Sunday, 17 June 2007

Rainbow on Life Support

A lot of interesting reaction to yesterday's decision – or some might say, non-decision – by Plaid's Executive Committee. I guess for those of us who weren't invited it's hard to second guess what's going on, and what happens next. Anyone who was there want to enlighten us publicly?

I tend to agree with the comments on Welsh Ramblings. The whole Red/Green alliance was raised by Adam Price – a known and very public supporter of the rainbow – in order to try and demonstrate to Plaid's left that no such deal was possible, and justify the rainbow. But they have really been surprised and thrown off course by Labour's enthusiasm, leaving them with no choice but to negotiate seriously with Labour.

Adam Price was not happy with my interpretation at the time, but I remained sceptical (or should that be spectical?). I had assumed that he had raised the issue with the support and knowledge – tacit at least – of Plaid's leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, and that Jones' reported anger at the time was all part of a carefully choreographed performance for the benefit of the party's members.

Time will tell; but in the meantime, whether by accident or design, Plaid now find themselves locked in detailed negotiations with a Labour Party who seem eager to do a deal. I doubt that they've offered as much as previously suggested in the letter leaked exclusively by Welsh Ramblings, mind you. (I don't really believe that Betsan Powys is theirs to give).

The wording of yesterday's Plaid statement is quite significant, I think. According to the BBC, Plaid said that the NEC hadn't even discussed the rainbow coalition. Further, I heard on a radio bulletin that they have no plans at this stage to discuss the document. Yes, that's what they said - this is a document which has been discussed and agreed by the other two parties, but the party which led the negotiations to produce it hasn't even discussed it or taken a view on it, and has no plans to.

I think that tells us a lot about the mood in the NEC. The alliance with Labour is the only game being pursued at this stage, and only if that fails will the party even start to consider joining in government with the Tories. The left has always been stronger on the NEC than in the overall membership of the party, but even so, the decision was apparently unanimous. (I disagree with Ordovicius (and his source, Miserable Old Fart) on this, by the way. He claims that Gareth Jones voted against – I heard that Mr Jones actually left before any vote was taken).

Seems to me that this leaves the rainbow not exactly dead, but it has been moved into intensive care. Welsh Ramblings believes that rainbow supporters will yet attempt to revive it by finding a way of scuppering the Labour deal. From what Ordovicius says about the Politics Show, it sounds as if Dai Lloyd has been appointed as Ieuan Wyn Jones' outrider on this already. I suspect Welsh Ramblings is correct; they will certainly try. But I'm far from certain that they will succeed.

For how long will Bourne and German keep biting their tongues, I wonder.


Anonymous said...

You need to see the UPDATE. Rainbow's safe and sound, I'd say.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I didn't say that Gareth Jones had voted against the Labour deal. What I said was that I had been told that Gareth "left the Plaid National Executive early in quite a huff, because he was the only voice against keeping Plaid's door open to Labour".

Gareth, and the rest of the Assembly group, were at the meeting to report. Unless Gareth is a member of the executive he wouldn't have had a vote anyway.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else getting irritated with these blogging attention seekers who find it impossible to refrain from commenting on events even after we all know what happened?

And of course adding their bit of spice?

Would it not be better to encourage discussion instead?

bethan said...

I'm not quite sure what you are implying. Is it that Adam P only pushed red-green to make it look unachievable? I would beg to differ if that is your argument.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone else getting irritated with these blogging attention seekers who find it impossible to refrain from commenting on events even after we all know what happened?"

Yes Yes Me too. Have you any shred of evidence for concluding thus:

1.Adam Price raised Green/Red Alliance in order to prove to left that no deal was possible.
2. Labour's enthusiasm unexpected.
3.Assume Adam had support of IWJ
4 IWJ reported anger part of a choreographed peformance
5.Doubt Labour offered as much as previuosly suggested in leaked letter by Welsh Ramblings

Ceredig said...

Alwyn ap Huw, I bow to your superior knowledge of the arcane processes of Plaid Cymru. I think we can therefore believe the statement that the vote in Plaid's NEC was unanimous.

In which case, Ordovicius, thanks for the update. But if the party's NEC voted unanimously to continue talks only with Labour, and decided not even to consider the document negotiated with Labour and the Lib Dems, then it still looks to me as if the rainbow is fading badly.

Anonymous (the second), these are good questions which deserve a reasonable attempt at an answer. I'll respond in my next post.

bethan said...

unfortunately, it doesn't mean the rainbow is fading. that document exists, so as far as discussing it now, there is no need. It will be raised again when discussions with Labour either end/ or we decide to go red/green.

Che Grav-ara said...

"Anyone else getting irritated with these blogging attention seekers who find it impossible to refrain from commenting on events even after we all know what happened?"

Not at all. everyone has their own views on the goings on in Welsh politics. I have a very different outlook and opinion to many bloggers, especially pro rainbow enthusists like Ordovicius. However, i still enjoy reading their opinions and feel such blogs offer a choice of debates.