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Come again?

Betsan Powys | 23:19 UK time, Saturday, 7 May 2011

It took a while to track it down but here is what Tavish Scott - the now former leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats - said to my colleague Brian Taylor in an interview earlier today about the party's meltdown in Scotland:

"Different things happen to different parts of the UK. We are now in government in Wales, so congratulations to Kirsty Williams for leading us into that with Labour in Wales".

Would anyone like to elaborate?

23.40

Yes, the Welsh Liberal Democrats would: "Tavish Scott was mistaken".

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Freuden slip or does he know something we don't.

    Yet.

  • Comment number 2.

    I think he got the wrong end of the stick, just head Mike German deny it.

  • Comment number 3.

    2
    Lyn

    Politicians and denials mean nothing.

    Truth and Politicians just do not go together.

    Haven't we learnt that yet.

    I will make a prediction Labour and LibDems.

    Because Plaid Ministers did such a good job last time, it made Labour look bad.

  • Comment number 4.

    I wouldn’t be surprised after seeing the shot of them running across each other in the Senedd. Kirsty all straightening her hair and girlish, she might as well have rolled over and let him tickle her tummy.

  • Comment number 5.

    Yes Plaid Ministers performed well, the whole Welsh Assembly performed well; an embryonic democracy has matured under the leadership of an outstanding First Minister. Plaid made a strategic error, in trying to create distance from Welsh Labour they lost any credit for the responsible way they acted in government.

    Where Plaid goes from here I don’t know....does anyone?

    The Welsh electorate do not agree with you.

  • Comment number 6.

    "Plaid Ministers performed well", "an outstanding First Minister"

    The Welsh Assembly is full of 2nd rate politicians, either over the hill or not good enough to stand for Westminster. Until we get the best standing in Wales the WAG will just be like an oversized council.

  • Comment number 7.

    4. Glyndo

    Glyndo
    you can't say that, youll have it.

    5. BarryBob

    Not all the Welsh electorate.

    See my comment on the previous page, about the at least 182,907 who voted for Plaid Cymru.

  • Comment number 8.

    #7, your 182,907 equates to approximately 8% of the electorate (1 December 2009), a minority group at best, down from 219,121 at the last election (17% drop on 2007), I think the genie is sliding back into the bottle above its knees and some.

  • Comment number 9.

    8. John Tyler

    John

    It may be as you say, but 8% is still 8% and it still means there are at least 219,121 people who support the aims and views of Plaid Cymru. Because the extra didn't vote this time, perhaps out of Party loyalty to others, doesn't mean they don't still agree with Plaid Cymru.

    Lets be honest the Labour Party campaigned negatively on hitting the Conservatives in Westminster. which was totaly irelivant to Wales and these elections.

    Plaid Cymru have been in this position before and I distinctly remember the same things being said then and worse in fact. Then it was the end of them, being said.

    Perhaps Plaid didn't campaign strongly enough or on the right issues. So to say what is in your opinion is going to happen in the future is rather pie in the sky.

    No one can predict that.

    If I may be allowed by the Moderators I will place my previous comment from the previous page on to follow it through.

    Quote...

    Apart from those that voted Labour and Conservative

    182,907 people voted for Plaid Cymru these are just the ones who bothered to vote.

    There were many for what ever reason, who support them, didn't vote.

    There are many who voted for other parties out of loyalty but may agree with Plaids aims.

    Are those who denegrate Plaid and their supporters saying that their votes and views are irelevent just because they have those views.

    Just because we stand up for Wales its language and culture doesn't mean we are any the less wrong or more right than someone who has different views.

    So why should it be wonderful news for those possibly hundreds of thousands of people to be completely ignored and classed as irelevent in their own country.

    It is supposed to be a Democracy. Unquote

    Let's not forget the LibDems had a worse time than Plaid Cymru with only1. Is the Genie sliding back in the bottle there

  • Comment number 10.

    Sorry I pressed Post Comment by mistake.

    The LibDems only had 100,259 votes.

    You and others are not writing them off.

    What is the difference.

  • Comment number 11.

