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The morning after ...

Betsan Powys | 08:16 UK time, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

So in the cold, wet light of day where have yesterday's events left us?

It's left us with two statements - both signed by Rhodri Morgan, the first co-signed by Peter Hain, the second by Ieuan Wyn Jones.

They seem, given any scrutiny at all, to be in flat contradiction to each other. Senior Labour sources contend they are not. Either way they are now out there, in black and white and the challenge facing the coalition is not out there too, in bright red and green.

Labour could still pull the trigger on the referendum process early next year, then "start considering the All Wales Convention report in detail as a prelude to stepping-up wider Party consultation" - really? They would pull the trigger, then work out whether they'd done the right thing? That's not, after all, the way these things are usually done. "Ok so you might think that's a bit out of kilter ..." said one Labour source. But it could be done.

Granted you need a deal of contortion and squeezing of meaning but if you can manage that, then you can square the first statement with the second.

But while it may be possible to contort and squeeze meaning out of words, when it comes to deeds, you either have to pull that constitutional trigger - or not.

In the cold light of day the suggestion one or two Labour voices were whispering in Plaid's ears last night, that Rhodri Morgan had "set up" the whole thing to show Peter Hain what would happen if Labour pulled the rug on a referendum ... well, who knows. Key Plaid figures shrug their shoulders and turn their gaze on the Secretary of State.

Peter Hain has kept his counsel since the publication of the original joint statement. The implication? Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself - the statement does the talking.

It'll be around 2.30pm when the Secretary of State does his talking. His audience will hang on his every word.

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  • 1. At 08:47am on 25 Nov 2009, Richard Pauer wrote:

    These events imputes negligence and can only be defeated if the defendant can show that the event was a total and inevitable.

    The Secretary of state has the last word.

    _______
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

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  • 2. At 09:00am on 25 Nov 2009, alfsplace1986 wrote:

    In the cold light of day the suggestion one or two Labour voices were whispering in Plaid's ears last night, that Rhodri Morgan had "set up" the whole thing to show Peter Hain what would happen if Labour pulled the rug on a referendum ... well, who knows.

    Sorry Betsan this doesn't sound like it was premeditated, from what the following comments were from yesterday

    The mood downstairs amongst Labour Assembly Members? That Rhodri Morgan has had a bad day, one where he was seen to be wriggling even when all wiggle room had gone, one that has ended with a hastily penned statement that essentially says: I didn't really mean it.

    This doesn't sound like the statement put out this morning, hand in hand with Peter Hain and Garry Owen in the name of Welsh Labour.

    (I check my messages. This from a Labour backbench AM: "People are furious and this morning's group meeting was both shocked and angry. Rhodri cannot bind his successor. We could again be seen as being on the back foot and losing public confidence. This cannot not be allowed to stand."

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  • 3. At 09:12am on 25 Nov 2009, Igotitallwrongsorry wrote:

    Well it looks like our "sainted" First Minister is just another devious politician who as Harold wilson said "Leadership of Labour Party is like trying to ride two horses at the same time and going in opposite directions. The basic Labour supporter probably likes devolution because it allows them to live in a world of public expenditure that wales cannot afford from its own efforts,however to the NATS it is a mere stepping stone to the promised land of a welsh speaking,socialist ( but not for the leaders),republican paradise.To the NATS the basis laws on economic common sense make no inroads as the priority is to get us into an independant wales come what may and current settlement is only a staging post. Lets hope the Labour Party (The part which is Unionist and not King Rhodri part) destroys this sham of a Government and stands on its own,rather than rely on PC,the seperatist and isolationist gang.

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  • 4. At 09:43am on 25 Nov 2009, alfsplace1986 wrote:

    Peter Hain has kept his counsel since the publication of the original joint statement. The implication? Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself - the statement does the talking.

    It is Wonder for him. He's usualy got plenty to say

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  • 5. At 10:15am on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    Once again Rhodri leaves the party with egg on it's face.If only he
    could show some gumption he knows full well that most of his party secretly oppose Devolution something I have witnessed in party hubs
    but he's digging himself deeper with every retraction and alienating
    even more Labour voters.
    I hope Peter Hain will clarify and reassure Labour members of their future intentions so that we know where we stand and can take our vote
    and support elsewhere should we see fit.

