Sunday lunch coalition update

We've just learnt a lot more about what sort of shape the government of Wales might take. Thanks to the BBC, of course.

Liberal Democrats aren't keen on a coalition with Labour (no matter what their leader thinks). Back at you, say Labour, who aren't keen on a coalition with the Liberal Democrats either. Neither are the unionist wing of the party sold on a deal with Plaid. Merthyr AM Huw Lewis said he was personally opposed to any outcome which involved Plaid ministers in cabinet.

Step forward Lord Dafydd Elis Thomas with yet another option: an 'agreement' between Plaid and Labour in which Plaid AMs abstain on key votes to stop the government from collapsing. What Dafydd-El didn't say was that Plaid would demand a big prize in exchange for sanctioning such a deal. A referendum on further devolution by 2011 springs to mind.

Bloody hell, he's only gone and read this blog between finishing the Politics Show and appearing on S4C's Maniffesto programme. Speaking in Welsh, he said that for him, the dealbreaker would be a referendum on Scottish style powers to further the cause of devolution. I suspect other Plaid AMs think the same.

So, that's the carrot for Plaid supporters. However, the stick would inevitably be used to prop Labour up, which is exactly what they said they wouldn't do.

Labels: , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 12:49 pm,

33 Comments:

At 1:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There were two losers right? The Lib Dems and Labour. So the idea of them forming a coalition is a joke.

And tehre wwere two winners - Plaid and the tories. Surely it's common sense for the two winners to get together with the Lib Dems and kick Labour out?

 
At 2:00 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Common sense would also suggest that socialist nationalists and capitalist unionists cannot work together, however.

 
At 3:19 pm, Anonymous dave rodway said...

Labour listen to Huey Lewis at their peril. He's a busted flush.

 
At 3:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huey Lewis is a waste of space, does he think he'll replace Rhodri as leader, I never seen anyone so up their own waste disposal canal!

 
At 3:42 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Bloody hell, he's only gone and read this blog between finishing the Politics

Im sure that he was able to come up with that without resorting to browsing the blogosphere Ciaran.

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

Anonymous said...
2Huey Lewis is a waste of space, does he think he'll replace Rhodri as leader"

Hang on, was he not the Hero of the Valleys in the campaign? Of course he is going to replace Rhods, that's what he is there for. That's why he bought a new house in posh Penarth to fit with the image he sees of himself.

 
At 3:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dafydd El the only one with a brain as usual. It is quite possible to have a minority Labour govt . It works in local government. There is absolutely no need for a multi party coalition. The argument for coalition is stability but is clear already that too many people in all the main parties will not stick to any Leaders's agreement. The solution is for Labour to nominate Rhodri for First minister and the other parties to abstain. It wouldn't be easy for Labour. But tough luck because the majority of Welsh voters did not vote for them.

 
At 4:16 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Sanddef, has anyone ever introduced you to the much-lauded concept of not taking things at face value?

It's the sort of skill that enables us to realise that our email address probably wasn't chosen at random to win a mystery star prize... or perhaps you are the only one who replies to all those tear-jerking requests for cash from Nigerian businessmen?

"The solution is for Labour to nominate Rhodri for First minister and the other parties to abstain."

...possibly. But based on some form of agreement to get key votes (such as the budget) through. I've heard nothing to suggest there's any appetite for a formal coalition.

 
At 4:24 pm, Blogger Alwyn ap Huw said...

The solution is for Labour to nominate Rhodri for First minister and the other parties to abstain. It wouldn't be easy for Labour. But tough luck because the majority of Welsh voters did not vote for them.
That would result in the Assembly being dissolved and the election re-run.

I think that Dafydd El is selling Plaid cheep. The best deal would be an amendment to the Government of Wales Act removing the need for a referendum.

If a referendum is unavoidable then Plaid needs to insist that it is held within the next 18 months and not left to the end of the Assembly term.

 
At 4:37 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Sanddef, has anyone ever introduced you to the much-lauded concept of not taking things at face value?