    Was this before or after Tavish Whatsisname resigned? He does have a point though, I know who I would prefer to form an alliance with. I expect Carwyn to do a Harold Wilson and grandly wait to be crowned, after the various supplicants have made their pitches.

  • Comment number 12.

    If PC had any common sense they would get Lord Ellis Thomas to leave his ego at home and get Labour to front Presiding Officer/deputy.

  • Comment number 13.

    #9, alf, I hope the Liberal Democratic genie is going the same way, I would look forward to a Liberal revival.

  • Comment number 14.

    @6

    I agree with you that the assembly is full of 2nd rate politicians but I actually have to say the electorate is at fault here.

    Take for example in Llanelli. We had three noteworthy candidates: Helen Mary Jones, a proficient, competent and well respected politician, Keith Davies, an intelligible, 75 year old nobody who managed to win nomination within the labour party and Sian Caiach, a plaid reject.

    The gulf in talent was immediately obvious when both plaid and labour candidates were interviewed on TV on results night, and I am sure this would have been evident in hustings throughout the campaign, and yet, the people of Llanelli have found themselves represented by a sub-par politician, when they had the opportunity to re-elect a highly competent Helen Mary Jones.

    Sian Caiach's share of the vote was obviously quite significant here, but needless to say, there were a high number of people who voted for a sub-standard candidate and Llanelli, and the assembly will suffer for it.

    It is, at the end of the day, up to us as the electorate to decide who represents us, and until we all return to the mindset of electing representatives rather than parties, we will always have sub-standard AMs in Wales.

  • Comment number 15.

    13. John Tyler

    You mean for it to split the vote between two factions and be beneficial to the Conservatives.

    Let us not forget where the Conservative votes come from. Retired people moving into Wales from England, I am not arguing against them being here, they have every right as we do to move to England.

    They bring very welcome income into what would otherwise be a very impoverished Wales.

    While on a weekend break in Aberteifi/Cardigan last weekend, I noticed one striking anomaly.

    I heard very few welsh accents except for the obvious, the Welsh Book Shop.

    In the Hotel we stayed at, English accents, in the shops, English accents, in the pub we went out to for a meal in the evening, English accents, in the Cafes, English accents, in the Craft centres, English accents, in the Market, English accents.

    This in a supposedly totaly Welsh heartland.

    So can you please explain to me where these mythical Welsh Nationalists are who want to take Wales back to the 'dark ages'.

    I have pointed out previously about the retired people coming in to the small town where we live and taking the Sheltered Accomodation places, much needed incidentaly, by the people already living here.

    These people are the type whom it would seem vote Conservative.

    I am afraid for Wales, that Genie is already out of the bottle and doesn't look as if it is going back in.

  • Comment number 16.

    14. Osian Lewis

    So Osian, if it wasn't for a rejected Plaid Cymru Councilor, who was kicked out of the party, Helen Mary Jones would have walked it in Llanelli.

    So it seems, it is a case of sour grapes taking the seat away from Helen Mary Jones, losing the Plaid vote a possible 2004 votes.

    As much as she has a right to stand as an Independant and it is quite possible she may have been a very good lone voice in the Assembly, Labour doesn't realy have a right to crow about them winning the seat.

    It was won by default.

    A 75 year old man becoming an AM for the first time and Helen Mary Jones.

    As you say it is the Assembly that will suffer, but most of all Wales.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am amazed by the comments of people on this blog today. Plaid got nearly 183,000 votes yet we have someone pointing out that really Plaid support is much higher but the rest of the Plaid voters decided to vote for other parties???

    If we are to seriously take this view then we must also say that there were 145,342 Tories and 129,924 Labour voters out there too. Those are the people who voted in the General election. Plaid of course MAXIMISES its vote in the Assembly election.....That's it, that's the lot.....get over it...Plaid are, deservedly, unloved by a whole lot of voters.

  • Comment number 18.

    He was mistaken or made a mistake? We will soon find out. Either way, no wonder they got rid of him.

  • Comment number 19.

    17. SEDWOT

    Perhaps it would be incumbent on you to read my comment properly instead of putting you’r own interpretation on it.

