenance compulsion on the private sector.

 
At 1:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This Rainbow coalition is being created by an internal Labour feud to get rid of Rhodri, with the traitors anticipating a quick coalition collapse post-Rhodri. They are the very same individuals who are blocking a red-green coalition/agreement between Labour and Plaid; an option that could really set a radicial and progressive agenda.

Who are these Labour reptiles to slag off Plaid for considering working with the Tories, when their own party is creating this situation in the first place?

 
At 1:33 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Who are these Labour reptiles to slag off Plaid for considering working with the Tories, when their own party is creating this situation in the first place?"

So tell me should Labour do then? Plaid are whoring themselves to anyone who will listen. I agree with your point that a Lab/Plaid agreement my be worthwhile, but wont dont Plaid join labour in ruling out working with tories in any way. Adam 'we are good socialists' Price wants this, why cant Plaid back their socialist credentials?

 
At 2:22 pm, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Marcusian.

And what are Labour's socialist credentials?

As Peter Mandelson (infamously said "We are all "Thatcherites now!"

What is the difference between Welsh Labour and New Labour?

As far as a "veto"s concerned, Hain introduced that daft idea! did he not?

 
At 2:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Why don't Plaid join Labour in ruling out working with the Tories.'

This election is about Wales and not Labour's or Plaid's political hang-ups. I suspect that Plaid would not accept a Tory proposal if it was not for the fact that New Labour in London are in terms of policy, more right wing that the Tories in Wales, yet this does not appear to bother you.
Plaid did commit themselves not to serve under a Tory First Minister, which effectively means that they can set the political agenda by being the largest of the coalition parties. In terms of the progressive element of the coalition, it could be argued that the Tories would be outnumbered almost 2:1 by the other two parties. This factor should stop any nasty right wing policies sneaking through. Mind you, this relies on trusting the Lib Dems and that is always a gamble at any level.

In terms of what Labour should have done, once they realised that they would not get 30+ (which they have known for months), then they should have developed packages for the various result scenarios and realised that the Libs would only join them if something very substantial was offered. They knew that the Libs now ran several Councils and would be very reluctant to join a coalition and risk losing them. This made 2007 very different from 1999 yet Rhodri appeared to offer them even less than he did 8 years ago. Also, some of the post-election snide comments towards their potential partners was suicidal in terms of negotiations.

As for Plaid, a coalition was never on the cards (a fact again known by Labour) but an agreement based on sound policy principles was and still is, on the cards. This would allow Plaid to be a constuctive opposition, push through some policies that many Labour supporters would approve of and allow you a stable administration. However, your politicians have again chosen to verbally abuse Plaid after the election and offer them (if the leaked Western Mail document is anything to go by) meaningless consultation and little else.

Labour's disastrous handling of the last two week's events has either been down to utter ineptitude or an internal scrap to remove Rhodri and replace him with a more 'unionist' leader - and Leighton's paws are all over it.
So in summary, you have until Wednesday to get your act together and either join up with the Libs/stability pact with Plaid, or face opposition and an internal feud.

It's in your hands.

 
At 2:38 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Marcusian.

And what are Labour's socialist credentials?

As Peter Mandelson (infamously said "We are all "Thatcherites now!"

What is the difference between Welsh Labour and New Labour?

As far as a "veto"s concerned, Hain introduced that daft idea! did he not?

2:22 PM


Labour socialist credentials? Um how far back do you want to go, shall we start with the formation of the NHS. That was around the time Plaid were right wing racist nationalists. Now Labour has changed massively since the Atlee government, but not quite as much as Plaid have.

Any nats still believe saunder lewis was right?

Peter Mandelson's comments are his, and you know full well he doesnt speak for many within the Labour party.




To me socialism is about values, Crosland summed it up very well. Even new labour has delivered socialist policies, minimum wage (Plaid cymru MP's did not vote on this by the way), tax credits, more workers rights. Now whether New Labour is a socialist government is not what you were asking...

