The final twist?

You never quite know what you're going to get with Lib Dem activists.

Yesterday, their national executive turned its back on a coalition document which would have given them PR in local government and the free toothbrushes they so desperately craved. You can now see that document HERE or you can download your own copy HERE.

But it seems some of them haven't give up the fight. They're hoping to call a special conference on Saturday after all. I'm told activists are collecting signatures to force a meeting.

So could there be a final twist in this post-election political farce?

Maybe. But it will most likely be a twist of the knife in their leader's back - a public stage upon which to to complete the extraordinary self-destruction of the Liberal Democrats over the past three weeks.

UPDATE: Plaid confirm plenary will go ahead tomorrow as planned. Rhodri Morgan will become first minister and the inquest will begin.

UPDATE: Believe it or not I actually have things to do today. But I can't resist dipping into the document now and again to have a peep at what might have been.

The first little gem: "xii. We will keep adult neuro-surgery services in Swansea."

Oh dear. Wasn't that Peter Black's personal crusade during the election campaign?

UPDATE: Conference is on. This from the Lib Dems:

Elgan Morgan, Chair of Conference Committee, said:

"The Chief Executive has today received requests from 20 conference representatives to go ahead with a special conference to discuss the document negotiated with Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives in the Assembly. Under the party's rules, it is now up to conference committee to arrange such a conference. Given that Saturday is already in diaries, I have decided that special conference will go ahead this Saturday at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. Starting at 10.30am."

So, as things stand: Rhodri Morgan will become first minister tomorrow. He will lead a minority Labour administration - there is no deal with Plaid Cymru. The Lib Dems will have a special conference on Saturday regardless. But it seems the only thing they've got to discuss is themselves.

Labels: , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 2:31 pm,


At 2:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is dumb. All we are doing is damaging our own credibility now. The other parties will not go near us and plenary has been called for tomorrow anyway so it will be too late to change anything.

This is so fucking dumb.

At 2:50 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Even if they do have a special conference, what parties in the right mind would want to work with the Lib Dems after this?

The only chance for stable government Wales now is a Red-Green/Plaid-Labour coalition, and talks should carry on after Rhodri is re-elected as First Minister between Labour and Plaid to come to some kind of arrangement, and some form of stable government, since a minority government would be a disaster for Wales, and both Labour and Plaid should persue a Red-Green/Plaid-Labour coalition publically and make sure that everything is done openly and honestly, to restore public trust in the Assembly and in devolution.

At 2:51 pm, Blogger bethan said...

We're holding Plenary tomorrow so there won't be a chance for the meeting to have any affect on the process.

At 2:55 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WordNet - political party

an organization to gain political power;

Can this definition seriously be applied to the Lib Dems? They have absolutely no organisation and as for trying to gain political power .................

At 3:17 pm, Anonymous Rene Kinzett said...

Hahahahahahahahaha....Are they in any way whatsoever serious?!?!?

I want to see a billboard outside the Metro....


At 3:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


The sad thing is that Wales has missed out on a policy document that could have transformed our communities, injected new life into our businesses and improved the daily lives of our 3 million citizens. We have also lost Morristion Neurosurgery (which I believe is down in your area) and why? - because of a small minded bunch of self-serving politicians known as the Liberal Democrats. It's enough to make you cry.

I challenge anyone not to be inspired by the rainbow proposals.

At 3:42 pm, Anonymous Ex Lib Dem said...

I was horrified at the idea of Tories being back in power in Wales. Now having read the document, I am horrified at what Wales has been denied by the Rainbow Coalition not going ahead. If the Tories can be party to such a progessive and thoughtful document, then I need to look at them through new eyes. I doubt I could ever bring myself to vote for them. But I know one thing for certain - 3 May 2007 was the day I cast my last ever vote for the Liberal Democrats. A three party system stands a chance of delivering a stable and effective government - a 3 and a half party system doesn't. It's time to rid the Assembly of the Lib Dems.

At 3:48 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a look at Betsan's blog,
Standing order 36, one interpretation is that the AMs could decide not to proceed with nominations to First Minister tomorrow.

"Nominations under Standing Order 4 can only take place if the
Assembly, by resolution, agrees."

At 3:49 pm, Anonymous Rhodri Morgan said...

Ha Ha Ha! I'm shit, but everyone thinks I'm great again by virtue of every other leader being shitter! Look at me! One legged ducks! Silly ties! Jane Hutt! I'm great! Ha ha ha! (Runs of giving the 'thumbs up' and wetting himself).

At 3:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

*The first little gem: "xii. We will keep adult neuro-surgery services in Swansea."*

Now that one affects the electorate through south west Wales. It was a major issue during the campaign.

Labour will take it away.

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

Peter Black has admitted on his blog that his party are incapable of being in any form of Government.

This opinion would appear to be based partly on their inability to get on, partly on a few of them wanting to get rid of their leader and partly on avoiding any Government role that might affect their Council seats next year.

The Liberal Democrats are an absolute shambles and all their bluster during the campaign was clearly a smokescreen to hide their empty political souls.

Wales has missed out on a golden opportunity to move ahead, due to a spinelss and souless party.

At 3:56 pm, Blogger NewWelshRight said...