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  • 6. At 11:11am on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    The Tail has WAGged the Dog - Hence the "Rhodri Wriggle"!

    #3 I agree with this bit

    Lets hope the Labour Party (The part which is Unionist and not King Rhodri part) destroys this sham of a Government and stands on its own,rather than rely on PC,the separatist and isolationist gang.

    But it does not go far enough, we need people who will shine the light of transparency and re-empower communities over the way their money is spent and decisions that affect their lives.

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  • 7. At 11:47am on 25 Nov 2009, jacothenorth wrote:

    There seems to be an assumption - or a hope - that most Labour members and supporters are against devolution and will vote 'No' in any future referendum. This is nothing more than 'True Wales' and those who share its lack of vision projecting their own prejudices onto others.
    The truth is that the Labour Party is hopelessly split on the matter. On the one hand there is the progressive, pro-devolution element while on the other hand we see pure self-interest on the part of Labour MPs and atavistic anti-Welsh loathing on the part of 'True Wales' and others.
    But seeing as Labour is hopelessly split and on the verge of civil war let the referendum campaign begin! I can see the Labour Party providing some great political entertainment between now and the Assembly election in 2011. Wriggling? You ain't seen nothing yet!

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  • 8. At 12:02pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    # 5 thegnatswatter said..

    I hope Peter Hain will clarify and reassure Labour members of their future intentions so that we know where we stand and can take our vote
    and support elsewhere should we see fit.


    We need to get the tactical voting organised!

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  • 9. At 12:16pm on 25 Nov 2009, Igotitallwrongsorry wrote:

    6. I agree with your last paragraph as proper devolution means transferring power down to the lowest level possible,and wherever down to the the individual to encourage self-reliance,within a framework to protect pooretc etc. All this current settlement has done is to transfer "power" to the centre in Cardiff who then send out Fuherer like directives to all and sundry,including local authorities who end up being mere "bag carriers",rather than having p[olicy made by themselves after decisions made by electorate. Wales is probably more centralised than under the old soviet system,with the centre if it gets it wrong forcing everybody to get it wrong!!. Why cannot there be different types of schooling in wales and see which is the best,rather than this one size fits all type. there should be much great accessibility to ALL public sector bodies with full accountability etc. I recently referred to issue (a scandal in my eyes) of the grafiti wall in North wales that was supported in principle by WAG to my AM,however not really interested as this was part of supporting "welshness",what ever that means to the man/woman in the Dog and Duck. Where is Kinnock when he's needed,and Lady Kinnock only seems interested in foreign fields,rather than ordinary folk like us. I personally have given up on welsh conservative group in Assembly as they are all trying to be more welsh than PC,rather than concentrating on the bread and butter issues that mean so much to ordinary people. We are all up a creek without paddle and awaiting the massive reductions in public expenditure after GE,who ever wins that bet of nails. In conclusion I think we need a new "centre" party in wales which would be supported by vast majority to put things
    right" in an open and transparent and accountable manner.

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  • 10. At 12:34pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    When United Kingdom politics became racked with crisis, in a state of flux, did any contributor / commentator / chatterer of the chattering classes believe that a referendum was an imminent event in Wales; the Unionists of Wales [estimated at 95%] started to question the "antics" of Morgan the Faerie King of Cardiff Bay and his nationalist familiars, the theme of governance seemed to be Much Ado About Nothing. Unlike Shakespeare's romantic comedy, Cardiff Bay became The Comedy of Errors, joined at the hip Morgan-Jones [brothers of Nation building fame], but instead of having twins as slaves to their fantasies they acquired the unwitting taxpayers to fund their excesses and excuses for good governance.


    With Plaid feeding the Faerie King's fantasies, could he become the founding father of a new [Soviet] Socialist State, good governance in Wales was shown to be an illusion, good governance had become replaced by a feeding frenzy of Nationalist excitement, they were in bed with a closet separatist who has his own visions of grandeur, poor sap.


