There's no red in rainbow

The Lib Dems' National Executive has voted to suspend talks with Labour and concentrate solely on discussions with Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives on forming a rainbow coalition.

The Conservatives have also confirmed that they are negotiating with Plaid Cymru with a view to an official agreement which would see Tory AMs joining the cabinet under Ieuan Wyn Jones.

This development gives real momentum to the prospect of a non-Labour government in the assembly for the first time in its history. Labour intend to put forward Rhodri Morgan as first minister whatever the outcome of the other parties' negotiations. But a Plaid deal with the Lib Dems and the Tories would see Ieuan Wyn Jones mirror the achievement of his Scottish counterpart and become Wales' first nationalist leader.

[In a separate incident, a shocked shop owner from Montgomeryshire reported that a former Conservative AM rushed into her store earlier this evening and bought her entire supply of party poppers. Margaret Gilmore, 53, told this blog that she initially feared for her safety as the man, named locally as Glyn Davies, methodically popped each one in turn and shouted "NOW DO YOU BELIEVE ME?"]

UPDATE: Lib Dem leader Mike German has just spoken on Dragon's Eye. He said: "We've given a clear direction here of the direction we'd like to travel. We wish to see if we can formulate a strong and robust three party government for Wales. This is a potential solution to that fresh start that people in Wales want."

There's still plenty of talking to do, of course. But as it stands, Plaid Cymru are in the driving seat. They have a straight choice: to back up Labour in a confidence and supply agreement or form a government themselves. They may never get a better chance.

Labels: , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 10:28 pm,

43 Comments:

At 10:58 pm, Anonymous Clear Red Water said...

..But there is Indigo (and out go dem others)

 
At 11:12 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

"But as it stands, Plaid Cymru are in the driving seat. They have a straight choice: to back up Labour in a confidence and supply agreement or form a government themselves."

Yes, as we go into this long weekend I think that's a fair assessment.

And that position will undoubtedly increase the strength of the hands of their twin negotiating teams.

Well done on breaking this before the second Dragon started, by the way.

 
At 11:32 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

At the time of writing the story isn't even HERE yet!

Convergence and all that.

Fair play to Guto, though. He's obviously been lurking outside a Lib Dem meeting all night, which is possibly even more boring than lurking inside.

You're right, it does strengthen Plaid's hand. But now that the other two parties are exclusively backing a rainbow coalition, you'd have to wonder what Plaid could possibly get out of a deal with Labour they couldn't achieve themselves.

The obvious answer is a referendum on further devolution which would require the support of at least 5 Labour AMs. But then again, it wouldn't look good for Labour to block it.

 
At 11:45 pm, Anonymous Clear Read Water said...

The Lib Dems obviously have all they need and that includes the referendum.
There are enough Labour members who'd vote for the referendum to ensure it'll happen in 2011.

 
At 11:49 pm, Blogger Welsh Spin said...

At the end of day it's down to the Lib Dems to choose whether to support the Nats/Tories or Labour.

Labour did warn that any vote other than them was a vote for the Tories - in fairness they look like being proven correct !

 
At 11:53 pm, Anonymous Alun said...

Labour did warn that any vote other than them was a vote for the Tories - in fairness they look like being proven correct !

Suggestion for a Labour slogan next election: "we [expletive deleted] told you so you [expletive deleted] fools!"

 
At 11:53 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Not at the end of today it's not!

The ball is in Plaid's court now.

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

Vote Plaid Get Tory

 
At 12:14 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For as long as I can remember the Labour Party has been the nasty party in Wales. With a few exceptions its elected members have been parochial, conservative, often corrupt........today the opposition parties have the chance to turf this over-rated bunch out of power, any chance they will have the courage to do so?

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

What has Labour ever done for Wales?

 
At 12:22 am, Blogger Welsh Spin said...

Which three Tories will be appointed to the Cabinet I wonder?
DFM: Nick Bourne
CEP: Brynlie
CWLS: Darren Millar

???