    I will re-iterate for you because you seem incapable of understanding plain English.

    My point was that there are at least 182,907 and more than likely many more, 219, 121 in the last Assembly election in 2007, who may support Plaid Cymru's views and policies.

    Those people as far as many on here are concerned are a non entity and are nothing more than a hindrance to their own bigoted views.

    These people are democratic voters and as such can not be dismissed in such a pathetic and belittling way.

    This attitude is the very reason why these democratic voters feel and believe the way they do.

    Their votes count to them as much as yours does to you.

    I personally know of many elderly people who have, all their lives, voted Labour.

    But, over the last few elections voted Plaid Cymru. This time they reverted back to Labour because of the deliberate campaigning by the Labour Party, saying, vote for them to give the Conservatives in Westminster a bloody nose.

    It is very difficult to 'get over' a defeat by such underhanded methods.

    Because Westminster had nothing to do with the Assembly elections

    Of course Labour are the masters at that.

    Does that answer your repeated question marks. Though one I would have thought was sufficient.

    I apologise for my flippancy but I do get somewhat annoyed when people deliberately misinterpret what I say and mean, for their own ends or views.

  • Comment number 20.

    #14 & #16

    Surely the fact that the electorate of Llanelli rejected HMJ,
    "a proficient, competent and well respected politician"
    and instead chose,
    "Keith Davies, an intelligible, 75 year old nobody"
    demonstrates that the Welsh people cannot be trusted with democracy.

    However there are many who think - for the good of Wales, democracy may have worked very very well in Llanelli.

    After all across Wales only 182,907 of the Welsh electorate voted for Plaid - 739,024 rejected their politicians and politics.

  • Comment number 21.

    20. West-Wales

    demonstrates that the Welsh people cannot be trusted with democracy.

    You are not being very fair or nice on, or to the Welsh elctorate, by telling them they can't be trusted with democracy.

    Because no one else has said that.

    Or are you just twisting peoples words again.

  • Comment number 22.

    The Plaid Cymru voters (182,907) - does it mean that about 1 in 5 of all those who voted gave their vote to Plaid Cymru?

    Yes a minority, but a minority of that size should never be rubbished surely?

  • Comment number 23.

    Alf - #21

    Simply that I'm just mildly amused (and slightly worried by the naivety) of some comments here.
    Unfortunately I'm not very good at sarcasm ;)

    Please note my penultimate sentence in #20;
    "However there are many who think - for the good of Wales, democracy may have worked very very well in Llanelli."

    I agree with the many!

  • Comment number 24.

    23. West-Wales

    Unfortunately I'm not very good at sarcasm ;)

    That's good to hear, I'm glad because sarcasm isn't very nice.

    "However there are many who think - for the good of Wales, democracy may have worked very very well in Llanelli."

    It might have worked better if sour grapes hadn't come into it.

  • Comment number 25.

    Reply to Message 22 Dan Dy Din

    QUOTE
    "Yes a minority, but a minority of that size should never be rubbished surely"

    Well considering the rubbishing that the Plaid footsoldiers do before (and after) every election, it ill behoves our Dan Dy Din to try and limit the rubbishing of Plaid Cymru when they disintegrate.

    Personally, I haven't enjoyed a Plaid rubbishing like this since IWJ lost the plot in the Seimon Glyn Question Time fiasco.

    Though Plaid's pitiful showing in this election is catching up fast !

  • Comment number 26.

    What did really happen on the 5th?
    First of all we need to look at thr situation pre the 5th.
    Labour 26 fortunate in 2007
    Plaid 15 very lucky in 2007
    Cons 12 very unlucky in 2007
    L D 6 fair in 2007
    Plus 1 in BG,

    Really to be honest the Plaid Cons split should had been 14 13, and B G was back with Lab before the 5th, only the votes to be weighed on the 6th, And only a small shift to Labour would take the final regional seat from Plaid in MId and West Wales, giving Labour 28.

    What did the polls forecast
    A very big increase for Labour and a min of 31 seats,
    A small decrease for Plaid and 12 seats
    A small increase for the Cons and 14 seats,
    And a big decrease for the Lib Dems with 3 seats.

