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Friday, October 08, 2004

Open revolt

The secret plot against First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, has started to turn into open defiance by some of his AMs. Peter Law of course, counts as a usual suspect, however the fact he is prepared to come out so openly and say that Rhodri must go is either a sign that the tide has started to turn or that Peter, himself, is preparing to break his links with Welsh Labour and announce that he will be standing as a Forward Wales candidate in Blaenau Gwent at the next General Election. Whatever the reason I loved this analogy:

"Five years ago Rhodri Morgan was a folk hero. The problem is that he has ridden into the castle, pulled up the drawbridge and is now a baron."

Like most newspaper-manufactured leadership crises this one will disappear without trace. After all it is not as if Rhodri Morgan is in significant trouble with his own group. Most of the jitters belong to the 34 Labour MPs who have to defend Jane Hutt's health service on the doorsteps in the forthcoming General Election. That can be overcome if the First Minister finally bows to the inevitable and jettisons his Health Minister. I predict however, that he will not do so this side of a General Election.

Rhodri values loyalty very highly. He also does not like being told how to run his administration whether it be upstart MPs, the fourth estate or the opposition doing the telling. He will not want to give any of these the victory they crave and will seek to ensure that any reshuffle is on his terms and at a time of his choosing. Even then I would not be surprised if Jane Hutt remains Health Minister.

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