Reasons to disagree on first day back at the office

Rhodri Morgan today unveils the Labour manifesto his government's legislative programme, with the emphasis on CONSENSUS.

So committed is he to this cause, he failed to take part in a televised debate with the leaders of the other parties to explain to the people of Wales what this might actually mean in practice.

If the intention was damage limitation, the effect was quite the opposite; the other leaders spent almost the entire programme reminding viewers of the first minister's absence.

Never mind, Carwyn Jones was deputising and, as ever, sounded like someone from a self-help tape. He managed to tell those agitated nurses to bugger off in really the most relaxing way.

Anyway, the point that the would-be rainbow coup leaders made repeatedly was that the assembly is today being presented with a legislative programme, and yet there was no consultation with the other parties in advance. Labour seem to be saying take it or leave it.

Mike German got as close as possible to facial expression number 3: visibly annoyed. And the others didn't seem too happy either.

I gather the front page (or thereabouts) of the Western Mail will report Ieuan Wyn Jones saying the government has six weeks to deliver or face being kicked out by him and his triple alliance lieutenants. He denied that on television. Apparently he said there would be a 50:50 chance of a putsch vote of no confidence within that time frame.

As I said right back when the Lib Dems finally got their knickers out of Alex Carlile's twist, people will expect the rainbow to move quickly if it is to move at all.

The six weeks figure is a calculated move from Plaid to give Rhodri the spooks. It's playing politics again. But this game is getting a little tiring, so it'll be interesting to see if there's any disagreement today.

Labour are expected to put forward the same bunch of policies they previewed so enthusiastically during the election campaign. For the other parties, there's not much to get worked up about except, perhaps, the issue of the Welsh language.

If Labour go with the legislation they proposed back in April, they will set in motion the process of appointing a Dyfarnydd, falling well short of the new Welsh Language Act demanded by the opposition parties and a number of lobbying organisations. Carwyn Jones tried to prepare the ground for this last week. But it went down as well as a vomit smoothie.

This could well be the first sticking point for the new consensus-building regime. And if there's no agreement - what then? Do the Tories topple Labour because there aren't enough rights for the Welsh language? Or can a government only be brought down over something a bit more life and death?

All the signs are that there'll be a lot of huffing and puffing in the next few weeks, but not much blowing the house down.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:34 am,

49 Comments:

At 1:12 am, Blogger Alwyn ap Huw said...

First of all, were you in the audience?

What was interesting about the programme was how IWJ behaved. He was being fairly nice and conciliatory towards Carwyn until he said that the nurses wont get their pay rise in full as in Scotland and NI. For then on he seemed to have the knives out for poor old Carwyn.

Could this issue be the one that breaks the government?

 
At 1:15 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

A Dyfarnydd....A Judge or Adjudicator to, amongst other things, deal with complaints from the Public.

This could be interesting.

Let's see.

Question 1.

To ask the Dyfarnydd whether he/she can justify the profligate expenditure of Public Funds and the finite resources of the Planet on the constant duplication of many documents into English and Welsh?

Question 2.

To ask the Dyfarnydd to justify the Existence of a Welsh Language Act which currently acts as a Life Support System to a language that is clearly dieing.

Is is not kinder to let the language die a respectable death and remember it with fondness as opposed to the constant futile attempts at resuscitation of a language that is trapped in the past.

This'll produce some mature and grown-up DEBATE I'll be bound.

Your pyretic pal.

johnny.

 
At 1:30 am, Anonymous elio said...

Sorry JF but history has just gone ahead and passed you by on your anti-Welsh language stance .... may as well stick to your campaign to out Saunders Lewis as the Julius Streicher of South Wales

 
At 1:53 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this blog written by a Plaid spin doctor?

 
At 2:13 am, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

elio said...

Sorry JF but history has just gone ahead and passed you by on your anti-Welsh language stance .... may as well stick to your campaign to out Saunders Lewis as the Julius Streicher of South Wales

johnny says....

Now come on elio, that's not fair. There is no campaign.

My postings re: SL have already ruffled a few Plaid feathers and they assure me that Plaid is NOW a welcoming and inclusive Party, therefore I have promised not to mention the matters again.

I'll take Plaid at their word for the moment but will definitely be keeping a weather-eye open for any signs of back-sliding.

Your Pop-Eyed pal.

johnny.