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

You Labour lot just don't get it, do you? Your empty manifesto, conservative governing and constant Tory smear campaign has failed miserably. You only have yourselves to blame if there is a rainbow coalition and if they push through STV in Local Government, then Labour in Wales will be bxggered.

No wonder you are crapping yourselves.

 
At 8:09 am, Anonymous Daran said...

Having tried to sleep on it, there's something that I detected last night which we haven't seen in the last few weeks - momentum.

The verdict of the electors on May 3rd was so mixed and inconclusive that there was no obvious momentum for any arrangement.

It was quite clear from last night's statement that momentum has returned to Welsh politics, and that has been created by the unequivocal statement from the Liberal Democrats. After a fortnight of dissent and a lack of clarity, the Liberal Democrats have come out with a statement so firm it has provided a sense of direction for all the opposition parties. If they had, like Plaid, maintained a bilateral approach to negotiation we would not be where we are today. By making a clear choice they have given the green light to serious consideration of a rainbow - the first time that has happened.

Expect the next few days to be full of grandiose statements about this being the first chance in eighty years to evict Labour from pole position in Welsh politics. This blog is already reflecting that. There will undeniably be opportunity for "historic" speeches to be made, pointing out that this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to form a government in Wales without a Labour influence.

It is far from certain of course - and Plaid has a big choice to make - but the momentum ingredient is a powerful one. There is much for the rainbow makers to do but it seems the ball is their court.

And the rainbow could lead either to a crock of gold, or a crock of something else.

 
At 8:31 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

If the parties want a rainbow, they should go for it. I would dearly love to see Plaid make a total hash of running anything bigger than a gwynedd council...

As a labour supporter i dont see what will be achieved by offering all and sundry anything now to stay in power outside of said power...It is undemocratic the Lib Dems have such a huge say in the matter. The rainbow maybe Labour's saviour.

 
At 8:38 am, Anonymous Daran said...

"The rainbow maybe Labour's saviour."

Yes, and not just in the long term. If the negotiations don't come off and the rainbow dream is rained away, that could leave Labour governing alone in a week's time.

If this happened then, perversely, that could make a minority Labour government more stable as the opportunity for effective challenge, at least in the short term, would not be quite appropriate.

 
At 8:43 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

My gut feeling is that some sort of rainbow can be thrashed out.

It wouldn't reflect well on the triple alliance if they couldn't come to an agreement with so much at stake.

There will be discussions in the next week which could determine the course of Welsh politics for years to come.

 
At 9:24 am, Anonymous David Walters said...

"I would dearly love to see Plaid make a total hash of running anything bigger than a Gwynedd Council."

Typical Labour. In the unlikley event that the coalition DID make a hash of it, it's Wales that would suffer. Labour would "dearly love" Wales to suffer for their own partisan reasons.

Labour's conduct now is exactly the same as in the run up to the budget last year. They are terrified that lowering themselves to talk with other parties compromises their divine right to rule.

 
At 10:00 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should see the Labour AMs faces in the Assembly canteen - they simply cannot believe they could be the next opposition! As a life long labour supporter, I have to say they deserve a kick up the ass, time for a rethink and to take a good long look at the direction of the party and the calibre of their candidates.

Carwyn Jones? Please, the guy is a lazy bugger who could barely run a charity shop. Edwina Hart as Minister for Social Justice? How about Minister of grumpy old PTA women who should stand up when addressing the chamber, lazy old cow. The majority of the back bench Labour AMs are barely of parish council quality (Plaid are no better). They all stand there talking about things like education or obesity, when most can barely string a sentence together in English or Welsh, and I would guess half of them are clinically obese.

The lot of them think they should be in power as of right. This year’s manifesto was about how to give away more free stuff, nothing about making Wales ready for the huge struggles we face with globalisation. Nothing for aspiring couples who like some of the nice things in life and wouldn’t mind offering their kids more than they had. And most importantly, nothing radical to address the huge problems our economy faces. Spend only a little time in the South East of England and you realise parts of Wales are like the third world. Just look at the Western Mail jobs section – all public sector positions. Now compare that to say local papers in Bristol. We are seriously getting things wrong here.

