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Friday, January 12, 2007

Coalition or bust

Conservative AM, Glyn Davies, is in the Western Mail again this morning, hammering away at the idea of a rainbow coalition. For goodness sake, Glyn, give it a rest. We are not really interested in your little project. In fact you are starting to sound a bit desperate:

"I think it's absolutely essential that we as a Conservative Party are in the frame to be part of a coalition. We've got to say to the people of Wales that we're a Welsh party, we want to be involved in the government of Wales. That inevitably leads us into a discussion about who could be our coalition partners. It's simple arithmetic."

It may be simple arithmetic to the Conservatives but coalitions are not built on the three 'R's, they are constructed around a common aim and purpose, agreements on policy and on trust. All that the budget negotiations have taught the rest of us is that the Tories cannot be trusted to keep their thirst for power at any cost under control. We have no common philosophical base and little agreement on policy.

If the Liberal Democrats were to be involved in a coalition that included the Tories then there would need to be some very tightly drawn heads of agreement on how that partnership should proceed. I doubt if that could be done. I suspect that Plaid Cymru feel the same way.

The Welsh Conservatives have managed over the last few months move from co-operation with other opposition parties to being Billy No-mates.
So that'll be another Labour minority administration in May, and a few more years twiddling your thumbs in opposition Peter?
I think that is up to the voters.
Well, what is certain is that the voters will treat the Lib Dems with their customary contempt. You lot will then prop up Labour in exchange for the usual mess of pottage, or rather a ministerial car for Mike German. Isn't it all terribly sordid? Aren't you ashamed? Probably not - silly question.
Well that is one view but we expect to do better than previous years and to increase the number of AMs in our group. We are also publishing a detailed manifesto and will expect any coalition negotiations involving us to be based on the implementation of Liberal Democrat policies. That is how we conducted ourselves in 2000 and we see no reason to change now. It is the Tories who are salivating over the prospect of ministerial cars we are more concerned with putting policy into effect. There is nothing to be ashamed about there.
If the Tories are that desperate for power, could there be a Lab-Con coalition?
"There is nothing to be ashamed about there."

I knew it was a silly question.
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