Tuesday 7 July 2009

Playing Games

Others have already commented on the 'story' floated over the weekend that some in the Labour Party would like to use the opportunity of a change of leader to change the One Wales agreement in order to include the Lib Dems and demote Ieuan Wyn Jones.

The idea that the Labour Party can decide to change a two-party agreement into a three-party agreement - let alone do so as part of a blatant attempt to marginalise the Plaid leader in the government - is complete nonsense of course. The agreement was made by two parties; and both parties would need to agree any changes.

So why float the idea at all? They suggest that it is about marginalising the Tories in Wales; but it looks to me more like an attempt to punish Plaid for the perceived success of our ministerial team, at a time when the Labour vote has gone into freefall.

It is certainly true that there are some in the Labour Party who are, as the Western Mail put it, "far from happy to see their leaders in cosy co-operation with Plaid". Their objective is not simply to try and bring the Lib Dems in - but to drive Plaid out; it's good old-fashioned Labour tribalism at its worst.

The preference of this little gang for coalition with the Lib Dems has little to do with ideology or policy, and everything to do with hegemony. The Lib Dems are not - and are unlikely ever to become – strong enough or numerous enough to represent an electoral threat to Labour, and are therefore a 'safe' option; one that doesn't challenge the divine right that the anonymous briefers think Labour has to run Wales.

Their party has given us a partly-proportional system of election (far from perfect in my view, but a step along the right road); but some of them seem not to have been able to adapt to the main consequence of that, namely that the days of one-party hegemony are finished.


Anonymous said...

The idea that bringing the Lib Dems in would marginalise the Tories is stupid. The Lib Dems have no relevance to Welsh politics.

Anonymous said...


...but of course its fine for Elin Jones to float the idea of destabilising the coalition!!

Anonymous said...

Spot on John. Just another attempt by the Labour tribalists to goad Plaid Cymru into walking away so that Labour don't have to honour any committments