Would this conference be Mike German's court-martial? I hope so. He's a waste of space.

At 4:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're all looking like bl**dy amateurs. Labour have had a hard time, but at least they have stood firm. Only the Welsh Conservatives and Labour can hold their heads up high and there are still too many radicals in Plaid, which show they are not yet ready to govern.

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

If the Morriston Neurosurgery unit closes, then surely the only people to blame are Brian Gibbons and the Labour party who could have ensured its future by making a decision before the election and not cynically deferring it to keep themselves in jobs?

Plaid desperately played party politics with this issue throughout the election campaign, and the voters didn't buy it then either. Grow up!

At 4:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rene Kinzett said...
"Hahahahahahahahaha....Are they in any way whatsoever serious?!?!?

I want to see a billboard outside the Metro....


Sadly, you are not exaggerating. I've just found Peter Black's election leaflet, what he called his "scrapbook" , a game of sudoku and Clare Rayner giving advice on how to end relationships that hurt.
Lots of photos of Black in various locations, no promises, only to be a powerful opposition.

"Growing force in Welsh politics, doubled the numbrer of MPs they have in Wales at last GE. Their plans to let our doctors get on with treating people and our teachers get on with teaching really striking a cord with people"

Oh well, so we do not need government, we can trust that everything will be fair.

"Labour - really on the ropes after breaking too many promises"

the pot calling the kettle black..

"Conservatives - trying to reinvent themselves"

"Plaid_ Wants to cut Wales off from the rest of the UK"

This is in the election leaflet of a Lib/Dem who won an Assembly seat!
Maybe that's why the sudoku game was there, a diversion from the real facts that he could not care less.

At 4:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Plaid allows more open debate and encourages its members to do so, in contrast to the Tories and Labour.

The Lib Dems claim the same but actually stopped the debate before it even got to its members, only for the members to arrange their own meeting, but not until a day after the crowning. So they are going to debate as issue that no longer counts, on behalf of a party that cares more for itself than Wales.

I think that without Plaid there would have been very few options and that they have taken risks for the sake of Wales. In fairness to the Tories, they signed up to a radical document that Labour could only dream of, but the weakness was the runt in the Assembly.

At 4:25 pm, Blogger Pads said...

Far be it from me to start conspiracy rumours, but

Alex Carlile is a member of the Athenaeum Club, the very place Rhodri had a important appointment the night before Plaid's deadline last week.

In his speech to the esteemed gentlemen, Rhodri claimed that the largest party had the right to govern. This week, the Liberal Lord said the Lib Dems should not oppose the largest party's nomination for First Minister.

Did the two men talk? Did Rhodri know something we don't? Why didn't the Lib Dems deal with the SNP in Scotland? A face-saving deal on a referendum could have been worked out.

There's goings-on afoot up in London, I swear it.

At 4:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"They're all looking like bl**dy amateurs. Labour have had a hard time, but at least they have stood firm. Only the Welsh Conservatives and Labour can hold their heads up high and there are still too many radicals in Plaid, which show they are not yet ready to govern. ""

Well, the very party that Wales wants out of power is New Labour. They have never stood firm, they shift right to accommodate whatever Westminster forces on them and then pretend they are socialists. We have lost out so much due to this.

And also, they are closing our hospitals.

At 4:31 pm, Anonymous Rene Kinzett said...

Anon, I agree, it is enough to make you cry. The agreement was good - I am glad it makes people look at the Welsh Conservatives in a new light, but it was no surprise to those of us who are really pushing for progressive and liberal policies...but there is not much effort required. The Party IS changing and we know that to win elections, to be taken seriously and to be a Party of Government we need to treat the electorate with respect and treat ourselves seriously. Something the LibDems gave up about the same time as they knocked off Charlie Kennedy.

At 4:34 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not missing the plenary tomorrow for the world! nevermind Big Brother, this'll be entertainment!

What time does the event start?

At 4:41 pm, Blogger Pads said...

/What time does the event start?/


Rhodri will be elected unopposed. It won't be that much fun, apart from the guffaws of derision when Michael German gets up to speak.

Shame they don't have evitions. A bit like the "recall" in California. Seriously - it should be considered.

At 4:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"There's goings-on afoot up in London, I swear it."

Have to say that my first thoughts when I heard the news last night was "I wonder what the pay-off was?"
I'm sure it was a bit more than a G&T at the Athenaeum, question is how much more?

At 4:47 pm, Anonymous Ex Lib Dem said...

what channel is the plenary session on?

At 4:52 pm, Blogger Pads said...

Live on S4C2.

Freeview 86
Cable 195
SKY 507

I think there's a webcast as well.

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

I am already planning to save up some leave to campaign for Plaid in Ceredigion, to boot the Libs out of their Westminster seat.

They told lies on the doorstep to win it and Plaid will tell the truth on the doorstep to win it back.

No Lib Dems seats at Council, Assembly or Westminster level are now safe in Wales.

At 5:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just read an ariticle in Cambria magazine by Sion Jobbins (aritlce not online for some reason) which sums up the bankruptcy of 'anti-Tory racism' as he calls the knee jerk readction of Welsh Labour and of the left wing in Plaid Cymru.

