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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Feeling our way

Betsan Powys has the full contents of Ieuan Wyn Jones' response to Rhodri Morgan on her blog here. It is very much as expected, with a demand for more concessions if the First Minister is serious about drawing Plaid Cymru into supporting his government. Betsan reports later that there were also talks today between the two parties but no indication has yet emerged of what was agreed if anything.

My money is still on the 'Rainbow Coalition' if only because I cannot see the vast majority of Labour AMs and members stomaching a formal deal with Plaid Cymru that makes Ieuan Wyn Jones Deputy First Minister. I may be wrong on this, I have been before, but we will see.

What I found most interesting about Ieuan Wyn Jones letter is the reference in the Health section to specific talks between the Plaid Cymru Shadow Health Minister and Edwina Hart. In the Welsh Liberal Democrats we have been asked not to undermine the 'rainbow spirit' by going off on our own and stitching up deals with Labour Ministers. That restriction does not seem to apply to Plaid Cymru. Perhaps they are not so keen on working with the other opposition parties after all.

Mike German has tried to chivvy the deal on a bit with an extensive item in the Western Mail based on the Welsh Liberal Democrats' press conference yesterday, however this article is just the journalistic equivalent of treading water. The next momentous event is the Plaid Cymru National Executive on Saturday and there is only an outside chance of Rhodri Morgan upsetting the rainbow apple cart.
Looking at this evening's media coverage it would appear that there is every chance of Rhodri upsetting the apple cart.

Perhaps a Lab/Nat coalition is now the most likely outcome.

WLDs only have themselves to blame if that is the case following the u-turn debacle, but then I am speaking as someone who voted for the All Wales accord at the special conference.

Looks as though you might get your wish to be in opposition. Peter.
Firstly, I have no wish to be in opposition but if I am to go into government then I have to be confident that it is sustainable. For all sorts of reasons I did not believe that was the case with the Rainbow Coalition. However, I lost the vote and I am prepared to accept and work with the will of the majority.

Secondly, if PLaid go into coalition with Labour I cannot see how in anyway it might be 'our fault'. Plaid have an opportunity to hold the post of First Minister. If they do not take that opportunity then that is entirely their decision and we should not accept any nonsense or spin to the contrary.
Sorry, Peter, but the bottom line is that if our National Executive had not dithered and we had avoided the u-turn debacle then the Rainbow would have been a done deal by now. Nor do I do not share your view that it would be unsustainable, either.

We only have ourselves to blame if Ieuan and Rhodri cozy up.
Just for once Peter you talk sense when talking about Plaid. We face a decision do we want to be Labour's junior partner or lead the government. Personally i think this is a no brainer running the show is obviously preferable but some of my colleagues cannot cope with the political realities of life in Wales.

My money is still on the rainbow.
Sorry that is nonsense. We had every right to pause and think about the way we were going. We are not responsible for other people's decisions. We should not do the other party's jobs for them.

It has nothing to do with us. The deal they negotiated is on the table and the other two parties have signed up to it. If Plaid go into coalition with Labour then that is their decision alone.
Peter, you miss my point completely.

Yes, it is Plaid's decision if they go into coalition with Labour and they will have to deal with the consequences.

However, this situation would never have arisen if we had not waivered over the rainbow deal in the first place. If the Executive had allowed the deal to go to conference for a decision instead of the ludicrous 'non decision' of the Exec. The rainbow would not have stalled in the first place. It almost certainly would have been ratified by all parties concerned.
As you know Pontyqwindy, I did not have a vote on the Executive but the responsibility for what happened lies with procedural decisions taken before the election, the inadequate constitution that does not contain a casting vote for the Party President and the fact that those advocating a rainbow coalition failed to make their case adequately and prepare the ground to win the vote.

Irrespective of what happened if the other parties are so commited to the rainbow then they would move forward on it. It seems that for Plaid at least, our procedural difficulties were the excuse they needed to jump ship. The problem with rainbows is that they fade away, you should stop trying to grasp hold of it and work in the real world instead of what might have been.

It is of course entirely possible that there will be a rainbow coalition in Wales, but if there is not then that will not be our fault. People must accept responsibility for their own decisions and that means Plaid as well.
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