 
At 7:39 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

If therainbow want to bring down theh govt they can choose two issues
1) Health service reconfiguration
2) Nurses pay rise.
either choice would go down well withthhe voters rather than something over the language Act.
I thought Carwyn was not trying to laughh all night formthat face of his

 
At 8:42 am, Blogger Cymro said...

Johnny, if you think that the Welsh is 'dieing', the English isn't much safer! Step anywhere on the west coast, and you will see that the Welsh is alive and growing in use. Your rants suggest robbing us of our rights to use our first language and to enjoy our culture!

 
At 10:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dowlais twp is spot on. The NHS changes or nurses pay are two excellent issues to move on. I still cannot fathom how a Welsh Labour Government can act in this way to nurses, particularly when N Ireland and Scotland without Labour in Government have agreed to pass on the pay rises.

Plaid will decide the right time, in what I now see as an inevitable political act in the interests of Wales-although probably not in the interests of Plaid.

 
At 10:23 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

I can't imagine Labour throwing in the governmental towel over a few million quid for nurses.

At this time, they might just be playing it up so that they can come down again with some consensual fanfare.

It's a really fine balance.

And Alwyn, I was in the audience. But I'd assumed it would be a much bigger affair and I could just slip into the background.

 
At 10:31 am, Blogger dowlais twp said...

Blamerbell shame on you, what a glib response about nurses pay.

If the the Rainbow really do want to bring down Labour, they need to have a valid excuse thatthe voters ie me and you can relate to (I do my other half is a nurse and I work in Primary Care).
Carwyn's excuse was to tie us to the NHS in England, when the Labour party in Wales has been trying to put clear red water between England and Wales, hence we have NHS Wales and a seperate budget "managed" by WAG.

If people really belive that Nurses and the NHS are a valid reason for a change of Govt so be it, they will not stomach a change for some other reason (Language Act, cockles in the Dee)

 
At 10:58 am, Anonymous liz said...

In the short term the government could fall on a number of issues that are unimportant in the long term. Whether nurses get another few quid is not really a massive issue. There is a set amount of money and depending on who wants what it will be sliced in a number of potential ways. We are going to have a whole procession of public sector scroungers who going back to the trough for more of our cash? Nurses are obviously sexier than IT operatives in the public minds but they are all going to want a bite at the cherry. How we juggle who gets what is really be a managerial decision not a political one. Giving extra money to Nurses when in Wales nursing is already a relatively well paid job maybe a good idea but we should be thinking of radial ideas like reducing the local tax burden of companies thinking of investing in Wales.

Real radical change is unlikely however if the Rainbow Coalitions gets the go ahead we won’t have to just pander to the needs of the dieing Valleys and Scouse North Wales. This will do their population a world of good and make them understand that at some point they have to stand on their own two feet.

 
At 11:59 am, Anonymous Twm said...

Anonymous said...
"Is this blog written by a Plaid spin doctor? "

I certainly would not be here if it was. You've got to admit it is a breath of fresh air after years on NuLabour spin. Do you think we've been brainwashed by Labour spin doctors?

 
At 12:06 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

To ask the Dyfarnydd to justify the Existence of a Welsh Language Act which currently acts as a Life Support System to a language that is clearly dieing (sic).

Weren't you complaining only a few weeks ago about people using Welsh so fluently and with the expectation of being understood that they didn't need to translate it?

Some consistency in your trolling would be helpful.

 
At 12:07 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

liz said:

" We are going to have a whole procession of public sector scroungers who going back to the trough for more of our cash?"

I do hope you don't mean nurses, teachers, police and the likes. Society cannot do without them and they desreve better recognition for their work. However, many small companies have gome bust after taking thousands of taxpayer money, with nothing to show for it. That's not long term investment. Public sector workers are the backbone of our society.

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

I really do not think this government is serious about it's future. Everything it is doing so far shows it is in fear, of some of its own AMs who want to continue as if nothing happened on May 3rd, and of the mess they left in their previous government.
Rhodri is a big liability to the party, he is too old to change and it's a pity that the rest have to pande to old age stubborness in government.

 
At 12:17 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blamerbell said...
"I can't imagine Labour throwing in the governmental towel over a few million quid for nurses."


The NHS in Wales has had it up to the eyeballs with Labour so upsetting nurses is not something it can afford to do right now.

