Friday, May 25, 2007

So What's New

Do you remember the story about the compulsive gambler who went on holiday with his wife, and found that his hotel was right next to a casino? After dinner, she fancied an early night, but he couldn't resist it. He decided to pop into the casino, after promising his wife that he would not gamble one penny of their holiday money. He was given £2's worth of complimentary 'chips' on entry. Two hours later after an extraordinary sequence of luck, he had amassed a fortune of £20 million. The casino had come to a standstill, and crowds of spectators had gathered. Nothing like it had ever happened before. He was packing up to go to bed, but the incredible atmosphere got to him - and he placed one final bet, putting the whole £20 million on the table. He lost the lot.

When he joined his wife in their room, she asked him how it had gone. He just shrugged his shoulders and said "I lost my £2 complimentary chips".

I thought of this story, in the context of today's events in the National Assembly. Way back last March, Rhodri Morgan was First Minister, leading a 'minority' government. And today, two months later, Rhodri Morgan is going to be elected First Minister of a 'minority' government. "Goodnight Darling, time to roll over and go to sleep."


Montgomeryshire Witness said...

But for how long?

Normal Mouth said...

What's new is that Rhodri is making very nice to PC and the Libs, talking of the 80% support for "progressive, radical" parties (or something like that).

If he can keep it up there might be a rainbow pact (not a coalition) after all. It just won't have a blue stripe.

Glyn Davies said...

How long depends on how it goes. But after what's happened over thelast few weeks, I don't expect any great change for at least a year.

normal mouth - I hope that my party shows its own 'progressive' qualities, and continues to undermine the negative image that we have sullered from for many years. We have reachwed a stage where two other parties in the Assembly saw us as an acceptable partner. We will build on that - and then anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

Glyn, what a fantastic allegory!

You have knocked the journalists of Wales into a cocked hat with that pealer.

If any editors are reading, give this man a paper column.


Patriot said...

They remain a wolf, however many layers of sheep's clothing they put on.
And however soft their woolly cloak, Wales will never forget how sharp were the wolf's teeth bit in Wales in the 1980s.

Wales has never been a Conservative country.
And it never will.

Mike German - Conference Speech 2007

Christopher Glamorgan said...

Glyn, your blog just gets better and better - keep up the good work as my summing up was too short and far too sweet...

P.S. While the public wait for Rodders to finish celebrating this weekend and 'The Others' to re-group (if that's possible), any thoughts on the Cabinet and its two new members???

gwe said...

Taking up the point made by NM - a "progressive" coalition is a common concept in many countries.

There was a lot of talk of a Rainbow Coalition in Germany some years ago, for example - Social Democratic Party (Red), The Green Party (Obvious) + The Free Democrats (Yellow- ish). It didn't happen because Red + Green got enough seats between them to form a government (twice).

Though to be honest, the Free Democrats in Germany are arch free marketeers and don't bear direct comparison with the Lib Dems here. Strangely enough I always used to ask myself what THEY were for! They were in cahoots with the conservaties for years - still are - after swapping sides during the Helmut Schmidt era. The Welsh Comservatives seem to be more 'liberal' than that bunch. Strange old world.

Anyway, for those who are interested, a 'grand coalition' is in place now - Red + Blue - they get on with it somehow. Ok, I know they've had years of practice at this cohabiting lark, but can you imagine THAT happening in Westminster? Interestingly, it is already happening on local government level in Scotland since the introduction of STV...

A sign of things to come?

Anonymous said...


Please, please, please do a post on the runners and riders for the next leader of Welsh Labour!!!

gwe said...

"There was a lot of talk of a Rainbow Coalition in Germany some years ago."

Sorry folks, I've been getting my 'rainbows' mixed up with my 'traffic lights' - an easy mistake as I'm sure you'll agree!

The coalition of Red, Green and Yellow was in fact called after the German word for traffic lights. Red, Yellow, Green: makes sense, really! As I said, it never made it onto federal (national) level but did exist in two of Germany's sixteen fedral states in the 90s.

A slightly more exotic variety is the so-called 'Jamaica' coalition, of Green, Yellow and Black (Christian Democrats). And before anyone takes a sharp intake of breath, the German 'colour' for fascism is brown, not black. This never made it onto the national stage either and is yet to appear at federal state level either. I think there's currently one example at local government level.

