Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Is there one twist left?

Is there any hope left for a Rhodri Morgan led Government in Cardiff Bay. Readers of this blog will know that I hope not. Following Plaid Cymru's decision to suspend talks with Labour, it looks all over. But could Lib Dem activists give Rhodri his dream? Would Rhodri take it if it was offered? Let me take this on a bit.

I've wanted to see the birth of the Rainbow Coalition for years, and since Plaid beat the Tories in the recent election, I've thought it an inevitable conclusion of the discussions that are now drawing to a close. Now I'm sure we'll be hearing from plenty of other commentators who thought it was inevitable all along as well. But its not quite all over. Lib Dem activists could scupper it all on Saturday.

All my contacts tell me that Plaid will agree the deal, no bother. Anything else would be self-destruct. But the Lib Dem activists are not so likely to be so compliant - especially when Peter Black is winding them up with his obvious distaste for the whole thing.

It is rather fun to speculate about what would happen if the Lib Dems were forced by their Saturday conference to sit on their hands in the Assembly vote next week. With Dafydd El presiding, a vote for Ieuan as First Minister would go down by one vote if Trish Law backs Labour, which I would expect her to do. What the devil happens then? I don't know. Would Rhodri be asked to form a minority government? Perhaps he'd refuse. Perhaps he'd prefer another election. Think about it.

He'd be able to say, "I told you so - vote Plaid and get Tory Ministers". He might think that the Gordon Brown bounce would help him next time. He might think that Labour's core vote would come back after giving them a kick up the backside three weeks ago. He may think that all the Plaid and Lib Dem shilly-shallying will make them look incompetent. Oh please don't let it be possible. No-one outside of Labour could stand it (very definitely including me before I have a comment suggesting otherwise). The one consolation is that the UK media would probably start covering Wales then!


Anonymous said...

BBC News:

However, within minutes of Plaid's announcement on Tuesday night, a group of Plaid AMs released a statement issuing their opposition to a rainbow coalition.

Leanne Wood, Bethan Jenkins, Helen Mary Jones and Nerys Evans said they were against a coalition with the Tories.

Leanne Wood said: "It is with regret that we do not agree with the decision made in our group meeting. We respectfully disagree.

"We fought this election on a platform to deliver a proper Parliament for our nation. A deal with the Conservatives would undermine the chance of delivering that goal."

Helen Mary Jones added there was a clash of values and principles between Plaid and the Tories, and that the AMs who opposed the move had thought "long and hard about making a public statement".

"But, we think it is now right that we seek to convince our members to oppose what we believe would be a mistaken decision," she said.

Anonymous said...

Labour are practically broke though, I can't see them wanting another election. Even if there was another election I can't see them increasing their seats regardless of any 'Brown bounce,' if indeed there is such a thing.


Glyn Davies said...

Those 4 Plaid girls have got real b***s. I might not like it - but I'm really impressed. Helen Mary is a Montgomeryshire girl - and I reckon she has got leadership written all over this.

Guto said...

Vaughan and Betsan on the BBC bolgs state that Trish Law has signalled her support for Ieuan and not Rhodri. Can't find that information anywhere else though

mabon said...

i cannot believe how many AMs are speaking up about refusing to work with others. its a criticism of welsh voters choice to vote who they want. we see the agreement in nortern ireland yet our labour ams are detesting plaid (ergo welsh plaid voters) and now plaid are detesting tories. sad state of affairs this, especially as a new radical welsh political history is so close.

Luke Young said...

guto - When asked who she'd prefer Trish Law told the BBC live on election night that she would support a labour government (well actually she said 'New Labour') moments after she was re-elected.

To do anything else would surely damage her peoples voice party in blaenau gwent.

Anonymous said...

The Rainbow Coalition would be the best option for Mid Wales and Montgomeryshire. It would finally make the local (Montgomeryshire and Brecon and Radnor) AM's more accountable and we'd actually have a Government that had to take note of the voters and taxpayers in Mid Wales.

Christopher Glamorgan said...

Looks like it's all going to happen at the Senedd or is it? Tuesday, 29 May 2007 at 12:30.

Will Glyn be hailed as the new Oracle?

Will the Plaid Ladies (with b***s) be hailed as the witches of Macbeth (in reverse) by their own party?

Will Rhodri Morgan be able to divide and conquer?

How will we all be able to sleep this weekend with all this in our minds?...

Glyn Davies said...

I've heard today that Trish would go with Ieuan rather than Rhodri - but not first hand. This was a surprise to me because I too had heard the same as Luke. What on earth has Rhodri done to bring such antipathy down upon his head.

Now I've wanted to see a Rainbow Coalition for years - and I find it really disappointing when senior people in all parties prefer the relative comfort of opposition to the hotbed of government. It won't be easy, but in a few weeks time, I believe that the concerns being expressed at the moment (based on historical prejudices) will be forgoton. And I'm with the witness on this as far as mid Wales is concerned.

Anonymous said...

'Rainbow coalition?' surely 'the Glyn Davies Project' would be a better description. ;)