M4 Ministers

Much has been made of Rhodri's so-called 'Glamorganshire Cabinet' (see below for Mumph's take on it). It is certainly odd that the only people deemed to have any ministerial talent hark from a narrow corridor in South Wales.

This plays right into the hands of Ieuan Wyn Jones, of course. He still wants to form an all-Wales government, albeit one with barely a constituency seat to show for itself in and around the capital.

But as far as valleys dwellers are concerned, the man is from a different planet. He may bang on about supporting the Newport Gwent Dragons, but most people in these parts put on 888 even when he's speaking in English.

And so, if and when a rainbow coalition makes its move, they'll have the very opposite problem. How can a bunch of North and West Walian nationalists propped up by dickie bow wearing Tories possibly earn the trust of South Wales' industrial heartlands?

Answer: the gang of four won't just have to get behind a rainbow coalition if that's what their party decides - they'll have to be its chief cheerleaders. This will be (a) hilarious and (b) very unlikely. I can't see Helen Mary Jones polishing off her pom poms to extoll the virtues of Toryism just yet.

At the moment, the assembly seems to be split along regional lines, with Labour ruling from the centre and the fringes poised to give the capital a kick up the backside. I think it's true to say, therefore, that if there were such a thing as a a genuine all-Wales agreement it would have to involve a Plaid-Labour pact rather than a rainbow coalition deal. Glamorganshire sausages with some country spice, if you like.

The problem is Rhodri's M4 cabinet doesn't appear to feature in Ieuan's roadmap to power. For the time being, at least, all roads lead to Anglesey.


Labels: , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 12:47 am,

45 Comments:

At 1:39 am, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

Not sure on Mumph's sense of geography. Jane Hutt lives off Junction 33, while Jane Davidson in Junction 32 and up the A470 a bit.

Bit of an own goal when geography is the whole joke....

 
At 6:28 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mumph is astonishingly unfunny anyway.

 
At 9:06 am, Anonymous Clychau'r Gog said...

You do yourself no favours when you start belittling IWJ for his English accent. This kind of Gog-Hwntw thing went out in the 70s (when people used to complain they couldn't understand the southern accents on Pobol y Cwm).
There are plenty of other things to belittle him for mind...

 
At 9:35 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

I'm not belittling him.

Just saying that to people down here he might as well be from a different planet.

No wonder when it takes at least four hours more to get to Angelesy than it takes to get to Bristol.

 
At 9:42 am, Anonymous der said...

We are unfortunatley a nation (if I may use that term) or parochial hambones with a minority of exceptions.

 
At 9:58 am, Blogger Merlyn said...

I am always supportive of sibling rivalry but the view that less than a third of the votes gives you a right to rule - remains a strange one! The 1970s comments and view of life from Merthyr seems systematic of the why it has been by-passed and unfortunatly forgotten. I think my grandfather did well to leave - before the rush!

 
At 10:13 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

merlyn, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!

 
At 10:15 am, Blogger gwe said...

The title "Up the Junction" springs to mind...

Agree that Labur-Plaid is the only really viable option this time round, especially as the Assembly will be operating under the new GoW Act and all that entails. Still not entirely convinced that this won't happen - although I freely admit that this is propably wishful thinking on my part) - for now, clinging to the hope that once the day to day business actually starts, Labour will prove consensual enough to sway IWJ...

 
At 10:19 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

north wales IS a foreign country to south walians. and vice versa. we northerners have far more in common with scousers and mancs than with hwntws. trouble is, we're being forced into an arrangement with the south that doesn't suit us because of the stupid bloody assembly.

 
At 10:37 am, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

If Jane Davidson is M4, then I must be too, but M4 32 and 18 miles north, what is she about 10 miles north
There are n't many labour people to choose from when you go further North and West. Huw Lewis even is now Penarth, Gwenda is Ammanford.
Its a sort of Rhodri comfort club really.

 
At 10:45 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

can have I what ever Merlyn is on?

 
At 11:09 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

History marches on and I'm afraid it is about time that the valleyists - I'm refering to a political class not the people - stopped wallowing in outdated sentimentality and caught up with the rest of us in Wales.

 
At 11:22 am, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

why anonymous -whats so good about what you have?
Interested of Cheam!