 
At 12:32 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No obviously Wales can’t do without doctors and nurses and firemen and ambulancemen and policemen. But who basically earns money to pay them?

Tax payers of England and Scottish oil
5% of our workforce that is not subsidised by England

We are a lazy supplicant nation that clings on to beating the sais while begging them for even bigger crumbs

 
At 12:56 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

We are a lazy supplicant nation that clings on to beating the sais while begging them for even bigger crumbs (anon 12.32)

why do we beg because over the years Westminister Govts have degraded the infrstructure and industrial and commercial base in Wales, as in the other "Home" nations.
Scots oil will (has) runout, so London wil have to cough up for a long time to come.
Rhodri and his team and future Govts have to rebuild Wales as a working nation willing and able to pay its own way, but that is a long way off.
One of the labour planks in May was full employment- that can and never will happen, its a pipe dream

 
At 2:14 pm, Blogger ianjamesjohnson said...

We are a lazy supplicant nation that clings on to beating the sais while begging them for even bigger crumbs

Out of interest, does anyone on here know the best place for finding both recent and historic economic data on the Welsh/UK relationship? PhDs? Journal articles? Organisations?

 
At 3:18 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

Blamerbell,

Come on matey, a bit of balance wouldnt go amiss, we all know you didnt vote Labour and you want a rainbow coalition.

We all know the media/chattering classes are dying for more drama and a rainbow because it fills their blogs and media coverage. This is not highlighted in the limited polls that have been done regarding a rainbow coalition being a popular choice of government. You make no mention of the fact that Labour must at least put forward a program of government, if they engaged the opposition parties before they did this by very nature we would have a coalition surely?. You must have a clear line between government and opposition. There must be someone who takes charge, albeit with good scrutiny and co operation. It is not democratic for Plaid to dictate policies from opposition and just pick and choose what they want, THEIR program didnt make them the biggest party in Wales, they cannot just demand government by proxy based on a grubby backroom deal.

Too much talk of this magical 'consensus' is based on political expediency by party leaders knowing they can never even get close to being the biggest party in Wales. That isnt consensus, thats getting what you can without having to increase your vote anymore. All the parties in the Rainbow can just sit back in the next election knowing they just have to hold their vote because they rely on other parties. This is not the politics of consensus but of comfort...

Your coverage is getting very skewed.

Surely the fact that all three opposition leaders were banging on about Rhodri's absence made it clear they have been in cahoots and planned their attacks together. Carefully planned, secret nat coups are not the way forward for Wales.

 
At 3:38 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

At first glance the legislative programme looks a bit wishy washy -stuff that can be easily lost if the Govt falls, and forgotten by any future Govt.

 
At 3:51 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i reckon we'll see far more blowing the house down than huffing and puffing

 
At 4:04 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For IJJ

There is quite an old article from an American's perspective here:

http://hir.harvard.edu/articles/1072/

 
At 4:16 pm, Anonymous twm said...

Marcusian said:

/Surely the fact that all three opposition leaders were banging on about Rhodri's absence made it clear they have been in cahoots and planned their attacks together. Carefully planned, secret nat coups are not the way forward for Wales. /

Tut tut. Paranoia now. I reckon Labour is on the edge...

 
At 4:18 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with supporting the rainbow coalition? The majority of Welsh people will have voted for it.

It could combine the talents of the Tory and Plaid parties. Old and new faces like Jonathan Morgan, Darren Millar, Gareth Jones and Alun Ffred Jones could build a welsh contentious to take us towards a brighter future and not just a rerun of failed socialist ideologies.

 
At 4:23 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for Ian James Johnson

http://dylanje.blogspot.com/
this is professor dylan jones evans blog - there are some useful links in there

or if you want have a look at the WAG site
http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/businessandeconomy/?lang=en

 
At 4:45 pm, Anonymous elio said...

dowlais twp said..

"One of the labour planks in May was full employment- that can and never will happen, its a pipe dream"

You can turn around a failed socialist economy like Wales, look at the Baltic states, even Russia. I think they call it capitalism.

How long before our "socialists" go begging the Lithuanians to open some factories in Wales just as they do now with some of the Asian countries.

 
At 4:46 pm, Anonymous twm said...

Three weeks before Brown takes over and he is already spin doctoring. No Blair to hide behind now.

