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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

More coalition theories

This morning's Western Mail reports on an article by BBC Welsh Affairs Editor, Vaughan Roderick for the Institute of Welsh Affairs’ Agenda journal.

Vaughan argues there were two reasons behind Plaid’s decision to go into coalition with Labour rather than support the rainbow alternative. The first, he says, is that they regarded the Welsh Liberal Democrats as unreliable after our national executive failed to back the rainbow deal. The second reason he believes can be traced back more than 30 years:

He writes, “The second reason for Plaid’s decision is to do with guts, or the lack of them. A little-remembered event from the 1970s is still seared into the memories of Plaid’s leadership.

“In 1976 it briefly appeared that the party had made its longed for political breakthrough in the Valleys, taking control of Merthyr and Rhymney Valley Councils. The latter experience proved productive. A minority administration reached an accommodation with Labour, and Plaid has remained a major force in Caerphilly ever since.

“In Merthyr Plaid crashed and burned, mired in a swamp of scandal, inexperience and obstructive council officers. It has never recovered.

“As a party of perpetual opposition, Plaid simply didn’t feel ready to lead a government. The Rainbow could have proved to be Merthyr. A deal with Labour was the Rhymney Valley option.”

Personally, I am not so sure about this. My view is that Plaid Cymru chose to reject the rainbow coalition because they believed that they had a better chance of getting a referendum on more powers for the Assembly with Labour.

Vaughan adds: “Despite their at times farcical actions, the Liberal Democrats can and will recover. The local government base looks pretty solid and a gradual expansion at that level of government should eventually feed through into Assembly list seats. The party has work to do, though, to convince the other Assembly groups that it could be a credible and reliable partner.”

I agree with that analysis. Part of the mistrust felt towards us is rooted in a belief that our Assembly Leader does not have the support of his party and so could not deliver on a deal. I think we have proved in the past that we could deliver in such circumstances nevertheless, we are not going to really be in a position to negotiate again until we have a leader who has a recent democratic mandate and the authority that comes with that.
It is also true that the LDs had sorted out their support for the rainbow within 3 days or so of the constitutional blip and, most tellingly, long before plaid ditched the project to support labour.
Peter, he couldnt origionally deliver on the rainbow deal, how were plaid, or the tory's seriously expected that the lib dems could be trusted!
Nobody ever seems amazed outside of Swansea, that the large Swansea Council has a new majority PLC Coalition Group running all the Council's Committees (but not the Cabinet - yet) consisting of an alliance in Swansea between Plaid Cymru with Labour and the Conservatives. For a minute forgetting about the little insignificant party called Plaid Cymru, surely this must be a FIRST in the UL of Labour in Coalition to oppose the Liberal Democrats who are rising to become a rising force of integrity. The Swansea Council elections of May 2008 should be very interesting and should the focus of interest of political commentators from all over UK.
"the little insignificant party called Plaid Cymru"

.....says the liberal democrat!!!
I think Green Man would be most insulted to be called a Liberal Democrat. If it is who I think it is then he is an ex member of Plaid Cymru and currently not affiliated to anybody else.
Fair enough - but he talks like a liberal democrat, and seems to criticise all parties bar the LDs

So, if it loooks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks - it's a duck.
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