Just seen the Rainbow document too - thanks a lot Helen Mary and the useless women who were elected on a jerrymndered list. Thanks a lot pointless LibDems. You gave in to childish cat-calls by Labour and lived in 1980s and we've missed out on a truly country-changing government. HJope yur happy now in your politically pure El Dorado Helen Mary. Time for the girls to sand down off the list and let whoever was below them to take their place - they voted against a Plaid Prime Minister. Thanks,

Four more years of useless labour 'governmen't because people swallowed the Tory as bogeyman cliches of Labour.

Cymro'n Gyntaf.

At 5:14 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

"The final twist?"

No. The corkscrew will never end.

God knows what the public has made of all this.

An usually pro-devolutionary friend has suggested shutting the Assembly down; calling in the Secretary of State for a few years; then reopening it on a Northern Ireland model with guaranteed seats for all parties in a Cabinet based on their respective strengths.

I did laugh. And then I cried a bit.

Rhodri is facing the challenge of his political career to try and return direction and momentum to Welsh politics and government. The progressive consensus he wants needs to to be clearly led and focussed.

Suspending right to buy has Plaid and Lib Dem support as well as appearing in the Labour manifesto. It could be a good place for the "progressive consensus" to start.

At 5:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those Plaid women, their socialism is just a load of social worker conceit. Yeh socialists, it must have been something more than a joke once, a 100 million corpses testify to that.

At 5:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Plaid women were completely right to stand up for getting Plaid's aim of a proper Parliament delivered. Good on them!

At 5:41 pm, Blogger Simo said...

I have also read the agreement which made me proud to be welsh. A document of such calibre has been flushed away , and for what.

At 5:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said... how exactly have the gang of four advanced the cause of a Welsh Parliament, please tell?

At 6:14 pm, Anonymous penlan said...

Just be grateful we are not faced with another referendum on devolution.No one would blame the electorate for abolishing the Assembly given the way some people have carried on.As a Swansea resident,may I suggest that whatever is placed in the closed neurosurgery unit in Morriston is named in memory of those useless Lib Dems who let it close.

At 6:23 pm, Blogger Mike said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:31 pm, Blogger Mike said...

I've just stumbled across a press release from Lembit.

Thought some of you might find it interesting.......

He says
“With devolution now successfully up and running in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland....."


At 6:37 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penlan said:
/As a Swansea resident,may I suggest that whatever is placed in the closed neurosurgery unit in Morriston is named in memory of those useless Lib Dems who let it close. /

What about the Labour government who decided it had to close? I don't know why everyone wants to stand apart from the Tories, it's New Labour who is Wales' enemy

At 6:53 pm, Blogger Peter D Cox said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:11 pm, Blogger Peter D Cox said...

Thanks Blamerbell for all the updates. My own take is here
Bad day for Wales... again ...

At 7:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone on the BBC blog described the Tories as vermin - I guess they were echoing Mosley's chum and blackmarket gorger Nye Bevan. What is wrong with these people? Yes. it is a form of racism as someone said, childish tacism.

At 7:37 pm, Anonymous ediie said...

I think people are being a little misty-eyed with regards to this nasty little piece of business which was culminating in the Unholy Trinity.

First of all, there is no evidence that any of this has been costed.

Secondly, what are the opinions of grassroots Tories? Will we ever know, given that the members have no role in the process?

Thirdly, a document is just that - a document. It still has to be voted through when it is broken down into individual bits of legislation. What if those feisty Plaid AMs vote against something? The balance would be very delicate.

And finally, the big thing that everyone seems to be missing, is the old maxim. Events, dear boy. The vast bulk of governance is reactive. Much as we like the sound of proactive government, invariably democracy forces governments on the backfoot all the time.

How can we be certain that the Unholy Trinity would remain together and be able to mould new policy when the circumstances and context of Britain change? This doesn't even need to be long term. In just one day things can look a whole lot different?

The most stable coalitions are formed on the basis of similar ideological foundation, not because your only common cause is to shift The Enemy from power. How on Earth would the Plaid and Tory ministers react to, for example, a mass strike crippling public services in Wales?

The ideological bridge is too wide. The coalition might have lasted a few months. Rainbow is a non-starter, I'm afraid. It's very easy to write airy-fairy nonsense about loving the Welsh language and culture, but I'm afraid real government is a lot harder than that.

At 7:54 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Dear Sir.

I purchased an Assembly from you some years ago and unfortunately it has never worked properly since arriving.

It gave many promises in the operating manual, few of which have been lived up to.

It is constantly breaking down and recently has shown that even with the necessary component parts it still fails to operate.

It has cost me a fortune in running and maintenance costs and still fails to perform satisfactorily.

I therefore REJECT your product as not being of Merchantable Quality and insist on a full refund.

A full REFUND by way of REFERENDUM would be most satisfactory.

Your pissed-off pal.


At 7:55 pm, Blogger Guto said...

ediie - A majority coalition of any sort is much more stable than a minority government.

Wales is paralysed for 4 years - thanks Libs

At 8:08 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Its because of the pro coalitionsist or whatever you want to call them that plaid has no deal with Labour. Anyone with any knowledge on negotiations knows that you don't end agreements without knowing if your prefered option will be implemented fully.

