How long has Rhodders got?

That's the question I was asked today. And for once I didn't chafe my precious parts sitting on that well-worn pundit's fence. Instead, I leapt tentatively into the 'He'll be gone by autumn' camp.

Predictions are usually wrong in Welsh politics and there are plenty of twists and turns yet. But you'd have to say that, on current form, the rainbowistas look set to make a move, perhaps before the summer's out.

Quite simply, Ieuan Wyn Jones wants it too much. Tactically, it might be better to keep the Labour option open as long as possible to at least make it look like the rainbow was forced to make a move. But at the moment, IWJ's poker face is about as convincing as a Didier Drogba dive.

If it were to go ahead, though, I think one of the biggest changes might be in 'foreign affairs'. I know that isn't exactly part of the assembly's remit, but with a nationalist first minister in Scotland and a sympathetic ear in Northern Ireland, the rainbow would look to put pressure on Westminster as part of an alliance with the other devolved institutions.

This could be anything from stating a view on foreign policy (remember Rhodri's refusal to have a view on Iraq?) to demanding greater representation in negotiations with the European Union. I had a chat with Plaid's Adam Price MP about this yesterday before a programme on Radio Scotland, and he suggested the Celtic clout of the devolved governments would look to work as a pincer movement on Westminster to secure, for example, a better financial settlement.

Alex Salmond has already made calls for the resumption of Joint Ministerial Committees between the devolved institutions, and also 'Council of the Isles' style meetings (including the Republic of Ireland), with the UK government.

Of course, these may go ahead whether Rhodri stays or not, but I imagine a Plaid-led government would be anxious to sign-up and secure added legitimacy for the assembly as a national institution in its own right.
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UPDATE: Impeccable timing as ever.

Vaughan Roderick reports that Plaid are set to agree to further talks on a deal with Labour in their meeting this evening.

Labour have apparently offered at least three cabinet positions and firm promises on a referendum on further powers, a commission to review the Barnett formula and a Welsh Language act.

To be updated...

Sources in Plaid say it'll have to be an offer they can't refuse. Could Brown sanction the passage of a referendum through the Houses of Parliament? After all, he can't be keen on the idea of starting his premiership with Labour in opposition in both Scotland and Wales.

Either that, or Ieuan Wyn Jones has finally got control of his poker face. This might just be the smokescreen that enables him to say Labour can't deliver.

Labels: , , , , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 4:00 pm,

44 Comments:

At 4:07 pm, Blogger Ceredig said...

As things stand, you're probably right. To save his skin, Rhodders needs to be making a much clearer commitment, not just to holding a referendum on a parliament, but to his party's support for a 'yes' vote. It looks less and less clear that he can deliver on that, even if he wants to.

 
At 5:12 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Ieuan deposit 30 pieces of silver in Plaid's piggy bank?

 
At 5:34 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Will Alex Salmond and his SNP ministers sit round a table with Tories from Wales? Their policy is a Tory-free Scotland

 
At 5:50 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Labour had offered this to start with, then the red/green option would win but I think that they have left it too late.

I simply can't see Plaid's National Council changing from overwhelming rainbow to Labour's butties after the last few weeks.

Why did it take them so long to realise the situation they were in?

 
At 6:10 pm, Blogger PONTYGWINDY said...

According to that maxim of Welsh political information BBC Ceefax (!)The Lab/Nat coalition is very much on the cards. They must have some sort of reliable source from somewhere because they have even ran a story on their main news pages, not just the Welsh ones.

Let's watch this space!

 
At 6:19 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

Don't you mean that a Labour/Plaid coalition is very much on the cards?

 
At 6:32 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Labour/Nat coalition, Labour/Plaid coalition.

What's the difference?
Pray tell.

Your puzzled pal.

johnny.

 
At 6:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE SEATS IN THE CABINET IS NOT EVEN ON THE TABLE ITS JUST A MYTH

 
At 6:50 pm, Blogger LabourMark said...

Wells been given to plaid but def not cabinet seats.

If they do then the party will loose a lot of party members in west Wales, especially in Llanelli, Carm East nd West and further a field

 
At 6:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"If Labour had offered this to start with, then the red/green option would win but I think that they have left it too late."


We can see now the Labour talent are not capable of running a Welsh government. I really do hope Ieuan thinks carefully about any deal with them.

 
At 7:06 pm, Blogger Christopher Glamorgan said...

It's nice to know that everyone is getting on well again. I was beginning to wonder if all the love went out of Welsh politics (big smile).

http://glamorganshire.blogspot.com/2007/06/will-plaid-cymru-risk-misleading.html

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

Christopher Glamorgan said...
"It's nice to know that everyone is getting on well again. I was beginning to wonder if all the love went out of Welsh politics (big smile)."