 
At 11:34 am, Anonymous Iolo said...

So it's all down to Marxist contradictions, then. New Labour claims to represent the whole of Wales no matter where the Ministers are based. The rainbow-ists seem to extol the virtues of ancient Welsh tribalism: where you're from not what you represent.

The Brit unionists must be laughing all the way to the next election. If they succeed, they will have divided north and south and turned more people against the Assembly. Nick Bourne will get the prize for "Unionist of the Decade". Funny old world.

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

Anonymous said...
"north wales IS a foreign country to south walians. and vice versa. we northerners have far more in common with scousers and mancs than with hwntws. trouble is, we're being forced into an arrangement with the south that doesn't suit us because of the stupid bloody assembly. "

You have a point here. Which the Assembly should have been dealing with since it started. There is the north, the south, pembrokeshire, the valleys and Cardiff. And Cardiff always gets the goodies. If we had the right type of politicians from the start as AMs, the type who thought country before parties we would not have ended up in this position.

 
At 12:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
...History marches on and I'm afraid it is about time that the valleyists - I'm refering to a political class not the people - stopped wallowing in outdated sentimentality and caught up with the rest of us in Wales.....

I second that. It takes reading a blog like this to see there are some who are very politically unelightened. Voting with your heart is leading to the mess we have in the Bay. There is enough information out there for anyone to make considered choices these days.

 
At 1:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wales has got to be a country of work and enterprise, the English are right when they point out that there are far too many people living on state hand-outs in Wales and far too many people working in the unproductive parts of the public sector.

Socialism is dead a dead duck. A bunch of sentimentalists nearly all paid from the public purse like to wear it's campaign ribbons but it's like me wearing my dad's World War Two medals ..... pointless, out-of-date and thoroughly undeserved.

 
At 1:26 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the valleys people are so twp they can't see beyond IWJ then frankly they deserve to live in their dreary, vandalised, backward looking world. Personally I don't believe they do.

 
At 1:30 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh bugger I meant to say IWJ's accent. I guess there are some types who are so parochial that they can't see beyonnd their own village.

 
At 1:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Wales has got to be a country of work and enterprise, the English are right when they point out that there are far too many people living on state hand-outs in Wales and far too many people working in the unproductive parts of the public sector."

There is a higher rate of genuine sickness as well and a lot more needs to be invested to find a way to address it properly and do changes that will ensure future generations do not suffer the same. Pushing sick people into employement is not the answer. There might be an issue of poor medical care in these areas also where the cheapest simply keeps the sick feeling too ill to work.

There have been too many huge handouts to small enterprises which go down the drain as soon as the first flush of success is over. That's was our money and could have been invested in something more lasting.

No Welsh government has realy invested in decent jobs to keep our higher educated youngsters in Wales. The few jobs there are go to Cardiff but even then it can't compete with cities like London and Manchester.

 
At 1:46 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"oh bugger I meant to say IWJ's accent. "

Thanks for correcting. I was ready to take you around the corner to kick the lights out.....lol

Can't see the problem with IWJs accent. He was brought up in South Wales until he was 13 and can speak the same spoke as us southwalians.

 
At 2:21 pm, Anonymous Daran said...

I can't really see the problem with the Glamorganshire concentration. Rhodri is playing the cards he has been dealt. There is no surprise in his sticking with the same core team. He has never been a big sacker before (I think October 2000 was the last time he removed someone from cabinet). I never expected anything more than a Night of the Blunt Knives.

People shouldn't get too obsessed with geography and the physical location of constituencies. Labour is now more geographically concentrated than ever electorally, and it is bound to show. Ok, Gwent has something to moan about, but Flintshire can be proud that big man Carl has a seat at the Cabinet table (if not a vote). He's the first of the 2003 intake to make it there and good on him. Always thought plain speaking Carl would go far.

It's the policies that will count. We'll all be ready to judge them I'm sure, and that's far more legitimate.

On portfolios, quite intrigued with Mrs Hart's move to Health. She of course part commissioned the Welsh Wanless review some years ago. Perhaps now will see its fuller implementation?

 
At 2:32 pm, Blogger Merlyn said...

I've just woken up ..have I missed any decent debate or are we still on the 70s divide and rule thing?

