Political boffin, keen fisherman looking forward to retirement.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Who Calls the Shots for Labour in Wales?

According to all reports Rhodri has been sent packing by his Westminster colleagues and told to go back to the Lib Dems. Unless this is some sort of master plan by anti devolution Labour MPs to force a rainbow deal that would more or less mean the end of the constitutional question for a generation, their strategy is nonsensical. It’s not in Labour’s hands to try and create a bilateral dynamic of their own. The choice facing Labour is simple, either Plaid gets a referendum with Labour support or start getting used to opposition.

All the huffing a puffing by Labour MPs arguably only serves to further the cause of the All Wales Accord – as the old proverb goes ‘a bird in the hand is worth more than two in the bush’.

With Labour MPs and leading Labour AMs on diverging paths, the outcome of this affair will indicate who holds the balance of power within Labour in Wales. Make no mistake this is a power struggle that will have enormous implications for the future of our country.

Labour have a monumental decision to make that will shape their positioning as a party for decades. Are they going to be a party that embraces the need to create a modern and dynamic Wales moving the nation forward to self government, or are they going to continue to view Wales as a subservient component of a Westminster system that has failed our country for centuries?

History favours the brave – It’s time for Rhodri to show some courage and live up to his self illusion as the great Welsh political redeemer.


Che Grav-ara said...

Excellent point Ted,

It is a simple choice for Labour. Clearly Labour MP's are willing to put aside being in power in Wales for an indefinite amount of time, possibly decades, in order to take a referendum off the agenda.

Are the Labour AM's ready for that same commitment

View from the Glen said...

The MP's still haven't got used to devolution. THeir power is waining and need to feel powerful.

Just think of the late forties to 50's when the then governments realised the empire was lost.

Activist said...

Can we bit a little more logical about the Labour position:

1. Any deal Rhodri has offered to Plaid will have already been cleared with Gordon Brown.

2. The referendum requires a simple majority of MP's - not Welsh Labour MPs.

3. The vote in the Commons will be whipped. Welsh MPs will not scarifice their Ministerial Posts and long term careers for this. Even if they did, the majority would still be achieved.

4. Plaid knows the Labour MPs would squeal and will not be suprised. In some ways the louder they squeal the more it confirms that Welsh Labour is deadly serious about this.

5. This will be a (manageable) challenge with Welsh Labour supporting it but impossible for the 'rainbow' now or at anytime in the future. Therefore it is Ieuan's best chance of a Welsh Parliament in his remaining time as leader.

6. Plaid's next key milestone is the Parliament, not a puppet first Minister propped up by Tories.

7. Any approach by Mike German to Labour is known to be about nothing other than driving Plaid back to the 'rainbow'.

8. Mike German has no mandate for 7 anyway.

9. Plaid and Labour politicians in the Assembly understand 7 and will treat it appropriately.

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