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

Sunday, November 04, 2007

On leadership

At 10am tomorrow nominations will close for the posts of Leader of the Welsh Assembly Liberal Democrat Group and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It is almost certain that Mike German will be elected to both posts unopposed, leaving him without any mandate to do what is needed.

I am aware that a number of members are unhappy at this situation. Many of them would have liked to have had a choice, even though they may have decided to vote for Mike. The Assembly Group however decided that this was not to be and all of them, bar me, signed his nomination form thus making it impossible for another candidate to stand.

A difficult meeting of the group was held prior to the Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference last month at which this issue was discussed. At the time I had the nomination I needed to stand but was convinced that I should not go ahead by what was said at the meeting. In short, it was made clear by close allies of the current leader that the contest and the debate I wanted would not happen.

So as to ensure that Mike could go at a time of his choosing, they effectively prevented an election by saying that they would leave me have the leadership unopposed, but in doing so would also make the group impossible to lead, refusing to cooperate with me. In the circumstances I felt that to have pressed ahead with my candidature would not have been in the best interests of the party. I cannot now see any circumstances in which I might renew my interest in the job, although things can and do change.

Mike German told Conference that he intends to stand down as soon as is convenient after May’s local elections. What that means exactly, I do not know. He has refused to be any more precise and although some media outlets have taken him at his word, others such as the BBC seem to have been briefed that he will stay in situ for another year.

Mike has said that he intends to give plenty of time for his successor to establish themselves before they need to face the electorate in 2011, but the sudden availability of the Welsh Party leadership puts a new complexion on this. It means that whoever will succeed Mike will have precious little time to make an impact before the General Election. That is why Mike needs to stand down in May rather than leave it until later.

My concern is that the changes that need to be made are too important to be put off. I also still have doubts about Mike’s continued interest in the post, especially in light of his decision to travel to Scotland with the Petitions’ Committee, instead of attending a showpiece Plenary debate on the One Wales document just before half term.

I believe that it would benefit the entire party if Assembly Members stopped deciding what was best for it and let the membership decide instead. We should not be afraid of debate and discussion nor should we be shy of holding key internal elections when they are constitutionally required, conspiring instead to put them off until a more convenient moment. That is neither open politics nor is it democratic.
Strong stuff Mr Black. You really must be a happy little team. You'll regret not going for it. Biog chances don't come along often.
Although I only live on the borders of Wales, it is clear as water that Mike German has passed his sell-by date as Leader.

Lib dems in Wales need a new Leader, preferably someone in tune with the style of politica whichhave succeeded in Cardiff and Swansea.
Interesting times we live in.
I admire your honesty Peter.
I think What the party members want is for the Assembly team to get out there, be seen, knock on doors and do some listening, organising and leading. Fourth party-politicking down in the bay is of ery little real use.

In reality though, many of us feel that it's probably time the group was refreshed next time around. It's had a decent run, and not been that successful frankly.

Sorry to read this really. It would have been good for your party to have had a leadership contest now, get it over with rather than hanging around like a bad smell.

Though I cannot really see the point of the Welsh Lib dems its important for the assembly that all the groups within it raise their game as both Plaid and the Tories have done.

On the post below you speculate about the budget process and say Labour people are upset etc. Mike Powell claims Plaid will have a problem in Gwynedd and in other local elections. It was claimed last year that our budget deal would damage us in the assembly elections but in the end it was Labour and the Lib dems who suffered not Plaid.

Plaid may make gains in Bangor and Caernarfon to compensate for any possible losses in the Llyn. Given that it is Plaid people leading the opposition to the schools issue it is more of a "family row" .
So a guy who (just about) everyone agrees needs to go, gets to stay in his job and is given another one as well.

Don't envy you. It has all the makings of a festering wound. Surely German's not going to have some farewell tour like Blair!
Post a Comment

<< Home

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