Fun at the fair

  • Betsan Powys
  • 6 May 07, 11:08 PM

A day in Barry Island reminding the children they have a mother. The two year old was oblivious to the election and had no idea his pal William's Mum was an agent for a candidate in the Vale of Glamorgan. We've never really spoken but I'll be checking first thing Tuesday morning whether she has any nails left.

The three year old had grasped there was some kind of race going on.

"Pwy 'nillodd y ras 'te?" "So who won?"

"Mr Morgan. Then Mr Jones, Mr Bourne and Mr German came fourth".

She's disappointed. Her best pal's Dad wanted Mr German to win and so she did too.

"Ah well, don't worry because Mr Morgan did win but he didn't win by that much so he might ask Mr German to help him a bit".


"So is he friends with Mr German then?"

I buy her a Fab.

Mr German's a bit short of friends these days.

The Lib Dem shp is not a happy ship. That much is obvious. When stories emerge about pre-meeting meetings between the six AMs turning into slanging matches, then things are not good.

The group and the National Executive meet again next Thursday. Between now and then Mike German has been given the go-ahead to speak to all parties to find out what is on the negotiating table.

He's got to do that with one AM, Peter Black, openly calling for his head. No other AM has joined in the hunt and if they're straight, they're not doing so quietly either. Now, they say, is not to the time to start undermining your leader. Yes the election was a disaster. Yes he has to take responsiblity. But when the party should be concentrating on getting the right deal, or accepting that no deal is the best deal, now is not the time to ditch your leader.

When then?

The message coming from Kirsty Williams is that she is not about to throw her hat into the ring. Mr Black is fighting his own corner - not hers. Should Mike German stand down, or should he decide not to stand for re-election as group leader - and remember, according to the party's rules he must do that 'within a year' of the Assembly Election - then she may well go for it. But while he's there? No.

What would the Lib Dems want from Labour? Or more significantly, what would they be confident of getting through a special conference?

Could Mike German come home with less than a promise on PR in local government? To force agreement on that 'deal-breaker', being seen to have Labour over a barrel and forcing them to give in ... now that would help. It would be a clever move to insist on a referendum on greater powers for the Assembly. Plaid would be bound to do the same. No harm in heading them off. And then something for the voters who put their faith in the Lib Dems and who don't care one bit about PR or referenda. Something on hospitals?

The Lib Dems could, of course, go into coalition with Plaid, then strike some sort of a deal with the Tories. Hey there's no end of New Zealand models available. What's the favourite amongst Lib Dems? Deal with Labour, deal with others, no deal? "Finely balanced" I'm told.

By the way how does this strike you: Dafydd Elis-Thomas as Presiding Officer, Gwenda Thomas as his deputy? Not sure what sort of model you'd call that but it's what I'm hearing.

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