    As for the actuall results Lab and Plaid were down 2% on the polls , whilst the LD and Cons were up 2%. This 2% swing saved LD 2 seats one each from Plaid in Swansea and Lab in the North. Where did this late swing come from, Was it the AV referundum?
    What did the parties say about AV
    LAB was split,
    Plaid was indifferant,
    Cons was against ,
    LD was for.

    Consequently the parties marginal supporters (ie those who usually support the same party, But do not always vote,) had two reasons to turnout to vote for the Cons and LD, and only one reason to turnout for Plaid and Lab.

    Differential voting turnout, which usually favours Plaid, this time favoured the LD and the cons, and worked against Lab aswell, especially in the English Council Elections.

    AS for the loss of Plaid in LLanelli it was self inflicted. I warned against against the expulsion SC from the party, better to have someone of her ability and following on the inside shouting out, and not on the outside shouting in. But the Chair overruled me, and where is he now, no longer a member. Perhaps it is a shame that he did not go a few years earlier, Llanelli might had been saved and Nerys would not be following such a dsiastrous 2010 result.

    As to the future for Plaid , yes it will need a new leader, not this month, but before the end of the year, it has to come from the 11,no other choice. The name AP is mentioned in many blogs today,he left poitics in Carmarthenshire under a cloud, that cloud is still there, and even if AP loyalist cannot sea it, the opposition would.

    Even if the new Leader faills to make the mark over the next year or three, one or two of the Plaids new batch will br r

  • Comment number 27.

    25. Crossroads

    Well considering the rubbishing that the Plaid footsoldiers do before (and after) every election,

    Don't you think it might just be a case of fighting back, against the bigger bullies with all the money behind them.

    Like giving as good as they get.

    That's what the smaller ones do to bullies, even though they get hurt in the process.

    But, it shows those big bullies up for what they are.

    Pathetic cowards.

  • Comment number 28.

    #6 we could always do with better people standing for elected office. One of the obstacles is party stalwarts who often act on favouritism and buggins turn in the selection process. I don't know if that is any worse in one party than another. The idea that AMs are not good enough for Westminster though is amusing. Have you looked at Welsh MPs? A handful of talents certainly but a fair number of time-servers too who aren't good enough for the Assembly.

  • Comment number 29.

    I don't think anybody here should be writing off any of the Welsh political parties yet. Look at how the Tories came 'Back From The Brink' (it's the title of a book about this phenomenon) to end up the senior partners in the coalition that's currently (mis)ruling the whole of the UK!

    Plaid and the Lib Dems might suffer setbacks but they'll go on.

    Oh, and DEWMACH? Polls change all the time. As the election got closer, Labour's "very big increase" started to look like it wouldn't be so big after all, and the party line all along was that we weren't taking anything for granted. I wouldn't want you to think we expected to win at least 31 seats, easily.

  • Comment number 30.

    Alf....You used to read Dan Dare and Roy of the Rovers comics didn't you.

    Plucky little hero, (IWJ) saving Wales from big tough (Gawd 'elp us) bully, (CJ).

    I like your style Alf...this could be a vote-winner.

    Plus you could spend the next 5 years honing your brainwave to perfection!

  • Comment number 31.

    Re 30

    Thank you, Crossroads, you've inadvertently answered my question on the other thread for me ...

  • Comment number 32.

    Re 30.

    Thank you Crossroads, nice to see some easy going Blighty humour. Shame for some though, poor Ron Davies, poor Plaid, isn't it?

  • Comment number 33.

    26. At 22:08pm 8th May 2011, DEWMACH wrote:

    “AS for the loss of Plaid in LLanelli it was self inflicted. I warned against against the expulsion SC from the party, better to have someone of her ability and following on the inside shouting out, and not on the outside shouting in. But the Chair overruled me.....”

    I don’t think you can state that the Chair overruled you. It wasn’t his decision to make. Also, I was under the impression that rather than being expelled, she resigned from the Party. Her subsequent decision to stand in Llanelli merely confirms the opinion that most of us held about her.

  • Comment number 34.