 
At 2:37 pm, Blogger Merlyn said...

daran said .....
"On portfolios, quite intrigued with Mrs Hart's move to Health. She of course part commissioned the Welsh Wanless review some years ago. Perhaps now will see its fuller implementation?"

Ms Hutt NOT Ms Hart I think!

 
At 2:43 pm, Blogger NewWelshRight said...

For a North Walian IWJ's decipherability isn't half bad. His urge to smile mid-sentence is slightly unnerving though. It detracts from what he's saying. Mumph is awful.

 
At 3:28 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

daran said:
"On portfolios, quite intrigued with Mrs Hart's move to Health. She of course part commissioned the Welsh Wanless review some years ago. Perhaps now will see its fuller implementation? "



Today she has been threatened by Dai lloyd with a vote of no confidence if the Neurosurgery unit is moved from Morriston. That will be a tough one as all the other parties will back Plaid on it.

 
At 4:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

to answer some points
not everyone who lives in the Valleys is

a) an idiot
b) a labour sheep
c) a nationlist hater

nor is eveyone in north wales

a) a hard core welsh nationlist
b) a welsh speaker
c) someone who hates Labour voters

this is cheap labour spin to keep Wales divided and as usual people north and south are swallowing it hook,line and sinker - this is very sad to see

 
At 4:56 pm, Blogger ryan said...

Call me idealistic, but why not have a government of National Unity to sort out the ruddy problems with the Welsh economy, public services and our 3rd class infrastructure. My life or the lives of my family and friends is not being made easier with all the bloody bickering over who should be charge. All I want is a train that travels between Bristol and Llanelli in under 2hr45mins without a 30min wait for a connection at the dump that is Swansea. If a bunch of clever people from Glamorgan can deliver that, let them do it!

 
At 6:25 pm, Blogger Mike Cridland said...

Ryan said.
"all me idealistic, but why not have a government of National Unity to sort out the ruddy problems with the Welsh economy, public services and our 3rd class infrastructure. My life or the lives of my family and friends is not being made easier with all the bloody bickering over who should be charge. All I want is a train that travels between Bristol and Llanelli in under 2hr45mins without a 30min wait for a connection at the dump that is Swansea. If a bunch of clever people from Glamorgan can deliver that, let them do it!"

You are right mate! I ve said that all the time! All they want to do is shit on each other (or all the LibDems)

Interestedly enough at the last local elections the Cardiff Lib Dems who were the largest party they offered a all party executive based on the share of seats on the council. Nobody was interested all they wanted to do was to snipe.

It really takes the biscuit when both Ian Paisley and Gerry Adams have the balls to work together for the common good.

what a bunch of losers!

 
At 6:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Today she has been threatened by Dai lloyd with a vote of no confidence if the Neurosurgery unit is moved from Morriston. That will be a tough one as all the other parties will back Plaid on it."

With the Health Minister the AM for Gower, and the Deputy Health Minister the AM for Neath - do you really see Neurosurgery at Morriston Closing?

 
At 6:54 pm, Blogger GeraintRennie said...

Anonymous said...
to answer some points
not everyone who lives in the Valleys is

a) an idiot
b) a labour sheep
c) a nationlist hater

nor is eveyone in north wales

a) a hard core welsh nationlist
b) a welsh speaker
c) someone who hates Labour voters

this is cheap labour spin to keep Wales divided and as usual people north and south are swallowing it hook,line and sinker - this is very sad to see

4:43 PM
-----------------------------------

What a hyprocritical post, typical anon.

 
At 6:57 pm, Anonymous Bard in Bed said...

May be some investment in the Valleys, some jobs would be good.
Decent healthcare that would be a boon. Some decent capital investment -so needed.
The lifeblood was sucked out of the Valleys in the 70s and 80s and thousands lost their jobs -check your recent economic history. There was never any plan to counter that.
If that had been Cardiff, Manchester or Brum what a difference we would have seen.
So don’t knock the Valleys. The people there are fantastic and care Cardiff Bay is a construction with no soul. Just poseurs and aspirers
Cardiff wouldn’t survive with out the workforce that travels the A470 everyday.
There are a lot of genuinely sick people and more that would work if they had some encouragement and some decent prospects. Would you work for £4 an hour?

