Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Kirsty, Elvis and Colonel Sanders

Translation of "Kirsty, Elvis a Colonel Sanders" by Vaughan Roderick

It's sometimes hard to believe that within only a few months we'll be half way through the Third Assembly. It's doesn't feel like it. Perhaps the reason is because the coalition negotiations and then Rhodri Morgan's illness meant that months went by after the election before “One Wales” got down to business.

I don't in all honesty understand why some bloggers and journalists question the future of this coalition. They speculate that another coalition could come into being between now and the next election. Perhaps they're longing for that funny period of excitement and farce during the summer of 2007! To be honest I don't see why the present government shouldn't persist. There would need to be a major falling out or a hell of a good reason for one party or the other to break the agreement and back out of the partnership.

In spite of this there are some who still reckon that the climate has changed since the Liberal Democrats changed leader and a change on the horizon for Labour. There are all kinds of whispers (unfounded in my opinion) about a secret meeting between Kirsty Williams and some prospective Labour leader or other.

Kirsty tackled the whispers head-on today. The only possible contended she'd met with was Carwyn Jones, she said, and that was by mistake in a KFC restaurant before a Scarletts and Ospreys games. Is it possible that the future of Welsh governance was decided over a “Bargain Bucket” and “Viennetta”?

Those who think that Labour and the Liberal Democrats could reach some kind of deal are forgetting an important fact. Because of Karen Sinclair's illness the majority of a red/yellow government would be fragile. Labour has had a taste of that before. Why on Earth would the party who lead a comfortable majority choose to put themselves back into the position in which every vote depends on the Trish Law's whim and Brian Gibbons' ability to press the right button?

From Labour's point of view a divorce would be painful and dangerous for whoever happens to be leading the party. Even Huw Lewis has publicly stated that the party should stick to their word and ensure that the current government lasts the whole term.

But what of another partner in the marriage? It's easy enough to argue that Plaid Cymru made the wrong decision by rejecting the rainbow in 2007. If you remember Ieuan Wyn Jones justified his decision to settle for Deputy rather than First Minister through the fact that it was only a Labour coalition that would secure a referendum before 2011.

Does anyone expect that to happen? It's easier for me to believe that Elvis will be discovered working in a tipi shop in Treorchy. In spite of that, walking away from this government would be a blow for Ieuan Wyn Jones' credibility – an admission of his lack of political ability. To my knowledge there's no backbench plot in Plaid Cymru to change leader and while Ieuan is at the helm “One Wales” is safe.

Kirsty said today that she intends to lead her party back to Government in Wales. I can see no way for her to achieve this before the 2011 election.

Translation by Dewi Tri


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