The total lack of ambition in the Labour party is astonishing. The nation’s destiny rest with the next WAG. I hate to say it, but maybe a rainbow coalition will do everyone some good. Labour can have some time out, and the others can find out for themselves how hard it is to govern and make a difference!

 
At 10:23 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally agree with anonymous. Wales needs to develop into a more mature democracy more in line with Europe than Westminster. The Labour party would benefit more from opposition than limping along in government. It would perhaps encourage the party to take greater care with its future candidates. the party is still suffering from the cavalier mannner in which it selected its first candidates in 1999 when first class individuals were rejected. The party needs to decide where it is going and start to produce radical ideas for a change instead of platitudes about the Tories and others which belong in the last century. Government will also force the rainbow coalition to understand that being in power means that you have to make choices and it's not just about adopting the popular option.Who knows we might even see a revival in Welsh politics as AMs start to really debate the options for the way forward for Wales.The stifling consensus of the past 8 years has done no one any favours. As for Rhodri isn't about time he retired to Mwnt. He was fortunate that Ron went for a walk on Clapham Common and he has lived off Blair's imposition of Alun Michael for years. On May 3rd the voters of Wales said that it was time for a change.

 
At 10:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
What has Labour ever done for Wales?


Free Prescriptions
Free School breakfasts
(both now at serious risk, wonder if Blamer will report on it if they are abolished?)
Free Swimming for school children in holidays

to name just a few


I am in no doubt that the threesome will end up making a mess of things.

Interesting Plaid and the Lib Dems are holding their special conferences in the same building, this seems to me to show they already decided to join up and they are taking their members for granted.

Also the majority of voters did not want the Lib Dems in government, they only got 6 seats and the lowest % of the vote of any party in the Assmebly.

 
At 10:44 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Free Prescriptions
Free School breakfasts
(both now at serious risk, wonder if Blamer will report on it if they are abolished?)"

The first isn't at risk as I understand it.

The second would probably go... but we're talking about what school kids might be eating under a rainbow government! Aren't we getting a little ahead of ourselves?

"Interesting Plaid and the Lib Dems are holding their special conferences in the same building,"

I don't believe they are.

 
At 10:51 am, Blogger LabourMark said...

Rainbows dissapear when you point at them, this coalition will breakdown in the fastes time recorded.

 
At 10:52 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

I think that Plaid's whole approach to this election was undeliverable plans knowing full well they will be a bit part player in government. Now lets see what of the 7 FOR 7 they will ditch, that is my point. Now Plaid have to deliver, and we it will be a task i think is beyond them. Is PR in Local government the real driving force behind this 'triple crown' government? hardly something to get excited about unless you set to gain from it is it.

I agree with point Wales' democracy needs to mature and will hopefully raise the game of all parties including Wales. Plaid are bricking it because they know this could end their position as the main opposition forever. A resurgent Welsh Labour, stung by opposition, waking up to the fact that self governance is on its way more fully, coupled with a tory party that will be fighting the next general election against Labour could squeeze Plaid. Plaid have made leverage nicking Labour supporters by moving to the left, but this could all be lost by Tory influence in the rainbow. If Wales has scottish style powers, and Plaid lose any socialist credibility, where does this leave them? Their talent pool is very shallow and will have to retreat back from their position as a 'socialist' party. There is no appetite for independence, and the ones who do harbour TOTAL independence beliefs are right-wing!


http://renewedlabour.blogspot.com/2007/05/rod-jane-and-freddy-should-run-wales.html

 
At 11:11 am, Blogger bethan said...

'Interesting Plaid and the Lib Dems are holding their special conferences in the same building, this seems to me to show they already decided to join up and they are taking their members for granted'.

