Rainbow selecta

After yesterday's Labour group meeting, Rhodri Morgan conceded that he'd knocked on a few doors but nobody would come out and play.

Meanwhile, Ieuan Wyn Jones might just be fastening his velcro straps in readiness to pounce.

Lib Dem leader Mike German is bouncing around eagerly, waiting to share his limited selection of toys. And Tory chief Nick Bourne is carefully guarding his Transformer set, in case IWJ can supply him with the batteries to fire it up.

Plaid Cymru group meeting: today, 10am.

If Ieuan Wyn Jones wants the top job, he can have it.

By the way, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. This new blog doesn't seem to know who it wants to copy:)


Also, I'll be on AM/PM (BBC 2) at lunchtime to talk about the etymology of the word 'fudge' coalitions and stuff.

UPDATE: Plaid Cymru will now begin proper negotiations with Labour on the one side and the Lib Dems and the Tories on the other. They'll meet again next week to decide on their preferred option. Meanwhile, a source inside the Conservative party tells me that Ieuan Wyn Jones and Nick Bourne have spoken on a "number of occasions" since the election, and that "with every 24 hours that passes, a non-Labour government becomes more likely."

Presiding officer, Dafydd Elis Thomas, has set Friday May 25 as the deadline for an agreement, so that he can call a plenary session to be held on Wednesday the 30th (as Peter Black points out, that falls somewhat inconveniently before the Lib Dems and Plaid are set to hold meetings to discuss that very same problem!).

There's still 10 days, then, for Ieuan Wyn Jones to decide if he wants to be first minister after all. If the Tories are serious about backing him, they'll agree to PR in local government - a key policy commitment for both Plaid and the Lib Dems and one which they hope will finally loosen Labour's hold on grass-root politics in Wales.

UPDATE II: Mae Rhys Llwyd wedi dechrau iDdeiseb yn galw ar wleidyddion Cymru i sefydlu llywodraeth asap er lles pobl Cymru. Dydy o ddim yn dweud pa fath o lywodraeth, serch hynny. Cewch chi gyd cytuno felly:)

Rhys Llwyd has setup an ePetition calling on assembly members to form a government as soon as possible for the benefit of the people of Wales. He doesn't say which kind of government he'd prefer so if you sign it and then don't like what you get, tough!

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posted by Blamerbell @ 10:12 am,

34 Comments:

At 12:19 pm, Blogger Penddu said...

Labour have tried to play on peoples fears about the Tories running hospitals, schools etc. So invite the Tories into a Plaid-led coalition, but give them a 'safe' portfolio - say Agriculture or Culture.

And limit the Cabinet to just 6 to avoid Labour ganging up on the comittees.

That should bring Rhodri back to the table...

 
At 12:48 pm, Anonymous Awen said...

hey hey, good job on AMPM!
BBC only interested in facts...pah!

They should employ you.
End of.

 
At 2:48 pm, Blogger Rhys Llwyd said...

Diolch am y postiad yma Ciaran, y datblygiadau yn ddiddorol tu hwnt. Beth wyt ti'n ffafrio? Rhywun mewn gyda Llafur neu yr enfys amdani? Rwy'n leicio syniad yr enfys ond mae yna rywbeth ym mer fy esgyrn yn fy nal yn ôl rhag cefnogi'r syniad ar goedd - y rhagfarn gwrth-geidwadol yna sydd gyda ni gyd maen siwr.

 
At 2:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Tories have been incredibly quiet which makes me suspicious. Ministerial Briefs was very quick to mention the deadline of Friday 25th, probably someone in Dafydd El's office!

 
At 2:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cytuno gyda Rhys.

efalli dyma'r amser i neud y naid fawr. dyw'e e byth i fynd yn nefolaidd. mae na dau ddiawl bob ochor;-(

 
At 3:04 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Cheers, awen!

I see your point, Penddu. But funnily enough, Culture is just about the most powerful of all the cabinet portfolios in terms of the assembly's responsibilites as things stand.

Rhys, diolch am fwrw draw. Dwi ddim yn ffafrio dim byd. Beth bynnag sy'n digwydd, bydd yna newid mawr ym Mae Caerdydd. 'Confidence and supply' rhwng Llafur a Plaid yw'r opsiwn mwya' boring dydd i ddydd. Ond bydde hynny siwr o fod yn golygu refferendwm - felly ymgyrch mawr arall i baratoi amdano.

anon, the Tories are playing the long game. I'm told they're busy behind the scenes, which is probably the most sensible thing to be doing at this stage.

 
At 3:24 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Blamie,

I know you journalists love a good tussle and a shitstorm, but on what basis do you make the claims that Plaid have any mandate to lead a coalition? As much as it makes good television and blogging, you are indulging in a bit of wishful thinking and filling in the gaps that we both know are huge with regards knowledge as to whats going on.