Tell me one policy of Plaid's that goes against the tide of thatcherism, or more importantly neo-liberalism?

Peter Mandelsons view were that it is unlikely we will repealing the thatcherite reforms of the 1980s. Tell me what are plaid doing differently then? They are even going into government with the bloody tories.

 
At 3:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plaid MPs didn't vote with Labour on the minimum wage because they wanted a higher one. In terms of Plaid anti-Thatcherite policies, we are against PFI (are Labour?)we fought for miner's compensation and are doing so again in Westminster (are Labour?). We believe that Councils should not be forced to sell off their housing stock to meet Labour's targets (do Labour?-Leighton doesn't). Plaid is dead against the replacement of Trident (is Labour?). Plaid were dead agianst the illegal war in Iraq (were Labour?). Plaid called for the repeal of the 8 week rule that was used to sack the Friction Dynamex workers in North Wales (Did Labour?-no, they just extended the time limit a bit). Plaid got compensation for quarry workers in north Wales as a bargain to support a Labour Government agianst a Tory confidence vote-hardly Thatcherite methinks.

So take your marxist blinkers off-there's a good lad.

 
At 3:12 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

Why vote against a minimum wage which was a start for our low earners, I agree it should have been higher, but hey its a start from nowhere.

On Iraq, a large ammount of members of the Labour party wereand are still against the war.

On trident, again a large amount or labour members and MP's and AM's were and are against it.

Miners compensation, all labour MP's in Wales fought for compensation for the miners.

So please when you say stuff like make sure you get your facts right. As I said, the Labour party is a broad church and all views are accompanied within it.

Its like all Plaid are for a coalition with the Tories, the ones who raped the Welsh country of its talent, economy and heart.

 
At 3:18 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

I am not sat here arguing that New Labour are socialist at all. You mistake me for someone else i think, we shall see when Plaid get into government whether they can deliver us all these very noble stances. Government is a far more difficult and fraught with vested interests and electoral pressures.
This is even more relevant in the context of england being a conservative country (New Labour knew they had to keep them onside) and in Wales PR has meant that building a 'big tent' is going to be crucial.

It is very easy being the supposedly principled, everyman opposition. But government makes you the institution to rebel against, things go wrong no matter what party is in, we shall see if Plaid can take the heat.

Plaid have ditched independence to have a sniff, what next now they may actually get government? Government makes you the totem pole to rebel and attack against. The rainbow has so many potential problems it will be rich pickings for the Labour opposition. I mean stick a mic by leanne wood and darran millar and that will be a good start...

 
At 3:20 pm, Anonymous Awen said...

on the referendum again....
During GOWA discussions, Tories wanted one so that they could:
include a "no assembly" option
and
so that the whole system was more transparant, not by the door.
? Am I right?
Clear red line - no "no"?

 
At 3:22 pm, Anonymous Awen said...

that should be powers by the back door
Friday feeling.....

 
At 3:24 pm, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

The father of the NHS was a guy by the name of William Beveridge a member of the Liberal Party. Nye Bevan was the midwife.

Yes the Labour Government deserves credit for creating a fairer Britain.But what about the Blair Regime. Minimum wage you say (not one you can live on)

Tax Credits you say (not enough for people to live on, and oh yes, I wonder how many people have been asked to pay theirs back)

Then ask why this "socialist" government has not done a thing to help the ASW workers get their pensions back.

The trouble is men like Attlee and Bevan were men who wanted to make Britain a fairer place. Unfortunately, Blair is no Attlee or Bevan.

 
At 3:41 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

I wounder how many AM's, AM's staff are actually writting on bloggs about coalition under the name anonymous.

Most probs a large percentage, and most of them opposition members

 
At 3:48 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"The father of the NHS was a guy by the name of William Beveridge a member of the Liberal Party. Nye Bevan was the midwife.

Yes the Labour Government deserves credit for creating a fairer Britain.But what about the Blair Regime. Minimum wage you say (not one you can live on)

Tax Credits you say (not enough for people to live on, and oh yes, I wonder how many people have been asked to pay theirs back)

Then ask why this "socialist" government has not done a thing to help the ASW workers get their pensions back.