    32. At 23:37pm 8th May 2011, Jack_Wilkinson

    Wellcome back Jack I haven't come across "isn't it" since your last post.

  • Comment number 35.

    Well Alf. 20

    "you seem incapable of understanding plain English"

    "are nothing more than a hindrance to their own bigoted views."

    "they reverted back to Labour because of the deliberate campaigning by the Labour Party, saying, vote for them to give the Conservatives in Westminster a bloody nose.

    It is very difficult to 'get over' a defeat by such underhanded methods."

    Labour used a vote winning strategy...Plaid just attacked Labour. Labour won Plaid lost.

    The sheer personal nastiness of your tone Alf is typical of the "Thoruoghbread" Plaid political stand point.

    Plaid is a nasty little culture and language pressure group that never can understand that it is unlovable.

    Get over it...you LOST..... big time!



  • Comment number 36.

    35. SEDWOT

    Sorry, I didn't write 20

    But, if you are referring to 19.

    The sheer personal nastiness of your tone Alf is typical of the "Thoruoghbread" Plaid political stand point.

    I did apologise to you and give an explanation of my annoyance, I will place it on here again. Perhapes you might like to read it again.

    I apologise for my flippancy but I do get somewhat annoyed when people deliberately misinterpret what I say and mean, for their own ends or views.

    If you can't accept an apology when it is given, then it is you, sadly, who has a problem for being nasty.

  • Comment number 37.

    No 35 - SEDWOT - Plaid did poorly but everyone has to agree that the party who lost by far the biggest was UKIP and if you want a laugh just remember back to Nigel Farage's boast in March regarding how many seats they would get last Thursday - "I can say with hand on heart that we will get people selected on 5 May - the question is just how many." Nigel the answer is zero!!!

    Its great to see that all of Wales rejected the narrow nationalism, anti-immigrant and anti-EU policies of the two parties who backed the "No" vote back in March.

    Parties who backed the "Yes" vote 60: Far-right parties who backed the "No" vote 0

  • Comment number 38.

    #26 DEWMACH wrote:

    "As to the future for Plaid , yes it will need a new leader, not this month, but before the end of the year, it has to come from the 11,no other choice."

    I agree that IWJ has to go. Coalition with Labour was a strategic error, compounded were it to be repeated. Little was gained from it in my opinion.

    I suspect that CJ would have gone for a powers referendum during this Assembly term - which would have been won, given the circumstances of a ConDem government, and the forthcoming cut in MPs.

    I think it would be best that IWJ went immediately. Regrettably he is uncharismatic, a manager rather than a leader. Plaid's big problem is who should be his replacement. It has managed to 'lose' the best potential contenders through a variety of mistakes, blunders and internal dissension.

    I disagree with DET's analysis that Plaid achieved anything significant in government. Even if it did, the public perception is that it didn't make an impact, which is what matters, and that was reflected in the election figures, in seats and in votes.

    As for IWJ's portfolio on transport, according to DET he did well. However, what the public see are fewer buses, clapped-out trains and an expensive north-south air link. DET has been sitting in an ivory tower for the last twelve years talking about defending 'Wales' constitution'. He needs to get a grip on reality before his party disappears up its own rear.

    What is particularly galling is that the electorate preferred to trust Labour, which brought the UK to the brink of bankruptcy only two years ago, and in Wales, has a poor record of running Health and Education. Even the LibDems did better than Plaid. The Tories even gained seats!

    Finally, my congratulations to the SNP, to Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, on a fantastic election performance. It should be an inspiration to Plaid, who should send a delegation in short-order to Holyrood for some pointers on how to run a national party.

  • Comment number 39.

    38. maen_tramgwydd

    "What is particularly galling is that the electorate preferred to trust Labour, which brought the UK to the brink of bankruptcy only two years ago." You need to read my comments on the 'Labour... led?' page. Labour didn't bring the country to the brink of bankruptcy. Labour had to take action to protect, for example, your bank account after the reckless actions of the bankers came to light. If you've got a bank account, and it's in credit, then just you thank Gordon Brown!