There was no closing statement of negotiations from Labour and they still hadn't had sufficient time to negotiate on health as far as I can see.

Ieuan Wyn Jones could have got a referendum but refused for the sake of power. That is the biggest, and most worrying issue in all of this.
What is the point of having a Nationalist party if they don't push the National question forward?!!!!

answers on a postcard please

At 8:12 pm, Blogger Rod said...

To prevent this from ever happening again surely the answer is to have a directly elected First Minister with the ability to appoint Ministers from outside the Assembly thereby splitting the legislature and executive.

At 8:15 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Well, Labour and Plaid could still try to come into some arrangement, it is the only chance for Wales to have a stable government. However silm it is, it is our only hope.

At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i agree with rod.

directly elected fm, with a seperate legislative and scrutiny assembly.

works in greater london.
works in france.
works in california.
why not here?

At 8:38 pm, Anonymous ap-nominus said...


The programme was costed by the Civil Service with very few red or amber lights. With a couple of exceptions the civil service judged it a wholly deliverable programme.

At 8:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glyn Davies' take on things on his blog is the best thing ive read in ages

At 9:22 pm, Anonymous Emrys Weil said...

Dear Mr. Foreigner,

Thank you for your letter of complaint. I am sorry that you consider that the Assembly that you purchased does not work.

I regret that I must reject your complaints.

The Assembly operates fully in accordance with its manual. This means that occasionally it will stall or move in reverse, but that is only because it is powered by Democracy (TM) and PR (TM) technology and is fully in accordance with European standards.

It may be that you have mistaken the Assembly for a different product which always moves smoothly forward. You may find that certain Chinese or Korean products meet your needs.

I am afraid that we cannot accept your rejection of an item that, as a member of the People of Wales organisation, you chose to purchase. You will find that with a little patience and understanding on your part the product will give you many hours of happy enjoyment. Indeed, I suspect it already has.

Yours etc.

At 10:01 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Dear Mr. Weil.

Thank you for your letter in response to my complaint.

Naturally, I am disappointed to learn that you reject my complaint but nevertheless, feel that it has validity.

I have used other products of a similar nature from UK manufacturers and have had little if any trouble with them.

Is this Assembly problem just a Welsh thing?

I am of the firm belief that your product has an in-built design flaw in that many of the component parts appear to be of poor quality, the materials having come from presumably inferior sources.

I have used your Assembly for some years without much success. It is a constant irritation.

The item is currently held together with sticky tape and string and I fear that any further useage will endanger my small but fragile Country and I request that you remove the offending item without delay and replace it with a suitable replacement item from your Westminster range of products.

I have reported your failure to accept my complaint to the local Trading Standards Officer who assures me that a thorough and stringent examination of your manufactory will take place soon.

I am further assured that 'Head Office' have also noticed the somewhat intermittent performance of your product and will act accordingly.

I find it quite objectionable that on the Welsh Consumer programme, Dragon's Eye, that a Mr. Ieuan Wyn Jones, whom I believe is one of your operatives, had the nerve to suggest that it was MY fault that the item won't work.

He claimed that had I accepted the new Rainbow packaged product all would have been well and "exciting". He accused me of missing a "golden opportunity" and presumably that it was my fault that the Assembly does not work

I purchased this item in good faith and it clearly does not do what it says on the box.

I am mindful of your recent efforts to 'jazz-up' your product with new Rainbow coloured packaging and suggest that this is no more than a crude attempt to mislead we innocent purchasers of what is clearly an inferior product.

I offer you this final opportunity to make amends, failing which I will have no alternative but to instruct my Solicitors.

Your pragmatic pal.


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

Special event on saturday, a very historic day for wales perhaps, yet I am probably still going to watch the wales oz game.

At 10:03 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Dear Mr. Foreigner
Your complqaint about a malfunctioning Assembly.
You must remeber that an Assembly is for life not just four years.
Every four years your Assembly needs to be serviced.
If only 43% of Service staff are avaiable then your Assembly may malfunction for a short time.
It is suggested that beforethe next service is due every oppertunity must be made to engage as many service staff as possible or similar malfunctions may continue to occur

For and on behalf of
Elec & Toral Commission

At 10:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I am already planning to save up some leave to campaign for Plaid in Ceredigion, to boot the Libs out of their Westminster seat."

The next election will be interesting. Blogging has brought political information to a different level and it could well change the political geography of Wales. Traditions replaced by informed voting.

At 10:38 pm, Anonymous Emrys Weil said...

Dear Mr. Foreigner,

Thanks you for your reply.

Given your threat of litigation, and your reference to the local Trading Standards Officer, I have had another look at your complaint.

It seems that the Assembly was in fact designed by those at our head office responsible for our Westminster range, and that certain design faults were indeed reported to the Trading Standars officer, Mr. Richard, who made detailed recommendations as to how future problems might be averted.

He did not, however, find anything wrong with the Democracy (TM) and PR(TM) technology which has caused the recent difficulties you have encountered.

