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Betsan Powys | 11:45 UK time, Monday, 7 September 2009

"News is that Rhodri Morgan is staying on as Labour leader in Wales until after the general election. Apparently the decision is based on pressure from Westminster colleges. Rhodri said that only a 'force majeure' event would ensure he stays on. Don Touhig's political future evidently falls into that category".

So says Guerrilla Welsh-Fare.

"Tosh" says Rhodri Morgan's team.

"Rubbish" says Rhodri Morgan himself.

Pretty remarkable, I say, that it's taken until now - a matter of weeks to go until he is expected to stand down - for the rumours to start filling the vacuum the Labour party have created around the leader's departure.

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  • 1. At 09:41am on 08 Sep 2009, verymuchso wrote:

    Several other factors have contributed to the vacuum, whether it's created by Welsh Labour or not. Of the two most important, one is personal, the other structural.

    The personal one is that Rhodri Morgan is an old-fashioned politician who likes stage-managing in a way that isn't possible anymore. I guess he wanted to have two stages, the new Assembly session and the party conference. That meant we all have to wait. Unfortunately the media don't allow the longueurs anymore, so a long-drawn-out grand exit just collapses into a vacuum. Experts in physics can correct me if my analogy has got out of hand. Lloyd George and Aneurin Bevan would have understood the point.

    The structural point is one you and others have referred to often. It's very difficult to get a serious debate going in Welsh politics without this degenerating into an unseemly, predictable and fruitless squabble. Personality clashes and sectarian sniping obscure important differences over long-term issues. One of RM's strengths has been that he could, if given the opportunity, locate the issue of the moment in the big scheme. One of his weaknesses was that he couldn't make it work in practical politics.

    It doesn't always have to be like that. I'd like to know what the position of the contenders is on the big issues - my first choice, just as an example, would be the size of the public sector in the Welsh economy. I hope after 29 September we'll be hearing more about that and the other tough choices.

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  • 2. At 10:51pm on 08 Sep 2009, verymuchso wrote:

    Well, I'm glad I contributed, otherwise there might have been no comments at all on that blog. Looks like Welsh readers aren't interested in who succeeds Rhodri. They ought to be.

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  • 3. At 09:57am on 09 Sep 2009, John Henry wrote:


    I'm afraid verymuchso that when Betsan and chums took away the democratic right to criticise the person not just the message, in this particular public forum, they effectively applied censorship.

    I wonder if "Robinson Crusoe" would have been written were the BBC and Nationalist chums in charge of the stocks during the 18th century.

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  • 4. At 4:09pm on 09 Sep 2009, mapex55 wrote:

    message 2....


    Perhaps you are right, and Welsh readers are not interested,... but wait a mo... is that not what we have been saying for months now, is it not feasible that the Welsh, or at least the vast majority, simply are NOT interested, and turn their TV aerials towards the east. As can be witness all along the southern coastal strip, as well as all down the border from Flintshire to Monmouthshire.

    Yes, you hit the nail on the head, and that is what gets right up the nose of the nationalists, the Welsh, probably 85% at least of them, simply are not interested, despite decades of pressuring them to fall behind whomsoever leads.

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