The trouble is men like Attlee and Bevan were men who wanted to make Britain a fairer place. Unfortunately, Blair is no Attlee or Bevan. "

Mike, we agree on so much but this isnt one of you best efforts.

Beveridge deserves his place in history, as does Lloyd George. But it was Clement Atlee's government that made it a reality. Beveridge report would have a great read but nothing else had the tories won in 1945. Think about that.

I agree that making society more equal was higher on the agendas of Atlee and Nye Bevan than Blair. But they also inhabited hugely different worlds.

Again you make the case for socialism based on your own interpretation of it. I am a revisionist, and i believe socialism is about values al la Tony Crosland. It is not about a set of policies to tick a socialist box. In all fairness to Blair, he has never been overly keen to trumpet his socialist credentials.

I also disagree on the minimum wage, my girlfriend lives on it. My brother also does. Now i am not saying everyone does or that it is enough. My real contention is the level of the minimum wage for young people.

Although i share your desire for a more 'socialist' society, it must be tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism and to remember that governments must win elections. Incremental change is often lasting change...

 
At 3:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definately not an AM-my spelling isn't that bad. You say that Labour MPs fought for miners compensation. No they bloody didn't. They actually slagged off the NACODS union for raising false hopes. The only one I can think of who did lift a finger is Ann Clwyd and how many are supporting Plaid in Westminster to stop their own Government legally challenging the current claim, for miners with arthritis?

We have not dropped independence, but why sell it in the last election when we are probably decades away from it and then only after a referendum. I accept that being in Government is a world away from being in opposition and I do not know any Plaid activists exactly happy about the prospect of a pact with the Tories. However, we can hardly be accused of prostituting ourselves as if that had been the case, then we would have happily joined with them as the smaller partner. The fact that we are prepared to support the bigger partner (in Labour) I believe shows where our political direction lies. Yet, if we are offered next to nothing, it doesn't make things easy, does it?

 
At 4:13 pm, Anonymous Third Way said...

Yes the Labour Government deserves credit for creating a fairer Britain.But what about the Blair Regime. Minimum wage you say (not one you can live on)

My wife did some temping for the DSS before the minimum wage came in. They were paying £2.50 an hour. You can't say that the minimum wage isn't a step forward.

You've got to be careful with the level of the minimum wage, if you went to some of the wackier levels that some left wing parties want of £8 plus an hour, the result would be a very healthy minimum wage. No jobs. But hey, at least the minimum wage would be OK.

That's the problem Labour faces. You increase pension, give free bus passes, eye tests, TV licences, winter fuel allowances, pension benefits, and they still complain it's not enough.

One thing is for sure. You wouldn't get it off a Tory government, and that's alternative at the next election.

 
At 6:16 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

I am proud of Labour and the socialist policies of the Labour Party, in both Westminster, Brussels and the Assembly.

Thanks to Labour we have;

Minimum Wage, which would NOT have been brought in under the Tories and people before it were being paid peanuts, not thanks to Labour they have a decent income and it is increase all the time.

4 weeks paid holidays, voted in by Labour MEPs, as party of the Socialist block of the European Parliament, another thing to be proud of Labour and proud of socialism.

Well over 2.1 million children lifted out of absolute poverty, another achieve of this Labour government and thing to add Labour's socialist credentials.

Lowest rate of unemployment Britain has ahd for a long time.

Free school milk for 5, 6 adn 7 year olds in Wales, thanks to Welsh Labour, antoehr thing to add to Labour credentials as a democratic socialist party

Free TV licences to 75 year olds, thanks to Labour

Free bus travel thanks to Welsh Labour, another socialist credential to add to the growing list.

Our overseas aid budget doubled, thanks to Labour, revesring the Tory cuts. Add that to the list too

Increase of child benifit from £5 to £16.50, under Labour, add that to the list of list of the good that Labour has done for the worse off in Britain

£200 winter fuel allowance to pensions and an extra £100 for the over 80s, another reason to be proud to be a member of Labour and proud of the social democracy from this government.