Mr. Richard did, however, comment that one reason why the product did not operate satisfactorily was certain design flaws, which meant that the Assembly could only operate on low power setting, despite the efforts of our Chief engineer Mr Elis-Thomas to rectify the problem.

Unfortunately, head office was not willing to implement Mr. Richard's recommendations in full, but did replace the product with a new product which is capable of operating on medium power and also on full power, if your organisation takes up the full-power option (in schedule 7 of the new contract that you will have received with your replacement Assembly).

The solution is therefore in your hands. The full-power option is free, and will give you a top-of-the-range product, just like the one purchased by the People of Scotland organisation.

Yours etc.

Emrys Weil

At 10:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ediie said...
'I think people are being a little misty-eyed with regards to this nasty little piece of business which was culminating in the Unholy Trinity.
First of all, there is no evidence that any of this has been costed.'

Well, what we have been left with is much worse. Does it not occur to some how much New Labour is despised in Wales? The grief on these blogs today because we have been left with the devil again.
All the other parties listen, but Labour tells us what they want us to think. Lies.

At 10:56 pm, Anonymous atory said...

well done Libs! shafted the whole revolting coalition! only wish "Professor" Bourne had such balls

At 11:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mmhh..."Professor" Nick Bourne - a "Professor" at Swansea Institute of Higher Education (one of the worst HE establishments in the UK) could have been the Welsh Finance Minister and Deputy FM....

Lucky escape eh!!

At 11:14 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Bloody hell chaps, what's with all the letter writing?!

Pretty knackered so hopefully I can catch up with all the comments later.

Just watched Dragon's Eye. Did anyone hear Kirsty Williams give a reason why the coalition document was so incredibly unsuitable?

Poor old Jenny seems really beaten up about it. To dedicate so much time to something and then become a national joke - that's harsh.

At 11:16 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Kirsty was a waste of space.
thought Jenny did a good defence., but the programme shafted the lib dems

At 11:20 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

The lib dems shafted the lib dems.

At 11:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the rainbow coalition has died, it is because of the very sensible intervention of Alex Carlile. There's no avoiding the truth of his statement that the FM should be the leader of the largest party. That is what the electorate want and expect.

For the past three weeks people like IWJ and Michael German have been far too preoccupied with their own personal ambitions. They haven't bothered to think about the actual votes that were cast at the election. By their twisted logic, the party that came second has more of a right to govern than the party that came first, and with 22% of the vote IWJ thinks he is entitled to tell Rhodri Morgan (with 32%) that the voters don't want him.

It's as if IWJ and co imagined that the Assembly's electoral system was a kind of loophole that allowed them to take over the country while ignoring the party that received most votes. "Yippee! We don't actually have to get more votes than Labour to turf them out!"

Except that you do, if you want to survive at the next election. PR and quasi-PR systems rely on a kind of trust between the voters and the politicians. Politicians will have to negotiate a coalition behind closed doors; that is inevitable. But voters expect that coalition to reflect the balance of the votes they cast.

Whatever happens in the formation of the next WAG, voters will remember that Plaid tried to circumvent the wishes of the people and form a govt that excluded the most popular party. They were unprofessional in their negotiations with Labour, failing to respond to Labour's suggestions while having the cheek to give Labour a deadline to respond to theirs.

For Plaid candidates, the next election will largely be about trying to explain why they didn't negotiate seriously with Labour but were prepared to form a govt with the Tories.

At 11:23 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Dear Mr. Twp.

Thank you for you informative response to my complaint.

Unfortunately, I was not informed of the service requirement when I purchased the item. Is it possible that this was contained in the Welsh language small print on the back of my receipt. If so, you got me there good and proper, I can't speak Welsh. You crafty little scamp.

In order to help my Assembly limp along until the next scheduled service could you please send me a suitable amount of Industrial quality Sticky Tape and String.

Presumably, lubrication would be required at some time. I have been reliably informed that Snake Oil is the best lubricant and I would be grateful if you could send me the name of a suitable supplier of this Government Restricted Product.

Your urgent attention is requested at this time as I can hear my Assembly creaking and groaning as if in its death throes. I am somewhat concerned for my safety.

Your precariously positioned pal.


At 11:28 pm, Blogger Guto said...

anon 11:21 (why is it always anons popping up to defend Labour?)

Plaid did try and negotiate seriously with Labour for two and a half weeks.

For two of those weeks Labour wasn't trying, so convinced they were that the Libs would join them. When Plaid handed over detailed documents, Rhodri didn't bother read them.

By the time Labour realised they needed Plaid, it was too late. Their final stunt of making one offer to Plaid while releasing a different offer to the press was simply pathetic spin.

Labour fucked up, Plaid took a gamble - both can thank (or rue) the Lib Dems for making everything else irrelevant and becoming the new sacrificial lamb of Welsh politics by showing us all that they have a wishbone instead of a backbone.

As for their leadership contest, having seen Jenny and Mick on Dragon's Eye, Kirsty must be a little worried. Are they really going to back her for leader after she joined Peter Black in shafting the whole party?

At 11:31 pm, Anonymous Former Lib Dem supporter, of sorts... said...

"If the rainbow coalition has died, it is because of the very sensible intervention of Alex Carlile. There's no avoiding the truth of his statement that the FM should be the leader of the largest party. That is what the electorate want and expect."

