Someone left the cake out ...

  • Betsan Powys
  • 23 May 07, 10:59 PM

The Lib Dems have done it. (That's what I wrote last week).

The opposition parties are about to put Labour out of government (last week).

And tonight the Lib Dems have done it again. They've rained on Ieuan Wyn Jones' birthday cake ... and the rainbow has evaporated.

The Tories have already said they have no reason not to keep on talking to Plaid Cymru but that those decisions will be made in the morning. Plaid have said nothing but I can think of a few good reasons why they might not want to keep talking just to the Tories.

The rumours started flying around late this afternoon that the vote would be far tighter than Mike German was expecting.

I asked around. "Apprehensive but not concerned" said the man who would be First Minister.

But the Lib Dem triple lock worked. All three groups needed to return a majority vote. The negotiating team did: 5:3; the AMs did 4:2; the exec was a dead heat. No majority. No special conference. The left wing of the party is flying home tonight but already pointing out to Labour that if they haven't learned something valuable from this process, then the battle would almost have been in vain.

I'm already been told by people in the party that count that Mike German over-reached himself and that he put the party second to an ambition to govern. "Over-reached himself" is bad, bad news for the leader.

A story comes to mind, about William Whitelaw, Ted Heath and gloating.

"Ted says we mustn't gloat," said Whitelaw, "wrong to gloat, mustn't do it, no, no, no. Well, I can tell you, I'm gloating
like hell".

This just in from Labour:

"We've always said that our door was open to talk to either the Lib Dems or Plaid Cymru. Nothing has changed in that. Our aim has always been to provide a stable government for the next four years."

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:31 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Anotheran wrote:

So maybe the Lib Dem exec have also not read the manifestos. There clearly seems to be a desire for self destruction in the air. The best way to have got the most Lib Dem policies implemented would be a Rainbow coalition. Sadly it looks like government is going to be handed meekly back to Labour.

I have to say I'm gutted. The only crumb of comfort is that it's the Lib Dems that have destroyed this historic opportunity for Wales to show what modern democracy is about rather than Plaid's gang of four. Hopefully the electorate will remember that and forget that it could so easily have been Plaid.

  • 2.
  • At 11:42 PM on 23 May 2007,
  • Anotheran wrote:

Of course, now either Plaid or the Lib Dems will need to go back cap in hand to Labour to avoid a new election which would be very embarassing for the whole nation.

That puts Labour in a stronger negotiating position than before so even less likelyhood of stopping Health Service restructuring (so much for that being the biggest issue in Wales) not to mention a new Welsh Language Act and PR for local authoritory elections. Pity there seems to be so much pettiness rather than logical thought.

  • 3.
  • At 02:39 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Alistair Cook wrote:

My feeling from afar (am based down under at the moment) is that the lib dems have completely lost the plot in both Wales and Scotland with their respective parties ruling out coalitions. As a party that is pro-PR it seems mad that they are unwilling to bargain on a coalition. How else do they see PR working? If the party that promotes PR as a workable and better system cannot participate in it then it doesn't say much for them! It makes me think that their commitment to PR is about getting more seats than being a system that they understand and are willing to operate in.

If another election happens in Wales then I think the Welsh electorate will 'have news for the liberal democrats'. Their recent actions have certainly made me think twice about voting for them in an election and my secondd thought is not to vote for them!

  • 4.
  • At 02:46 AM on 24 May 2007,
  • Jeremy wrote:

Principles before Power

Why would another election be an embarrassment for Wales? We all vote ‘blind’, those of us who bother, not knowing the eventual outcome in the country as a whole. The pathetic turnout makes nonsense of any party’s or coalition’s claim to have a moral mandate to govern based on a total share of the vote. It is a contention that people have no compulsion to vote where they know that they can’t influence the outcome. For example, what motivates electors of any political persuasion to vote in the Cynon Valley, where the result is a foregone conclusion (less than 39% did)? What a wonderful opportunity the prospect of a new election would bring, so soon after the last one, where the electorate knows the outcome of their actions, or lack of them. You never know, we might get a truly democratic representational turnout.

However, in this scenario, I fear that Ieuan Wyn Jones misguided and naive manoeuvring over the last few weeks, driven by a near manic power lust (as witnessed in Betsan’s interview with him in the Bay yesterday and his rant following the Lib Dem’s decision – frightening!), will result in political suicide for Plaid. Wales may be ready to question Labour’s divine right to govern but the fact that Plaid were willing to get into bed with the Tories to grasp power at the expense of principle will not be forgiven or forgotten.

  • 5.
  • At 12:00 PM on 24 May 2007,
  • Richard harris wrote:

RAG, TAG...BUT NO... "BOBTAIL"...???

(I blame those Cheeky Girls!)

Welsh "politics"...a larf a minute!

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