Plaid won't do a 'Lib Dem'
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
There's been a lot of chatter over the past few hours about Plaid re-opening talks with Labour over a formal coalition.
Some of the usual suspects, bless them, have been getting quite upset. Stomp, stomp, stomp. We want our bloody rainbow.
Well, as I said yesterday, they are still odds on to get it. So kem down.
Have any of Plaid's rainbowista AMs publicly changed their position? No.
Has Plaid's leader given any indication that he's keen on a deal with Labour? No.
Has Gordon Brown suggested that he'd whip up Labour MPs to get a referendum on further powers through parliament? No (in fact Tomos Livingstone reports Labour MPs saying quite the opposite).
Were Tory and Plaid AMs drinking together in the Eli Jenkins last night? Probably.
Do we know who the identity of the 'senior source' that broke the red-green story? No.
Worth bearing in mind, I think, that I've seen people quoted as 'senior sources' before who were fourth placed constituency candidates in the assembly election. Can this chap persuade the majority of the party's AMs, party members and national council to change their mind? You decide.
But taking all that's been said in the past few weeks, it seems Plaid's assembly group still overwhelmingly back a deal with the Tories and the Lib Dems. They wouldn't have dismissed the red-green option so quickly on the previous occasion if that wasn't the case.
And it is they, ultimately, who will make the decision which will go forward to the national council in July. The national exeucitve, which meets on Saturday in Aberystwyth, is merely an advisory body. So, whatever happens, there will not be another Lib Dem moment, whereby a bunch of obscure councillors and receding hairlines overrule directly elected politicians.
Alun Cairns has had a hair cut - makes him look even more like the work experience kid.
Eleanor Burnham just attempted to break the world speed-speaking record while asking her tabled question to the new Sustainability Minister, Jane Davidson.
According to Ms Davidson's website, incidentally, she's still the Education Minister.
Of course, to the majority of the population, all this means nothing at all, so I may stop now. They're talking about footpaths again...
Has Brynle Williams been sunbathing - or has he just done up his shirt collar too tight? He's certainly very red. Perhaps he's getting worked up about those badgers he's prattling on about.
Now, the moment we've all been waiting for: Questions to the Minister for Education, Culture, the Welsh Language, Laid-back Self-confidence, Going Grey Gracefully and Everything Else on the Universe just to make Jane Davidson feel bad.
Alun Davies quotes from Alun Cairns' blog. The little man favours academic selection. Of course, I expect Alun Cairns to retaliate with a quotation from Alun Davies' blog: 'Happy Christmas'.
posted by Blamerbell @ 12:22 pm,
- At 1:13 pm, said...
Clear Red Water also makes the valid point of where are ordinary members of the Labour party in all of this. Rhodri Morgan has already promised that he would not repeat the mistakes of the previous deal with the Lib Dems which was announced as a fait accompli to the party faithful. Surely any deal has to be approved by members of the Welsh Labour party? If this isn't done then you can kiss goodbye to any form of united front during any referendum on more powers for the assembly.If the deal applies to four years then Labour party members are bound to ask for an opportunity to debate the main terms of any agreement. It would be ironic if Labour party members are denied the chance of a proper debate on the way forward when Plaid will debate the issue at its National Council on July 7th. Perhaps Rhodri needs to read the recent Times interview with Jon Cruddas which states quite clearly that he is delighted that Gordon Brown has hinted that he intends to involve party members more.Rhodri could lead the way by calling a special Labour conference to approve the terms of any deal with the nats. Peter Hain who has also spent a great deal of time quite rightly arguing that the Labour party needs to reconnect with grass roots members, should also insist that ordinary Labour members are consulted on any coalition deal.
- At 1:15 pm, Ordovicius said...
Kem down? You're not going Scouse are you? And as for "usual (rainbow) suspects", you'd be at the top of the list!
- At 1:19 pm, said...
It's a little harsh saying Cairns looks like the work experience kid, most of them are bigger than him!
- At 1:23 pm, said...
rhodri glyn looks like hes had a drink or two dont he
- At 1:28 pm, Blamerbell said...
anon, I agree that Labour members will be wanting to express their views on any possible deal.