Extend child benifit until the age of 19 for the poorest families, the Tories would not do that.

Sure Start Programmes havr helped the worse off in Britain get a better start in live then they would ahve done with out it, add that to the list too of the centre-left sucess of the Labour government since 1997 too.


New Mothers having 26 weeks paid maternity leave and fathers 2 weeks paid parentily leave, the Tories voted against it, brought in by Labour, again another social democratic achieve by us.

Free entry to all national muesums and galleries across the coutnry thanks to Labour, how is that for socialism.

Labout also gave all world war 2 veterns one years free passports so they could visit the battlefields of rememberance, during the recent 50th anniversry. Another thing for Labour members to be proud of.

Over £500 million paid out to miners, thanks to Welsh Labour.

Abolishment of SATs for 7 year olds, thanks to Welsh Labour.

Free Prescriptions, brought in by Welsh Labour, not under threat by the "review" that the Tories wanted during the Assembly elections.

Free school breakfasts aor shcool children, Labour brought it in, undder threat, thanks to Plaid, condemning many children to go to school without a meal in the morning and hindering their education.

You want more, because I got plenty, aand that is just under the 1997 Labour government, and not the others ones that have been, all have been socialist, progressive and something for the membership to be proud of.

Labour has made mistake, but I am proud of the sucess and achievements of the party, and the progressive policies brought in, making the lifes of the poorest in Britain better, and the Britain a much fairer place to live

My mam has been a Plaid voting all her life, and is a former activist, and if they join the Tories my mam will not vote Plaid anymore, and I think she be the first of many.

 
At 6:39 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some results there-fair play. However, it's taken you 10 years and two Sepatate Governments to come up with that.

You also condemned the UK to have no consulatation protection (unlike the rest of Europe) which has cost Wales thousands of manufacturing jobs alone, as the unions will tell you.

You didn't deliver a penny of miner's compensation. You did nothing when in opposition (apart from describing the Tory law to pinch 'surplus' miners pension funds as a 'rip off'). You then continued that 'rip off' when in power and so the compensation money actually comes from the two main pension funds. You also challenged the VWF court decision and took it to appeal-which you lost. You are presently holding out on the arthritis payments by going to the courts.

Your promise of free school breakfasts was nothing more than an unfunded aspiration, although you wouldn't guess it from your media coverage.

You could have been really radical since 97 but have not done so, which is a shame.

 
At 6:45 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Free Breakfasts is a sucess and is helping many school children across Wales, it might not be at every schoolol, but the amount of schools were growing.

Your point about 10 years and 2 seperate government is moot by the way, since I not said all that I could do, and also devolution means there are 3 seperate govenrments that could be Labour or a coalition featuring Labour.

 
At 6:50 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Nearly 70% voted against Labour. That is the first thing to note. If Plaid manage to govern by a Rainbow Coalition which promotes our vision for Wales, then we should go for it.

A deal with Labour would be easier, given our ideological common ground. But if they are being silly and not talking to anyone, others are prepared to discuss things.

The important thing is that it isn't agreement by proxy - where people fall into line because there is no other option. That would create a governmental mess, as Labour seem to hope for, full of competing ideologies.

If a rainbow coalition is going to happen, Plaid have to make sure that our nationalist and socialist agenda are met from the start. If that is sorted out, we can be partners with anyone.

 
At 7:08 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

More pople voted again Plaid, or the Tories, or the Lib Dems, so dont throw that one out, its pathetic, it has no legs. I could easily throw simular % out against Plaid, the Tories and the Lib Dems and people didn't vote for a Rainbow coalition, they voted for indivisual parties.

 
At 7:11 pm, Anonymous dave rodway said...

