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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Radio silence

The fact that I have not blogged on the events of last night yet has nothing to do with me maintaining radio silence. In fact I have spent most of the morning talking to the media. It seems that I am the only Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly member giving interviews.

What happened last night was a surprise. I fully expected to see the National Executive endorse the package and refer it to Conference. That they did not do so was something that nobody foresaw. The reasons for their decision were many. Some were unhappy with the tone of the document itself, believing it to be very nationalistic. Others felt that the list of Plaid Cymru gimmicks we were proposing to sign up to were unaffordable and that the package was unsustainable. A number of members were uneasy about putting the Tories back into power in Wales whilst others did not want to prop up Plaid.

I think we should be clear that the decision to talk to Plaid and the Tories did not mean that we should automatically sign up to whatever emerged from that process. The Welsh Liberal Democrats did their duty to the people of Wales by entering into detailed talks with all parties in an effort to reach stable government. Nobody should be able to insist that such an agreement must be at any price.

Supporting PR does not automatically mean that we have to be the brokers. In fact I think we suffered in the election because people thought we believe that we had the right to be kingmakers all the time. We also lost support because many considered that our leadership was motivated by self-interest rather than the interests of the Country.

My consistent view in this is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats were not in a position to enter into a coalition deal. We failed to make any progress for a third time in an Assembly election, organisationally we are poor and we are failing to translate our values and principles into a Welsh context. Furthermore we have not been engaging with the Welsh electorate on issues of concern to them and demonstrating the relevance of our policies.

There is a huge job of work to do in putting that right and a need for a debate as to the direction of the party. That debate is most probably best carried out in a structured way as part of a leadership election. To have entered a coalition government would have not just have distracted us from that task but it would have meant that we failed to do it at all. We would then have gone into the next set of Assembly elections in the same poor condition and had an equally disastrous outcome. Once we have set the party onto a steadier path it might be possible to revisit how we work with other parties, if they are prepared to talk to us.

The path we chose makes that process more difficult but not impossible. It is now clear that the idea of forming a coalition with Plaid and the Tories deeply divided the party. Expectations were created which were not met and as a result we have some very bitter enemies on all sides of the political divides. The fact is that the leadership could not carry the support of the membership, something that needs to be reflected on.

The new First Minister will be elected tomorrow at 1pm. That has not stopped ordinary members of the Welsh Liberal Democrats calling a conference for Saturday with the objective of trying to revive the rainbow coalition. Whether they will succeed or not I do not know but it is right that members should now have their say and that a debate about the way forward for the Welsh Liberal Democrats should begin. Watch this space.
If you really believed what you say why did you not stand down as candidate in Swansea for another more enthusiastic and enlightened ?
The candidate represents the electorate and owes them a voice in government. An AM should not decide after election to throw away the promised opportunities he gave to his voters.
Well at least when I stood I used my name which is more than you have done.

If you believe that there is no room for diversity of opinion in politics then why dont you promote a dictatorship? My judgement was that the document we were presented with was not in the best interests of my constituents and neither was a rainbow coalition. I came to that view after doing my best to make a deal work.

As a representative I believe that I have done my duty to my voters.
I find it astounding that the Liberal Democrats of all parties have not given a voice to their membership on this decision and letting them have a say after the horse has bolted, is very generous of you. From Lib Dems I have spoken to, this has more to do with not rocking the boat with next year's Council elections than anything else.

I am also concerned that you suggest that your party may choose to re-visit a coalition in the future when you are more ready for it. What is Wales supposed to do in the meantime?

As clever as you undoubtedly are with words Peter, the last 24 hours has been a very bad day for Wales and a disastrous one for the Liberal Democrats.

Do you really think that if the Special Conference is even called, that a) the Conference will endorse the proposals for a three-party Administration and b) the other two parties would now want to be part of an Administration with the LibDems?

I am not seeking to make comments as a wind up or to elicit an angry riposte, merely I want to explore your genuinely held beliefs that the LibDems should NOT form a part of ANY coalition Administration. It is my firm view that neither the Conservatives nor PC should now see it as in their interests to go into any coalition that would involve a reliance on LibDem support. It would just be too risky given the way in which the LibDems have (on the outside at least) appeared to be all over the place.

I think that if you really want "space" to explore what has gone wrong for the LibDems electorally then being in Government is not the best place to be. However, if the LibDems HAD wanted to put policies into practice, then you have missed a vital opportunity.

