Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Still Backing the Rainbow

BBC have just gone big, under the heading of 'Breaking News', that Plaid Cymru are considering propping up Labour in office for the next four years. A senior figure from Plaid has been talking to the BBC before a party meeting tonight. Could it be that a representative of the 'Gang of Four' who really don't fancy working in coalition with my party is trying to create some momentum before the meeting. More likely, I think that Rhodri Glyn Thomas has been chatting to his constituency mate, Adam Price and has decided to test the water - test the water seriously that is, and Ieuan Wyn Jones' patience at the same time. But I do expect that when tonight's meeting is over, there will be a communique announcing further exploratory talks with Labour - with no commitment of course.

But I still agree with Peter Black, who is nearer to the action than I am these days. I still think the most likely option is that Wales will be governed by a 'Rainbow Coalition' of Plaid, the Lib Dems and my party. If my view is changing at all, it is that it is likely to happen sooner rather than later. Still, the BBC wouldn't be saying what they are saying without reason. So, I'm left wondering.

I'd been trying to think what issue might trigger the 'No Confidence' vote. Would it be nurse's pay - don't think so. What about Welsh Language Act - possible. Maybe the Budget - but I think Rhodri would let Plaid Cymru virtually write it. No, in the end, I still think they'll do it - basically because they can, its worth the risk and Ieuan wants to be First Minister. So let them do it in three weeks time - and give the new Ministers the summer recess to master their briefs. I'm on AM/PM tomorrow where we will be discussing the latest twist.


Bwganbrain said...

It's been fascinating watching the strategies develop to defend and change positions. Oh to have been a fly on many walls in recent weeks, it would make a great read had it all been carefully and correctly documented.
This latest "development" hopefully will not stop the change that is there to be had when the moment is right.
Plaid falling in with Labour will not deliver the paradigm shift we need in Wales and I sincerely hope they do not sell themselves for 3 tickets to the top table.
As for the right moment -could it be sponsored by Thomas Cook?

Activist said...

It maybe difficult for the right to understand but there are genuine socialists in Plaid and you represent everything they oppose. Whatever happens tonight that will not change. They will not vote for Tory policies and the 'rainbow' will struggle to get any Tory policies through.

Ultimately Ieuan can go for the first Minister post, but he will pay the price and take the responsibility of having killed the devolution project. Without Labour the dream of a Parliament is undeliverable. I may have it wrong but isn't the delivery of that dream what Plaid is for?

Christopher Glamorgan said...

It's nice to know that everyone is getting on well again. I was beginning to wonder if all the love went out of Welsh politics (big smile).


gutted said...

Glyn, I think Plaid will go for this if all that is suggested is on the table, they'd be mad not to. I have to say I'd have to support this to, despite being bitterly disapoointed that the rainbow opportunity wasn't grabbed when the chnace was there.
I so want labout to get a kicking and realise they don't own Wales, but working with the tories wasn't that appealing (You accepted!!!) and working with the lib dems again must be risky. Labour have put Plaid in an impossible position, offered rel power, stable government with a natural partner or the rainbow. If Ieuan goes rainbow and it doesn't quite work (The lib dems may chnage their mind!) Plaid will be onto a hiding to nothing.

Labour were on the ropes, even down for a count, but have bounced back, possibly to win on points.

Lib dems have a lot to answer for, and the very best of luck at oustng Lembit.

Ed Townsend said...

If Plaid still have to get their national council to agree any deal, how come anything decided or not decided by the Lib Dems has taken on such massive importance.
If the Lib Dem executive had coloured in the rainbow, and subsequent conference had also done so (as it did anyway), we would all have still been waiting for Plaid's July national council. Rhodri would have been installed as First Minister and we would be exactly where we are now.
So how come the Lib Dem 'hiccup' has taken on any imprtance whatsoever?
BTW, don't get carried away by Bloggsville - there's a real world out there and I can tell you it's a whole lot different from what I read here and in other Welsh blogs.
Entertaining, though, and if Glyn could only learn to spell we could make a journalist of him yet. Rather that than an MP!

Glyn Davies said...

bwganbrain - I'm with you on this but less confident after tonight's Plaid meeting

gutted - if Plaid do go with Labour, I will be hugely disappointed but if Labour will back the referendum, I can understand why. I won't blast them too much. But there was a prize on the table, and it was lost when the Lib Dems lost their way at Llandrindod one Wed. night. You make same point about Plaid's difficulty in refusing a genuine Labour offer as activist.

ed - But for the Lib Dem wobble, Rhodri would not have been elected First Minister - Ieuan would be First Minister today. And my spelling has improved since I began blogging - because of the stick I received from people like you.