    As with dreams, the putrid coalition came down to earth when the public realised good governance was passing them by, children denied £500 per head every year, accountability became an illusion, revenues distributed in an uneven manner throughout Wales, crony-ism thought to be the preserve of others was outed; the surprise came when the extent of Nation Building became common knowledge, this activity that positively discriminated against 90% of the public when applying for government or quango appointments in Wales was the straw that broke the proverbial camels back.


    Devolution is currently a broken concept in Wales, the public realise that a minority almost gained power that would have reduced the majority to a 21st century serfdom, second class citizens in their own lands.


    jacothenorth .....

    Your anti-Welsh loathing would be true if written as anti-Plaid separatist loathing, your use of the "anti-Welsh" expression shows you to be ...... anti-Welsh ...... in your loathing of people whose views oppose your own.

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  • 11. At 1:00pm on 25 Nov 2009, Dewi_H wrote:

    ".....believe that a referendum was an imminent event in Wales;"

    Strange Stoney - I thought you wanted a referendum!

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  • 12. At 1:19pm on 25 Nov 2009, jacothenorth wrote:

    #10

    I can recall that in the fairly recent past the National Front and other fascist groups across Europe used to declare that they were not anti-semitic; oh no, they were anti-Zionist. This is why they supported the Palestinians. It had nothing to do with the fact that the PLO was killing Jews.

    Which is why I smile when I hear people insist that they are against nationalism, but they are not anti-Welsh.

    The truth comes out when they define 'nationalism'. Their vision of this odious phenomenon encompasses just about every manifestation of Welsh identity and every show of respect for Wales. Which means, that it is Welsh identity per se that they oppose.

    For they know what I know, without Welsh identity there would be no Wales, no Welsh language, no devolution, no debate on further powers for the Assembly. We could all get on with our lives as contented residents of West Anglia.

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  • 13. At 1:26pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #9 Igotitallwrongsorry said...

    In conclusion I think we need a new "centre" party in wales which would be supported by vast majority to put things right in an open and transparent and accountable manner.

    I totally agree but we need to define what "centre" actually means as I am wary of consensus politics whereby anyone who disagrees is branded a Welsh hater or something equally malicious. We got that already.

    We need to move on from that sort of political bigotry, censorship and repression. In my view a progressive forward looking party would need to be all inclusive and involve the following issues.

    Communities need to reclaim control over the decisions that affect our lives and the way our money is spent, instead of AM's excluding us serfs from this process.

    More accountability openness and transparency in government and public funded bodies. Recall of AM's is a crucial factor.

    People's opinions respected and not subjected to political or racial censorship. Clearly we would need to set an example to stop this sort of behaviour from spreading, AM's only seem to fan the flames.

    There are others but this would make a good start

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  • 14. At 1:43pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    Hi Dewi, on a personal note ....

    I do not believe there is sufficient time for a referendum before the forthcoming General Election (GE) or the next Assembly elections, so my prediction is a result will be with us by the new year 2012.

    What's the rush, David Cameron has given his support so run towards the Blue future and be certain of the referendum. On the democratic front, the "Yes" campaign has been on the go for at least three years without people realising it, the "No" campaign need 12 months ......... for democracy to be seen to be working.

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  • 15. At 1:53pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #12 and what exactly is your point jacothenorth ?

    Could it be you think you are different to the folk of Cumbria or Devon or Kent, if you are different it is in your dictatorial manners, as a tiny minority you want me to live my life as you and yours dictate, in the manner of extreme socialism, the manner of the 20th century soviets.

    Others of your frame of mind have written extensively about their socio-economic model, much the same as the tribal leaders of the first millennia, they demanded obedience, the Soviet Union was similar if I remember.

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  • 16. At 2:01pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #12 jaconorth said...

    "without Welsh identity there would be no Wales, no Welsh language, no devolution, no debate on further powers for the Assembly. We could all get on with our lives as contented residents of West Anglia."

    So you are saying that without Welsh identity we would not have people assaulted, restaurants trashed, graffiti written, AM's failing in their duty to their constituents, corruption and institutionalised abuse perpetrated and concealed!