Too early to gloat. The rainbow can still happen. Then all attention will be on YOU ;-D

 
At 7:16 pm, Anonymous Nigel said...

Couldn't the Rainbow deliver a referendum on more powers anyway?
The two key questions are

1) Whether Labour AMs would support the motion of a referendum if they're not in the WAG

2) Whether Labour MPs would support the motion of a referendum whoever's in the WAG.

Unless Rhodri can guarantee that Labour MPs will support the referendum - and I doubt he can - then I don't see what a Red/Green coalition has to offer to Plaid.

Personally, as a Plaid supporter, I much prefer the Rainbow option but I can understand the point of view of people who say we won't get a referendum without Labour support. It's a tricky one.

 
At 7:51 pm, Anonymous der said...

"Personally, as a Plaid supporter, I much prefer the Rainbow option but I can understand the point of view of people who say we won't get a referendum without Labour support. It's a tricky one."

I agree. I would prefer a Rainbow coalition. Labour are either in favour of a referendum on extra powers or not. They believe in extra powers or they don't. What kind of a commitment can Plaid get out of Labour.....something like 'Scout's Honour'?

 
At 8:24 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Nigel. No the Tory coalition hasn't got the two-thirds votes to get in passed the Assembly, let alone in the two Houses of Parliament. It's just as mythical as the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Just like the Tories supporting a new Welsh Language Act. They will, as long as it's "voluntary". I see that Euro-MP Jill Evans is dishing the dirt on the Tories real attitude towards Welsh.

 
At 8:27 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

I agree. I would prefer a Rainbow coalition

The old bloke who delivers the papur bro knocked on my door an hour ago. Without any conversation openers on my part he started voicing his dissapproval of red-green, even if it could deliver a referendum. Ironically I was translating an article for Richard Wyn Jones which pretty much comes to the same conclusion.

 
At 9:01 pm, Anonymous der said...

It's strange how the Labourites have now dissapeared. No doubt they have temporarily been placated. Once they are back in power, I very much doubt we'll see some of their members on here taking part in any dialogue.

 
At 9:16 pm, Blogger hedd said...

Ordovicius said...

The old bloke who delivers the papur bro knocked on my door an hour ago. Without any conversation openers on my part he started voicing his dissapproval of red-green, even if it could deliver a referendum. Ironically I was translating an article for Richard Wyn Jones which pretty much comes to the same conclusion.

What's your view?

I presumbe that you agree that what's important is the policy content of any deal, not some anti-Labour prejudice. The same is true for the 'rainbow option of course, there shouldn't be an anti-Tory prejudice.

If Labour can deliver on the policies contained in the All-Wales Accord + guarantee the support of the party to a YES vote in a referendum, then a coalition with Labour is obviously the best option for Plaid.

 
At 9:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rhodders is running rings around Ieuan Wyn Jones. If he turns down Labour's offer he will be seen as someone who will get into bed within anyone. Labour hasn't got to worry about the referendum. It couldn't deliver all its members in 1979 and it can't guarantee that it will deliver them in any referendum before 2011. After all more powers for the assembly means fewer Labour MPs in Westminster and increase the chances of a Tory government. It also means more AMs and that isn't going to popular with much of the electorate.It will be interesting to see what will happen if those who ignore assembly elections come out to vote. As for revision of the Barnett formula .Who cares whether it is carried out by a committee of the assembly or an independent commission stuffed with members of the Institute of Welsh Affairs. Only the Westminster Parliament can sanction any change. This is hardly going to happen given the crazy decision by Salmond and the gang to give Scottish students free university education financed by English taxpayers money. Read Boris Johnston in today's Guardian.

 
At 9:34 pm, Anonymous der said...

What's your view Hedd? Don't you agree that either Labour AM's ar for further devolution or they are not.....

 
At 9:45 pm, Anonymous Nigel said...

Iolo,

The Tories aren't the problem here - Labour are. They're the ones that created the 2/3rds majority rule which means "You can't have a referendum until we say so". And if they're not in the WAG, they probably won't vote for it. They're effectively holding Wales to ransom.

Anyway, the Labour/Plaid deal only just has a 2/3rds majority. Take out the PO or DPO and they've only got a guaranteed 40 votes. If someone's off sick that day or Huey Lewis rebels, there could be a problem. Of course, the Lib Dems and some Tories would probably vote for it, but if they're not in the WAG they might decide to play dirty, just like Labour.

The one thing that worries me, though, is that Plaid might split right down the middle over this issue. Which would play right into Labour's hands

 
At 9:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gutted, if the prposals are good, plaid will take whats on offer, they have to.
So disappointing that labour have managed to scupper the rainbow, but then again you could argue the lib dems shot everyone in that regard. Why will anyone vote lib dem again, you vote people into power and they don't choose it? unbelievable!