It seems to me that this is of added importance in the context of Labour, because they were the only party that fought the election more or less ruling out all talk of coalitions.
And Sanddef - I have no preference as to which government is in place. As far as I can see, whether it's minority Labour, red-green or a rainbow there are going to be lots of brilliant stories for the media as each one will inevitably unravel..
- At 1:40 pm, Che Grav-ara said...
"Kem down? You're not going Scouse are you? And as for "usual (rainbow) suspects", you'd be at the top of the list"
Good point ordo,
You do seem to be pushing this blamer, which seems odd considering all the current movement is on the Red-Green side
- At 1:45 pm, Blamerbell said...
"You do seem to be pushing this blamer, which seems odd considering all the current movement is on the Red-Green side"
You might which to add the disclaimer seems to be for the second part of your sentence aswell...
- At 1:46 pm, said...
Oh, what a bunch of cynics.
Any coalition that comes out of this may well stick together, as it's important particularly to the 3 parties other than Labour that it can be shown that there is an alternative to one party rule.
As for letting Labour members having a say, the danger of that is they may get a taste for the party democracy thing and cause all sorts of problems for their London bosses.
I think that IWJ has handled things rather well since May 3rd and Plaid as a whole has done some growing up.
- At 1:53 pm, Alun Cairns said...
Steady on. This is a designer, Clydach, Dai Jones Barber cut.
Nothing but the best for me.
- At 1:57 pm, Blamerbell said...
Are you sure Brynle didn't do it with his shears?
- At 1:58 pm, said...
so ... if, Labour back the referendum and will campaign for it = less Welsh MPs in London = no doss jobs for chinless Labour MPs = no Labour Government in UK ever.
- At 3:35 pm, Dylan said...
The reason that all the moving at present is with the red-green is that the rainbow document has already been agreed in principled by the three parties. Nothing's changed as far as that one is concerned: everyone involved is happy with it. It's basically all down to Labour and whether they can offer Plaid Cymru more than what Plaid can do themselves as leaders of a coalition and what has already been agreed in the All-Wales accord. If Labour don't budge enough, Ieuan can just say "ok we tried, but we can achieve more this way thanks, bye xxx" and go back to the rainbow. I think Plaid have handled this masterfully actually; the agreed rainbow document is out there in the open, so Labour and everyone else know exactly what they have to match up to.
I still suspect we'll see the rainbow eventually, but it's pretty close. I don't see the point of a pledge to hold a refferendum if Labour don't also promise to go all out in support of a yes vote as well.
- At 3:41 pm, dowlais twp said...
The Cuprionol One (Hain) wants a conference so that all party members can be consulted on any coalition
- At 3:51 pm, Valleys Mam said...
rhodri glyn looks like hes had a drink or two dont he
Doesnt he always
- At 4:25 pm, said...
Blamer, while I agree that the pink-daffodil pact (Ed. Can I say that?) is a hoax, let's not be so insulting the 'vote Plaid, get Plaid' mob.
By looking at their biographies and photos, the "obscure councillors and receding hairlines" description applies more to the rainbowistas.
- At 5:53 pm, said...
" It's basically all down to Labour and whether they can offer Plaid Cymru more than what Plaid can do themselves as leaders of a coalition and what has already been agreed in the All-Wales accord. If Labour don't budge enough, Ieuan can just say "ok we tried, but we can achieve more this way thanks, bye xxx" and go back to the rainbow. "
Tell that to Labour today. They have suddenly woken up and got scared silly. You would never believe that we just had an election and all the shenanikins that followed. They were behaving like an impatient parent who knew better than all the other parties.
They were content enough to let Rhodri try and form an impossible minority government, and were probably in denial that it was going to be impossible. They continued what they do best, humilate, lie and insult.
But when circumstances catch up with events and Labour is forced to the point of making a desicion they get running scared.
No longer can they point fingers at the Lib/Dems, they should have been prepared for the possiblity of a coalition by now. Unless of course the talent is not there to work that one out. Maybe Hain getting involved today is telling us a lot more about this bunch of Labour AMs?
