Thursday, September 11, 2008

Watch for the 'Weasel Words'.

I like Aberystwyth. I didn't like it when I was a child because it had so little sand on its beach. I preferred Borth and Ynyslas. Anyway, Aberystwyth has made it onto the UK news today, because its currently home to the Plaid Cymru's Annual Party Conference.

BBC tells us that its Parliamentary Leader (and recently defeated Presidential candidate) Elfyn Llwyd is challenging Gordon Brown to hold an election. "Bring it on Gordon" is the clarion call ringing out over Aber tonight. Elfyn reckons that Plaid can emerge from a General Election with a few more MPs. He also reckons that he's going to win a million on the lottery this week. I don't think propping up Labour in Government in Cardiff Bay was a terribly smart idea - if the plan was to win more MPs. I suppose they could be in with a shout in Ceredigion though.

It will be more interesting to hear what Ieuan Wyn Jones says about the commitment he gave his party members to deliver a referendum on full law making powers for the National Assembly (in devolved subject areas) should be held before 2011. Regular readers will know that I think this referendum is about as likely as Elfyn coming up with the winning lottery ticket. But of course, IWJ will have to insist its still on schedule. But watch for the get-out weasel words. You know the sort of thing.

"The reality is that we will deliver the referendum that we promised (wild applause) ....if we are confident that the people will say Yes. And if we're not confident, we'll put the blame on the Tories and Rhodri Glyn Thomas and his lit cigar."

Personally, I'm beginning to think that there might be no referendum at all. IWJ should tell his members that if the Legislative Competence Order procedure carries on even reasonably successfully for the next 5 years, there won't be many more powers to transfer - without extending devolution into completely new fields of competence. Now that would create some fireworks in the Aberystwyth sky.


Rhetoric Innes said...

I think Mark williams will increase his majority a little in Ceredigion.
but it s alittle way off...

Glyn Davies said...

rhetoric - You could well be right. Mark is a very personable and I'm told hard working MP. My point was that its just about the only seat where Plaid Cymru have a chance. IWJ can shout at Gordon Brown all he likes but 'in reality' in Wales he is Gordon's little helper.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

I would think it will depend on 1) how many Lib Dem voters float off to the Tories and 2) how many Labour voters float to the Lib Dems. To be honest, I don't think there'll be a lot of direct switching between the leading parties.

If Mark Williams can stop the flow of 1 by his hard work (and he does work very hard, I was impressed by him on the occasions we met) while picking up as many of 2) as possible (and I think Labour voters aside from a few dopey students are a dying breed round there) then he might hang on. But I wouldn't put money on an increased majority, I think it will be very tight indeed. Agree with the main point that it's Plaid's best chance of a gain though.

Anonymous said...

Glyn, he looked as if he meant it when he said there would be a referendum before 2011. You may have to eat your words.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - Of course he had to be 'convincing' - but I'll eat my hat and my words if it comes to pass.