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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Coalition tensions

With the US elections all but over our attention turns back to domestic politics and the inevitable tensions that are beginning to surface in the One Wales Government as Plaid Cymru come to realise that the Wales Labour Party's commitment to devolution is surface-deep after all.

The Tories have brought out their own report today in which they have also reverted to type. Their open-mindedness about acquiring more powers for the Assembly and even supporting a 'yes' vote in a referendum that was evident at the time of the coalition talks, has now dissipated into thin air. There are of course one or two Tory AMs who continue to support more powers for the Assembly but they are becoming increasingly isolated within their own party.

Plaid Cymru Chair, John Dixon, sounds positively disheartened by the situation that Plaid Cymru now find themselves in on his blog. I am not surprised. Plaid walked away from the Rainbow coalition precisely because they thought that they would have a better chance of a referendum in partnership with Labour. That now appears to have been a forlorn hope.

I do not know of course but I suspect that if the Rainbow Coalition had gone ahead the Lord Wyn Roberts' report on devolution would have been much more positive than it has turned out to be. The Tories would have been locked into commitments that they can now conveniently forget and might even have had some sway over an incoming UK Government under David Cameron to give us the referendum that we all need and want.

No doubt that judgement will be dismissed as nonsense and that may be the case. However, the chance of having a referendum before 2011 turns out to have been fairly equal under either coalition option.

No wonder Plaid Cymru are kicking themselves for turning down the chance of Ieuan Wyn Jones becoming First Minister in return for a meaningless commission and a promise that the Labour Party never had any intention of honouring.
Did the Tories choose to publish their report to co-incide with the American election results in the hope it would not get any publicity?
Promises that aren't kept to the electorate - nothing new there from Labour
Your love affair with Tories is nothing short of a damn disgrace.

Wales has never and will never, have any truck with Tories in any guise in Wales.

Why do Welsh Lib Dems want to ignore electoral wish and act as some kind of Trojan Horse or Cameron outrider?

When will you wake from the slumber of your electoral unpopularity and smell the sephological coffee on this issue.

You will not be forgiven for supporting the Tories like this.

You put your case to the people of Wales last year and it was rejected in overwhelming numbers.

Now deal with it and stop trying to scrat your way into power and letting the Tories back in through the backdoor in the process.

Do you have no left principles man?!
Sorry Brian Gittins, you appear to have strayed into the wrong blog by mistake. I have no love affair with the Tories and I opposed the Rainbow Coalition.

If it takes a majority for a party to be accepted by the electorate then all four of Wales parties were rejected in 2007.

My comment is on the choices that Plaid Cymru made, however we can not decide the future of Welsh government on the basis of prejudice. We need to make the assessment on the deal available and how it will benefit the people of Wales.

By the way it is psephological!
im afraid brian you're a bite wide of the mark in your estimation of tory support - or lack of it - in wales!!!!! The tories have generally and consistently polled at least around 20% of votes cast in westminister and assembly elections in wales.

True this has not always translated into seats - quirk of first past the post im afraid - but even as as a lifelong tory hater (till 'new labour' and blair came along and were even more right wing lol) would not suggest the tories have no support in wales.

Class and class interests exist in wales like anywhere else and it would be naive to imagine these class interests would not be reflected in votes for the tories.
So even in a self governing wales there will still be a conservative party or centre right party of some sorts, and which will votes and seats.

An interesting interpretation, but not one I'd agree with. Far from 'kicking myself', I for one am really rather glad that we haven't found ourselves locked into an arrangement with a party whose commitment to progress has been shown to be shallow, dishonest and insincere. I simply do not share your faith that Lord Roberts' report would have been any different had they been in government.

The question is whether I should be applying the same words to the Labour Party's commitment. I actually think that Rhodri Morgan was - and is - sincere in his commitment, along with a number of other people in the Labour Party. But the running is being made by those who seem to believe that they can simply tear up or ignore the commitments that were made, not just by Rhodri Morgan and the AMs, but by the whole party in a special conference.

I'm not currently convinced that they understand either the importance of the commitment they made to the agreement that was reached or the likely consequences, not just in the short term, but for any sort of inter-party trust in the longer term, of not honouring their pledges.
I'm not against independence or a republic, but at this moment in history when our elected cohort in Cardiff are generally (about forty of them) of a lower calibre than I'd be comfortable with running a local Parish Council. I'd not give this lot any Law making or Budget / Tax raising powers until most of them have been flushed out of Cardiff Bay. Thank goodness Labour has tucked up Plaid Cymru on this issue, but I'd not hold my breath that it will destroy the Coalition. Both sides are now used to their Ministerial salaries and Cardiff Bay comforts. They will stick it out and say "sod Cymru!"
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