- At 6:03 pm, said...
dowlais twp said...
"The Cuprionol One (Hain) wants a conference so that all party members can be consulted on any coalition "
Oh, that is so funny :-) They'll never agree on anything lol There are so many factions, sides and groups to the Labour party they will need an all summer conference!
In today's South Wales Evening Post there is a headline "Swansea Labour aparteid threat" where it tells in all honestly that there are two different Labour Parties in Swansea. One faction was taken over by the Militant Tendency years ago.
I'm sure I also read somewhere they were willing to join with the local Tories to unsettle the Lib/Dem council. So nothing is set in stone with Labour.
Depends where you live , really.
- At 9:19 pm, said...
That goes for all parties. Plaid in north Wales are different to Plaid in Carmarthenshire. The LibDems in the cities are different to the LibDems who get the rural vote. Farmer Tories are differnt to Thatcherite Tories are different to Cameroon Tories.
Depends where you live, really.
Isn't it annoying. People *will* insist on having a diversity of opinions instead of being party-line automatons!
- At 9:52 pm, Daran said...
"I think Plaid have handled this masterfully actually; the agreed rainbow document is out there in the open, so Labour and everyone else know exactly what they have to match up to."
I'm with Dylan on this one. Plaid keep ending up as the party with options.
The existence of the All Wales Accord is, of course, absolutely crucial. It is not a remote abstract shopping list - it is a programme for government agreed between three parties. People may or may not like its content (that is a different matter), but the fact that there is a solid programme in place is continuously shaping the debate. For the rainbow warriors, so much of the hard negotiation has already been done. They have something tangible to point to, and a yardstick against which Plaid, as Dylan rightly suggests, can measure alternative overtures.
""The Cuprionol One (Hain) wants a conference so that all party members can be consulted on any coalition "
Oh, that is so funny :-) They'll never agree on anything lol There are so many factions, sides and groups to the Labour party they will need an all summer conference!"
And what's so wrong with consulting party memberships? If there is one thing that the Lib Dem squabble of last month showed, it's that party members don't like to be left out of decisions as big as whether your party does or doesn't enter a coalition government. Without that level of mature debate - which carries party members as well as party leaderships - parties will not be able to enter coalitions of any sort without security and a degree of permanence.
- At 10:28 pm, said...
"And what's so wrong with consulting party memberships? If there is one thing that the Lib Dem squabble of last month showed, it's that party members don't like to be left out of decisions as big as whether your party does or doesn't enter a coalition government. Without that level of mature debate - which carries party members as well as party leaderships - parties will not be able to enter coalitions of any sort without security and a degree of permanence. "
There is one thing that this election has certainly brought to the forefront, and that is that the political parties can no longer sail along on just a manifesto. We are seeing a new phase in Welsh politics when the grass roots are insisting on being consulted on major issues. Politics in Wales will never be the same again.
- At 12:03 am, said...
Daran, take off the rainbow-coloured specs. The "solid programme in place" has already been exposed as so much spin.
On the surface, it promises a new Welsh Language Act. Yet it's now clear the Tories only want "voluntary measures". That won't stop more Thomas Cooks. Plaid's manifesto promises "new legal rights". Jill Evans blog shows the Tories have done the dirty on Welsh in the European parliament too.
- At 12:28 am, Ordovicius said...
Jill Evans blog shows the Tories have done the dirty on Welsh in the European parliament too.
Jill Evan's blog reminds us that she is more concerned with losing votes than the fact that the Tories now have a better attitude towards the Welsh Language in Wales than Labour. I seriously doubt that the Welsh Conservatives can be held responsible for how English MEPs vote in Strasbourg and Brussels.
- At 1:10 am, said...
"Jill Evans blog shows the Tories have done the dirty on Welsh in the European parliament too."
It's not a serious political comment. A lot of the MPs and MEP will be trying to defend their jobs now the balance is shifting a bit in Welsh politics. We need to be aware of considered political opinions versus running scared to save my salary opinions.
- At 6:33 am, said...