And what exactly has changed between the 1st meeting of the Lib Dem Executive and the 2nd?

In the 1st they ruled out a coalition with Labour, and opted for further talks ona a coalition with Plaid and Cons.

In the 2nd they ruled out working with any party in the Assembly.

Why? All key Lib Dem policies were included in the rainbow policy documnet.

The Lib Dems are an absolute joke. What is the party for? Sod all, that's what!

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

"If the rainbow coalition has died, it is because of the very sensible intervention of Alex Carlile. There's no avoiding the truth of his statement that the FM should be the leader of the largest party. That is what the electorate want and expect."

If he said that then he must be a blethering idiot. Lib Dems? PR? Sorry? If the leader of the largest party should be FM then just stick with "first past the post" Words fail me.

At 11:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tragedy is that there is probably a big majority of AMs who could sign up to the Rainbow manifesto. OK you'd have Plaid Cymru's feminist social worker wing, a couple of Tories and the nasty wing of the Welsh Labour party on the opposition benches. Oh the Lib Dems, yeh well they can hang out at the Assembly creche.

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

Kirsty for Leader? She won't even get back in B&R next time, the girl who closed the local hospital and allowed Labour to rocket the Powys council tax, forget it girl.

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

Johnny - your UKIP and BNP pals had the opportunity to close down the Assembly...oh, nobody voted for them. And of course you're not UKIP are you just a sad old Nat basher.

At 11:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 11:39

Blithering idiot? He's the man who devised the electoral system.

I think people like you fail to understand how it works. AMS means an end to majority single-party govts. It doesn't mean that any old party can put its leader forward for FM regardless of how many votes they got.

PR and quasi-PR systems require politicians to be mature enough to negotiate a coalition that reflects the balance of the votes cast. Not just try to get themselves into power at any cost.

As for Plaid negotiating 'seriously with Labour for two and a half weeks' - I was told at a very early stage that Plaid's preference was for the rainbow option. Labour made some mistakes in its negotations too, but the truth is that Plaid's leadership had more or less decided to go for the rainbow option within days of the election.

At 12:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry pal but you're the one who doesn't understand how it works. Get 31 AMs to back you and you're the FM.

At 12:07 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

69 comments, wow - sanddef's only got about 3. Anyway I just had to clear that number, it just makes me think of Betsan.

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

It's not that simple, ANon 1200. If there had been PR at Westminster in the 1997 election, John Major could have formed a coalition with the LibDems and remained PM.

By your logic, that's fine.

Except, of course, that that's blatantly not what the electorate voted for. People would have been furious and the LibDems would have been annihilated at the next election for keeping the largest party out of office.

At 12:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I geddit Major was unpopular, his vote slumped and the Lib Dems would have been wrong to keep him in power when a majority in the country had wanted to see him go.

A bit like Rhodri being unpopular, his vote slumping and a majority in the country wanting to see him the Lib Dems are wrong to keep him in power...right.

At 12:19 am, Blogger Guto said...

anon 12:08

The difference is that Westminster is a two-party system while Wales is a three party system (both with tiny Lib Dems, Westminster with a few small others). The other difference is that the momentum is always against the party in government. If we must compare with Westminster (which we really shouldnt) then it's more similar to the idea of Lib Dems helping Labour take control in 1992.

At 12:27 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'PR and quasi-PR systems require politicians to be mature enough to negotiate a coalition that reflects the balance of the votes cast. Not just try to get themselves into power at any cost.'

After listening to the Lib/dem interviews on tv tonight it is the "mature" part that seemed to be deficent. There was anger, prejudice, uncertainty and it was fairly obvious they wee out of their depth. They do not understand why they are there and their executive does not trust them to make up their own minds. That leaves the rest of Wales wondering why. They let them loose on the public, they got enough votes to get to Cardiff - but those who know them best do not trust them to represent their electors???

The rainbow coalition did not look like a grasp for power. It looked a very genuine attempt to give Wales what it has been asking for. A modern government. IWJ is not the type to get intoxiated with power like Rhodri.

At 12:31 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Dear Mr. Weil.

Thank you for your considered and courteous response to my complaint.

I remember Mr. Richards, the Trading Standards Officer, and his somewhat critical report.

I certainly agree that the product has its merits but this particular model seems to suffer greatly with its low-power and poor quality components.

I have noted your Chief Engineer, Mr. Elis-Thomas's efforts to ensure the Assembly's smooth running despite its low power.

I would love to follow your valued advice with regard to obtaining the rather sleek and seemingly high powered Scottish model but have again noticed an unfortunate design flaw in your proposed Welsh model.

The Scottish model is largely composed of pretty good quality components and has not encumbered itself with such high energy consuming and hardly affordable components as a Scottish Language Act.

The Scottish attitude is 'If you wish to learn the Scottish language we'll help you. If you don't we won't force it down your throat'.

This, I believe is a fundamental to the efficient running of a re-vitalised Assembly and I believe that the constant Nationalistic insistence of the inclusion of this ponderous component when the one already in existence has already caused much controversy with its remarkable fuel-inefficiency.