Marcusian:doing the old Plaid were racist nats, and dragging out Saunders Lewis again.
For what it's worth , Lewis was not antisemitic all his life, and became a philosemite(read him - I don;t think you have have you?), and Plaid always had a socialist communitarian wing from its inception (they don;t tell you that at your Leightonversity , but I fear it's true).
Labour - well, if you want to go back, you'll see Labour is not clean on racism (see the Labour fetish for eugenics, see the constant refusal to take in refugees in the war) But and it's Plaid who are racist because Sandy Lewis didn;t want English evacuess? - England was keeping them out as much as it could).
Oswald Mosley was a Labour minister, etc etc.
As for Labour's socialist cred, I'm glad someone still believes that - we all need idealists among us.
I'm not saying there are no shitty elements in Plaid, just trying to remind you that the Labour party has a considrably dodgy background in some respects, and it woudl do you no harm to confront those .
I can lend you my Saunders Lewis in English transl;ation. You'll see some anti-semitic lines in the early poems, and them later writing that can only be construed as the exact opposite. He's still crackers in some respects, but desrves more than the slack and inaccurate smears you repeat.

Is it just me or do all the people who give us history lessons on this blog know jack shit about history?
DR

 
At 7:16 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

gGeraint, your list is totally spurious. The minimum wage is of debatable merit - socialism is an economic, as well as social ideal. The minimum wage damages the economy - economic fact. Sweden, socially the fairest country in Europe, has no minimum wage. The minimum wage is not a decent wage - families in poverty often earn the minimum wage. A fair wage would be a living wage.

High employment in this case is caused by the creation of low quality, minimum wage, service jobs. Hardly a thing to be proud of. Then there is the fact that inequality is higher than at any time in 1961! How dare you even think about calling Labour a socialist party?

Child poverty targets are being missed by very wide margins. The whole policy is in tatters! Why? Under-investment and cuts to things like single parent benefit, scrapping the 10p tax rate and a ridiculous work-based anti-poverty scheme ignoring the pleas of economists from the JRF and campaigners from the CPAG that we need a wider approach to succesfully eradicate child poverty.

But let's go over one thing again. Labour claims to be socialist. Socialism is defined by seeking equality for all. Labour have governed for 10 years. Inequality in 2007 is higher than at any time since 1961. What?! Can we have an explanation as to why Labour have failed so badly on their central ideal?

 
At 7:21 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Rainbow Coalitions were discussed widely before the election. We still got people to vote for us. Labour didn't. If a coalition is formed, we have a mandate to govern. Labour don't.

 
At 8:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was Labour that said that... "the choice is clear a majority Labour Government or a ragbag coalition"

Either that was true in which case voters knowingly supported the ragbag by a majority of 2-1, or it was lie in which case Labour are unfit to governn.

 
At 8:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leighton Andrews, his side kick David Taylor and Huw Lewis were like three pigs in shit in the Assembly today. They believe their master-plan of pushing Labour into oppostion to seize control is coming into action.

 
At 10:45 pm, Anonymous Dave Rodway said...

Pray anon is right - with Huey, Big Maj and the Slug in charge, Labour's shafted and heading to become the nastiest and lowest bunch of politico's in Wales.
Where now teh party provokes mere apathy and disappointment, they'll make sure it becomes as hated as the Tories were.

 
At 11:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

free breakfasts for children, are we honestly claiming that as a great policy? the failure of parents to send their children to school without breakfast so the state can chip in? are we not missing a more important point? its a responsibility of the home surely, and is it right for well paid teaching professionals to supervise in essence a pre school babysitting club.

 
At 11:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That would be quite funny. The Penarth/Landaff posh schools tendacy circling their wagons around the ever shrinking deprived valley communities.
Not so funny for the poor deprieved undervalued sheep loyaly voting Labour to preserve Leighton's millionaire lifestyle and to support Huw and Lynnes posh-school kids. (We really love Merthyr and Torfaen...but only for five minute visits ..and you really wouldn't expect us to expose our children to the chavish scum)
An honest Tory snob is better than a Labour hypocrite.