I suppose it boils down to a choice and your Executive Committee has made that choice on behalf of all those members who trudged the streets on the Party's behalf.
Didn't the document effectively save Morriston Neurosurgery Unit and so your rejection of this policy has closed this service? How does that balance up with you 'doing your duty by your voters'?

If this is not the case, then how do you intend to keep the unit open outside any coalition and in the smallest Assembly party?
Anon 3.10: The party followed the process set down by the democratically elected executive. It was an exercise in representative democracy. Having said that I fully expected it to go to Conference for members to have a say. Wales will get by on minority government and that will prove to be relatively stable as it was in the last few years. PR does not have to lead to coalitions. There are many models available. I do not accept that the last 24 hours had been bad for Wales, if anything it has helped to define differences and reignited political debate. We will see what the long term impact on the Welsh Liberal Democrats is.

Rene, in answer to your two questions (a) I dont know (b) most probably not. Your second paragraph is fair comment, we feel the same about you on Swansea Council. In a representative democracy the process meant that it was the Executive's job to make that choice. Members will now have a say and that is right too. Did the Tories give their members a say?

Anon 3.15: the document purported to save neurosurgery but that is far from actually achieving that aim. Remember that Plaid's Bethan Jenkins also opposed this deal. The debate about neurosurgery is entirely separate to this issue. It may well have been that a clear commitment such as this could be subject to judicial review as it would mean that the Minister had prejudged the issue. We need to fight on to keep neurosurgery in Swansea and I am hopeful that we will succeed.
Peter, I've just read the 'The All-Wales Accord' document and found it to be very impressive indeed - much more so than I'd expected, in fact. As you have decided that you do not want to see it implemented, can you please tell us which are the specific elements in the programme that are so objectionable to you? So objectionable that you would prefer to allow Labour to soldier on despite their record and future plans? Or does this have nothing to do with policies at the end of the day? If so then the LibDems do not deserve a future. Even as it stands I suspect that the party will lose Ceredigion and Montgomery at the next UK G.E. Even B&R. And deservedly so.
I have set out in this post and comments what I object to in the document but also that there are genuine political reasons as well why I cannot sign up to it. That is my right and it is your right to judge me on it. However, the rest of your comment is unsubstantiated speculation.
> we suffered in the election because people thought we believe that we had
> the right to be kingmakers all the time.
This was the view peddled by the BBC and, in particular, by Vaughan Roderick who virtually admitted that he couldn't be bothered to read our manifesto.

However, one wonders whether he was steered by a person or persons in the party in Cardiff Bay.

- Frank Little
Not true Peter. You tell us what 'others felt'. I'm asking you tell us which specific policies set out in that document that YOU oppose? Or are we to assume that you agree with these un-named 'others'? And as for 'speculation'...make that 'prediction'. Especially when the Accord document gets widely circulated. Hell, even party members are going to be outraged what they were denied that programme!
Yes, I agreed with those criticisms I thought that was obvious. The Accord document is a good Plaid document with lots of Lib Dem policies but it remains an uncosted and difficult to deliver mish mash. This is not just about policy, the politics come into it as well.
Hi Peter

In terms of my Group's decision to form its own Group on Swansea Council (bearing in mind there is no LibDem Group in Swansea, only a multi party collection of Cllrs within one Council Group called the "Swansea Administration") there was backing from the Constituency Association Chairs, the Area Chairman, the Welsh Party Chairman, the Leader of the Assembly Group and others. I also visited all Constituency Associations to get their views direct.

Which is more than the LibDems did when they went into coalition in Swansea with a BNP sympathiser (an Independent candidate who got elected copied and pasted an entire page from the BNP website and put it on his election literature) and others in that bunch of political diaspora called "Independents". I was, if you remember, one of the four LibDem Cllrs who voted against going into coalition on Swansea Council in 2004.