Ha! This is NOT true- we are not taking members for granted.

Peter Black has since announced that the Lib dems are moving location, so this is a non story I'm afraid.

 
At 11:13 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Plaid have made leverage nicking Labour supporters by moving to the left, but this could all be lost by Tory influence in the rainbow'.

true. very true.

 
At 11:30 am, Anonymous David Walters said...

If Plaid and Libs were taking members for granted they wouldn't be holding meetings at all. Duh!

So they were due to be in the same building (Lib Dems now moving)?

Big deal! Big coincidence not big conpsiracy.

Pathetic point even for Labour.

So going into coalition means that Palid will have to give up some of the things on which it went into the election.

Naww! Get away! Thank goodness for such insightful comments on here. Otherwise we non-Laobur thickos would never understand what agreement and compromises is.

Laobur still don't get the consquences of the election results - YOU CAN'T HAVE IT ALL YOUR OWN WAY NOW!!!

To stay in government you need to offer SOMETHING to SOMEONE ELSE - and probably more than what was in the agreement you leaked to the Western Mail yesterday. This isn't hard - everyone else gets it.

Plaid's talent pool is "very shallow".....says the man from Labour.

 
At 11:51 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

Dont forget Welsh Labour has all the MP's that are in Wales also. You can hardly doubt that many Welsh Labour MP's would wipe the floor with most AM's. Getting all our welsh talents into the senedd is something we need to do as a party...

 
At 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Plaid jump into bed with the Tories - that will be the end of them as a political party in the valleys I assure you.

 
At 12:13 pm, Anonymous RinMachen said...

"Dont forget Welsh Labour has all the MP's that are in Wales also."

Really? The voters in Preseli Pembrokeshire, Cardiff Central, Monmouth, Ceredigion, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Clwyd West, Ceredigion, Meirionydd Nant Conwy, Montgomeryshire, Brecon & Radnor, Blaenau Gwent and Caernarfon will be very surprised to learn that their MPs are actually Labour party members...

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

Plaid will suffer in valleys in the next UK General Election and Welsh General Election, if they do join the Tories in a coalition government, this could be exasperated if Cameron gets into number 10 and moves to the right.

Plaid would also loose ex-Labour voters who have left Labour for Plaid, they would either come back to Labour, turn to another political party on the left, or stay home, which would also damage Plaid.

We could also see an increased turnout in Labour supporters since the Tories in government would do that, be it in the Assembly or Westminister. I would also imagine some Plaid members and voters being disillusioned that Plaid are in bed with the Tories, especally if Plaid start failing to deliver promises, especally flagship promises, free laptops for example.

Meanwhile Labour will have the ability to reflect on itself in oppisition, and hopefully become a more radical centre-left democratic socialist party, since that is one of the thing missing in Labour at the moment, radical policies.

 
At 1:17 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

I totally agree with you there geraint. A rainbow Coalition would help the labour party more than the other three parties

 
At 1:36 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Gerain and Mark,

You are spot on.

"Really? The voters in Preseli Pembrokeshire, Cardiff Central, Monmouth, Ceredigion, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Clwyd West, Ceredigion, Meirionydd Nant Conwy, Montgomeryshire, Brecon & Radnor, Blaenau Gwent and Caernarfon will be very surprised to learn that their MPs are actually Labour party members... "

You misread my comment and you know it. I meant that Labour talent pool in Wales extends to LABOUR Mp's in Wales.

 
At 2:00 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

"Really? The voters in Preseli Pembrokeshire, Cardiff Central, Monmouth, Ceredigion, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Clwyd West, Ceredigion, Meirionydd Nant Conwy, Montgomeryshire, Brecon & Radnor, Blaenau Gwent and Caernarfon will be very surprised to learn that their MPs are actually Labour party members... "

Out of that Montomeryshire will turn tory, Blaunau Gwent will turn Labour, Cardiff central will turn Labour, Brecon and Radnor will Turn Tory, in the next election plaid and the Lib dems will go back ward and we will increase the vote in all other seats in the next general elections.