Three weeks before Labour hits the fan....

 
At 4:48 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Tut tut. Paranoia now. I reckon Labour is on the edge..."

I suppose if i react to this it will be one of those 'hook, line and sinker' moments...Havent you got a petition to crow on about?

 
At 4:58 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only petition I've seen on here was about the million or more of the lowest paid who are going to see their income tax bill double with the scrapping of the 10pc band.

I don't suppose Brown's New Labour Party give a shit about that, obviously Marcusian doesn't.

 
At 5:04 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

With all due respect, Marcus, you know Jack nothing:)

There's a reason we have secret ballots.

Anyway, as to your myriad other barbs, I merely repeated and attributed the arguments made repeatedly in a television programme.

Irene's laying down the law, is she?

 
At 5:26 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

Cymro:

I don't believe that I have 'ranted' about robbing you of your culture. I am merely stating that you have no right to rob me of MY language and 'culture'.

The constant spending of MY money on supporting YOUR languge irks me somewhat.

Welsh gives me nothing that I want or need. The same could also be said for the majority of the populace. We just don't need it or use it.

Yes, Welsh is frequently used in many of the less populated areas but in the more populated areas, you just don't hear it being used, apart from a few 'media' types in Cardiff.

Listen to your own youth their 'culture' is not your 'culture'. Their language is not your language. They mainly speak Wenglish.

I am all for the preservation of Welsh in the country for those that WISH to speak it but do not wish to pay, for example, for every type of 'form' or document to be printed in Welsh on the off-chance that a reader may require it. Why not give everyone the CHOICE? Just that would save a fortune.

I object to my money being used to promote the language when, in spite of your protestations to the contrary, the daily use of the language is in decline. The very FACT that it requires to be promoted shows it's obvious shortcomings.

ianjamesjohnson said...
To ask the Dyfarnydd to justify the Existence of a Welsh Language Act which currently acts as a Life Support System to a language that is clearly dieing (sic).

Spot the deliberate mistake eh!

I'm sorry but I really don't understand your question. Could you re-phrase it please?

marcusian @ 3.18 pm:

Hear, hear....right on the button.

I wish I'd said that.

Your pleasant pal.

johnny.

 
At 6:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous said:

"don't suppose Brown's New Labour Party give a shit about that, obviously Marcusian doesn't. "


So you noticed it as well? Just goes to show New Labour is all about spin, spin, spin, and if we face them with the reality of their neglect they stomp their feet, throw the dummy out etc, and shout that Nat Coups are victimising them.

 
At 6:19 pm, Anonymous A nonny said...

Anyone know of a Castaway island for Johnny Foreigner?

He's having a rough time living amongst us neanderthal savages.

 
At 6:42 pm, Blogger dowlais twp said...

jf is a vampire
he only posts when the sun is not about

 
At 7:48 pm, Blogger Cymro said...

Johnny, my pleasant pal, look at it this way. I doubt that opera gives you anything you need. Theatre, classical music, poetry, ballet - how many people actually go to ballet regularly? I doubt that 20% of us go every week to see the latest performance of The Nutcracker. But, hang on... yes! They are supported by the state! Because it would be a huge cultural loss if there were no opera!

Welsh is even more important - we Welsh speakers use it every day, we live through Welsh as you live through English. But you say that, because we are in the minority, it should not have state protection - and it shouldn't be used for government documents. What happened to democracy for all?

 
At 8:05 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Nah, nothing's more important than opera.

Probably Wales' most succesful industry in the last few years too.

 
At 11:41 pm, Anonymous johnny foreigner said...

dowlais twp said...
jf is a vampire
he only posts when the sun is not about

6:42 PM

Morning all.

Funnily enough dowlais, one of the chaps down at our local crypt was only saying the other day that he had noted a certain succulence about your neck and was seeking to visit you(after hours of course).

Do me a favour twp. Get in some garlic as I'd really miss your cheery comments on this blog. Cysgwch yn dda.

Cymro said...
Johnny, my pleasant pal, look at it this way..........

Exactly. Why should I pay towards the subsidy of Opera, Theatre, Classical Music, Poetry and Ballet. I suppose this what they call the 'Arts'?. I have no need of these things in my life.

Quite frankly if any of these were to be staged next door to me I would be on the 'phone to the Environmental Health Dept. on the grounds of noise pollution.