Its seems that because there hasnt been any leaks to the media, then that must mean Labour are unable to find any solution. So then we must now all believe that that the rainbow coalition is the only way to save wales...I think the welsh media and blogosphere have had too much time twiddle their thumbs waiting to pounce. I am keen to know what is going on, but it is a case of 2+2= 5 in some parts of the media.

So plaid are talking to anyone that will listen? Bloody hell, theres a really really new story!

i am not having a go at your coverage Blamie, i just mean Plaid seem to be willing to jump into any bed to get their hands on the prize. Maybe i shouldnt be giving good advice away to nats, but i think they are far better off being a scrutinising opposition than in a rainbow coalition. Its a make or break term for Plaid as well as Labour...I really think a competitive westminster election, coupled with more powers to the senedd could potential unseat plaid as the main opposition. I really think that the next assembly election is going to be a tory vs. Labour shoot out. But until i see the settlement i cant really qualify that.

 
At 3:31 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Plaid were hardly shy about the prospect of a rainbow coalition during the election campaign. Neither were the Lib Dems or the Tories.

The fact is they do have a mandate of sorts, because people voted for those parties even though they went on record to say they would consider co-operating after the election.

Whether it's healthy or not for them to do so is a different question. Some people in Plaid think Labour will implode if they're forced to govern with a minority administration for the next four years (and face a bitter leadership contest), leaving Plaid primed to pounce SNP-style next time around.

 
At 3:37 pm, Anonymous Alun said...

The fact is they do have a mandate of sorts, because people voted for those parties even though they went on record to say they would consider co-operating after the election.

Only true if you assume that parties own their voters. Which is an "interesting" attitude for someone in the 21st century to hold.

What percentage of voters in that BBC poll were in favour of "Rainbow" (isn't there supposed to be some red in a rainbow?) coalition, again?

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

Alun, that's why I said "of sorts".

The fact that Labour tried to exploit the cosiness between Plaid and the Tories meant that it was a prominent issue in the campaign.

As such, you'd have to expect that most people who voted for those parties did so in the knowledge that some sort of deal might be struck.

 
At 4:00 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Plaid were hardly shy about the prospect of a rainbow coalition during the election campaign. Neither were the Lib Dems or the Tories"

They were hardly shy on anything, didnt they even say they had a chance of being the biggest party in Wales. Last time i checked, Wales went beyond Gwynedd!.

"The fact is they do have a mandate of sorts, because people voted for those parties even though they went on record to say they would consider co-operating after the election."

What about all the Labour voters who voted Labour because they promised that the tories would not be in a government involving Labour? I am sure they, coupled with the 'red' Plaid supporters have a mandate to not have tories in a government too?

Labour voters are united on the fact they dont want the tories in government in Wales. Or at least that was the cast iron guarantee given by Rhodri Morgan.

 
At 4:05 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"What about all the Labour voters who voted Labour because they promised that the tories would not be in a government involving Labour? I am sure they, coupled with the 'red' Plaid supporters have a mandate to not have tories in a government too?"

What about them? The simple fact is that Labour didn't convince enough of them to vote for them.

Labour were the only party that ruled out governing with the Tories. The voters didn't give them enough votes to carry it out.

Meanwhile, Plaid, the Lib Dems and the Tories kept open the possibility of working with each other, and they were given enough votes and enough seats to do so.

Simple, really.

 
At 4:07 pm, Blogger Che Grav-ara said...

Pot and kettle marcusian! Labour were banding about the Tory first minister line and the fact they were going to win a majority.....both of which they were well aware would not happen!

 
At 4:28 pm, Anonymous mabon said...

I never thought I'd want one of the blue party in government but as part of a coalition whereby their excesses could be conrolled (and not just the imp Cairns!) I thin the Rainbow Coalition could be given a go. I doubt it would achieve much but even if its the status quo plus a few other bits added in, well, what harm cn it do? And its a joy to see Labour getting a kicking after 80 years of hegonomy that has produced very litle - Lynn Neagle and Irene James etc in Givernment, what could be worse (Give the cracy Christian Conservative a chnace!)

 
At 4:31 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Cieran,

You are endanger of letting your well earned neutrality slip here.

Labour had every right to state that were trying to win the election and govern. MORE people voted for this than what Plaid, the tories or what the lib dems offered. Now going back to the point made earlier, do those parties own their own voters beliefs? Can you honestly say that all the voters of those parties voted because they knew it would keep labour from government?? BOLLOCKS and you know it.

Like i said lets see the facts emerge, not really on trying to keep everyone reading during a boring time down the senedd...