 
At 10:05 pm, Anonymous Bard in Bed said...

wait until Saturday if plaid listen to the grassroots there will be no Labour Pact
Why would any party want t o work with a load of deadbeats

 
At 10:12 pm, Anonymous der said...

bard in bed,

I agree. If they hop into bed with Labour then Plaid will be dragged down along with dead beats. But, I am sure that people like IWJ and Price won't be easily fooled and I will have to just wait and hope.

 
At 10:28 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

If he turns down Labour's offer he will be seen as someone who will get into bed within anyone

Good grief. How can he be seen as "jumping into bed with anyone" if he won't jump into bed with Rhodri? (It's a rhetorical question BTW)

What's your view?


If Labour can make as good an offer as the rainbow, with a referensum thrown in to boot, then having one partner would be more workable than having two. But it may cost Plaid 2nd place in 2011. Of course it all depends on the coalition's performance. Most of the AMs know eachother well enough by now to be able to judge with whom they will be able to work, and who they can trust, and I think this last factor is the more important when it comes to Plaid making a decision.

 
At 10:48 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Bard in bed: Isn't Plaid stronger if it works with a bunch of deadbeats? And how does anybody know what Plaid members or voters think? Nobody's asked them.

Hedd: The Tory-spun "all Wales accord" lets the private sector off equal rights for Welsh speakers. Why would any fair-minded person support that?

Ordovicius: Joining with the Tories will definitely cost Plaid 2nd place in 2011. That's why the Tories want it.

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

hedd said:

*that what's important is the policy content of any deal, not some anti-Labour prejudice. The same is true for the 'rainbow option of course, there shouldn't be an anti-Tory prejudice.*


Hear hear.

 
At 11:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh God there is so much I can't stand about Plaid Cymru ....... but what choice do I have, it's the only party that takes its orders from Wales and not from London.

 
At 11:43 pm, Blogger Silurian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 12:24 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

silurian said:

"I have found that in the US people either think Wales is in Australia, or north of Scotland.

maybe that should change!! "

It doesn't really matter. There are areas much bigger than Wales in both the US and OZ we have probably never heard of. But it is extraordinary that this little speck on the map in known in most other countries :-)

 
At 4:22 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Silurian said...

"However and whoever governs Wales. It should not be based on anti labor Anti Tory, or anti anything.

and it should not be based on history (either recent or remote)it should be based on what is best for the Welsh people."

johnny says....

Nice sentiments there Silurian. If only. Unfortunately here in Wales we have yet to determine who the Welsh people are.

Are Welsh people the minority who all speak English but favour Welsh and seek to force it into people's lives or are they the majority who speak only English and have no real NEED for Welsh?

If only we knew? We could probably end up with a great little country within the UK.

As you will note from this blog we seem to be afflicted with some rather noisy rabid swivel-eyed Nationalists who seem to think that everyone in Wales should speak Welsh, whether they wish to or not.

In fact they've even got the nerve to suggest that private business in Wales be compelled to provide their services via the Welsh language, again, whether they wish to or not.

Any recalcitrant business failing to provide this unnecessary service would then be liable to be sued by an individual in the Civil Courts for damages for 'hurting their feelings'.

You really couldn't make this up, but, of course, this is Wales and the nationalists just can't get away from their roots of hating the English and English speakers for some perceived wrong-doings from hundreds of years ago. They don't want to be part of the UK any more.

It's called Welsh Nationalism even though they have re-branded themselves as Plaid Cymru it's still the same old hateful nationalism.

I daresay that many people thought that nationalism was dead in Wales but they are still trying to force their views on the rest of us. Thankfully without too much success.

As a so-called Nation we have hardly progressed from our ancient Tribal ways but fortunately the vast majority of us tolerate them and their fascist ways but keep a watchful eye on them.

This blog seems to be a microcosm of Welsh life and the clear divisions are apparent.

Fortunately though. If our backs were up against the wall I am quite sure our natural Britishness would transcend our tribalism and would save the day.

God Save the Queen.

Your portentous pal.

johnny.

 
At 7:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They will do a deal today. Gift for the Tories, and LibDems to a lesser extent.

Next step is for the Tories to remove Nick Bourne and put Jonathan Morgan in place. Jonathan looks like a winner, and furthermore is Welsh. Bourne's presence simply perpetuates the "English party in Wales" tag.

 
At 8:48 am, Blogger Clear Red Water said...

"It's strange how the Labourites have now dissapeared. No doubt they have temporarily been placated. Once they are back in power, I very much doubt we'll see some of their members on here taking part in any dialogue."

Some of us arent sat at the computer all night waiting for a new post to occur. I am waiting to pass comment before i actually see the deal being made and what it entails. I am opposed to it, but can see the wood for the trees in these matters.

