Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is the Rainbow fading?

So Plaid Cymru's Executive Committee has decided to 'talk on' with Labour about forming a Coalition Government to run the National Asembly for Wales for the next four years. This will be the top news line in Wales tonight - but what does this mean for the 'Rainbow Coalition'. Is it deceased? No. I understand that the Rainbow option hasn't been dropped - so Tory group leader, Nick Bourne won't let his dogs loose on Ieuan Wyn Jones just yet. But what is poor old Mike German to do. At present, he looks to be heading for political oblivion - when all it would take is one phone call.

"Hi Rhodri. Mike here. Fancy a cappuccino? OK then. A pint in the Dog and Duck. See you in an hour."

That's all it would take. Rhodri's been on the TV, giving him the 'come-hither' look. Labour MPs are positively gagging for him to pick up the phone - with gradations of enthusiasm. Kirsty Williams, his talented and scheming successor is so bruised that she wouldn't dare try anything behind the scenes again for a while. Even Peter Black is telling him that he has given up the idea of being a 'refusenik'. He could be Deputy First Minister again. He did so enjoy strutting around Wales in his ministerial car, DFM 1. There seems so little to lose. Oh, it must be so tempting. Perhaps a little Chopin to clear his mind - and then straight for the phone to Rhodri.

13 comments:

Patriot said...

Glyn,

The Lib Dems have had their conference and made their bed. German has no mandate to open discussions with Rhodri. Plaid have been more shrewd. The left will now realign without the Libs. Well at least until Kirsty takes over.

The order is now looking good. A government that is both properly Welsh and Socialist. German taught a hard lesson about betraying the left - and the Tories in their rightful place on the opposition benches. Well thats my fantasy anyway........time will tell......

Glyn Davies said...

patriot - your fantasy is the way it looks at the moment - which means it will look completely different next week

Anonymous said...

Labour is united in the quest for a deal with Plaid. German is a busted flush and he knows it

Anonymous said...

Peter Black is in the news again, objecting to a regional passport office being opened in Swansea in the Autumn.

It's good news for Swansea and he objects because they will locate the office on the enterprise zone!

Daran said...

Parties are at their strongest, the last few weeks show us, when they have options. It's when parties decide to shut down certain options that they find themselves without a range of negotiating partners and are therefore less able to manouvere. This isn't a problem for the Conservatives because talking to Labour is mutually excluding, and I'm not seeking to draw your party into that analysis, but for Plaid and the Lib Dems it has proven to be problematic shutting down dialogue before conversations are properly through.

Plaid is therefore right to keep both options on the table for as long as it can. It doesn't mean one option is dead, just that one is preferred over the other. Either could ultimately happen - though I accept the Plaid-Labour arrangement certainly now seems to be in the ascendant. In such circumstances, keeping a fading rainbow over the hill maintains Plaid's strong negotiating stance with Labour.

Like you, I'm now very wary of predicting things weeks (or even days) in advance. But I yet feel sure that much could still change in the three weeks before our next round of party conferences or councils.

One thing that has occurred to me - and a bit tangential I know - is how the Assembly will feel if we end up with a Plaid-Labour coalition which would command the support of over two-thirds of AMs. Being used to wafer thin majorities or non-majorities, the narrow numbers game has conditioned much there, and not just on the floor of plenary. Should the dust start settling after a "Welsh and Socialist" marriage, this will be an interesting angle to think through.

Ordovicius said...

By the way Glyn, were you aware that Helen thinks your evil?

Anonymous said...

Ordovicius said...
"By the way Glyn, were you aware that Helen thinks your evil?"

Butting in here - Helen Mary always appears on TV as if she is being chased by forces unknown. Now we know they are Tory germs. Theve her alone chaps.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - I just do not believe this.

daran - we seem to agree. And I do think a Plaid/Labour Coalition will open up a major debate within my party about how to respond. I would hope to influence this - with 2011 in mind as well as General Election.

sanddef - Helen Mary's thoughts (genuinly held) are the nub of my party's problem. I'm very fond of her - as well as being a little bit afraid of her. this deserves a seperate post

Anonymous said...

by the way, the comments by Helen on Vaughan Roderick's blog site are by Helen Smith (not HMJ)

Anonymous said...

helen smith says what helen mary jones thinks

Christopher Glamorgan said...

The Welsh Liberal Democrats will feel left out with these special conferences and will have to meet again. If they carry on like this, they'll have to start collecting funds earlier for the election in 2011 - coffers running empty with all this changing of minds? :-D

http://glamorganshire.blogspot.com/2007/06/mike-german-dr-rainbow-heckle-to-mr.html

Glyn Davies said...

anons - apolgies to Helen Mary

Christopher - its only what Lib Dems are used to. Prepare for anotrher conference. We saw Mike on our TVs last night - trying to put pre3ssure on Ieuan in a rather obvious way. It will have to a bit more subtle than that if its going to have any effect

Penddu said...

Glyn,

You know that the main selling point for Red-Green over the Rainbow, is its 'promise' to deliver a referendum. The reason is because of the 66% rule which give labour a stranglehold.

But you can break this stranglehold by giving a comittment that an incoming DC government will ammend the GoW act to remove the 66% clause (and the dual candidacy clause). Of course you would need to win the election, but that is the likely outcome at the moment.