Do you honestly believe that the people of Wales voted for a Rainbow coalition over a labour led government? YES OR NO...come on, not 'well blah blah, anything but Labour gives me more to write about'...YES OR NO?

 
At 4:36 pm, Anonymous Alun said...

As such, you'd have to expect that most people who voted for those parties did so in the knowledge that some sort of deal might be struck.

That's not a mandate (unless the meaning of the word changes when you cross from Weston Rhyn to Chirk or wherever) that's an excuse. And it's not really a very good one either. But good enough if you think that all that matters in politics is (in this case limited) power, I guess...

O/c what I don't understand about the idea of an anti-Labour coalition being taken seriously, is the fact that it means that some people in Plaid have someone managed to reconcile working with the Tories (!) with the long history of Welsh nationalism (in all it's many forms*). But perhaps principles don't matter to the pygmies that run Plaid these days. Or from a more practical perspective, how they've somehow managed to reconcile said coalition, with the possibility of kissing goodbye to any hopes they might still have of a lasting breakthrough in South Wales.

*A related point could be made of the LibDems, o/c.

 
At 4:41 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Firstly, it's *Ciaran*.

Secondly, this has nothing to do with neutrality and everything to do with statistics.

You've changed the goalposts since last time. Before you were talking about Labour's promise not to govern with the Tories. Now you're talking about Labour's wish to lead a government.

Given the results of the election, you could say that a rainbow coalition is just as viable as a Labour-led government, yes.

Of course, Labour have every right to try and secure a coalition with Plaid or the Lib Dems, and the other parties stepped back to give them that opportunity.

But if Labour can't get a coalition and Plaid can, then they can also say that the election result gives them a mandate to do so. That's besides the fact that a formal coalition would provide more stable government than a minority government relying on 'confidence and supply', 'general support' or worse still, nothing.

 
At 4:46 pm, Anonymous Alun said...

And its a joy to see Labour getting a kicking after 80 years of hegonomy that has produced very litle

I don't think it's accurate to say that Labour has a hegemonic position in Wales anymore; hasn't really been true since the late '60's/early '70's actually (bearing in mind the quality of Welsh politicians before then, I think the end of that era was a shame, but that was over thirty years (33 years if the defeat of Goronwy Roberts et al is seen as it's end) ago.
Labour has been the biggest party in Wales since then (and, let's not forget this, still is), but hegemony is stretching things more than just a little.

And it's not as though Labour have been in power in Wales for 80 years...

 
At 4:49 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"You've changed the goalposts since last time. Before you were talking about Labour's promise not to govern with the Tories. Now you're talking about Labour's wish to lead a government."

They are one and the same things, people know a Labour led government will not have the tories in. That was the promised offered, Labour won nearly double the seats on that coupled with the Vote Plaid- get tory message. A rainbow coalition will guarantee tories running Welsh Public services.

Also, because Plaid can worm around anything to get their hands on power and thus join any bloody coalition going, that does not give them some sort of hold. Labour has been given a bloody nose, no doubt about it, but honestly consider whether the statistics say they dont want Rhodri Morgan as first minister. I think the statistics show that Labour needs to get its act together and that they liked some areas of other parties ideas, and a coalition/agreement will deliver that.

Why are Plaid demands so strong when it comes to Labour? But will get into bed with right-wing tories who dont want more devolution. POWER is why!

How is that mish-mash a stable government...

The rainbow could be Labour's saviour and will for Plaid and i quote Leanne Wood

"While we might not like New Labour and its continued drift rightwards, but they are not the class enemy in the same way as the Tories are..."

And while we are at it, heres more Leanne Wood-

"if Plaid went into coalition with the Tories, we would completely lose the trust of working-class people in Wales - and we could forget ever making that breakthough in the Valleys we need to realise full self-government".

Theres some goalposts moved i can assure you

 
At 4:53 pm, Blogger NewWelshRight said...

This is just what we don't need when people are accusing us of selling out on our principles, jumping into bed with socialist nationalist. Let's just leave Labour to it and hope they die all cold and lonely in government.

 
At 4:55 pm, Anonymous mabon said...

come on,you know what i meant, Labour have dominated welsh politics since its formation, and rightly so for much of that. Yes not always in Westminster, but at coucil level the populous, industrial areas and even the rural areas until recntly were locally labour dominated.Yes they have done a lot of good, but so long with no chnage had bred contempt etc, see Blaanau Gent etc. I'm not siding with any party, I just want the best deal for the people of Wales, who governs I couldn't care less, as long as they are quality people doing what they think is right for those people, and with a balance of power like we have, we should get that.

 
At 4:56 pm, Blogger Geraint said...

