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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wake up call

In many ways the discovery by Leanne Wood that her government's legislative agenda is being dictated by UK ministers is no surprise. The Government of Wales Act was designed so as to effectively confer on the Secretary of State for Wales, the position of Viceroy. Still it is nice to see it out in the open. Perhaps Plaid Cymru now understand the sort of animal that Wales Labour is. They have made their bed and they must lie in it.
Do you seriously believe Peter that if you and Plaid had put the Tories into power in the Rainbow, there would have been a more sympathetic ear in Westminister and a better deal for the Welsh people where cooperation from London is required?

Leanne made exactly the right call in supporting a socialist coalition in Cardiff which has the greatest influence in London. She was too principled to even contemplate inflicting the Tories on Wales again. Pity the same can't be said for the Lib Dems, who incidently seem about to drift even further to the right as you shamelessly select a Cameron imitation for Leader.
I was never in favour of putting the Tories into power. As for Nick Clegg if you think he is just an imitation of Cameron then you are mistaken.
There is no way you can call the Labour party Socialist.

Its New Labour, which is a pale imitation of the tory party.

Look at their policies.

Aberavon and Neath Lib Dems
This comment is posted here in the wrong place but it is the only place available - it is late Thursday evening 18th October - did any of you see Lembit Opik MP on BBC "Dragon's Eye" tonight - he has lost it completely. The Lib Dems need to do something urgently to hang on to his seat - either deselect him now - or the Constituency Committee there needs to get really tough and call him in and say "Lembit we order you to stay away from all media & press interviews, keep your private life private; stop talking crap about becoming party President and just concentrate on local constituency issues. Otherwise you are out!"

You were not in favour of putting anyone in power, which is why you declined both coalition options until it was too late.
I cannot see how that so-called history lesson has any relevance to this constitutional issue. I am perfectly entitled to comment on such matters irrespective of what happened in coalition talks prior to Plaid Cymru walking away from the rainbow option.

I was not commenting on the constitutional issue but your inference that Leanne and her colleagues had some how made an error in joining Welsh Labour i.e. the 'made their bed comment'. What superior option were you suggesting they take? Should Leanne, a committed socialist have joined you lot trying to put the Tories into power? She did the right thing for Plaid and the people she is in politics to help.
PS Cleggs free market 'devil take the hindmost' politics will undoubtedly take the Liberals well to the right of their current position. Is that really what you want to see?
I wasn't suggesting that Leanne Wood had another option, just that there is a price to be paid for getting into bed with Labour and she has to be prepared to pay it.

I dont accept for one minute that Nick Clegg is of the right. I have met him a number of times and he is a good Liberal who recognises the importance of social justice as part of the Liberal Democrats' programme.
The media are having great difficulty in pinning "left" and "right" labels on the candidates. Steve Webb, once described as a standard-bearer for the left, has confused them by endorsing Nick Clegg, the alleged right candidate.

Clegg's obviously liberal home affairs team is split in its support between the two candidates declared so far.

- Frank Little
You deny Clegg is a Cameron imitation. How did you guess who Patriot was talking about then?
er..because he/she said so!
Seem to have started an interesting string here. There is no doubt that the young lib dem turks are of the right. The most cursory glance of the 'orange books' confirms this. They will present a real problem for the Welsh Lib Dems as their free market choice agenda for the middle classes will not chime at all in egalitarian Wales. Back to the original question Peter what are you for? How is it different to Cameron's Tory 'light' brigade?
And there is your problem Patriot, you have only taken a cursory glance at the Orange book. If you were to read it cover to cover you would discover that it is not the right wing tract that the press like to portray it as. The agenda you talk about does not exist in the terms you describe and certainly not in the policy of the Liberal Democrats.

Both I and others have already adequately answered the question of what the Liberal Democrats are for. In a country in which the Labour and Tory parties are virtually indistinguishable from each other we are the liberal conscience, the upholders of freedom, liberty, choice, diversity and opportunity. Opposed to those who think that the state knows best but who believe in empowering people so that they can achieve their full potential. A party of social justice as well as a party of the individual. It does not matter how many times you ask the question you are always going to get the same answer.
Plaid cannot be accused of walking away from a coaliton deal that had already been scuppered by the Lib Dems. Creating a situation to remove the First Minister would not only have made a martyr out of Rhodri but would also have brought the whole devolution situation into disrepute. This obviously was an issue for the Lib Dems.

In terms of Nick Clegg, he is perfect for attracting the soft Tory vote in the shires and is a very good communicator. Let's face it though, he will not help the Lib Dems in Wales.
As I recall events the Welsh Liberal Democrats executive failed to support the All Wales Accord but that was rectified a few days later when our Conference voted 60-40 in favour of it. The Plaid Assembly Group had both documents in front of it when it made its decision and walked away from the rainbow to join with Labour. Whatever their reasons, it was they who finally killed the Rainbow Coalition.

I would suggest that you don't pass judgement on Nick Clegg until you have seen him in action. He has already proved in putting together the party's immigration policy that he is anything but a soft tory. He is a mainstream Liberal and his leadership will greatly benefit us here in Wales.
By the time the Lib Dems had rectified the situation, Rhodri had been made First Minister. This would have meant that as the largest opposition party, Plaid would have had to create a situation where the First Minister was brought down on a vote of no confidence, in the full glare of the media and Welsh electorate.

Can you imagine the fuss from a cynical media and the moral high ground Labour would have taken?

Also, how could Plaid put their trust in a Lib Dem AM group of which some members had actively gone against the rainbow option - and trust on their support for 4 years with such a narrow overall majority?
So what you are saying is that Plaid Cymru failed to grasp their opportunity to lead Wales because they were afraid of what the media and Labour might have said? What nonsense. Even as late as the decisive Plaid meeting senior members of that group considered that the scenario you paint was a realistic option and achieveable.

And why was Rhodri First Minister in the first place? Because Plaid allowed his election to be brought forward and for it to happen unopposed instead of waiting for the verdict of the Welsh Liberal Democrat membership. At least under Dafydd Wigley your party had balls.

I could equally pose the question to you of how we could trust a Plaid Cymru group in which five members had actively opposed the rainbow coalition and trust on their support for four years for such a narrow majority?

In fact the answer would be the same in both instances. Firstly, as Labour demonstrated when they ran Wales with 30 and 29 AMs in the second Assembly, 34 AMs is in fact quite a big majority. Secondly all the AMs are grown-up politicians and democrats. They have a democratic disagreement and then accept the will of the majority and work with it. That is how institutions like the Assembly work.

Honestly all this bleating is getting a bit tiresome and you havent even got the guts to say who you are.
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