Anonymous said...

Rhodri has very cleverly put Plaid in an impossible position. It started with Edwina's comments on Dragon's Eye and it continued on Friday's 'Good Evening Wales' where a well known labour Party figure in South Wales pointed out the close ideological links between many Plaid and Labour activists. The problem for Plaid is that if they go in with Labour they might get the referendum but the guarantee of Labour working for a 'yes' vote might not be worth the paper it is written on. Labour will probably also not support a new Welsh Language Act.It will be interesting to see how Ieuan Wyn sells all of this to activists who hate the Labour party. On the other hand he has difficulties with those in his party who see themselves as the real heirs to Keir Hardie and those who wrote the 'Miner's next Step'. He will have real difficulties convincing these activists to support any deal with the Tories. Whichever way Ieaun Wyn jumps is going to cause him and his party long term difficulties in an the difficult financial climate which everyone has forgotten about in the excitement of who will form a coalition. Whoever runs the assembly will have to make difficult decisions which will not be popular with the voters. Stopping hospital closures is just not an option in the long run. It might win votes in an election and in opposition you can say anything. But in government you have to make choices and that isn't easy.

Pads said...

/genuine socialists in Plaid ... will not vote for Tory policies/

Which specific Tory policies do you mean exactly?

Activist said...


The ones not mentioned yet but which will be introduced later on the grounds they are not excluded:

PFI for hospitals and schools
Market mechanisms and tariffs in Health
Privatisation of public services
Foundation Trusts and further power to local unaccountable bureaucrats.

Alan Cairns has already blogged about the possibility of introducing selection in Welsh schools under the cover of devolved powers.

Those that think a government can only do what is in the manifesto just show the naivety of having not been in government. Most of the above could be introduced with executive powers without enabling legislation in the Assembly. That is why the Plaid left must stop the 'rainbow' now.

Pads said...

activist - those are all New Labour policies. Really, they are. And all the new hospital trusts run by beauraucrats we've got now were set up by Welsh Labour.

Yes, there is a risk that Tories could sign up to the agreement, but then go back on it all. The same is also true for Labour.

There is no way the Plaid AMs (or Lib Dems) would go along with that kind of agenda.

activist said...

Yes they are also New labour policies and it is why Welsh Labour has a completely different agenda predicated on Welsh commutarian values.

With Tories in ministerial office Plaid would have no means of stopping them making these Executive decisions. You need to read the government of Wales Act.

Anonymous said...

activist said...
"Yes they are also New labour policies and it is why Welsh Labour has a completely different agenda predicated on Welsh commutarian values."

Looks like Hain wants to put a stop to that.

Christopher Glamorgan said...

It's amazing what you'll discover on the BBC pages these days:

The 'Master' and the 'Apprentice' - a race for First Minister

'The Apprentice' final that is showing this week is hotting up and the two contestants have battled it out while living together in their luxury pad in Cardiff Bay.


Glyn Davies said...

anon - good assessment of Plaid's dilemma. They have a difficult choice to make. I was sure of the rainbow , but I'm wobbling.

pads - good point - which is not convincingly answered by activist in my opinion. If the Conservatives were to put forward any policy which is not in the accord and which Plaid disagree with, it will be defeated. So what's the problem

Anonymous said...

Labour is also in a dilemma. They know that the present situation is unsustainable but the alternatives are also dangerous for the future of the party. If Labour doesn't create a more stable government by some sort of deal with Plaid they know that they will soon be in opposition. There are advantages to this for some in the party. It maintains Labour's purity. It could allow the party to use opposition to think about devolution in a more constructive way and develop interesting policies. It could also allow the party to expose the rainbow coalition when it has to face the eventful difficult task of making decisions in government. But it could also lead to the Labour party because of the electoral system being in permanent opposition unless there is a fall out betwen the rainbow partners with the lib dems moving back to labour under a new leader. There is also the danger of Labour tearing itself apart in opposition as the various factions argue about deveolution. The plaid deal on the other hand might suit the assembly members but it will be hated by Labour members who see Plaid as their main opponents in many parts of Wales. Opponents who in the past have played dirty and there is real bad blood betwen many of the personalities at a local level. What ever happens in the next few weeks politics will not be the same for either Plaid or the labour party in the future.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - lots of questions and no answers. It can't carry on much longer