    What is particularly galling for me is that people like yourself prefer to simplistically blame the party that was in power at the time, rather than examine the circumstances and reach a more accurate conclusion about responsibility. It's lazy, in my opinion.

  • Comment number 40.

    38. At 09:29am 9th May 2011, maen_tramgwydd wrote:

    “......... Coalition with Labour was a strategic error ........... I suspect that CJ would have gone for a powers referendum during this Assembly term.....”

    If it was a strategic error, it was one made by the whole of the Party, not any individual member. As to your next point, how come Labour were briefing, during the actual campaign, that we were only having a referendum at Plaid Cymru’s insistence?

    “Plaid's big problem is who should be his replacement. It has managed to 'lose' the best potential contenders through a variety of mistakes, blunders and internal dissension.”

    Would you care to expand on that?

  • Comment number 41.

    #39 Mike Sivier

    If my memory serves me correctly Gordon Brown was responsible for establishing the tripartite system of financial and banking regulation in the UK which allowed the banks to act in a reckless way. He has himself admitted some responsibility for failures:


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/17/gordon-brown-recession-banking-regulation
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/apr/13/gordon-brown-banking-sector-regulation

    "You need to read my comments on the 'Labour... led?'"

    It's clear that you see yourself as an authority on the matter. I wouldn't make that presumption for myself.

    Certainly the Tories and the LibDems blame Labour, but then they would, of course.

    As for Labour's action after the failure to regulate, Darling was extremely slow in addressing Northen Rock's imminent collapse. Subsequently, pressure was put by Brown on LloydsTSB to take over HBOS which almost led to the collapse of the former, and resulted in a massive injection of taxpayers' cash. The BoE, at the Government's instigation, had to print £200bn in the euphemistically styled 'quantitative easing', resulting in high inflation, from which we are all suffering today.

    I'm old enough to remember all Labour administrations since the War, except that of Attlee, and each one of them has left the UK in a mess of one kind or another. Lazy I might be, but not ignorant.

    However, the main thrust of my original comment above, was that Plaid failed to capitalise on Labour's failures, not by attacking those shortcomings as they did at the end of the campaign, but by not having a charismatic leader, vision, or policies that appealed to the Welsh electorate.

    Wales is now stuck with Labour for another five years, after a miserable record since the Assembly was created. It was a missed opportunity for Plaid, and it failed to grasp it in just about every sense.

  • Comment number 42.

    #40 Glyndo

    Undoubtedly, the One Wales Agreement was endorsed by a national conference, though not necessarily by the 'whole party'. To what extent the thrust for coalition came from the leadership is another matter, but there's no doubt in my mind that IWJ was very much in favour. In any case, it doesn't lessen my contention that it was a strategic error, whoever made it.

    As for 'losing' the best contenders for leadership - Plaid never had more than two or three in the past decade. Without mentioning names, one only has to ask where those people are today, and why they aren't in a position to take leadership of the party. There is enough information in the public domain for conclusions to be reached. This is not the time or place to trawl through it.

  • Comment number 43.

    First of all I will finish post no 26.

    Even if the new leader fais to make the mark over the next year or three, one or two, of the new batch will be ready to take over, if and when required.

    Re 29 MS

    Well I thought you would get 31, and that Plaid would hold on to the second Regional seat in Swansea.

    My theory in 26, tries to explain why this did not happen.

    Re33 Glyndo.

    I did try and raise the matter with the then chair. But he said the decision was final, and not open for further discussion.

    I think it is a fair conclusion, that if SC had not stood in Llanelli, H M J would still be an AM.

  • Comment number 44.

    As a Llanelli constituent, I find it quite galling that a member of a political party that lost the seat thinks that the problem is with the people and not their party. Your attack on Keith Davies, is unwarranted and smacks of a sore loser. The fact is comments made my Helen Mary Jones during the general election campaign about Plaid willing to work with the Conservatives in Westminster, her lack of door to door campaigning combined with Keith's likeability, and experience garnered from working in the educational authority and as a resident of Llanelli , is what undid her.

  • Comment number 45.

    1 to the BBC, Why has my name changed from DEWMACH to You?

