Labour u-turn a sign of things to come

It is exactly two weeks since Rhodri Morgan wrote to Ieuan Wyn Jones and Mike German outlining the terms of a possible agreement to keep him in government.

Since then, Plaid have been negotiating a beefed up deal with Labour, the underlying document of which is just about finished, I understand.

Now, whaddyaknow - Business and Budget Minister Jane Hutt has announced an independent commission to review the Barnett Formula and consider tax-varying powers for the assembly.

A fortnight ago, Labour offered Plaid and the Lib Dems a "seen to be independent inquiry by the Assembly Finance Committee, possibly chaired by a Liberal Democrat." In other words, not an independent inquiry at all.

In just fourteen days, Labour have gone from stubborn refuseniks to willing co-conspirators. They are, [cough, splutter, vomit] experimenting with [shh, don't tell Tony]... compromise.

We've heard a lot about the 'new politics' which is a necessity now that power hangs in the balance between the parties in Wales. Well, here's an an example of it in operation.

And if Labour can announce this before the Red-Green agreement is even finalised, just imagine what could be coming our way if and when the deal is done.

Labels: , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 7:34 pm,

26 Comments:

At 8:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This just shows that Plaid are pulling the strings and are going to hold a knife to Labour for the next four years.

I can't believe we're falling for it.

 
At 8:41 pm, Blogger Bwganbrain said...

It's a Venus Fly Trap - suck 'em in and then kill them off!
IWJ needs to realise that when presented with 2 options the easy one is not the right answer.
Going with the Brown solution will be easier than going with the Rainbow, but it is the Rainbow that will deliver change in Wales and a place in history for Ieuan.

 
At 8:42 pm, Anonymous der said...

I would prefer to look upon Plaid as being a catalyst for a hitherto inert party to react to the almost deperate situation Wales finds itself in. Personally though, I would prefer they (Plaid) choose the Rainbow option.

 
At 8:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But only the Treasury has the power to change the Barnett formula. They didn't take any notice of the Lyons Commission on local government finance so why should they take any notice of a commission setup by the assembly. It's a pretty meaningless gesture and everyone knows this. It should,however, keep another group of the Welsh great and the good occupied for a few months.

 
At 9:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And if Labour can announce this before the Red-Green agreement is even finalised, just imagine what could be coming our way if and when the deal is done."

Slight problem there, the assumption that the deal will happen. From what I hear Rhodri just came out of a very interesting meeting with a bunch of MPs not too impressed with his account of the dealings with th e FIb Dems. Bumpy ride don't quite cover it. There's a very confused old man heading to Paddington with his tail firmly between his legs. TWO options will be going to any Labour conference.

 
At 9:23 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

The Labour MPs are indeed a quite different breed to that bunch in the assembly.

I hear that some senior Labour AMs are actually feeling quite liberated by all the 'left-wing' talk coming out of the negotiations with Plaid.

Could Westminster throw a spanner in the works... I guess we'll find out soon.

The major problem for Labour and the Lib Dems, though, is that any deal they come up with is probably going to look less exciting than the Brown or the Rainbow and will statistically have the support of fewer people.

 
At 9:39 pm, Blogger Christopher Glamorgan said...

Sounds like an offering for the new gods :>)

 
At 9:46 pm, Blogger Ian said...

If Plaid are indeed 'holding the knife' as you state, then it is in the name of the 3 million people of Wales and not necessarily in the interests of Plaid.

Whichever option Plaid choose (and it is by no means certain which one it will be), we will suffer from the voters ire; the group who will never forgive us for working with the Tories and the group who will never forgive us for keeping Labour in power.

Having said that, how can anyone criticise Welsh politicians from any party who push for an investigation into the Barnett funding, when every independent organisation believes that Wales is being shortchanged?

Can you imagine what say an extra £500 million a year could do to help care for the elderly, social services and drug rehabilitation?

 
At 10:44 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ian said:
/Can you imagine what say an extra £500 million a year could do to help care for the elderly, social services and drug rehabilitation? /


Yet if Labour stays in power it would all go to Education to make up for their mistakes.

 
At 6:55 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The alternative facing Labour is a stark one and some Labour MPs should wake up and smell the coffee. The only real chance of staying in government is a coalition with Plaid. If this fails for whatever reason then the Rainbow alliance will take control. There is no reason for the Lib Dems to reopen up negotiations with Labour even if they were offered PR in local government by Rhodri Morgan. This after all would require another special Labour conference to overturn a previous decision to oppose PR. There is no guarantee that Labour members would support PR.Unfortunately some Labour MPs are quite prepared to see the Tories in power either because they don't want to alienate their constituency activists or because as every one knows they don't support devolution anyway. They know that a Rainbow coalition will probably mean no extra powers for the assembly for at least a generation. It will kill the devolution project for their political life timeand for many that's all that matters.

 
At 8:37 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Denzil Davies on Good Morning Wales "This is Wales taking the begging bowl ... not good for Wales.
Asking South East of England to fund Govt spending." implying we wont get anything or it coul dbe worse.

 
At 10:16 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

£500m in extra funding for services? If Labour are still in power that would get swallowed up by administration, red-taped and further bureaucracy.

The money needs to be better spent as well as looking at the problems of the formula.

 
At 10:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If Plaid are indeed 'holding the knife' as you state, then it is in the name of the 3 million people of Wales and not necessarily in the interests of Plaid."

Christ i thought it was supposed to be only Labour who do 'spin'.

Answer me this- Plaid have made no mention in the deal with Labour regarding the supposed 'policies to take wales forward'. No PR in local government, no 3% targets, no laptops, no 5 grand home grants.