 
At 11:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would the memberships of Labour and the Trade Unions support them, especally if it comes out that they forced Labour into oppisition? I doubt they would get the backing of enough of the unions or members to get in.

 
At 7:17 am, Blogger Penddu said...

The reason we have the prospect of the Tories in power in Wales, is because of the blind loyalty of Labour voters in the Valleys. If the Valleys vote for Plaid in 2011 then we will not need the Tories, so to summarise:

Vote Labour Get Tory

VOTE PLAID GET PLAID !!!

 
At 7:30 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear Trish Law is up for Social Justice then

 
At 9:21 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the postings here seem to forget that most Welsh voters didn't bother to vote for anyone on May 3rd. There is a real need for everyone down the Bay to raise the credibility of the assembly in the eyes of the electorate. A rainbow coalition will be good for Welsh politcs. It will force the opposition to see that government isn't easy. It will also force the Labour party to start to develop real policies instead of the free breakfast nonsense type of policy which was literally thought up on the back of a corn flake packet. Wales still has the lowest GVA in the UK and there is a real need to reform public services. The problem with Welsh Labour is the the clear red water stuff has meant that they have ignored the fact that Blair is correct to see that the public sector needs to change. There now needs to be a mature debate within the party in which the party looks at the real Wales rather than a mythical Wales still stuck in a time warp of the late 1970s. It wouldn't be easy because of the age profile of many Labour party members. But the Labour party needs again to start to appeal to those under 40 who believe in social justice and fairness but also want to see public money used efficiently. It's called progressive self interest. It's the future that voters are interested not some HND social worker debate about who was responsible for founding the health service. Bevan died in 1960 and lived in a very different world from today's valley communities.

 
At 11:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course the public service in Wales needs to a big shake up. Who does Shortridge work for, he's Perm Sec at the Welsh Office and he's head of the Assembly. Split loyalty surely. The Assembly civil servants need to get down to doing some work. At the moment its all spin and smart suits, endless meetings, glossy brochures that just get binned, rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, chasing after the current Politically Correct cause of the month.

The Assembly members need to get a grip, get the civil servants working on stuff that actually matters to the people of Wales.

 
At 2:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'The reason we have the prospect of the Tories in power in Wales, is because of the blind loyalty of Labour voters in the Valleys'

As someone who lives in the Valleys and who votes Plaid Cymru i am sick of the endless sniping and criticism from Plaid Cymru members on blogs about Valleys People and why some of them choose Labour above everything else, you have no idea of how powerful the pull of Labour in Wales in the Valleys is, maybe its time the other parties actually stopped ctitising and started investing in people and resources to win some of these seats - then maybe your comments would be justified

 
At 6:03 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Maybe Plaid members are anti-Valleys? Because some are acting like it.

 
At 9:20 pm, Blogger Ian said...

If Labour are booted out next week, has anyone given thought to how their AMs will shape up in opposition?

Many with poor media skills who currently rely on being Ministers will find it a very different world, especially with far fewer staff to rely on. Also, the leadership campaign to replace Rhodri will take on a totally different perception when in opposition. Dare I suggest that such a scenario may force some unionist Labour AMs to soften their stance on Plaid and Fib Dem wish lists?

 
At 12:03 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ian said:
"Dare I suggest that such a scenario may force some unionist Labour AMs to soften their stance on Plaid and Fib Dem wish lists?
"

hmm, then why have they not softened to ensure that Labour could govern? I suspect we are not looking at AMs with the right background, experience, qualifications, for being part of running a country. This breed can be very stubborn, that is all they have.

 
At 12:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Geraint said...
...Maybe Plaid members are anti-Valleys? Because some are acting like it. ....

Maybe it's not about political parties in the valleys because there is a deep pride there for the language and all things welsh. Maybe it's more to do with tradition, history and a great fear of trusting the unknown.

 
At 12:16 am, Blogger Geraint said...

Hmm, I was pointing out that the Plaid supporters (I should have said, not members) the Plaid supporters on here are posting hostile comments towards the Valley communities, blaming them for all sorts.

