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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The search for a leader

Dear oh dear, what is this obsession with Peter Hain, Adam Price and Eluned Morgan all about? Why exactly does the Western Mail keep up with this pretence that politicians of its choosing can be parachuted into the Welsh Assembly to take on the mantle of First Minister/future leader of Plaid Cymru etc?

Do they not realise that there are democratic processes that must be gone through both to get the individuals concerned into the Senedd in the first place and then to get them elected to leadership positions?

Playing musical chairs with internal party processes has become part of the Western Mail's signature tune. Like all of us they want the best people to run Wales, so naturally they are continually scouting around to see who might be available to do the job. It is the sort of game you might play in the pub after a few drinks but only if you were one of several political anoraks at a loose end.

The reality is of course that various leadership positions will be settled amongst the current pool of politicians sitting as Assembly Members. It might be more helpful therefore if the 'National Newspaper of Wales' abandoned the fantasy politics and concentrated on giving us an overview of the real choices facing the political parties. That at least would fulfil one of its duties as a newspaper, to inform its readers.

It would also be nice if we could have a debate about policies rather than individuals. What are the prospective leaders going to do about affordable housing, local government, health reorganisation and the economy, for example? We really do need to know and so do those who will actually be voting for them.

P.S. Before you pile in with comments I am planning a piece on the Welsh Liberal Democrat leadership for Liberal Democrat Voice shortly. It is here.
Regarding the Western Snail; it would appear that it's gone the same way as the Glamorgan Gazette. Regarding your comments on the economy (who's going to be running it) I'm sure there will be more people buying the paper on a Thursday.
Walesonline has seemingly removed the story about Peter Hain, no doubt because it is a load of rubbish.
Anon#2: this article?


PS IcWales has been a bit off/on this morning (East Coast time, I guess that would be + 5hours and hence afternoon on Cardiff time).
Perhaps the Lib-Dems should shake a leg in picking their new Welsh leader - "the Russians are coming".
Wednesday's South Wales Echo (p14)discussed the possiblity of Mrs Gwenda Thomas being offered a peerage "...in Mr Hain's case, the present AM Gwenda Thomas would be prevailed upon to stand down, possibly with the offer of a peerage" in order for Mr Hain to become AM for Neath, then become leader.

Not quite sure which is worse, the subpost mistress going to the upper house or Hain becoming leader of the Welsh Assembly.

We need an elected Upper House and proportional representation at elections for all levels of government.
Peter, on Sunday, August 17 you posted this:

"I have already made it clear on this blog that I do not tolerate trolls who hide behind their anonymity to make snide and destructive party political points....... I am not going to engage with negative sniping from those who do not have the guts to add their names or a consistent on-line identity to their comments. Such postings will not be published. Anonymous comments with a constructive contribution to make to the discussion, even if it is critical will continue to be posted."

Presumably you allowed the previous negative sniping comment from an Anonymous poster at 10.13am, because you happen to agree with that particular bit of destructive, party political and negative sniping.

As a Liberal Democrat, I am sure you will welcome the spirit in which I draw this to your attention and expose your contradiction and hypocracy to your readers.
On the contrary allowed that post because the final sentence amounted to a constructive point. The rest of it is just robust debate and nothing like as bad as the sort of comments my previous message referred to.
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