 
At 7:43 pm, Anonymous Iolo said...

Looks like Plaid might be stronger outside the tent pissing in than on the inside pissing out.

If Bethan and Dai can pressure Edwina to keep neuro-surgery in Swansea, Nick won't like it 'cause he's offered this to Ieuan in return for him being First Deputy First Minister. If Edwina agrees, ta-ta to the straw coalition?

 
At 8:22 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iolo said:
...If Edwina agrees, ta-ta to the straw coalition? ...

If the Neurosurgery unit closes then Edwina's seat is also in trouble.

 
At 8:31 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Edwina Hart, the Health Minister, and Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Health Minister, have both campaigned to KEEP the Neurosurgery Unit at Morriston. Now what does that tell you in terms of what they'll do?

 
At 9:30 pm, Blogger Ian said...

I understand why people are having a dig at Rhodri for picking a Glamorgan cabinet, but I sypathise with his position. He has to go for his best members and with respect, he has done so with the possible exception of leaving out Leighton Andrews. He also has an eye on Plaid and has picked some AMs who can work with them, in the hope that he can strike a deal.

This is why Carwyn's negative comment about the 2nd Welsh language act is so bizarre, as Labour are well aware that this is a 'must' for Plaid-the wounds in the Labour group have not healed. Also, talk of a red/green coalition would be more favoured by many in Plaid if Labour had been a little more up front during negotiations. As I have staed before, it was almost as if they didn't want to get back in.

Wales now has the taste of the potential for change and I doubt there is anything that can stop the no confidence motion, as apparently shown in the Plaid National Council (I was at a wedding evening, with Leighton Andrews in attendance!).

Saving Morriston Neurosurgery would be a personal triumph for Dai Lloyd, but without a 3 party coalition I cannot see it happening. As with Rhodri, Edwina will have her hands tied by colleagues unwilling to change tack and after all, she lost her battle in the Labour group to force an early agreemnet with Plaid, so why should her group credibility be any stronger now?

 
At 9:45 pm, Blogger Ian said...

I have a bone to pick with some of my friends and colleagues in Plaid. Why to you trust Labour so much?

I have numerous friends in Labour through my activities and my politics would certainly reflect these individuals aspirations to a greater extent. Yet, their aspirations bear little or no relation to the actions of their party.

Furthermore, I am bemused by talk of 'we must have a deal with Labour or having a Parliament is dead.' If Plaid came to an agreement with Labour in the coming weeks which included a promise of a referendum, do you really think that they would lift a finger for a yes vote? We would be facing another 1979 campaign, where Plaid were running round supporting a Labour policy and Labour running round opposing it.

I genuinely believed after May 3rd that there was a potential deal between Labour and Plaid but their actions since that date have killed off any opportunity.

 
At 9:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Edwina Hart, the Health Minister, and Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Health Minister, have both campaigned to KEEP the Neurosurgery Unit at Morriston. Now what does that tell you in terms of what they'll do? "

It is still a New Labour decision to close it. And the powers that be who made that decision is still there, in power again. Hart and Thomas were not listened to before. This appointment seems particulatly cruel . I am sure that Rhodri does not care any more. We are likely to see some explosive times ahead within Labour in the Assembly, best the other parties lie low while Labour burns itself out.

 
At 10:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ian said:


....I genuinely believed after May 3rd that there was a potential deal between Labour and Plaid but their actions since that date have killed off any opportunity.....



Indeed, they appear to have got into government by default and are unsure how to cope with the mess they left. Maybe now there are some in Labour who are really regretting the silly anti-plaid nonsense soon after the election. It was risking hospitals, jobs , a workable government, and even the credibility of the Labour party for a long time.

 
At 10:05 pm, Blogger Ian said...

My third and final rant before going down the pub with my brother.

I have been informed that Labour are actively encouraging their members to phone Plaid offices and give the following line: -
'I've been Labour all my life and voted Plaid for the first time in May. I can't believe that you want to work with the Tories and will never vote for you again.'

I don't blame them for this as they have to play all their cards in the hope of holding onto power. I just thought that I would bring it to people's attention.