The problem with many of the pro nat comments is that there is an automatic assmption that more power for the assembly is automatically a good thing because Wales somehow is different ot England. Parhaps someone should explain why different laws should apply to parts of South Wales which have more in common with Yorkshire than North Wales. As Gwyn Alf Williams once said 'When was Wales?' The simple fact is tha it has never really existed but to say that of course is heresy.Even Welsh as antional language has never existed and inn the Middle Ages archers from South wales would plug anyone North Walian or Frenchman for the King's shilling. The King of course was English. Can't wait for the referendum to see the 'no' vote.
- At 10:03 am, said...
Gwyn Alf actually supported Plaid Cymru, so using him to back your spurious historical argument doesn't actually help your cause.
I respect people with pure internationalist beliefs who do not see national boundaries as representative of communities, even if I don't agree with them. Yet, most of these so called internationalists (with a few honourable exceptions) then go on to sing the praises of the British state-completly contradicting their argument.
Your comment about Welsh as not being a national language is again misleading, as it was the national language of England and Wales-geographically speaking. I can only assume from your argument that you want England to be absorbed into Wales. I can't see the Home County Daily Main readers buying that one.
- At 11:06 am, said...
Suppose, for the sake of argument, that Plaid walked away from the Rainbow.
Could the Lib Dems then re-open talks with Labour?
Surely PR council elections would be more 'palatable' to Labour than delivering a major step towards independence for Plaid.
Just a thought
- At 11:16 am, Daran said...
"Daran, take off the rainbow-coloured specs. The "solid programme in place" has already been exposed as so much spin. "
Iolo - the point I'm making isn't for or against the rainbow, but rather a reflection on the fact that the All Wales Accord EXISTS. The programme is there - you can dispute the efficacy of parts of it - but I can't help but feel its very existence is shaping the debate.
And I'm not wearing tinted lenses of any kind ;)
- At 11:21 am, said...
Ordovicious and Anonymous 1.10 are factually wrong.
The "Welsh Conservatives" take on a new Welsh Language Act is revealed on their web site. Take a look yourselves.
It wasn't only English Tory MEPs who voted against the Welsh language; so did Jonathan Evans, now on Nick Bourne's policy committee in Cardiff Bay.
But I can see why Tory coalitionists don't treat them as serious political comments. Spoils the party.
- At 12:13 pm, said...
what have we learnt about welsh politics over the past couple of weeks that if you stamp you feet and throw a hissy fit, loud enough and for long enough you get what you want - all 4 parties are guilty of this.
gosh we should be so proud of all of our politicians :)
- At 12:28 pm, dowlais twp said...
Annon 11.06 "Surely PR council elections would be more 'palatable' to Labour than delivering a major step towards independence for Plaid.
Just a thought"
No way, PR will give the smaller parties and the independents a bigger clout.
This will lead to more No Overall Control and Labour will always struggle to form coalitioins with anyone shouldthey even get anty seats.
If you look at councils in Mid wales you get a lot of independents standing and very little impact from the big four parties
- At 12:47 pm, hafod said...
Gwyn Alf went on to answer his own question about "When Was Wales?"
He said we have to remake Wales time after time - as doubtless do other stateless nations. I think we're in a period that will be seen (by future historians) as a fundamental remaking of Wales.
What will be crucial is a bit of vision from politicians from various parties - with perhaps the greatest need being from those in Labour. Up until now they haven't needed to have a vision because they've had a divine right to rule. The wiser ones among them will be waking up to the new reality, although the idea of the MPs having a veto is deeply depressing.
As to how things will pan out, I'm with Gramsci - pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.
- At 2:21 pm, said...
"Gwyn Alf went on to answer his own question about "When Was Wales?"
"He said we have to remake Wales time after time - as doubtless do other stateless nations. I think we're in a period that will be seen (by future historians) as a fundamental remaking of Wales."
"What will be crucial is a bit of vision from politicians from various parties - with perhaps the greatest need being from those in Labour. Up until now they haven't needed to have a vision because they've had a divine right to rule. The wiser ones among them will be waking up to the new reality, although the idea of the MPs having a veto is deeply depressing."
