Sunday, May 15, 2016

Doodling aimlessly about Welsh Politics.

There seems to be an impression amongst those who comment on Welsh political happenings this weekend that last week was a big week in Welsh Assembly politics. At one stage I was taken in myself. But the reality is that when the dust has settled, we can see that last week was entirely predictable. Nothing of any real significance happened. Almost case of "Move along; Nothing to see here!". A Plaid Cymru AM elected as Presiding Officer, Carwyn Jones and Labour to continue in power, and UKIP AMs scrapping amongst themselves and changing voting positions for no apparent logical reason. At least that how it looks to me. Let's consider.

Firstly Elin Jones as Presiding Officer. Excellent choice. Must admit I'd thought the Meirionydd Maciavelli would win (and he'd have been a good choice too). I did hear several other names mentioned, but they didn't go for it. I've always thought Welsh Conservative, Paul Davies would be good - calm, respected and experienced. And he would always have David Melding to offer him sage advice.

Secondly UKIP. Top marks for entertainment. Neil Hamilton snatching the Assembly leadership from Nathan Gill was a cracking story. Hope Nathan hadn't spent anything on name plates. And then Nigel Farage telling us that Neil is too "past it"  to be a leader. Ugh! He's only 67! Then voting for Leanne Wood to be First Minister and some changing their mind next day, making clear the fuss was no more than shenanigans. Bizarrely, the key issue for UKIP seems to be abolishment of Severn Bridge tolls, which is nothing to do with the Welsh Assembly. Whatever, the UKIP team took the publicity, which may well have been the objective! It does mean that Andrew RT is going to have to shout ever louder to be heard. Always remember Neil Hamilton is no mug and been around the houses.

What of Plaid Cymru. Throughout the election campaign, it looked obvious that Plaid were looking to join some 'working arrangement" with Labour. The more they denied it, the more obvious it became. Then last Wed, for a fleeting moment, I thought Plaid were serious about putting Labour into opposition, and assumimg power. You know, real power, power to run Wales. It would not have been easy, and I don't think it would have lasted the full five years. And it would have been a limited programme. Maybe it would not have worked. But I thought it was worth a go. It would have been great for Welsh politics. Anyway, the Plaid policy wonks didn't, and all they wanted to do was poke Labour in the eye, and then try to influence Labour's 'programme for Gov't'. Or pretend to be influencing it.

Not much to say about the Tories. They all voted against Labour last week (as opposed to voting for Plaid). I'd expect them to carry on doing so. In two weeks time, the events of last week will be no more than  quirky facts for Vaughan Roderick to file away in his encyclopaedic memory of useless facts about Welsh Politics.

Or will Welsh politics deliver a genuine surprise!

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