Anyhow, in leaving the "Administration Group" the Conservative Group offered terms to the Leader of the Council for forming an official coalition. I thought we had an agreement but it broke down due to the defection back to the Administration Group of two elderly Con Cllrs.
I've spent today in a cloud of rage. The Lib-Dems have managed to deliver the worst possible option for Wales. Not only has the rainbow coalition collapsed, it is by now far too late for anyone to exact any concessions for the Labour Party. What you have created is crippling political stalemate. You claim that the Lib-Dems need to get their house in order. What is the rest of Wales meant to do while you go about this? Wales will be ungovernable until you manage to decide which side of the fence you are on.
At this moment in time, I would be happy to see another election called, so that the Liberal Democrats can be fittingly punished by the electorate.
I do appreciate your trouble in replying but I'm afraid that this just doesn't cut it. To call something a 'Plaid Cymru gimmick' is not a reasoned argument. Nor does it make it clear whether there or not there are some Plaid Cymru ideas (or Tory ideas for that matter) you approve of and others you don't - and if so which are which? Again back to my original question: can you tell us which *specific* elements of the Accord programme you oppose?
Peter said:
.....We need to fight on to keep neurosurgery in Swansea and I am hopeful that we will succeed.....

How can you expect anyone in Swansea to have faith in you now?
You were elected an AM, not born to it. The decent thing would be to resign.

Saving the Neurosurgery unit is urgent, something that will save lives. A Labour government in the Bay will close it. And you allowed it to happen.
Plaid have stated that their policies are costed and that the other parties have mis-interpreted the annual budget. I have yet to see any challenge to this from any party/accountant.

You say that it's uncosted as your defence but you fail to show where the figures are wrong. I also note that the Tories have not challenged the figures. Are you sure that this is no more than an excuse for last night's debacle? If not, then please prove me wrong or find another excuse.
The lib dems campagned hard to save neuro surgery in swansea. Many people voted for you on this one issue! This issue obviously is not important to you, however, it is to me and many thousands of people in west Wales. You really have sould west wales down the river and for what the sound of your own voice! Simply because as a party you did not do as well as expected election night. You sir are an arrogant man and do not deserve to be an AM. You have gone back on an election promise which you could have implemented if you went into government.

I'm disgusted by your attitude and contempt towards your constituents who have campaigned very hard to save neuro surgery in morriston.
Dyfrig, perhaps you can accept that there are differences of view and that you should be tolerant of them. I do not accept that the Rainbow deal was a good one and I said so from the beginning. If I had had my way we would not have started negotiations but we did and this is the outcome. I am sorry you are disappointed but we will now have to work with what we have got. Remember that Plaid could have got concessions from the Labour Party before but they chose to put Tories back into government instead.

Anon 4.25: I have been as clear as I am going to be on this blog as to why I opposed the accord and what I thought was wrong with it.

Anon 4.39: and Simo: You may have written off the fight to keep neurosurgery but I have not. There are still opportunities to keep it open and I will try and take them. As I said the Accord was no guarantee at all about its future and may have put a future health minister in legal difficulties.

Anon 4.47: You should know that Plaid's costings were challenged by all parties throughout the election and it is widely understood that they got it wrong. Civil Servants also highlighted significant risks with the Accord document.
Far from it Peter I have not given up the fight. It is you who have delayed the decision for another 4 years. What will happen is labour will propose to close it and the opposition will defet the motion this will carry on untill a real government for wales is in place.
That is complete nonsense and you know it. You have no evidence to support that theory.
Well we have four year in which to test that theory. Unless, gibbons has realised that people really are against the closure and does a U turn. He may since they need something to prop up the LAbour vote in the area.
"If you believe that there is no room for diversity of opinion in politics then why dont you promote a dictatorship? "

But this was not about an opinion. This was big descision time, when your were representing your electorate on what you promised them. It should not have been about posturing and procrastinating, that is for the local member level.
You were voted in because your voters wanted your policies implemented.

At least you'r honest in the fact that this decision was made to give the Liberal Democrat Party a chance to try ans become a party. Clearly your decision was made for the sake of the Libs, not for the sake of your voters or Wales as a whole.

The ironic part of course is that your decision has done the opposite and turned the country against your party. How exactly do you "rebuild" when you face electoral wipeout in 2 years? That must be a lovely legacy for Kirsty to take over after German's show trial on Saturday. Talk about collateral damage!

First, as an LD (albeit in England) I appreciate your candour in writing your account of and thoughts on what has happened.

When I first heard the "rainbow coalition" being mooted, I thought it was too good to be true. I can appreciate the desire to kick Labour out of office but it seems that that was all the prospective "partners" had in common. On politicalbetting.com, the Labour and Tory activists have had a field day and I've tried, with a few other LD posters, to hold the line.