In fact, this fuel inefficiency has been noted by your Chief Engineer, Mr. Elis-Thomas when referring to the mass of unused Welsh Language paperwork produced by my Assembly.

What a nice man. He obviously has the Environment close to his heart.

You really need to slim down the current model and improve component quality. Then, I believe, you may have a servicable product that could be embraced by more of the population of Wales.

I am glad to see that you have abandoned your proposed Rainbow packaging, it really did look cheap and tacky, and reverted to the more sober beige and wrinkled shirt of the Main Component the Morgan MK1... I suppose that'll have to do for the next four years.

In the meantime, I would earnestly suggest that your Research and Development Department be put on overtime in order to produce some high quality components for the next model.

As my old Granny used to tell me:-

You can't polish a turd.

Your postulative pal.


At 12:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 1216 - Your argument doesn't work because, if Rhodri Morgan is unpopular, then IWJ is really unpopular, Nick Bourne is really really unpopular, and Michael German is about as welcome as a sneezing chicken at a north Wales poultry farm.

And you can't seriously argue that momentum should decide elections...? Labour's vote went down, Plaid's went up, so Plaid win. What's that? Labour got 10 % more of the vote? Doesn't matter, mate, it's momentum that decides elections.

I don't think so.

The Tories increased their seats at Westminster in 2001 by about half a dozen. Should Hague have been Prime Minister?

If it's so reasonable for the second-largest party (and there's a gap in popularity of fully 10%) to lead the govt, why are examples of this so thin on the ground in Western democracies?

At 12:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
'If the rainbow coalition has died, it is because of the very sensible intervention of Alex Carlile. There's no avoiding the truth of his statement that the FM should be the leader of the largest party. That is what the electorate want and expect.'

Sensible? It was a political mistake of mammoth proportion that he will have to live with. He is a Lawyer, he was splitting hairs like a Lawyer, not a politician. He may have been a politician for a long time but he was always first and foremost, a Lawyer. This time it was a very short sighted judgement.

At 12:37 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny - i wish you geriatric Nat bashers wouldn't keep on about forcing it down our throats - if I was interested in that kind of thing I'd have joined the Lib Dems.

At 12:39 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Anonymous said...
Johnny - your UKIP and BNP pals had the opportunity to close down the Assembly...oh, nobody voted for them. And of course you're not UKIP are you just a sad old Nat basher.

11:50 PM

johnny says...

Damn, sussed again......I really must get a new false moustache.

Your predefined pal.


At 12:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dowlais twp said...
'Kirsty was a waste of space.'

What an angry nasty woman. She wants to fight anything. Anything.

Can you imagine a government with a few of those? Nothing would happen, or it would only happen after great extra cost to the taxpayer. Totally irresponsible.

Parties with members like that should be penalised for delinquent behaviour lol

At 12:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny - a false mostache? A nice syrup would suit you better, you old Nat bashing coot.

At 12:59 am, Blogger Dylan said...

perhaps somebody should tell Serbia's largest party that they have a divine right to govern, instead of being kept in opposition by a coalition of smaller rivals

(Serbia's largest party are the fascists, by the way)

At 1:02 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Anonymous said...
Johnny - i wish you geriatric Nat bashers wouldn't keep on about forcing it down our throats - if I was interested in that kind of thing I'd have joined the Lib Dems.

12:37 AM

Now look here Nonny, it's not me trying to force anything down your throat. Heaven forbid. It's those pesky Nats.

They keep on about the Welsh Language as if our future depended on it.

Their future maybe but certainly not mine.

Anyway, according to Guido Fawkes blog the LibDems seem to be more interested in 'chocolate' eclairs.

Your priapic pal.


At 1:06 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Anonymous said...
Johnny - a false mostache? A nice syrup would suit you better, you old Nat bashing coot.

12:55 AM

johnny says....

Oi! Have you been peeping?

Your precisely parted pal.


At 2:23 am, Blogger Geraint said...

Dylan said...
perhaps somebody should tell Serbia's largest party that they have a divine right to govern, instead of being kept in opposition by a coalition of smaller rivals


If you are suggesting in Wales that we should Keep the largest party in long term oppisition is very undemocratic, if not facist in itself. It is only justifiable agaisnt extremist fascsit parties.

If that happend here, the largest party will be within it's own right to force devolution in wherever it is strongest, be is N.Wales, Mid Wales, Valleys or South Wales. Failing that they would also have legitimacy to fillibuster, interfer and slow down legalslation in everyway possible, to ensure that democracy for it's own voters is heard.

No party nor coalition has a define right to government, and after every election there should be a fair process of selecting a new coalition, be it Plaid-Labour, Lib-Lab, Rainbow, Grand, Traffic Light or whatever.

Although Serbia is a different case from Wales for many reasons. But still an interesting, if not scary what if for Wales. Lucky that will never happen to a liberal democracy like Wales.

At 2:55 am, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Separation of powers! what interesting concept! That's why George W Bush is going to have to answer to Congress for all his mistakes.

And is why a traditional Republican state like Kansas has a Democratic governor! works here.

Unfortunately your stuck with that institution that Lord Hailsham described as a "elected dictatorship" !

At 3:01 am, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Anonymous said!