Back at you Ciaran! ;)

 
At 5:50 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

and that why Huey has never done anything for Merthyr and never will. When ever there has been a need to write to him for his support, theres always a deafening silence - as for moving to Penarth, the residents have my sympathies

 
At 5:58 pm, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Anonymous said:
"But tough luck because the majority of Welsh voters did not vote for them."

For that matter the majority of Welsh voters did vote for anyone, Labour including.

But since Labour did win the largest share they should form the government.

Its no good ending up like Italy in the 1970s (a change in government every week)

 
At 5:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To start another tangent, to anybody who was at City Hall on Friday morning, exactly how bad was Sophie Howe's concession speech? I wasn't there. I hear she was booed.

 
At 6:13 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

But since Labour did win the largest share they should form the government.


Not at all. The other parties have every right to govern without Labour, that's the nature of our electoral system and the sooner our AMs get used to it the better for Wales. Unfortunately I think Lord Elis-Thomas's remarks indicate what the end result will be. I say "unfortunately" because sooner or later Welsh politicians will have to learn to share power. Party tribalism does not do the Welsh people any favours.

 
At 6:17 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Ah, Sanddef, now that's different. That time you did this: :)

You must clarify, or I'll just put you down as an overgrown busker with a chip on his shoulder.

To respond to Alwyn's point, the parties have already promised to sort something out, so there won't be another election

Furthermore, nobody is calling for there to be no referendum.

In the Plaid camp, winning the referendum itself would be seen as a huge coup. (which is strange, because there is already a provision in the Government of Wales act and it now has a huge amount of cross party support - perhaps they should set the bar even higher?)

As for the timing, that is a matter for discussion. It's not a question as to whether the majority of people back more powers (I believe they do) it's a question of mobilising them to go out and vote for them.

And I'm afraid I didn't hear Sophie Howe's speach, though I'm told it was cattier than a Merched y wawr meeting.

 
At 7:12 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

You must clarify, or I'll just put you down as an overgrown busker with a chip on his shoulder.


I'm not sure what an "overgrown" busker is, although admittedly most of them were shorter than me. And I generaly put chips in my mouth, as I believe most other people do, though I have heard of the practice of placing them on the shoulder. I don't think it's a good idea personally, as it is sure to attract seagulls.

 
At 7:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

vfugvmpOrdovicius said...


.".... The other parties have every right to govern without Labour, that's the nature of our electoral system and the sooner our AMs get used to it the better for Wales. Unfortunately I think Lord Elis-Thomas's remarks indicate what the end result will be. I say "unfortunately" because sooner or later Welsh politicians will have to learn to share power. Party tribalism does not do the Welsh people any favours. "

Thank you for saying that. It will probably stick in the gullet of those who think democracy is something that a committee can make up as it goes along.

 
At 7:19 pm, Anonymous Dave Rodway said...

Dear Blamer
I wonder if you could provide us with an amusing account of the preidctions that were made, from the total bollocks (those by the improbably-named Professor Thrasher) to the uncannily corect (if any)?
It woudl be quite instructive, and might be fun if done with yr customary wit, to see what different peopel made and how they read the signals.
I'm not suggesting you have nothing better to do of course ...

 
At 7:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huw Lewis is right, neither Plaid or Labour members (or voters) would accept a coalition.

As for him replacing Rhodri - a valleys AM in that job may be the breath of fresh air needed!

 
At 7:29 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

I'll have a trawl. For the record, my own predictions were

Lab 25
Plaid 15
Con 11
Lib Dems 7
Ind 2

So, I basically only got one right, though I was just a seat out on every other score.

Interestingly, the New Statesman still hasn't published my predictions. I've a good mind to submit them again and get them all right.

They did, however, publish Peter Black's prediction that "Prospects for the Welsh Liberal Democrats look good."

 
At 7:45 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Anon @7.28 said "Huw Lewis is right, neither Plaid or Labour members (or voters) would accept a coalition.

As for him replacing Rhodri - a valleys AM in that job may be the breath of fresh air needed!"

