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Sunday, October 14, 2007

A new mandate

At our Conference today Mike German will announce that he is re-standing for the position of Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Group leader. He will tell Conference that he will stay on long enough for him to finish work he is currently engaged on and that he will stand down as soon as possible after the May local elections so as to give the longest possible period for his successor to establish themselves.

This is a formula that has been agreed by the group after a number of them took it upon themselves to ensure that there will be no contest for that post. I am content that if the election to succeed Mike is concluded before the summer recess as I believe we have agreed then the debate we need on the party's future will have taken place within a reasonable time scale and without impinging on key local government elections.

It remains my view that the Group leader needs a fresh mandate. If the election takes place in June or July next year then we will be able to ensure that this is the case.
So will you stand Peter? Given that Kirsty and Bates won't, that Jenny won't challenge Mike, that Burnham is as popular as turd in a swimming pool... ball's in your court.
not so sure about this Peter, though it may have been the only way to avoid a spat.

doesn't this mean deferring discussion over direction until after an important set of elections here in Wales and, worse, leaving some of our AMs all to cosily esconced in the Bay for another half-year? Surely they should be out and about in key areas and wards, not putting their energies into being the 4th party in the assembly?
We need a leader who will work with all other partys. As at the moment we have little influence in the Assembly, and to give credit to Mike German he was in favour of the Rainbow Coalition, we need to work with others to deliver our policies. The next assembly election will be interesting, i hope the Plaid - Labour government will deliver results, if not there may be an opportunity for us in the next elections.

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democratd
Does Mike standing down affect anything, really? Whatever happens, there will still be the same group of six. Whilst individually they are very committed people, together I do not believe they make a good team.

Something drastic needs to be done to give the six a bit of a shake-up. With all due respect, they need to make an effort so that people are no longer under the apprehension that they hate each other.

Mike was a good leader, he will be missed. I just hope that the group learns to become a more effective team, working together better. Only then can we actually begin to affect anything in Wales.
Mike has been largely annonymous outside of the assembly tent for several months. The Lib Dems have failed to develop a strategy that embraces the public imagination and are effectively now lying in stagnant water. The Tories have done well under Campbell, Labour are in turmoil together with Plaid but the libs are just - well forgotten. If it were not for this blog then I would have no idea what the party was up to! I am not a member, nor likely to be, but I do think the Lib Dems need a major kick up the jacksie! Go for it Peter!
There needs to be a contest if only to give who ever wins the mandate to actually lead us in the direction that we want. To simply have an anointment will leave us in the same position as the Labour party is in Westminster, bereft of a proper mandate.
If you decided not to put your hat into the ring because of pressure from other AMs then you are not doing the party in Wales any favours at all. Our party should not be controlled and manipulated by the self aggrandizing AMs who were put where they are by the party and more importantly, the electorate of Wales! I can well imaging the conversation with one or two AMs and the threats of reducing our Welsh AMs to an unworkable group. Trust me Peter if they said and tried that they would soon see the errors of their ways. This party is not about being run by the select few and their hangers on. If what I suspect, and there were rumours of just that flying around the conference all weekend then truth will out. When it does, it may damage the party for a while, but, surely it is better that than to be dictated to by those who should know better. I believe we need to be allowed to exercise our rights as party members to have a say in the direction this party should be going in. Status Quo is not an option that we should tolerate and for it to have a change it needs a bold person to stick their head above the parapet and not only say so but to do so.

I ask you this Peter. Will you please stand for leader in the Assembly to at least give the ordinary members the voice in the party? In so doing you will give the eventual leader a mandate that he or she needs to move us on and it will also make us stronger as a political force as we will be seen to be practicing what we preach.
Robert said:

"and to give credit to Mike German he was in favour of the Rainbow Coalition"

And he was also in favour of a Labour coalition until it was clear the rest of the negotiating group weren't happy with it. The man was only interested in getting his feet under a ministerial desk. Good riddance... in 2008.
You know this is a thinly veiled attempt to create a succession plan for Jenny Randerson. She would never stand against him and this is a carefully crafted attempt to give her the best shot.

This would keep the party on its right of centre trajectory, ensure no prospect of ever cutting a deal with Labour and therefore drifting even further from contributing to a government of the radical centre left. Unless you want to be back in bed with the Tories in four years you must stand now and bust this cozy deal up.

Mark Hooper, who fought the last General Election and the recent Assembly Elections in the Vale of Glamorgan for the Liberal Democrats has launched a stinging attack on the leadership of the Party, and has called for Mike German to stand down now, instead of hanging on until after next May’s council elections.

“Mike was the architect of our campaign last May, and he should take responsibility for the poor performance – campaigners and activists on the ground worked extremely hard taking the message to voters, yet many aspects of the centrally organised campaign failed to deliver – we lacked the ideas, the infrastructure and the leadership that Wales was looking for.

“If Mike knows how to put things right, as he now suggests, why didn’t he take those decisions before now? The Party’s management and systems are in need of a complete overhaul, not a bit of tinkering. Wales deserves better from one of its main political parties, and there’s no room for second chances in the rough and tumble of politics.”

Mark also criticised the rest of the Assembly team for agreeing to the proposal, announced at the Party’s Autumn Conference in Aberystwyth.

“The leader of our Party in Wales must emerge from within the Assembly group, yet it seems none of them have the courage or vision to stand up and start the process of renewal and regeneration we so desperately need. The Welsh Lib Dems need to offer a distinct alternative to the other parties, and that requires a fresh vision, and a new mandate.

“The people of Wales shouldn’t have to wait another six months or so until Lib Dem members can debate the future direction of the Party. Lembit Opik is stepping down, Mike German should follow suit, and I call on one of the other five Assembly Members to pick up this mantle and take our Party forward.

The lump under the carpet in the office of the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats in the Welsh Assembly is surely starting to take on monumental propotions. What ever deals were done behind closed doors in Aberystwyth this weekend the truth is starting to come out.
In an attempt to hide the gross mismanagement of the assembly election campaign of May 2007 we now have WLD AMs threatening to "make the group unworkable" if anyone were to stand against the current incumbent and mastermind behind those elections! The same mastermind who in the subsequent horse dealing left us Welsh Lib Dems with nothing more than a pile of steaming manure!
One of the leaders great ideas was to not allow any spend in Pontypridd and to spend £1836 in Cardiff West where even Lord Rennard was duped into thinking of it as a "place to watch", we came fourth! If we had nearly halved our list haemorrhage in Pontypridd we would have had a list AM elected! Alas even our fedrally paid for campaigns officer declined all requests for assistance as he told us we could not be trusted.

Pontypridd 2007
Constituency vote 6489
List Vote 3985
Difference -2,504 difference -38.59%

Cllr. Mike Powell
Trallwn Ward,
RCT Liberal Democrats
07779 337839
Trust in Wales Ymddiried yng Nghymru
yup, there is something rotten in the way that the party's structured. It's maybe what happens when something grows from a ery small beginning - people don't want to let go.

I think (for what it's worth) that all of our AMs should now tell us why they should be re-selected, and what they will do between now and the next election to grow the party, including, yes - outside of their own backyards.

Should the group be made 'unowrkable' in the future we - the members - should be told and, if need be, the miscreants should be de-selected.

It's hard, but the only way.
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