There seems to me to be a basic misunderstanding of what 'unity' involves in politics. It does not involve blind loyalty to every policy espoused by the party leadership, or to sycophantic backscratching either. Mutual back-slapping love-ins never win anything. In my opinion, there is not enough serious, considered debate within parties. There is too little disagreement, not too much. Commitment to 'unity' involves not undermining behind the back while pretending to support to the face.
I notice it suggested on one or two blogs that I 'attacked' Nick Bourne in one of yesterday's posts. First thing to say is that, on this issue, my opinion is of little significance. Its just my opinion. I do admit to an element of disagreement over an issue, but its not right to call it 'an attack'. In fact, as far as Nick's leadership of the Assembly Group is concerned, I hope that this particular BBC story is without foundation. Personally, I hope that Nick Bourne is given full backing by the Conservative Group in the Assembly to carry on as leader - if there is any discussion of this issue over the weekend.
Let me , as no more that an occasional commentator on Assembly issues, post what I thought of the issue at the heart of this. Generally, I'm not keen on personal attacks against political opponents, partly because it usually benefits them. So it follows that I wasn't keen on the few words referring to Rhodri Morgan's dress sense, used in an otherwise excellent 39 page dossier of criticism of his record as First Minister. Unfortunately, these few words have totally diverted attention from the remainder of a very good piece of work. My attitude was "Damn it - some you win, some you lose". And because there was some public criticism, I would have felt obliged to give the document my full public support. I also thought that Nick should not have disowned the document on a Radio Wales programme, particularly since he had signed it off himself. But so what. Its no big deal. This is the sort of disagreement that crops up all the time in politics - and everywhere else for that matter. It certainly does not warrant speculation that Nick should be replaced. This is simply a daft reaction.
So there we have it. I've been moved to post under the heading of 'I'm Backing Bourne'.