.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, October 06, 2006

Rainbow Coalition

I am sitting in my hotel room in Copenhagen just before engaging on a full day of meetings and fact-finding visits as part of the Education Committee's policy review of Special Educational Needs Post 16. As such I am a bit isolated from what is going on in Wales, having only e-mail, limited access to the internet and BBC World to catch up with Welsh news.

As such I have not been able to watch last night's Waterfront. All I know of it is an e-mail that I received before it went out telling me that Tory Leader Nick Bourne is to claim on the programme that talks have been going on for some time to establish a 'rainbow coalition government' of the opposition parties in the Assembly after the next election. However, he claims that jobs have not been 'divvied out'. I should think not.

The official Welsh Liberal Democrat response to this claim is that "All politicians in all parties talk about policies on an informal basis. Uniquely, the Welsh Lib Dems cannot agree any deal with any other party or parties without the endorsement of members in Wales. We expect to have more AMs after the election than we have now, so it would make no sense at all to do a deal now." You will note that it does not amount to a denial.

If these talks have been going on then they have not been reported to the Welsh Liberal Democrat group. In fact when it has been raised we have been told that there are no negotiations. Judging from the response of the Plaid Cymru AMs on this trip they are in the same position.

It is clearly in Nick Bourne's interest to talk up the idea of the Tories being in government after the next election as part of a coalition. After all there is no other way that they will achieve this and the voters know it. Such talk gives the Tories credibility as a potential governing party. It is for this reason that I believe that it would be madness for Plaid and the Welsh Liberal Democrats to even contemplate engaging in such talks. It is only right that we let the voters have their say before we start to consider coalitions, if at all.

I am sure that both Welsh Liberal Democrat and Plaid Cymru Assembly Members will want to to establish the truth of it all next week. If it transpires that we have been treated like mushrooms by our respective party leaderships then there will be some very unhappy politicians in Cardiff Bay.

Note: This is a reconstructed version of the original post. For some reason my Blackberry only published the first paragraph, something I only discovered on getting home. The Daily Post article on this story can be found here.
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?