The valleys are traditional Labour strongholds, that hold traditional Labour values of socail justice, fairness, equality and socialism. They vote Labour because they believe in the ideals of the party and believe that the Labour party can deliever social change, not the Tories, and the Lib Dems and not Plaid Cymru.

 
At 7:16 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

The people of the Valleys can't be blamed, party loyalty is a strong thing. And past Labour governments have changed society for the better. Those in the Valleys believed that New Labour would uphold their ideals.

The past eight years, or ten, depending where you look to, has proven them wrong on this. Even Labour's Clause IV was changed to remove the word socialism!

I'm confident that in four years time, more will look around for a different party, that holds the same, or stronger, socialist ideals. That party is Plaid Cymru.

 
At 8:49 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Cymro, you just proven you do not know what your talking about.

Labour Clause IV since the change:

"The Labour Party is a Democratic Socialist party.........."

 
At 9:29 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Geraint: socialism is not social democracy. Social democracy is the soft option, as anybody who studies politics would know. And Labour aren't doing that well, even on that one. Compare to the Scandinavian countries, and you'll see what I mean.

 
At 9:40 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Just to clear this up, social democracy is a political system that aim to reform capitalism - a moderate form of caoitalism. Socialism is a socio-economic system that aims to address inequality - in that proprty and wealth are in the hands of the people. Quite distinct in that way. Social democracy evolved as a watered down form of socialism.

I think the Valleys, and most of Wales, want equality and not moderated capitalism.

 
At 10:02 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cymro said:
"I think the Valleys, and most of Wales, want equality and not moderated capitalism."

Social Democracy is what we hasd in New labour, Blair's Labour. An idealology that developed from the SDP (Social Democratic Party)created by the gang of four in the late 1970s. They were cabinet members in the then Labour Government and broke away to form a new party.
The SDP went on to amalgamate with the Liberals in the early 1980s and it became the Liberal Democratic Party from then on.
So we have the Lib/Dems.

Then we have Blair taking leadership of Labour and swinging it into a new era, leaving all the old socialist values behind, surrounding himself with spin doctors and distancing himself from the grass roots, even to a worrying extent his own cabinet.
He created New Labour, a social democratic party - like the Lib Dems.
We no longer have a socialist Labour Party. There are those who wish the party was still socialist but it is going to be almost impossible to get back there again. Gordon Brown was the other partner in New Labour and he will do and say anything to keep this little social democratic baby alive until it becomes part of the British way of life.

 
At 10:17 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Cymro said:

"The past eight years, or ten, depending where you look to, has proven them wrong on this. Even Labour's Clause IV was changed to remove the word socialism!"




I was pointing out that they haven't removed the word socialism, as I thought was clear....

 
At 11:08 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Geraint, you pointed out that 'social democracy' replaced 'socialism' in Clause IV. As I've pointed out above, socialism is not social democracy. Plain and simple.

 
At 11:19 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

And before you argue that the previous Clause IV did not mention socialism, whereas the new one does, there is one overriding point. The full text of the old Clause IV referred to socialism as a socio-economic system. The new one does not. It is about social democracy, and that is how the Labour party have defined themselves.

 
At 11:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Third Way said...
"That's the problem Labour faces. You increase pension, give free bus passes, eye tests, TV licences, winter fuel allowances, pension benefits, and they still complain it's not enough."

That is for older pensioners. Those just retiring now, with the little bit of private pension that Gordon Brown allows after upping the tax last budget are in serious difficulties. The benefits agency has had to look into ways of helping many out who would never have expected to ask for help. Some profesionals retiring now are unable to cope. Some of you coming up to retirment in the next few years are in for a big shock. It's not anything like you planned. Don't let the Labour spin of all the freebies for the over 75s fool you.

 
At 11:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
//Would the memberships of Labour and the Trade Unions support them, especally if it comes out that they forced Labour into oppisition? I doubt they would get the backing of enough of the unions or members to get in. //

Do " New Labour" and "Trade Unions" still go to bed together?

 

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