"Plaid allows more open debate and encourages its members to do so, in contrast to the Tories and Labour."

Did I miss something! had Plaid called a special conference of its membership? I don't thinks its national council is the same thing?

At 3:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

National Council allows representatives of every branch and section to attend, which is potentially over 300. It has full constitutional powers like annual conference and is more than any other party has to offer its members in terms of consultsation. It is still going ahead despite the Lib Dem capitulation.

At 6:52 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dylan - your argument actually works against you! It's very rare for the largest party to be kept out of govt in European PR systems. It tends to happen only in situations like Serbia's, where the largest party is extremist.

I've heard that Catalunya is another example, but face facts - it's unusual. The norm under PR is for the largest party to form part of the govt, and so Plaid's pursuit of the rainbow was unethical, undemocratic and (as this thread proves) indefensible. There is simply no excuse for the party that comes second behaving as if it has the right to ignore the party that comes first.

At 7:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The issue isn't Plaid ignoring Labour. Constitutionally Labour as the largest party has the right to try and form a government. If it clearly fails to do so, then the next step is for the second largest party to try and form a government.

None of this unethical or undemocratic, this is how it works and how it should work.

At any election in future it is the right and responsibility of the largest party to try and form a government. If, any only if, they fail to do so, is there then an opportunity for the second largest party to see if they can form a government.

At 8:02 am, Anonymous Emrys Weil said...

Dear Mr. Foreigner,

Now I understand your problem.

if you look on the control panel, you will see a switch which says "English / Welsh / Both". This enables you to choose the language functionality of your Assembly. I suspect you have it on the "Welsh" setting when it should be on "English".

The choice of functionality is of course necessary in order to meet the diverse expectations of our customers, and is once more in line with the highest international standards.

I note with concern that you appear to be getting the Welsh-language output stuck in your throat. We have consulted our engineering and medical advisers, and they confirm that this can only result from wiful misuse of the product. If you follow the instructions above, this problem should stop.

Yours etc.

Emrys Weil

At 8:37 am, Blogger LabourMark said...

Cabinet who will be where?

At 9:04 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that's the cabinet, mate, we're all doomed. Same old faces - Rhodri's mates and feck all else. Not what Wales voted for.

John Griffiths is a lying, leaking idiot detested by everybody in the Labour Group. Hutt is an imbecile. Davidson is so patronising and middle class it's painful. Carwyn is lazy beyond words.

Gwenda is is a capable operator and decent with it, Gibbons deserves a crack at a not-so-poisened chalice and Andrew Davies is competence exemplified. Where are the big thinkers, though? Where's the new ideas going to come from? Where's North Wales?

At 9:16 am, Anonymous penlan said...

Another country where the largest party is not necessarily always in power is Ireland.Fianna Fail have been the largest party for over 70 years but occasionally have had fewer Dail seats than a combination of Fine Gael and Labour.The latter two parties have often formed a coalition even though in theory they are very different(one right , the other left).The Irish have worked PR successfully for years.Why are we so hopeless?And why do the Lib Dems go on about it when they appear least able to understand it themselves?

At 11:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apart from the LibDems embarrasing themselves, I think much of the criticism of the parties over the past few weeks has been unfair.

Nobody in this country is used to having to negotiate coalitions with a plethora of possible outcomes - this situation has simply never arisen before due to our electoral system. It's been a learning process - and I for one would much rather have AMs wary of sacrificing their principles and policies than politicians ready to jump into bed with anybody just to get in power. But...

The lib dems tried to do both, then neither, ended up in a right mess and will be a laughing stock for years to come.

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

Dear Mr. Weil.

Thanks for trying to help me with my problem.

I have checked the control panel and you are absolutely right. Silly me.

I actually had it on both which obviously confused me.

I was quite disappointed to find that it did not have buttons for Hindi, Bengali, Gujurati, Arabic, Roma, Brythenig and particularly Klingon.

Am I to presume that users of these languages are to be excluded from full use of THEIR Assembly.

May I suggest that future Assemblies are fully inclusive of all by means of exclusive use of the main language of Wales: English.

This, of course would also be very useful for purposes of fuel efficiency as per the advice of your Chief Engineer Mr. Elis-Thomas

Whilst I appreciate that this may cause some discomfiture to the Nats. I would humbly ask them to abandon their Nationalistic needs for the greater good.

We only have ONE environment. Let's look after it.

Could it be that the continued use of the gas-guzzling Welsh language function portends the end for us all?

I am quite sure that if the Nats. sacrificed SOME of their linguistic demands they could, eventually, be recognised as being instrumental in the survival of the Planet by their selfless action.

I am ever the optimist.

Nevertheless, I suppose that, for now, I will have to lumber on with this rather sub-standard and inefficient Assembly that you have foisted on me as there appears to be little alternative at the moment.

I thank you and your Customer Service Department for your most interesting and helpful comments and although you are unable to currently solve my problems, I have no doubt of your Department's sincerity and good intent.

Speak English and Save the World.

Your perennial pal.


At 6:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Johnny Le Nat Basheur - that should be speak American and save the world.

At 3:27 pm, Anonymous Comrade Mao Ze Dong said...



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