    I would be the first to defend the Welsh I live with quite happily as being nothing like the people you describe in your false logic.

    Were you a member of the National Front by any chance?

    Its frightening that people can actually think that way.

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  • 17. At 2:26pm on 25 Nov 2009, jacothenorth wrote:

    #15

    My point is this; I am different to "the folk of Cumbria or Devon or Kent" because I am Welsh. If I and countless others were not Welsh you and I would not be exchanging views like this because there'd be nothing to discuss in West Anglia.

    As for socialism, you got it all wrong, pal. I have hated socialism all my life for what it has done to Wales.

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  • 18. At 2:41pm on 25 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    10 You love statements like.... Unionists of Wales [estimated at 95%]..

    I would put the figure slightly lower at 85% to 90% but more importantly you are failing to recognise the shades of opinion within your Unionists.

    All of the available devolution options ranging from the Status Quo right through to the Federalists are clearly Unionists in that they do not want to break up the Union.

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  • 19. At 2:52pm on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    8. I agree and after speaking to a party officiado the first statement still stands and any progress will have to be made according to the criteria laid down in the 2006 GWA . Thats open to speculation especially
    when the 'windows have to be filled' as stated by Rhodri.I think I should add that the person went on to say that he didn't think a 'Yes' vote could be attained.Do I detect doubts in the party? Lets see what Peter Hain makes of it at 3.00pm?

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  • 20. At 2:55pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    #17 jacothenorth, although I have never met you, you do .....

    look like my neighbour
    work like my neighbour
    eat like my neighbour
    procreate ..
    watch the same ..
    listen to the same ..

    ..... you are the same, except for the barriers you have created to make you different. If perchance you call the language card, I'm indifferent because of Urdu heard in Birmingham, if you use the culture card I would remind you it is shared by everyone in Wales and the majority of your cultural persona is shared throughout the UK, you see, even the Simpson's are part of modern culture.

    ..... as for hating anything ........ sitting as you do with Plaid which is more socialist than labour socialists, it must be a case of having a split persona.

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  • 21. At 3:04pm on 25 Nov 2009, John Henry wrote:


    penddu, I agree with you, the 95% could be a little off, I do not disregard diverse opinion, it is good for democracy.

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  • 22. At 3:36pm on 25 Nov 2009, Neocromwellian wrote:


    #17 jaconorth said..

    "If I and countless others were not Welsh you and I would not be exchanging views like this because there'd be nothing to discuss in West Anglia."

    I am confused, what nationality are those like Neil Kinnock and others who campaigned against a Welsh Assembly and will vote No in a referendum. Are they any less Welsh and if so in what way? I do not recall him saying anything about West Anglia or is that the name of the partitioned part of what used to be called Wales?

    Moreover, would a West Anglian identity be about wanting open and transparent government for the people, by the people, and without whom we would not be having this discussion.

    Why hate socialism or why hate anything, while it is unworkable in everyday life the concept does have its place in times of crises until its over. Nationalising the banks being an example then its back to positive reinforecement, which is why Plaid seems to go against human nature.

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  • 23. At 3:57pm on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    What a shambles this Assembly is. Betsans inviting us to listen to Peter Hain address the AM's at 3.00pm by connecting to Democracy Live and at 3.45pm no sign. What an advertisement for more powers they can't even work to a simple timetable advertised on their website.

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  • 24. At 4:11pm on 25 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    24 - You might find it is Peters fault not the Assembly........

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  • 25. At 5:22pm on 25 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    Well that's evident now but I still couldn't get a picture until after Peter Hains speech and had to endure HMJ reprimanding PH and Nick Bourne
    for their 'raucous' and demeaning approach to the issue.When she's going to get a life.

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  • 26. At 6:37pm on 25 Nov 2009, penddu wrote:

    25 about the same time as you do.....

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  • 27. At 11:37am on 26 Nov 2009, thegnatswatter wrote:

    26. She's got a few years to catch up Sonny already done the Amsterdam thing in my youth but when I became a man I put away childish things
    and got a life. When are you?

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