"As to how things will pan out, I'm with Gramsci - pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will. "
Very wise words Hafod. Thank you.
- At 4:05 pm, said...
fair enough on the Tories for moving forward on the issue of the Welsh language, Plaid I feel are just slightly bitter that someone might be stealing their only inning arguement!!
- At 4:10 pm, said...
Jill Evans is talking a load of nonsense!
What on earth is the point of making Welsh an official EU language when she is the only person in the whole European Parliament who insists on using it! The Labour MEPs and Tory are more than happy (and sensible) to agree to use english.
Do you all realise how much it costs to do this and what a waste of EU taxpayers money it is? Surely we should be streamlining the number of official Eu languages not increasing them!
You not only have to print all the documents in all the languages but pay for official translators to not only translate from Welsh to english and french but into all the other member state languages such as slovenian and romanian (not so many people in the EU that can currenlty do this is there!?)
- At 4:23 pm, said...
'Anonymous' talks about elected members defending their jobs. At least we know that one MEP for Wales is principled. And she's not from Labour or the Tories.
- At 9:55 pm, said...
Is Anonymous 4.10 George Dubya in disguise? They all speak English, don't they, especially if you shout loud enough.
The purpose of speaking your own language in the European parliament is to communicate with the voters back home. It also raises the status of Wales in the continental forum.
What next? Abolish all Welsh international sports teams. Think of the money that would save.
- At 10:32 am, said...
How could anyone take 'Anonymous' -aka ‘Welsh European’ elsewhere - seriously? Is this some sort of attempt to break the record for use of exclamation marks? Welsh European’s grasp of the English language is as feeble as his / her political nouse, but if she / he would care to read Jill Evans’ words again, Welsh European might get the point - the Tories can’t be trusted.
- At 10:38 am, said...
I see that Wales' greatest (self proclaimed) political thinker and bearded wonder Cynog Davies is warning against dealing with Labour. What was that about 'choice', Mr Davies?
- At 12:36 pm, said...
Cynog? Thought he'd gone green years ago and now he's turning blue. Must be very cold in that part of Wales.
- At 2:39 pm, said...
"Cynog? Thought he'd gone green years ago and now he's turning blue. Must be very cold in that part of Wales. "
As least he can think further than a nursery class. We're all done with Labour sarcacism now, Wales wants a decent government and the very BEST on offer. We owe Labour nothing, they wil have to show they have something to give to Wales.
- At 5:02 pm, said...
How dare you assume I'm in the Labour Party!
- At 12:39 am, said...
Is that Cynog Davies the rustic mystic? Isn't he the bloke who was big mates with the former Ron Davies first time round? Then put our Rhodri in power and helped stuff President Wigley.
With this track record, New Labour must be hoping the Welsh nashies will be all ears when he speaks.
- At 9:39 am, hafod said...
Cynog lost the plot a long time ago - like many others in Plaid he's clutching at any straw to get power.
Even if they're not AMs, him and Wigley will be hoping a Rainbow coalition appoints various commissions to look at (say) the Barnett Formula or a Welsh Language Act and they get a big fat retainer to sit on them for a year or so...
- At 10:47 am, said...
Hafod's right. Wigley thought he was going to walk into a quango-type job after he took his bat home from the Assembly, but Labour weren't having it. Now Wigley and Cynog are warning against Labour: Quelle Surprise! Maybe they should link up with Glyn Davies and form new party, the PPP. Pensioned Politicians Party.
- At 11:14 am, ianjamesjohnson said...
I thought that both Cynog Davies (sic) and Wigley had been backing some sort of Rainbow coalition for a couple of years now?
- At 1:28 pm, said...
Indeed they have - I'm suggesting that it's time the mouldy oldies got together in a common interest group for ex politicians. Or maybe that should be a self interest group.
- At 11:01 pm, said...
Is it right that Ron Davies wants to see the coalition with the Tories?
I suppose it makes sense for his own political ambitions. That would stuff the nashies in Caerphilly and boost his surprising, but real, chances of winning as an independent.