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 previously suggested in leaked letter by Welsh Ramblings
Bethan also rushes to the defence of Adam Price. They raise fair points, and they deserve a response. If by evidence you mean a paper trail or a smoking gun, then no, I have none; just opinion based on trying to make sense of what people do and say. It is said that there are two theories of history – conspiracy and cockup. I may well be wrong in seeing conspiracy, and would be much happier to be proved wrong than right. Unbridled cynicism can become rather depressing over time.
The fifth question is the easiest one to answer. It was tongue in cheek, since the 'leaked letter' was apparently offering Ieuan Wyn Jones candlelit dinners with Betsan Powys.... But back to the serious points.Welsh Ramblings suggests that a small right-wing clique have been trying to push Plaid Cymru into a coalition with the Tories – his or her analysis is not dissimilar to mine in that respect. (I'd take issue with the idea that the clique is right wing however – I suspect it's an ideology-free clique rather than one which has any coherent right wing position).
But, let us suppose for a moment that I am wrong to doubt the motives of Adam Price in raising the Red-Green idea again so late in the day, and assume that events are more or less as reported. The sequence looks roughly like this:
- Immediately after the Assembly election, Plaid's Assembly Group agrees that the way forward for the party is to lead the opposition to Labour, who should, as the largest party, form the government.
- Within days, Plaid's leader, with strong support from Adam Price, begins talking to all Plaid's Assembly members to overturn that decision and begin coalition talks.
- Although initially talking to all parties, the Assembly group decides to suspend talks with Labour and concentrate all its efforts on an agreement with the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. Throughout this process, Price is working as Ieuan Wyn Jones' right-hand man (no political comment intended) in driving forward the negotiations.
- That agreement is concluded, and gets signed off by the Conservatives and the Lib Dems. There is however, considerable unrest on the left within Plaid at the process and its conclusion – and some scepticism about the role of Adam Price, once seen as a standard bearer for the left, but now apparently one of the principal proponents of coalition with the Tories.
- Almost on the eve of the meeting where Plaid Cymru is due to discuss and either accept or reject the agreement, Price raises once again the question of a Red-Green alliance. Having been somewhat lukewarm to date, this time Labour respond extremely positively.
- Jones is reported to be furious at this development - but the first thing he does is summon Adam Price down from London to lead the negotiations with Labour.
It just doesn't add up to me. I'm perfectly happy to accept that my own interpretation may be wrong (although I know I'm not alone in seeing things that way); but that leaves unanswered questions.
It seems clear that the clique referred to by Welsh Ramblings still intends to push Plaid into a coalition with the Tories, but if we believe that Price genuinely wants to go the Red-Green route instead, then we are asked to believe both that Price is working hand in glove with Jones on the negotiations, and also that he is seeking a completely different outcome. When it comes to believing impossible things, I tend to be with Alice, rather than with the Queen of Hearts.