The stuff they want is welsh language act (which appeal really cant extend much beyond 25% of the country). The barnett formula (remember its commission that can be ignored and hardly an issue on the tip of most peoples tongue) and a referendum (that they simply will not win currently).

These three things are in the interest of Plaid Cymru. They want independence by stealth.

Let get away from this silly myth that Plaid are negoitating for the 'people of Wales'. Absolute rubbish.

 
At 10:40 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cat is out of the bag. Labour MPs don't want a deal with Plaid so Rhodri's chances of convincing IWJ that a deal could last is failing rapidly. The rainbow option needs to come into play again if Plaid want to lead.

 
At 11:18 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Answer me this- Plaid have made no mention in the deal with Labour regarding the supposed 'policies to take wales forward'. No PR in local government, no 3% targets, no laptops, no 5 grand home grants.

you are very wrong indeed

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

Anonymous said...
"The cat is out of the bag. Labour MPs don't want a deal with Plaid so Rhodri's chances of convincing IWJ that a deal could last is failing rapidly. The rainbow option needs to come into play again if Plaid want to lead.
"

Do you remember voting these MPs in last May?

How can these Westminster members dictate opinion now when a large proportion of the electorate made it clear recently they did not want what had gone before?

Why did we bother to have an election for our Assembly when we have MPs interfering? They did not do well for us under New Labour, they allowed more central government to happen, they said little to stop that.

So Wales are turing the tide, and they do not like it.

 
At 12:02 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Cut the political theory. What's this story now about El Presidente Wiggers heading up the Barnett thingy?

He's got a nice had of hair and he can do sums. And he's already right honorable. Simple innit?

 
At 1:15 pm, Anonymous penbedw said...

AMs in harmony over the Barnett formula it seems - unanimous in the decision to set up an independent commission to investigate how Wales receives public money from the UK Treasury and look at possible tax-varying powers. There can only be one person to head this commission - Dafydd Wigley

 
At 1:36 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did we bother to have an election for our Assembly when we have MPs interfering? They did not do well for us under New Labour, they allowed more central government to happen, they said little to stop that.

So Wales are turing the tide, and they do not like it.

This is just a load of old rubbish. Particularly the last sentence which is actual gibberish. This is not about Assembly policy, its about party direction and you can bet your bottom dollar that every MP from every party - as well as councillors worth their salt - are contributing to these discussions. As well they should. The decision when it comes and whatever form it takes will be a huge event in Welsh politics, it shouldn't be left to a few oddities in Cardiff Bay to stitch up.

 
At 1:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"This is just a load of old rubbish. Particularly the last sentence which is actual gibberish. This is not about Assembly policy, its about party direction and you can bet your bottom dollar that every MP from every party - as well as councillors worth their salt - are contributing to these discussions. As well they should. The decision when it comes and whatever form it takes will be a huge event in Welsh politics, it shouldn't be left to a few oddities in Cardiff Bay to stitch up. "

I'm afraid you forget we just voted in those "few oddities". No need to get rude anon, it will be construed as telling the electorate they do not count, the guys that count are those with a couple of letters after their name even if they got them donkey years ago.

It's not about a party direction, it's about the direction of four parties in Wales who are attempting to get a right balance among them to govern Wales.

I dislike your comment about "councillors worth their salt" as it implies they are below what you consider those worthy of making desicions for what is good for Wales. Those councillors are the ones who live and work with the People, those who see the need, they have to shoulder the mistakes of Westminster and the Bay.

Of course it's a huge event in Welsh pollitics. Let's hope our MPs are not like ostriches and have opened their eyes and minds to the huge event, and let it happen.

 
At 2:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

blamerbell said:

"The major problem for Labour and the Lib Dems, though, is that any deal they come up with is probably going to look less exciting than the Brown or the Rainbow and will statistically have the support of fewer people. "

And it's a great risk for the Lib Dems. They could disappear as a credible party in Wales.

 
At 2:25 pm, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Denzil Davies has never been much cop Hi s comments this morning I felt were less than useful.
Wales isn't begging - we are only asking for what we need from a collective pot that we actually do contribute too. And we do get less than Scotland per head, despite being in a much worse economic position
I just felt he was being typical old Labour - not helpful in the present climate at all.

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

Denzil davies was the brightest man in Welsh politics at one time. The tragedy was that for various personal reaons he never fulfilled his undoubted potential. What he said this morning was correct. Everyone knows that Scotland gets too much and the SNP is playing a blinder by using English money to stir up tax payers south of the border by offering the Scots free university education and now 18 in a class. The problem for the nationalists is that they should be demanding that Wales stands on its own two feet not an increased in subsidy from the English taxpayer. Any sensible nationalist would be hoping for less money in the long run from the Treasury in order to encourage voters to believe that the would be better off in anindependent Wales. Perhaps what all of this shows is that Plaid deep down probably doesn't believe in independence.

 
At 2:53 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

"Any sensible nationalist would be hoping for less money in the long run from the Treasury in order to encourage voters to believe that the would be better off in anindependent Wales. Perhaps what all of this shows is that Plaid deep down probably doesn't believe in independence. "

And do you believe we should continue paying our taxes to the Treasury?

Denzil has his opinions but he is from a time when things were very different in Wales. It's not a time for making excuses for any politician, but we have to keep on our toes to avoid being confused by "opinions". We need commentators of this day and age and those in touch with the grass roots.

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

Anonymous said...
"Denzil davies was the brightest man in Welsh politics at one time. The tragedy was that for various personal reaons he never fulfilled his undoubted potential. What he said this morning was correct."

Correct for another time.
But not for Wales in 2007.

 
At 10:22 am, Blogger Pads said...

/the nationalists ... should be demanding that Wales stands on its own two feet/

If Wales didn't have to contribute to the cost of the Iraq war, ID cards, Trident etc I think we'd do ok.

 

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