I think Mike German has made an error and he may pay for it with his post. If, as you say, the Welsh LDs need a period of reflection and renewal, then so be it. Nobody should be in Government if they don't want to or feel they cannot contribute to the good governance of the country and I think all parties benefit from a spell in Opposition.

I wish you all well as I suspect the next few days and weeks will be different. Don't worry - people's memories are short and none of this will matter in 2011.
Judging by the comments you would think Wales was 100% against you, Peter. I can assure you it most certainly isn't.

The decision to reject the document was the right one. The people of Wales would never have forgiven the Lib Dems for bringing the Tories into government. I have a Conservative friend who was utterly delighted at the idea of a coalition with the LDs, for the very simple reason that it would allow the LDs to be squeezed into irrelevance as the junior junior partner to their machinations.

We desperately need a period in opposition for root-and-branch reform of the party. The election stagnation, plus this farcical game of "Double or quits" from the leadership, resurrecting the special conference, needs to be punished. We need a thorough re-examination of what we stand for (starting with the defenstration of Messrs German and Opik), and there's no way we could have done that with the ministerial cars rolling up the drive every morning.
My thoughts.

1. I am reminded of the speeches by Kinnock and Blair back in their opposition days to their raving fringes pointing out that you can have all the policies you like but if you are not in power then you are doing no good whatsoever.

2. I think a significant section of the party prefer to be in opposition and whinge rather than be in power and responsible.

3. I think those AMs and party members who now wish to get rid of German and Opik publicly come out and announce a challenge rather than moaning and plotting. If you believe that the two of them have cost us dearly in Wales then the thing to do is to oppose them and remove them so the party can move forward and grow.

4. Plaid have shown themselves to be even worse than we are - pathetic is the word IMPO. Some of the Nationalists appear so insular, narrow-minded, bitter and angry that, again, it seems they prefer to be in perpetual opposition whinging instead of facing the challenges and responsibility of being in power. Some of the Plaid AMs, especially that 'girl', looked, acted and sounded like spoilt children on the news yesterday.

5. I think that there will now be a split in the Lib Dem movement here in Wales, especially here in Swansea. There is a generation of people who believe that certain members of the party lose us votes and that they are out of touch with real, local and important issues that the public care about - healthcare being the foremost issue on voters minds.

6. I think we should now be planning for an election within 18 months and the party needs to have a clear out so that when the next election comes, as it inevitably will, we actually stand a chance of progressing. As things currently stand, after last night, I would not be surprised if we had less AMs in a snap election than we do now.

7. 'We' have let the people of Wales down.
Anon 6.43pm: I did not make any promise to put Tory Ministers back in charge of Wales. In fact I made it very clear that I was not in favour of that.

Guto:I was not voted in to deliver Plaid Cymru policies.
Lib dems had the choice to be in government ensuring they could if not lead the path of welsh policy at least steer it from the inside, Yes compromise would have to be made and a new form of politics wold be found and learned, but no, the lib dems choose a road where wales flounders, they got nothing and policies they oppose may be put forward and passed if Labour can work with plaid. A poor day for Wales, more labour, shame!
Peter - congratulations on your stance. You are a true individual and will not let people undermine you which is a great quality in a politician.

You stand by what you passionately believe is right, and I challenge anyone who condems you for your right.

Keep the fight up - your voters will appreciate your honesty and courage of your conviction.

Be careful of the party though - they won't like an individual with an opinion which doesn't tow the party line! I speak from horrific experience.
You're right Peter.

You were voted to bring in PR, to stop the hospital closures, to reduce class sizes, even to hand out toothbrushes.

I wonder how you could have done all that for your voters? Certaintly not by rotting as the minor oppossition.

Don't you see the position you are in now? An effective opposition needs to criticise the government when it's going up the wrong path. Plaid and the Tories will be able to do so - you will not. Any criticism from the Libs will be rebuffed by the other three parties reminding you that you had a chance to do things your way, but that you wimped out.

What's the point of being in opposition if everyone can laugh at you anytime you oppose?
Guto, firstly the document did not offer PR, it offered a referendum to kick that into the long grass. There are many more options apart from putting the Tories into power and opportunities to get things done, even in opposition. Besides which this situation does not have to last four years.
Why doesn't this National Executive's Standing Orders lay down a proceedure for breaking a tied vote?

Very sloppy drafting Jenny ...
So your problem was with giving the people a say over whether they wanted PR or not? You just wanted it imposed automatically did you?

