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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

An obscure Assembly Member

The fame of this blog continues to spread, so much so that apparently they have heard of its existence in the darker recesses of North Wales. Well, this letter in Monday's Daily Post seems to indicate that this is so:

For several weeks I challenged Labour’s opponents to tell your readers whether a coalition was likely to try and replace Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Labour after May 2007. My questions were met with silence from Plaid Cymru. However, it seems that Peter Black of the Lib Dems is not so shy and he now offers an insight to the campaign ahead. His web log has stated “Whoever wins (as Labour’s next leader) could well find themselves as leader of the opposition if various plots and sub-plots going on down in the Bay ever come to fruition.” A sniff of the truth that Plaid and the Tories see a route to power through coalition.

We await their manifestos with interest, and the chance of a campaign to flush out their real intentions for Wales after the Assembly election.

Martin Eaglestone, Prospective Assembly Candidate, Labour Party, Arfon Constituency.

Not unnaturally for such a well-regarded publication as the Daily Post, this masterpiece of erudition elicited an immediate response. The very next day they published this:

Your letters page of August 7 (see letter below) sums up everything people need to know about politics in North Wales. Two letters from people worried about the spate of hospital closures and a letter from a Labour Assembly Candidate who prefers to pass on gossip from the website of an obscure Lib Dem from South Wales.

Plaid Cymru candidates have been taking a leading role in the fight against hospital closures. In the recent county council by-election in Llandrillo Yn Rhos, my colleague Phil Edwards was swept to victory by a tide of people determined to back our campaign to keep the hospitals open.

Your Labour correspondent Mr Eaglestone might point out to the handful of voters who care about possible coalitions after next year’s assembly elections (rather than real issues such as hospitals) that one way of reducing the influence of the Conservatives is for Labour inclined voters to use their regional list vote for Plaid thus electing Dafydd Wigley at the expense of a Tory regional AM.

Mark David Jones. Plaid Vale of Clwyd

Considering you are now reading the blog of an 'obscure Lib Dem from South Wales' (which is the real insult here, the obscurity or the geographical location?) it certainly seems to be attracting a lot of attention from these two correspondents, at least one of which reads my musings regularly. As both Martin Eaglestone and Mark David Jones have exhibited such poor political judgement in the analysis contained in their letters, one does have to question how they plan to lift themselves out of obscurity.
Can't help feeling that instead of wandering around Wales talking to members of the public, Ieuan Wyn Jones' time may be better spent in speaking to members of his own party and trying to ascertain what it is they want.

I'm all for freedom of speech and people being able to voice their opinions openly (nobody could accuse us of not doing that). However there seems to be so many varying opinions within Plaid these days it is difficult to see how they can work with each other let alone other parties.
Well, writing about you has led you to quote them, so now people all over the country (ok, not many, but I'm in Devon) have heard of them.

"Obscure Lib Dem" is one way of describing you, I guess. Not really accurate, but still. Like the way the Plaid guy is talking about playing the AM+ system to keep Tories down. Stupid stupid electoral system. Ah well.
Thought you might bite on it Peter:)

Is the Karen Roberts who posted above the one from RCT? Is it true that the two Lib dem councillors on RCT sit in different groups? if so it makes her comments above seem quite amusing.

On another topic. Votes cast for each of the four main political parties in Wales at the 12 county Coucnil by-elections held since september 2005 are:
Plaid 3296
Lab 2269
con 3070
LD 1473

Slight bias towards Tory inclined areas......Labour doing very badly indeed...
just re-read your post...."obscure Libdem from south wales" is true in the context of daily post readers....though of course you are much more famous than me:)
The figures you gave for by-election results Mark are statistically dubious for a number of reasons including the fact that most of the contests did not involve all four parties.There is also the question of how the sample period was chosen.
I chose September onwards as most people would consider the political year running from September to August. If you take all contests since the general election the picture is not that different.

With no puiblished opinion polls in wales is there any other objective source of information as to how the parties are doing?

The one clear message is that Labour are doing very badly.....
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