Are the Lib Dems in any fit state to join any coalition, be it with Labour or Plaid and the Tories? Its leadership is not secure in the Assembly (if Peter Black gets his way).

We might well have a minority Labour government for a while, until the Lib Dems are in a better sitution internally.

 
At 4:58 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"This is just what we don't need when people are accusing us of selling out on our principles, jumping into bed with socialist nationalist. Let's just leave Labour to it and hope they die all cold and lonely in government."

I sort of agree with you, tories should stand on their platform and in truth try and get the more right-wing nats to join you. Rather than play ball with the johnny come lately Plaid socialists...

 
At 4:59 pm, Blogger Pads said...

The implication of what some posters are saying is that we should hold an election every month until one party is given a majority.

A new circle in Dante's Hell?

 
At 5:20 pm, Blogger david h jones said...

Blamey - Is Dafydd Elis Thomas a more likely person to be the First Minsiter of a Rainbow coalition rather than IWJ?

I would have thought he has more carisma than IWJ and the LidDems and Tories would be more willing to work with/under him?

Otherwise, great - PR in local elections not more Labour dead-hand control of Wales. Excellent!

 
At 5:26 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

That was an idea mooted at the time of the budget negotiations as one possible way out of a stalemate.

The present situation is completely different. This election campaign was fought with Ieuan Wyn Jones positioning himself as a potential future first minister. It turned out that he put some distance between his party and the Tories, whereas before there was only one seat in it.

The sticking points this time will be policies rather than personalities, I should imagine.

 
At 5:32 pm, Blogger Ian said...

The Welsh political scene is much more interesting after the election than before, isn't it?

It's funny how a few hundred extra votes to Plaid in the regions has actually given Wales a real choice of Government-something even Labour's strongest devolutionists didn't expect this soon.

Plaid now appear to be in the driving seat (at least until the next Western Mail headline). They have to choose between the risk of: -

* Backing an uninspiring Labour Government from a distance, hoping that some of their policy changes will bear fruit and gain the party the credibility needed to take more seats off Labour.

* Go for a three-party coalition with the potential of greater positive change but also greater risk in terms of being tarnished by the Tories.

Just a thought on the first option. If Labour do end up ruling with a minority of 26, they are going to have to reduce the number of cabinet posts and converge a few, or risk exposing some of their more politically challenged AMs to media scrutiny!

 
At 5:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

god, this is dreary. toytown politics.

 
At 5:53 pm, Anonymous William Wallace's cat said...

And now for something completely different.

I hear that Alex Salmond has been elected First Minister by the Scots Parliament.

 
At 6:35 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

It's funny, but every time that I read a post from a Labour supporter on here, I instantly feel myself move towards thinking of a rainbow coalition.

I do wonder if Labour are going to be hoist by their own petard.

Like most people, when a grand anti-Labour coalition was first mentioned a few years back (well, first mentioned to me anyway!), I winced at the idea, but the more that Labour went on and on about it and tried to demonise other parties, the more I've started to consider it a realistic alternative.

I want a government that works and if the opposition parties bending over backwards to make sure that they can find (sometimes unexpected) compromises as part of a platform for government, then why not?

Labour's campaign was negative and puerile - a tactic adopted by some of their supporters on here. Plaid have to stop being scared of Labour criticism and do what they think is right.

 
At 8:56 pm, Blogger hafod said...

Truth is, it's a choice between the inedible and the unpalatable for all the parties.
Plaid can't work with the Tories if it wants to win over the Valleys in the future; the mutual hatred with Labour activists makes a Plaid-Lab deal unlikely.
Tories can't work with Labour, despite being closest to them in terms of support for privatisation, war and shitting on the working class; the Tories are also the Unionist party and so would find it difficult to support moves towards more powers for Wales.
Labour hates the Tories in its guts, even though they've stolen all their clothes; Labour hates the nashies even more. The big festering zit that is the Rhodney succession race is about to burst all over the party.
Lib Dems don't count - they'll go for anything in trousers.

 
At 9:20 pm, Anonymous der said...

Personally, I find it quite sad that these parties find it so difficult to work together for the good of Wales. Even the different factions in the Iraqi government would probably look at Welsh politicians in amazement.

 
At 10:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

der said...
...Personally, I find it quite sad that these parties find it so difficult to work together for the good of Wales. Even the different factions in the Iraqi government would probably look at Welsh politicians in amazement. ...



Iraq does not Huw Lewis.

 
At 1:00 am, Blogger Rhys Llwyd said...

On Iraq. Imagine Adam Price and Jill Evans emerging out of talks with Hain and Morgan saying: "We could not come to a deal for a coalition as Labour refused to give on the Iraq issue and call the troops home."!!!

 

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