Apparently, the big debate in quantum physics at present is straying into what used to be a question for philosophers only – i.e. whether there is any such thing as objective reality at all, or whether things only exist when they are observed. The interaction between event and observer is what creates reality, it is argued; it seems to me that it must therefore follow is that any such interaction is as valid as any other, and that reality, like beauty, is thus in the eye of the beholder.
So what's this got to do with my usual hobby-horse, Welsh politics? Well, given the way in which the same events have been so widely interpreted to mean completely different things, perhaps we need a quantum theory of politics.
Take the fact that Ieuan Wyn Jones, as widely trailed, ended up recommending to his group that Plaid should accept the deal with Labour and reject the alternative rainbow proposal. In advance of the decision, we had two very different takes on what it said about Plaid's leader.
According to Glyn Davies:
I just can't believe Ieuan Wyn Jones. He must be the only politician in theVaughan Roderick, considering the same event, said (my translation):
Western world who doesn't want to be First Minister. Wouldn't be so bad if I
wouldn't give my right arm for the what is the best job in Wales. One month in
the job would be better than 10 years as Leader of the Opposition. The man has
no sense of history. When Ieuan comes to writing his autobiography, I suggest
the title 'I just wasn't big enough when it mattered'.
So tomorrow I suspect that Ieuan will go against his instincts, and
sacrifice his personal ambition for the sake of his party. Ieuan has grown
during all this. Members of Plaid Cymru should be proud of their
But according to my quantum theory of politics, there are plenty of other interpretations open to us as well. I suspect that Jones was really hoping that something would go badly wrong with the Labour deal, enabling him to save the rainbow, but he was determined not to find himself in a minority in his own group. After all, he's been there once before, after the 2003 election, ad it's easy to see why he wouldn't want to go there again.