Next years council elections we will win control of Swansea, Cardiff, Bridgend, Wrexham, as the Lib Dem vote will decrease in thos areas and Plaids vote will disapear. Tories will only increase their vote in monmouth, pembs, and north as they never stand as Tories, but as independants

 
At 2:23 pm, Anonymous gethin said...

I was brought up in a staunch Labour household. The first year I was allowed to vote, Wales voted against an assembly and turned to Thatcher in their droves. Young and impressionable, I was sickened both by the scaremongering of the unionists within the Labour party and by how Thatcher methodically unpicked the fabric of society.

Consequently, I turned to Plaid. As, one by one, did my Labourite family. I don't vote for Plaid because I agree with everything they stand and I still can't bring myself to become an active member.

I realise that we need a fresh beginning at the Assembly, but the thought of forming a government with the Tories makes me very uneasy. What do other left-leaning Plaid voters think?

Also - for those with inside info -is it conceivable now the Rainbow Coalition is looking a distinct possibility that the awkward squad within the Labour Party will feel more willing to agree to a deal with Plaid? Is this IWJ playing his cards well, or is this merely wishful thinking on my behalf?

As you may have gathered, I am firmly in favour of a Labour-Plaid pact, preferably a proper coalition.

 
At 2:28 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Nick Bourne, Mike German = Bungle, Geafforey and George.

Which ones Which?

 
At 3:13 pm, Anonymous RinMachen said...

Marcusian,

If you meant that you think Labour's MPs in Wales are more talented than their AMs, then why not say so in the first place!? No deliberate misreading intended.

As it happens I agree with you. The difficulty for the party (all parties? Plaid have a similar problem with Adam Price) is in persuading those with the talent to swap Westminster for Cardiff Bay. Otherwise we will be stuck with the farmers/ex-teachers/over-ambitious county councillors for years to come.

(p.s. - Mike German = definitely Bungle)

 
At 3:22 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Nick Bourne, Mike German = Bungle, Geafforey and George.

Which ones Which?

I think as i said in my blog, they are more like Rhod, Jane and Freddy. They come into the program on a whim, make some shit noise then bugger off.

 
At 3:30 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Rinmachen,

I work for a welsh mp, and many of them still see the assembly as a raw institution.

Adam Price, Ron Davies, David Davis, Paul Murphy, Paul Flynn, Daffydd Wigley, Chris Bryant, Jessica Morden. A cross party example of talents that should be down the bay. My own feeling is that as the senedd develops it will be able to attract all welsh talent to stay in Wales. I have absolutely no desire to enter westminster politics, and i think this view is shared by many young people getting into politics. This will only help the assembly as an institution. There are still too much deadwood in all parties at the moment.

 
At 3:39 pm, Blogger Pads said...

So who's Zippy then?

Rhodri Morgan?

 
At 4:03 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Ieaunn Whinge has to be zippy, German as Bungle and Borne as george. Its only a giggle before you nats start whinging...

 
At 4:12 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

zippy is too nice to be calles IWJ. Thats why i left zippy off the list

 
At 8:37 am, Blogger hafod said...

Interesting to see the increasingly desperate noises being made by Labourites on this blog... the Bungle gags are also *so* funny.

To claim that Labour's MPs are of a higher calibre than the AMs is, sadly, untrue. Most of them are cut from the same cloth - just about able to walk and chew gum... think Wayne David, Albert Owen, Nia Griffith or unbearable careerists like David Hanson and Kim Howells.

As a Plaid supporter I'd prefer it if Plaid took the long-term view and opted for outright victory in 2011. That's probably better achieved by outright opposition rather than a rainbow coalition (you can already see Labour's pitch to voters in 2011 if that happens).

 
At 1:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hafod,

Come on, you are talking rubbish. The calibre of AM's is lower than MP's that isnt some big secret...

 

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