And do you really think any of the other parties will trust you lot in the next 4 years? The only chance the Libs have of being trusted by Plaid or the Tories is to elect someone who supported the Rainbow, and seeing as how Kirsty didn't, I guess they won't!

So let me guess, wait until the Council elections have been, then offer your soul to Labour for much less than the Rainbow would have given you? I very much doubt Labour would trust you any further than they can spit.
Peter Black said
'Anon 4.47: You should know that Plaid's costings were challenged by all parties throughout the election and it is widely understood that they got it wrong. Civil Servants also highlighted significant risks with the Accord document.'

So you know different? You've done the costings? If memory serves right Plaid called their top expert from London down to recheck their costings, after someone during the campaign suggested they were too good to be true. Do you want to be present when they check them again? Will you then believe it? Will you go on to spread silly rumours like this for the sake of it?
"Guto:I was not voted in to deliver Plaid Cymru policies."

Oh dear. Is saving the neurosurgery unit a Plaid policy?
I don't think you have any policies apart from making a lot of pointless noises in opposition and adding to the cost to the taxpayer.
Anon 1.10am: you know full well I am not referring to neurosurgery. I support keeping that service in Swansea and will continue to fight for that. The fact that it was in the document did not guarantee that it would be saved. Your assertion that we do not have any policies is absolute nonsense as you know too well. The issue here is whether some Plaid's policies in this document were deliverable. There were also other issues as already outlined in this thread.

Anon 1.05am: Plaid may well have costed their policies but their guru completely misunderstood the way that the Barnett formula works and massively over-estimated the amount of money available to the Assembly over the next four years. This is not a silly rumour it is a fact.

Guto: one of my problems with the document was the referendum, yes. I think that it is the job of government to govern and that this is the sort of beneficial change that should be put in without a referendum. Referendums are a recent innovation in government and should be reserved for major constitutional change. In this case it was put in so as to try and kick the proposal into touch.

Better a centre left government than having the Tories back in charge.

"Better a centre left government than having the Tories back in charge."

Have you forgotten that it was you who personally organised the campaign to block a lib-lab pact? There were four possible outcomes from this election

1. Lib-Lab: Lib Leadership wanted this. Labour party wanted this. Peter Black opposed.

2. Rainbow: Plaid and Tories wanted this. Lib leadership saw it as 2nd best option. Peter Black opposed.

3. Lab-Plaid: Plaid and Labour would both have prefered to work with the Libs. If Lib Dems had been more honest at the start this could have been possible but Labour concentrated on Libs and Plaid did the same.

4. Lab minority: labour, Plaid and tories all saw this as worst option. Will provide weak government. The only reason it is going to happen is because Peter Black wanted rid of Mike German.

I hope now that either Labour or Plaid will be able to form a stable government (possibly with each other) but you and your party must take the responsibility for this mess.
Peter. If the meeting on saturday votes in favour of the agreement will you resign as an AM as you are obviously out of touch with your constituents as well as the party?
Tomos,you misunderstand my position. I am not opposed to coalitions involving the Welsh Liberal Democrats. My focus has been on getting the party in shape to take one on. It was fairly evident on Wednesday night that this is not the case at present. You also give me too much credit for my influence. I have merely stated my own position, I have not been organising anything.

If the grassroots revolted against a Lib-Lab pact that was spontaneous or in response to a consultation. It was not down to me. There was no organised campaign and I had no part in trying to start one.

Simo, I have said all along that I am a democrat and will accept the will of the party. I will argue my case and if I lose I will work with the outcome. That is democracy. You have no evidence that I am out of touch with my constituents. I may not represent all of my party but my view is shared by a substantial number of them.
"Anon 4.25: I have been as clear as I am going to be on this blog as to why I opposed the accord and what I thought was wrong with it."

Fair enough. But note: you have failed to mention a SINGLE specific policy in the Accord document that you are opposed to, let alone a policy that you are so fundamentally opposed to that, as a point of principle, you think it worthwhile turning your back on the opportunity to actually implement those policies with which you agree in the rest of the document. Let's face it, your position on this has nothing - or almost nothing - to do with policies. It's about what you call 'politics', namely the need to 'renew' the party.