You'll be telling me next that piles of bricks and empty rooms are 'Art'.

Please don't get me wrong. I have no problem with 'Art for Art's sake' but if you want it, you pay for it.

Incidentally much classical art was produced on the basis of Patronage from individuals. If you like it you pay for it. Simple really. It's called 'Free Enterprise'.

Referring back to dowlais twp's sanguine observation I would have thought that it was obvious who my favourite 'Artist' is..........











Howling Wolf......of course.

Your propaedutic pal.

johnny.

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

Your coverage is getting very skewed.

Says Marcus, the guy who slags people off for blogging things he doesn't like rather than just offering an opinion on any given matter. From a psychological viewpoint it's quite amusing noting your choice of personal criticisms regarding bloggers, which are undoubtedly autobiographical.

 
At 9:32 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

"Says Marcus, the guy who slags people off for blogging things he doesn't like rather than just offering an opinion on any given matter. From a psychological viewpoint it's quite amusing noting your choice of personal criticisms regarding bloggers, which are undoubtedly autobiographical."

Sandeff in has a go at me shock...I have a go at your blog when i think it is poor, not because i purely disagree with you. I am not alone in this view.

I am sure me and Ciaran can discuss matters face to face over a pint, we both know each other well enough for us to take things personally.


"Irene's laying down the law, is she?"

I didnt work for Irene when i made that post, i still dont. Come on my man you know this through our texts!

 
At 9:39 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Sandeff in has a go at me shock...I have a go at your blog when i think it is poor, not because i purely disagree with you. I am not alone in this view.


Your Teddybear's views don't count, Marcus.

 
At 9:40 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

I have a go at your blog when i think it is poor

You're in your early twenties, right? It shows.

 
At 10:11 am, Blogger Marcusian said...

This is going to be my last post ever as my blog is over today.
Sandeff,

Many people who i have spoken to face to face and know personally think not only is your blog not very good. I would not want to divulge who they were, but they are plenty. I will not even go into comments they have made about you personally, because i wouldnt stoop to your level.

 
At 11:15 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Many people who i have spoken to face to face and know personally think not only is your blog not very good. I would not want to divulge who they were, but they are plenty. I will not even go into comments they have made about you personally, because i wouldnt stoop to your level.


"Labour don't like Welsh Nat blog shock". I am so gutted.

PS that's sarcasm, by the way

 
At 4:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

marcusian said:

", not because i purely disagree with you. I am not alone in this view."


Oh. Don't you think it's better to allow those mystery others to express their own views? The campaigns against bullying and mobbing tell us that a bully will ALWAYS say he has 'mystery' support with him. Making him/her self look bigger, better and more frightening. I'm talking about it here as a lot of this went on during the campaign. Thuggish behaviour, it was called.

OTOH, I would not like to cross Sandeff....

 
At 5:01 pm, Blogger Marcusian said...

"OTOH, I would not like to cross Sandeff... "

Its not bloody school, i just had a message of support from Sandeff regarding me becoming a father. Politics is one thing, having some sort of personal problem has never been with Sandeff at all. I was merely saying that other people who i have spoken to said they didnt like his blog, i am sure he is big enough and ugly enough to take that on the chin. I am sure he can point to many who will call me everything under the sun. I dont take offence to Sandeff calling me anything he likes, i am sure that is extended both ways. If it is not then there isnt much i can do...

I think i am getting out of blogging at just the right time...

 
At 5:06 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Come on children. Play nice.

 
At 6:29 pm, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Come on children. Play nice.


Don't you start! ;)

I think i am getting out of blogging at just the right time...

Don't bet on it. Sooner or later the blogger version of Cold Turkey will set in...and a Welsh Labour blogger under a pseudonym will rise from the ashes...

I dont take offence to Sandeff calling me anything he likes

Turnip? slartibartfast? Lefty freak?

i am sure that is extended both ways. If it is not then there isnt much i can do...


What about spelling my name correctly???!!!

OTOH, I would not like to cross Sandeff.

Christ, even my anonymous supporters can't spell Sanddef. I give up.

 
At 11:41 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ordovicius said...
"What about spelling my name correctly???!!!"


O r'wyn flin Sanddef. Ac mae'n siwd enw da. O'r 14fed canrif? Di ti wrth gwrs, dy enw ;-)

 

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