Other partnerships apart from a grand coalition of Red-Black, have been Red-Green (at all levels), Black-Yellow (at all levels), Green-Black (at local level) and in the old East Germany Red-Red (at federal state and local level). Red-Red being a coalition of Social Democrats and former communists, The Party of German Socialists.

I could go on, but I fear this post i quite long enough already.

gwe said...

hi glyn,

won't take up any more of your space - promise! Have just started a blog of my own - you may find my first post interesting - please drop by!

Cofion, gwe

Anonymous said...

patriot said:
" Wales will never forget how sharp were the wolf's teeth bit in Wales in the 1980s. "

The Welsh are already saying the same about New Labour.
A Rainbow coalition preferred over working with Rhodri and his party.

Anonymous said...

gwe said
""A sign of things to come? ""

Wales wants it's own full government and a modern government is one with parties working together. The sooner New Labour realises that the better. For its' own survival.

Glyn Davies said...

Pariot - it suited Mike German to present Tories as 'wolves in sheep's clothing' in 2007 - as it suits our opponents now. But I do not think this is true - and neither do most Plaid Cymru and Lib Dem AMs. And the view of the electorate is changing as well.

I will post my thoughts on Rhodri's Cabinet - and eventual replacement later today. I will also post my personal congratulations to the old grizzly on his election to th etop job again.

gwe - You read like Ronnie Barker at his best! Anything is possible when the roulette wheel of P R starts to spin.
I'm not sure what you mean by 'full' government. I am in favour of 'full' law making powers in devolved areas - but accept that not all powers should be devolved. The range of policy areas devolved will remain an area of debate and disagreement.

gwe said...

Ronnie Barker? A man of genius. I am not worthy to be mentioned in the same breath.

Incidentally, the 'full government' post was by Anon, not be me.

As to your point re devolved areas, I guess that's the 64,000 Euro question. In areas like defence and foreign policy (and by that I mean outside of the EU) it's pretty clear cut. But what about areas like engergy? That's going to be become a very contentious issue. The 'staggered' devolution currently found in the UK doesn't make it any easier either!

Anonymous said...

// I will post my thoughts on Rhodri's Cabinet - and eventual replacement later today. I will also post my personal congratulations to the old grizzly on his election to th etop job again. //

get on with it then!!

Anonymous said...

New Cabinet (including deputy ministers)

FM - Rhodri Morgan

DFM/Finance/Local Govt - Jane Davidson

Economic - Carwyn Jones

Business - Jane Hutt

Environment/transport - Andrew Davies

Social Justice/Housing - Huw Lewis

Education - Edwina Hart

Health - Brian Gibbons

Culture - Ann Jones

Rural Affairs - Karen Sinclair


Leighton Andrews
Christine Chapman
John Griffiths

NB 2 from North Wales - wouldnt be in there if Rhodri didnt need to balance things up. Also needs to have balanced male-female ratio.

Announcement Tuesday

Anonymous said...

My 2p worth:

FM - Rhodri Morgan

DFM/Finance/Local Govt. - Jane Hutt

Enterprise - Jane Davidson

Health - Andrew Davies

Education - Carwyn Jones

Environment - Brian Gibbons

Business - Carl Sargeant

Culture - Leighton Andrews

Huw Lewis
Christine Chapman
John Griffiths

Anonymous said...

Oops... I forgot to includ Social Justice, I think Edwina Hart will step down and Huw Lewis will take her place.

The new deputy (replacing Huw) will be Jeff Cuthbert

Anonymous said...

First Minister: Rhodri Morgan (obviously)
Finance, Local Govt: Andrew Davies
Enterprise: Carwyn Jones
Health: Jane Davidson
Education: Jane Hutt
Business: Carl Sargeant
Social Justice: Huw Lewis
Environment - John Griffiths
Culture: Leighton Andrews

Edwina Hart and Brian Gibbons to leave Cabinet.

Christine Chapman (Education)
Lorraine Barrett (Environment)
Jeff Cuthbert (Enterprise)
Lynne Neagle (Health)
Alun Davies (Culture/Welsh Language)