Some of you really get self important sometimes, i can assure you that the only discussion at the moment is in the group meetings and between IWJ and Rhodri. No amount of speculation on here is going to change that.

 
At 9:08 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

If the murky brown coalitio goes ahead, what will the cabinet look like?
Was it an astute move by Rhodri to create super ministries, so it looked good, but in reality he knew that he would have to loose cabinet ministers so all he has to do now is split the portfolios and his people keep important jobs.
Will Carwyn keep language and Jabba the Hutt finance.
Who from Plaid will get posts at cabinet and sub cabinet?

 
At 9:47 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT

Miserable Old Fart is the only Welsh blogger I've seen so far that's put up the current court case involving the important MP for South Clwyd....errr Whasisname, you know errr...oh yes that's right Martha Jones.
Put up a post Blammers so that we can see what the Welsh think of it/him.


Gwil ap Tomos

 
At 9:59 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ignoring Johnny's twisted prejudices (what a small mind he has), Plaid have at long last the opportunity to offer their members a decent choice and speaking to supporters overnight I can't call which way the National Council will go.

They have a huge responsibility to choose the best option for Wales and I am confident that they will do so. Some so called 'people in the know' are suggesting that the decision will be made by the weekend-not true.

The future governance of our nation will be made on the afternoon of Saturday 7th July, somewhere in Mid Wales. Plaid is very much a member led party and whatever the leaders and NEC support, the members will have the final say.

 
At 5:07 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Anonymous said...

"Ignoring Johnny's twisted prejudices (what a small mind he has)".

johnny says....

Now which Nonny are you then? At least give yourself a name.

Could it be that you are one of the swivel-eyed Repupublico/Nationalists that persistently try to insult me with their crude remarks.

In your closed little world anyone who puts forward contrary opinion to yours is described as having "twisted prejudices" and a "small mind".

More nationalistic nastiness of which I am not surprised. That's really all you have left.

Your pretentious statement that,

"The future governance of our nation will be made on the afternoon of Saturday 7th July, somewhere in Mid Wales."

really made me chuckle.

Just who do you think you are?

Just a sniff of the levers and there you go making preposterous statements like that.

Face up to it, whatever happens "somewhere in Mid Wales" on Saturday 7th. July, Plaid will be a secondary member of the coalition and the First Minister will be Rhodri.

I just wonder what Rhodri thinks of this? Do you imagine that he is going to relinquish the major levers to a bunch of Republico/ Nationalists.

A few Cabinet seats will be made available and Plaid may congratulate themselves on a minor victory at this time. However, we Brits will be keeping a close eye on them to see exactly how they use the limited powers given.

Your pellucid pal.

johnny.

 
At 6:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

clear red water said:

"Some of you really get self important sometimes"



Oh!

I really get worried when I read comments like these.
Labour has already made attempts to restrict our freedoms and already behaves like a big nanny.

So you "clear red water" think you can tell the general public that they are "self important" if they know better than you or disagree with you?

Very worrying. Is this the future for Labour?

 
At 6:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

"Why will anyone vote lib dem again, you vote people into power and they don't choose it? unbelievable! "

Well, I think the real fun is about to start. Labour will put the Lib/Dems in the shade.

 
At 6:20 pm, Anonymous Johnny Foreigner's Dildo said...

Now which Nonny are you then? At least give yourself a name.


No less anonymous than you Mr "desperately trying to discredit" Obvious Labour Stooge

 
At 9:11 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Johnny Foreigner's Dildo said...

Now which Nonny are you then? At least give yourself a name.


"No less anonymous than you Mr "desperately trying to discredit" Obvious Labour Stooge"

6:20 PM

Not me pal. Try the next parish.

No desperation to discredit here either.

I'm not even a Labour stooge.

Between you and I, my real name is not johnny foreigner either. It's something else.

'Nuff said.

johnny.

 
At 9:15 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Come to think of it......


I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.




Boom, Boom.

Your parched pal.

johnny.

 
At 10:00 pm, Anonymous Smiler said...

Pace William Blake, is Johnny Foreigner the Welsh political equivalent of John Milton, being of the Devil's party without knowing it?

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

And did those feet in Ancient times
Walk upon Wales's mountains green
And was the roasted lamb of Blod
On England's dinner tables seen

And did a counterpart of mine
Shine forth upon those Plaidish hills
And was Monoglotia builded here
Against those dark Linguistic Wills.

Bring me some coal, I'm feeling cold
Bring me my Kettle, from the fire
Bring me my cigs, O clouds unfold
Bring me my ashtray, there's a dear

I will not cease my mental plight
Nor shall my words sleep in my hand
'Til we have built Monoglotia
In Wales's red/green, blue/yellow Land.

Your postprandial poetic pal.

johnny.

 

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