 
At 10:25 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ian said:
//I don't blame them for this as they have to play all their cards in the hope of holding onto power. I just thought that I would bring it to people's attention. //



That's called mud slinging. It is even embarrassing Labour voters and those doing it are not doing their party any good. They are desperate and after everyone, Plaid, Tories and the Lib.Dems got off because they messed up themselves.
What they don't point out is that New Labour policies are hitting us badly now. Maybe we are supposed to think the Tories are responsible for the mess after 8 years of New Labour in Cardiff?

 
At 12:07 am, Blogger gwe said...

Ian - 9:45 PM "I have a bone to pick with some of my friends and colleagues in Plaid. Why to you trust Labour so much?"

I am a Plaid member and I for one support some kind of Labour-Plaid deal not because I 'trust' the Labour party but because I think a)it would offer a better chance at stablility in what is crucial first term of the GoW Act + b) Plaid could influence key areas of policy without alienating sections of its 'left-wing' voters. I also have to ask you - how on earth can Plaid trust the Lib Dem group in the Assembly? Whilst I do not doubt the integrity of certain individuals, I'm also far from convinced as to the real depth of change within the Welsh Conservative Party. Is this the basis of a strong coalition? At least Plaid knows know what it's up against with Labour!

" Furthermore, I am bemused by talk of 'we must have a deal with Labour or having a Parliament is dead.'"

If a referendum is Labour policy, then it will get through the first hurdle. Simple as that. I'm not saying it won't if Labour are the Opposition, but it will be more difficult. However, I feel the real issue at hand is what you touch on next -

"If Plaid came to an agreement with Labour in the coming weeks which included a promise of a referendum, do you really think that they would lift a finger for a yes vote? We would be facing another 1979 campaign, where Plaid were running round supporting a Labour policy and Labour running round opposing it."

If a referendum and a call for a proper parliament is not perceived by the public as a Labour issue, then obviously there is less chance of getting Labour voters on board. As they, at present, constitute over 30% of those who voted, I'd say there was a pretty strong case not to alienate these as well. You say Labour would drag its feet in a campaign. Perhaps. But they'll certainly to everything they can to scupper a referendum if it's the Rainbow Coalition that's calling for one! Also, just because the Welsh Conservative Assembly Group might be in favour of more powers, that doesn't mean that they will be able to mobilise the majority of their supporters to vote 'yes'.

There is a growing acceptance amongst a still largely sceptical public that the Assembly matters. My genuine fear is that a Rainbow Coalition, whilst perhaps constitutionally legitimate, would be perceived as nothing more than a putsch.

I concede that I may be wrong. Perhaps bold policies by a Rainbow would win over the public and thus nurture more sympathy for further powers. However, it is a high risk strategy.

PS It would be nice to see you blogging again :)

 
At 4:34 pm, Blogger GeraintRennie said...

Ian said...
My third and final rant before going down the pub with my brother.

I have been informed that Labour are actively encouraging their members to phone Plaid offices and give the following line: -
'I've been Labour all my life and voted Plaid for the first time in May. I can't believe that you want to work with the Tories and will never vote for you again.'

I don't blame them for this as they have to play all their cards in the hope of holding onto power. I just thought that I would bring it to people's attention.

-----------------------------------

I dont think that is true, for many reasons, firstly it be too dangerous, secondly many Labour members either wouldn't bother doing it, or would object to doing it.

 
At 5:24 pm, Anonymous daran said...

"daran said .....
"On portfolios, quite intrigued with Mrs Hart's move to Health. She of course part commissioned the Welsh Wanless review some years ago. Perhaps now will see its fuller implementation?"

Ms Hutt NOT Ms Hart I think! "

Mrs Hutt was Health Minister,\Mrs Hart was Finance Minister, and absolutely instrumental in calling in Wanless. My post stands I think

 
At 5:24 pm, Anonymous daran said...

"daran said .....
"On portfolios, quite intrigued with Mrs Hart's move to Health. She of course part commissioned the Welsh Wanless review some years ago. Perhaps now will see its fuller implementation?"

Ms Hutt NOT Ms Hart I think! "

Mrs Hutt was Health Minister,\Mrs Hart was Finance Minister, and absolutely instrumental in calling in Wanless. My post stands I think

 

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