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Follow the leader

Betsan Powys | 13:21 UK time, Thursday, 15 April 2010

_47646936_leaderx3_226_280.jpgIn Manchester there are three of them, probably sweating, certainly rehearsing, hoping they're word perfect. I'm talking leaders, of course.

In Wales we seem either to be overrun with them or on the hunt for them - not sure which. Elfyn Llwyd, the party's parliamentary leader has been at Plaid Cymru's official launches, usually sitting just behind party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones or standing at a podium ... just off centre.

There was no sign at all of the man described by the Liberal Democrats as the party's Shadow Secretary of State for Wales at their manifesto launch this morning. Where was Roger Williams? Not there this morning, not a single photograph of him in the manifesto despite it being longer than anyone else's.

"I can't help it if I'm more photogenic than poor old Roger" said the other Williams, Kirsty the boss, who you'll spot in there six times.

Down the road, at Welsh Labour's launch, standing side by side, Peter Hain and Carwyn Jones. Same size lectern, equal positions, a double act that either managed to niftily weave devolved with non-devolved issues or muddied the waters so much you'll never work out which of their promises a UK government could ever deliver.

Peter Hain goes by this principle: say it often enough and some of the people are bound to believe you. Vote Tory and they'll get rid of free breakfasts and free bus passes.

We cry foul.

It's up to the Assembly Government to protect - or 'savagely cut - breakfasts and free bus travel. If electing a Conservative Prime Minister leads inevitably to a Labour First Minister cutting them, they must be pretty high on Carwyn Jones' hit list.

Not at all. They're amongst his top priorities, apparently. Even so vote for David Cameron's party and wave goodbye to them. Work that one out.

I turned to the other leader. Would losing some six seats on the night of May 6th be quite a good night for Labour in Wales, or quite a bad one?

Peter Hain liked the question so much he very kindly took quite a long time not to answer it.

What about that other leader though, Gordon Brown? Any chance we'll see him in Wales? The answer is yes, just not yet.


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