    2 re 42

    IWJ prefered the Rainbow, who would not in his position, First Minister and not Deputy. But 8 AM vetoed the Rainbow, once One Wales was available, and IWJ had no choice. But to go with One Wales, otherwise he would have, had to stand down as leader.

    The NEC had only the choice of putting One Wales forward, or not to conferance. Conferance had the choice of accepting One Wales or not.

  • Comment number 46.

    42. At 11:47am 9th May 2011, maen_tramgwydd wrote:

    #40 Glyndo

    “Undoubtedly, the One Wales Agreement was endorsed by a national conference, though not necessarily by the 'whole party'.”

    Entering the one Wales agreement was “authorised” not “endorsed” by the “National Council” not the “National Conference”. Your point about the “Whole Party” is a little disingenuous, as one single person disagreeing would be sufficient to negate the definition. Nevertheless the “Party”, in a properly constituted Council, authorised its acceptance.

    Also

    “In any case, it doesn't lessen my contention that it was a strategic error, whoever made it.”

    I have difficulty in accepting that obtaining law making powers was a strategic error for Plaid Cymru, though it could be argued that they have suffered tactically in this one election.

  • Comment number 47.

    #40 Glyndo

    Sorry, I missed your point about Labour’s briefing about Plaid’s insistence on the referendum

    It’s quite clear that the existence of Plaid as an expansive force since Gwynfor’s by-election success has pushed forward devolution incrementally. However, we should resist exaggerating that influence.

    Nearly 30 years elapsed after 1979 before Ron Davies persuaded Blair to include Wales in the devolution proposals on the coat-tails of Scotland in 1997. The Assembly was Labour’s creation. It was Labour (plus the LibDems) who commissioned Lord Richard to look into moving the devolution project forward. It was Labour which passed the 2006 Act as a compromise to appease its anti-devolutionist MPs who feared the loss of their seats, but laid the basis for a move to powers through a referendum. The coalition agreement negotiated by Labour and Plaid included a pledge to move to a referendum before the Assembly term was concluded if an All-Wales Commission recommended it. In the event the AMs voted unanimously for it to take place.

    The referendum could conceivably have been lost. Hain believed that it might be. Perhaps it was in Labour’s interests to make Plaid the scapegoat in the event of it being lost.

    The history of devolution since 1997 clearly shows that it was Labour’s initiative. If legislative powers had not already been won, it seems certain that a move to Part 4 of the Act would have taken place in this coming Assembly term. A motion for it would have been carried easily. Opposition from Labour at Westminster has been muted for a number of reasons; one being that Wales is to lose ten MPs anyway. In that case, what was Plaid’s great achievement from four years in coalition which was worth the cost of decline in electoral support?

    #45 DEWMACH

    My option was for Plaid to have remained in opposition. It wasn't ready for government, certainly not as a junior partner in a coalition with Labour. The arguments that it had been in opposition - a party of protest - for a long time and it should take the opportunity to gain experience in government or that it was in the interest of Wales weren’t persuasive.

    For me, the only hope for Wales to have a level of prosperity enjoyed by other nations is through self-determination – unpopular though the notion might be at this time. Plaid is the only vehicle capable of taking us in that direction. It allowed itself to be distracted, for whatever reasons, and is paying the price for it.

    The question now is where it goes from here... unfortunately it now has a steeper hill to climb. To my mind it’s in a hole of its own making. Has it the sense to stop digging? Listening to DET yesterday indicates that it hasn’t. I didn’t get the impression he was speaking for public consumption only. There was an unhealthy air of complacency.

  • Comment number 48.

    Do you think that any of the Welsh political leaders in the election, Carwyn Jones, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Nick Bourne or Kirsty Williams would be good enough to get a UK cabinet post ? I think you can even put the twice loser Helen Mary Jones into that question too.

    The SNP were full of fight and colourful, ready to try to change the world. In Wales our Election was grey and insipid we need a coalition to change a tyre.

  • Comment number 49.

    #46 Glyndo

    "authorise/endorse"
    "conference/council"

    Semantics pure and simple
    There certainly were members of PC which argued against the coalition.

