Sunday, February 17, 2008

What do Plaid make of it.

Perhaps Ieuan Wyn Jones, Leader of Plaid Cymru in the National Assembly accepts that First Minister, Rhodri Morgan and Secretary of State for Wales, Paul Murphy have to be 'nasty' about his party at Labour's Welsh Conference this weekend. But what about the voters who supported Plaid last May? Today Rhodri promised a "no holds barred' scrap with Plaid Cymru in May's local elections. And Harriet Harman won two ovations when she launched into Labour's coalition partner. And then there's Paul Murphey. His comments are worth repeating.

"I've been called a devo-sceptic. No, I'm a devo-realist. The All-Wales Convention will be testing the waters about a referendum on Assembly powers. It is understandable that people debate these issues. However, as a party committed to social justice, we should always keep the services that matter most to people at the forefront of our thinking - schools and hospitals, tackling crime and bringing jobs to Wales. It is these things which people care about most, and so its delivering these services which should be a priority"

Nothing earth shaking in this for most of us. But its as clear as day that a referendum on law making powers doesn't even register on Paul Murphy's list of priorities - and this was the issue that led Ieuan Wyn Jones to prop up Rhodri Morgan in office last May, rather than do an Alex Salmond in Wales. You can bet that IWJ and his 'spinners'are desperately reassuring his party activists on the phone tonight with something like

"Rhodri and Paul don't really mean it. Its just that they have got to throw a bit of red meat to all those 'nasty' Labour activists - and their 'nasty' Deputy Leader from Westminster who we shouldn't take much notice of because she went straight back over the border. Anyway, you can tell that she know nothing about Wales because she described the nice Welsh Tories as 'nasty'. How ridiculous can you get. Oh, and we shouldn't worry too much about that Convention thing we promised last May, which Paul is merrily kicking into the long grass. It was only really a cover to stop us doing a deal with the Tories - and to save me from having to take the responsibility of being First Minister. It'll all turn out fine. Trust me."


Ian said...


So your MPs would have lined up to support a Parliament for Wales, would they? I doubt that your Welsh MPs would even support the existing settlement, if they had the chance to get rid of it. Come on Glyn. Get your own house in order before writing off the 'One Wales' referendum.

Glyn Davies said...

Ian - This post was merely commenting on Plaid Cymru's position, and at the same time highlighting my view that Ieuan Wyn Jones made a serious error when he threw in his lot with Labour, rather than with my party. Don't suppose my blog has much influence, but it might lead others to believe the same thing.

If you want to know what my Westminster colleagues think, you'll have to ask them. And the commitment to a referendum 'at or before the next Assembly Election was nothing to do with us - and neither is the increasing liklihood that it will not happen. Sometimes this blog does express strong opinion - but in this case it was merely observing the Welsh political scene. Next weekend, it will be the Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

its easy to comment on what others do. dont bottle out of telling us what you would do. would the tories have agred a referendum on greater powers with plaid

Glyn Davies said...

anon - cannot answer that because I was not involved at the time. I'd just lost my position in the Assembly when all that coalition discussion was going on. Better ask our AMs.

Patriot said...


You underestimate the strength of the devolutionist left within Welsh Labour. It is the thinking element of the party, and the one which dominates the policy agenda. The commitment to the referendum is very strong as we all know that a socialist Wales can only be delivered through the ability to adopt policies very different to those required to satisfy marginal voters in England. My bet is still on a referendum before 2011 Glyn, unless there is an unexpected result in the leadership election to replace Rhodri.

Glyn Davies said...

patriot - maybe - or maybe not! I've just been reading Paul Murphy's comments in the WoS. 2011 doesn't look very promising to me.