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Friday, September 29, 2006

Multiple Spin

A letter in the Western Mail this morning largely reflects the line being peddled by Plaid Cymru to whoever will listen:

SIR - Poor Peter Hain seems to have become befuddled in the heady air of New Labour's National Conference. "A vote for Plaid or the Lib-Dems will give a Tory First Minister" says he. Nonsense.

Any fool knows that a vote for a Lib-Dem will give us four more years of Thatcherite New Labour spin.

The failure of Mike German to rule out another coalition with New Labour speaks volumes. The Libs will - as ever - do anything for a sniff of power. A vote for Plaid can only mean a Plaid First Minister. Plaid are the second party and the only party who have policies tailored for Wales that present a credible alternative to the present administration.

The Tories are lost in the trees somewhere.

Treclyn, Eglwyswrw, Pembrokeshire

The Tories are also going around alleging that another Lib Dem-Lab coalition is an inevitability. As it happens, Plaid Cymru have not ruled out a deal with the Tories, Labour or ourselves either. Meanwhile, Peter Hain is saying that a vote for the Welsh Liberal Democrats will deliver a Tory First Minister. They cannot all be right.

Reassuring as it is to be a Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member at a time when all of the other political parties identify us as the main threat to them, there surely must be a need for some perspective in this discussion.

We will be campaigning on a manifesto stuffed full of exciting policies to improve the lives of the people of Wales. Our number one priority after the election will be to deliver on those policies. We will not compromise our principles to do so. If the other parties took the same attitude and concentrated on what they have to offer the voters rather than peddling so-called scare stories then the whole political process will be much healthier.
The facts are that the Lib Dems have propped up Labour in the first Assembly govt. They still do in Scotland. German has said he'd insist on PR in local government as a pre-requisite for further backroom deals.
The Lib Dems will jump into bed with anyone (metaphorically speaking) to maintain a whiff of power - the only way it can as the fourth party of Wales.
No the facts are that the Liberal Democrats have shared power with Labour in Scotland and did so during the first Assembly. In both cases the Partnership Government largely implemented the Liberal Democrat agenda.

The fact that Mike German says that PR for Local Government us a pre-requisite for any partnership demonstrates better than I can that we believe that the basis of any partnership should be policy and principle. That does not strike me as 'jumping into bed with just anybody'.
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