It may be that there is no choice, if Rhodri and IWJ want to form a coalition let those who detract push off.
As for him being leader, he would be a disaster,and a sure vote winner for the Tories and Plaid

As a voter in his constituency, I always vote against him and it was nice to see his majority fall.

 
At 7:49 pm, Anonymous Dave Rodway said...

Thanks Blamer - your predictions are only out by one on those you got wrong. Some of the others I recall were egregious.
Huw Lewis replacing Rhodri is a recipe disaster for Labour, and would be the final nail in their coffin. He;s a sort of Valleys Norman Tebbit (except he lives in Penarth).
He'd also have to move back to Merthyr where his power base is sorely eroded ;t seem to like it there, I mean, to actually live in.
What Labour need is someone who can unite both them and the country, and they ain't going to do that with Huey.
What the Lib Dems need is irrelevant. Theyve probably peaked in Wales and their future lies as a party of local councillors, some of them very good, but not a s a national party.
The reason they're all ganging up on Mike German is that he reflects their inner self-esteem back at them: Labour's bitches, squeezed from all sides, and all things to all people. Except it looks like most of the people have got wise to this.
The Tribalism things is th eproble, with all of them - that article in the Western Mail by Patrick McGuiness against Triablist Labour received a viciously tribalist response from the permatanned viceroy Hain in person, thereby proving exactly what the bloke said in the first place.

DR

 
At 9:39 pm, Blogger Simo said...

Leighton Andrews, Huw lewis and Irene james would eat their own liver before serving in a Plaid / Labour government. THe venom from them towards Plaid is stronger then a death adder!

 
At 9:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"As for him replacing Rhodri - a valleys AM in that job may be the breath of fresh air needed!"

I think it should be Irene James!

 
At 9:46 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Leighton Andrews, Huw lewis and Irene james would eat their own liver before serving in a Plaid / Labour government. THe venom from them towards Plaid is stronger then a death adder"

Yes, he did say he had 'ideological issues' with them. Think that may have been an understatement.

Anyway, looks like liver it is then...

 
At 10:02 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

liver and humble pie

 
At 10:04 pm, Anonymous DR said...

Well, at least Andrews and Lewis have got some ideas, if only crap ones. Irene 'two planks' James is an appallingly low-calibre politican, who serves Plaid well just by existing.
Is she the one who promised to make Trish Law's life 'hell'? And did she also call Plaid Nazis or somehting in her 2003 election speech? Anyone know abotu this?
I bet Leighton Andrews is glad he left the Lib Dems ...
DR

 
At 12:24 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Glyn Davies:

Welsh Conservatives - 14
Labour - 24 (possibly less)
Independents - 2
Lib Dems - 7
Plaid Cymru - 13 (possibly more)

Me:

Labour 24
Plaid 15
Tories 13
Lib Dems 6
Indies 2

 
At 11:02 am, Blogger NewWelshRight said...

Would any body care to suggest odds on each of the possible coalitions, minority governments and (dare I think it) a second election?

 
At 11:13 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

a second election would be better, after listening to Good Morning Wales earlier, there seems no sign of compromsie anywhere.
plaids "support but not support" for labour is a non starter.

Only problem is when to hold an election, June is obvious but we are into holiday mode and July and Aug are no brainers, but can we wait until late Sept?

 
At 11:30 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

With this system and that result, a second election would achieve nothing.

The politicians now have a mandate to sort something out, and that is what they will do.

So, I'd set odds on another poll at about 500-1.

 
At 12:10 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon said:
"As for him replacing Rhodri - a valleys AM in that job may be the breath of fresh air needed!"

The Welsh deserve Statesmen as leaders. They are born, not cultivated under mafia muscles and money. Huey is too contaminated to become a leader even and does not have any political style. Talk to the hand, the hand says nothing.

 
At 10:49 am, Blogger Pads said...

Plaid could get away with proping up Labour if they get at a few of the "7 for 07" policies through, and a referendum.

The Lib Dems could be damned if they do, damned if they don't.

What big policy have they got which would be recognised as a LibDem acheivement in a coalition?

Being the smallest of three opposition parties won't be much fun either.

 

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