For you this clearly means replacing German. But who's your candidate? Only two are remotely credible and JR clearly doesn't want it while the time is not right for KW for fairly obvious (family) reasons. Replacing Opik is also necessary (and few if any would disagree on this by now). But again, with whom? Without wishing to be unkind, none of the other current MPs are up to it. So who's your alternative and what is your strategy?

Similarly with regards policy. No doubt you will trumpet the need for new 'radical' policy ideas. But really, more radical than the PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT set out in the Accord document? Pull the other one.

If you had a credible alternative to the Rainbow strategy you might be deserving of some sympathy. But it appears that all you are doing is putting Labour back into power and hoping that something - anything - will turn up over the next four years. Calls for 'hard work' and other cliches wont cut it. The party 'fundis' have no alternative strategy and yet, despite this, have scuppered the most interesting set of policy ideas most of us (of a broadly centre left perspective) have seen put forward for Wales. Sadly I have to conclude that the 'fundi' position is all about posturing. It's student union politics of the worst kind. And the party will reap a bitter whirlwind as a result...

Two final points. Of course civil servants expressed concerns over the costings. That's what they do! Always. For every programme put forward by every actual or potential government. Furthermore, let's not get too morally superior about 'fully costing programmes'. Obviously this is what the party always claims. But I wonder? No independent body actually costed the 4 Welsh manifestos but Stathclyde University did the Scottish ones. Guess which party there had most uncosted pledges? The Scottish Liberal Democrats. Stones, glass houses and all that...
I have given many examples of policies in the Accord I am not happy with but for your benefit here are three:

Compulsory schooling to 18;
Paying off student debt;
Grants for first time home buyers.

The first is illiberal and impractical, the other two are unaffordable and ineffective.

By the way this is not Scotland. The Welsh Lib Dem manifesto was costed.

To say you had no part in organising a revolt against a Lib-Lab coaltion is ludicrous. You may not have been phoning members but you blogged from May the 4th onwards against that coalition. You also gave a very strong interview to the WoS on the 6th. If you had not done these things it is much more likely that we would now have a Lib-Lab pact.
It shows a complete lack of foresight to think that you can just step back from Welsh politics for 6 months to sort out your internal party problems. From what I see Kirsty Williams, Yourself and Mike German would ideally have preffered Lib-Lab. There was nothing to stop you entering this coalition and then having the leadership election (that you already had to have). This wil do serious damage to the Lib Dems at both local and general elections.
Tomos, starting a debate and expressing a view is a very long way from organising. I repeat, I did not organise a revolt against a Lib-Lab pact, it was already there and I have the e-mails I received during the election period to prove it.

Are you trying to say that you were receiving emails of a revolt before the election?

This means that your actions on may the 4th were planned and were not a spur of the moment reaction.

Can we see these emails? Who was involved in this plotting? How many Lib Dems were preparing for defeat? Was it wrong for the Lib Dems to be campaigning on a manifesto that they had no intention of implementing?
Seeing as how Mick Bates said the same thing on Dragon's Eye last night I have toask again.

Do you not realise the position you're in for the next four years? You cannot be any sort of an effective opposition because all the other parties will simplly point out that you had (two) chances to change the government and take some responsibilities, and you refused both.
Tomos, your ability to see conspiracies everywhere astonishes me. There were members who were concerned during the election campaign that the leadership were lining up a coalition with Labour after the election. This was based on a series of articles in the Western Mail.

There was no planning on my part as I could not have foreseen the result. All I did was to respond to the situation as I saw it by speaking openly and honestly about what I thought needed to be done.

We have every intention of implementing our manifesto the problem is implementing Plaid's as well.

Guto, in my experience predicting what will happen over four years in politics is a very uncertain science. I would not write us off just yet.
Tomos, the Lib Dems are as good as history after all this. It was plain that Peter was not taking the problem over a government seriously. After all, it was all about campaigning, wasn't it? To get rid of MG. No thought about forming a new government and what was best for wales. If this is what the Lib Dems are about then let's hope we see the back of them soon.
I find it offensive how they are expecting us to take them seriously this Saturday.
Tomos, the strength of feeling that came from the party regarding the possibility of a coalition with Labour was obvious. I received phone calls and personal emails from fellow candidates and activists across Wales expressing disgust at such a proposal, as obviously did the Executive and AMs.

To suggest Peter or anyone else was running a campaign to stop this happening is ludicrous. Certainly Peter would know better than to even try and influence some of the people involved (such as myself).
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