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

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rhodri makes his move

The BBC is reporting tonight that Labour have made a formal offer to Plaid Cymru to come into a coalition government with them. I understand that the offer involves a minimum of three cabinet seats and the guarantee of a referendum on full assembly powers.

Plaid AMs will discuss the offer on tonight, and according to the BBC a senior party member said it was an "odds-on certainty" they will support further discussion.

Responding to these events Mike German said that they bear an uncanny resemblance to what happened with Alun Michael in 2000. "When the Labour Party are hanging over the cliff edge, hanging on by their fingertips, they shout for help. Back then Alun Michael made a similar last ditch offer to us. We rejected it because at that time we felt people had rejected Alun Michael's Labour government."

As I recall events the Welsh Liberal Democrat group spurned a glass of wine with the then First Secretary and the Secretary of State for Wales and went for a curry instead. Plaid have already had one curry moment in 2003, when they forced the resignation of Ieuan Wyn Jones as Party President. Will they go for a curry this time? I think that it is unlikely but what the eventual outcome will be is difficult to predict.

The question Plaid have to answer now is whether they want to hold the position of First Minister and directly run the Welsh Government in partnership with the other parties or play second fiddle to Rhodri Morgan? Whatever the outcome, let us hope that they accept that their destiny is entirely in their own hands. We should not expect finger-pointing at others for decisions that are their responsibility alone.
It's nice to know that everyone is getting on well again. I was beginning to wonder if all the love went out of Welsh politics (big smile).


The reason Plaid exists is to deliver self determination for Wales. The choice for them is simple. With Labour a Scottish type Parliament will happen. Leading the 'rainbow' it will not happen not now nor in forseeable future. You know only too well that no referendum will get off the stocks or have any chance of success without full Labour backing.

So Ieuan's choice is simple and he will be held to account for it. He can choose himself or the interests of Wales. It will be an interesting test.
Whatever the view from the cheap seats, the big question is who is going to get what in a Labour-Plaid curry cabinet. And what's the betting that the number of portfolios increase accordingly?
if what we hear is right I think Plaid can accept what Labour have to offer. I'd support this also, but am absolutely gutted the rainbow option wasn't recntky taken.
Labour really needed to learn they do not run Wales. Id someone of your stature in the party had been more positive things could have been so different.
What a strange decision by the lib dms that may mean they have no say in Government.
Peter said; "We should not expect finger-pointing at others for decisions that are their responsibility alone."

Are the Lib/Dems now ready if a Rainbow happens? Or will they claim they never wanted to be in government anyway?
Anon 9.46pm: To the contrary, the Welsh Liberal Democrats in fact made the decision that they did wish to be in government. This is not just about being in government however, it is about making sure that you govern with a worthwhile and deliverable programme.

Anon 11.20pm: The Welsh Liberal Democrats are of course ready if a rainbow coalition happens. They have voted for it and are now waiting on Plaid Cymru to say yes or no.
What everyone forgets is that a referendum on further powers has to be won. Rhodri Morgan can't stop anyone in the Labour party campaigning for a 'no' vote to further powers. In both 1979 and 1997 Labour couldn't control many of its leading politicians going against party policy on devolution.It will not be able to next time. Many in favour of more powers seem to believe that the result is in the bag.The trouble with this attitude is that it ignores the silent majority of voters who played no part in either the 1997 referendum or subsequent assembly elections. No one knows how they will vote or how they will judge the activities of political parties in Wales since May 3rd.A great deal will also depend on the question on the referendum paper and whether or not MPs will insist on something other than a simple majority in favour of change. You are right about Plaid. They have to make a decision in the next few weeks which could make or break the party. Given the fact that many of them are motivated by either intense dislike of Labour or the Tories it will be interesting to see which way they jump.
It is still too early to call which way Plaid members will vote, but what is clear is that the rainbow would have been an absolute certianty if the Lib Dems with your support had not intitially blocked it. As you are well aware, that delay of 3 days allowed Rhodri to be elected and the Labour group some breathing space to re-consider their options.

Plaid's National Council was at least 80%-90% in support of the rainbow on the day of your Saturday meeting and within a week Labour would have been out.

However you try to pass the buck, if the rainbow now fades way, the Lib Dems will be to blame.
No we are well past that stage. The Rainbow Coalition is very much in play. If it does not happen now then it is entirely down to Plaid Cymru. You cannot pass the blame back to us but then this should not be about a blame game anyway.

We all have to choose the path which we believe offers the best solution for Wales and for our Party. I am still sceptical about the rainbow but because my party voted for it I will accept their decision and work for it. All views are valid. Should we not be debating those views rather than pointing fingers. That after all is what the democratic process is about.
That is all very well, but all you have done throughout this recent blog is to try to point the finger at Plaid, when in reality the red/green coalition would not be on the agenda without your actions in Mid Wales. I can understand why you want to move on from this, as you know what's coming your way if the rainbow doesn't happen. Alex and you will well and truly be in the firing line and a historic opportunity to break Labour's grip on Wales, will have been missed.
I am not pointing the finger at anybody, I have just sought to pre-empt what I believe will be misguided attempts to deflect criticism away from Plaid. If Plaid decide to go in with Labour then that is a matter for them and I will not criticise them for it.

What happened in Mid-Wales is history but as I have said I did not have a vote and if I did then I would have voted for a Conference so as to allow members their say. How other parties reacted to that was a matter for them too. As it turned out, within days of the executive meeting there was a Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference vote in favour. The other leaders had the choice and the time to hold their nerve so as to delay any decision on First Minister until the following week.

If the historic opportunity you refer to is missed now then that will be Plaid Cymru's decision. By the way, who is Alex?
Post a Comment

<< Home

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