    "..it could be argued that they have suffered tactically in this one election."

    It doesn't need to be argued, it was a very bad result for the party - even worse given the circumstances at Westminster, Labour's record in Wales, and by comparison with the SNP.

    Plaid needs to take a good look at itself and the direction its been heading in these last ten years and address some fundamental issues quickly. Unless it does so, its future is dire, imho.

  • Comment number 50.

    The talk of ocoalitions make me think about how important those 38 votes were in Cardiff central and Nigel Howells coming so close.
    With 31 seats between them a Con, LibD, Plaid rainbow coalition would have been a fresh start for Wales. Not that I am intrinsically anti-labour I just like change and it would be good to see what the Libs and tories would do in power in the Senedd.

  • Comment number 51.

    41. maen_tramgwydd

    I wouldn't have described myself as an authority, but I have done a little research into this matter, so I would agree that I am using some background knowledge.

    I have previously discussed Gordon Brown's admissions re: his part in the bank regulation issue. Something that isn't mentioned often enough is the fact that, regulated or not, the banks - and the bankers they employed - have an obligation to behave in a responsible way with our money. The facts show that they reneged on this obligation. Gordon Brown did not tell them to do this. Labour did not tell them to do this. They did it all by themselves.

    I find myself slightly amused by your reference to "high" inflation. I know it's high in comparison to the BofE's target, but I can remember what inflation was doing in the 1970s and 80s and this is negligible in comparison.

    Regarding Plaid's lack of charisma, that's something they'll have to address as a party before the next Welsh election. Personally, I couldn't be happier that we've got a Labour administration here for the duration of the Con-Dem mess in Westminster!

  • Comment number 52.

    #51 Mike Sivier wrote:

    Inflation

    Not as high as the 70s, but then there was the accompanying wage inflation to compensate. Now those on low wages and pensioners on fixed incomes are being squeezed much harder.

    "I couldn't be happier that we've got a Labour administration here for the duration of the Con-Dem mess in Westminster!"

    You're not alone, the majority of those who voted last Thursday agreed with you.

    I don't share your enthusiasm or relief. Labour's record as far as Wales is concerned has been very poor, despite nearly a century of loyalty. As a party it will in the final analysis follow the dictates of its headquarters in Victoria Street when it seeks to gain the support of middle England in the next general election. Wales will get the crumbs, if there are any left over.

    We'll just have to wait and see if the quality of education improves and hospital waiting lists are cut etc. I wouldn't hold my breath on those issues.

  • Comment number 53.

    How electorally attractive would the SNP be without Salmond?

    At the moment the party has a lot of enthusiasm and fire - but who else in Scotland can stoke the furnace?

  • Comment number 54.

    #53 West-Wales

    May I suggest you ask that question on Brian Taylor's blog?

    I'll drop in to watch the fireworks :)

  • Comment number 55.

    49. At 15:15pm 9th May 2011, maen_tramgwydd wrote:

    #46 Glyndo

    "authorise/endorse"
    "conference/council"

    Semantics pure and simple.

    There certainly were members of PC which argued against the coalition.”

    It’s not semantics, its meaning. Authorise indicates before the event, endorse implies after the event. The Party made the decision, not the leadership!

    Conference/Council is simply accuracy.

    Yes there were but they didn’t persuade the Party. Once the decision was made then the Party made it and all members should accept that and get on with it; even if they think it is a bad decision.

  • Comment number 56.

    It's significant that all three unionist party leaders in Scotland have announced their resignation following their parties' poor performance in the election.

    What should be Plaid's response to its poor showing?



  • Comment number 57.

    #55 Glyndo

    It depends how it was presented to the Party. It seemed like a foregone conclusion to me.

    Party unity is important, but that's down to good leadership. Now its post mortem time.

    Would you be in favour of supporting Labour for a second term? What does PLaid stand to gain from doing that?

  • Comment number 58.

    57. At 18:19pm 9th May 2011, maen_tramgwydd wrote:

    #55 Glyndo

    "Would you be in favour of supporting Labour for a second term? What does PLaid stand to gain from doing that?"

    Not much.

 

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