Gweinidog Un

After reading this story I'd encourage our dear Gweinidog Un to follow his namesake and go for a nice ride in the country, just to take his mind off the pressure of deciding what should or shouldn't be broadcast on state-controlled television.


The problem is to find any part of the countryside where he'd be welcome.

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Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the humour but this was an appalling incident. This is surely a symptom of one-party dominance and should be a matter of concern to any self-respecting democrat whether in the Labour Party or not. And bravo S4C for telling them where to go.

Anonymous said...

MH - on a tangent ... but in light of your comments about Labour trying to censor Pobol y Cwm (yes, it does sound like a joke doesn't it!) what's you views on a piece I read yesterday on Vaughan Roderick's blog. The Blog is in Welsh, readers can avail themselves to the wonders of googlechrome to get a decentish translation.

Basically, the talk of an SNP, PC, Ulster Unionist deal with the Tories to see the redefinig of bounderies. This would bring the number of Welsh seats from 40 to 30 with an increase in Assembly seats from 60 to 80 (+ PR)?

I'm all for it - it's only fair on a UK level (and after all Labour want to a united kingdom) and it would also mean that Labour in the future couldn't get 50% of the seats with some 40% of the vote. It's this Labour state mentality which allowed Labour to believe they could bully S4C and the BBC.

I hope, as Vaughan says quoting a Plaid source, that Plaid grow 'a pair' and get a good deal for Wales and don't care about what Labour say.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:35 (sorry for butting in!)

I hope PC take a long-term view of this. In the near term, ok Labour can make accusations of taking sides with the Tories, of weakening Welsh representation in the Commons etc. But the ultimate prize of 80 AMs and PR is surely worth the sacrifice. The Labour party's dominance is a blight on Wales, the sooner we get some plurality the better.

Anonymous said...

Plaid need to stop worrying about Labour. Labour voted with the Tories or even Tory Eurosceptics a few weeks ago.

So what it Plaid 'lose' a seat with the amalgamation of seats? Plaid isn't there to guarantee a job for Elfyn Llywd or Hywel Williams. It's there to strengthen the Senedd and bring democracy closer to Wales.

80 seats with PR is a price well worth paying. It'll strengthen Wales and break Labour's undemocratic hegemony on Wales - the kind of hegemony which saw it try to ban Pobol y Cwm.

Anonymous said...

Wales would benefit greatly from having either Elfyn or Hywel or even both in the Senedd.

Anonymous said...

It's not as simple as Vaughan's source says. The Tories can't just 'give' Wales 80 AMs and PR, because Plaid Cymru unfortunately doesn't speak for Wales, Labour unfortunately does.

Jonathan Edwards has clearly said Plaid will accept a reduction IF there is an equivalent transfer of powers for Wales. On Twitter he said he's not in the business of fighting for Labour's interests but is fighting for Wales.

I don't see how Jonathan's position constitutes being "afraid of Labour" seeing as he has actually taken on Labour and beaten them in his seat.

I agree that Plaid is there to strengthen the Senedd but surely that's what they're doing by saying they WOULD accept a deal with the Tories. Nowhere has Plaid been worrying about Labour, and i'm certain Plaid would use the example of Labour backing right-wing Tories ont he European vote.

Sometimes I think Plaid is damned if it does, damned if it doesn't from alot of anonymous "critical friends".

Anonymous said...

"So what it Plaid 'lose' a seat with the amalgamation of seats? Plaid isn't there to guarantee a job for Elfyn Llywd or Hywel Williams. It's there to strengthen the Senedd and bring democracy closer to Wales.

80 seats with PR is a price well worth paying. It'll strengthen Wales and break Labour's undemocratic hegemony on Wales - the kind of hegemony which saw it try to ban Pobol y Cwm."

If this was or is actually on offer Plaid Cymru would jump at it. Plaid has never said it would protect Wales' 40 seats for the sake of it. It's unfair to suggest Plaid has ever said that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 210.7
" The Tories can't just 'give' Wales 80 AMs and PR, because Plaid Cymru unfortunately doesn't speak for Wales, Labour unfortunately does."

in fact, that has nothing to do with it. It's about the Tories in Wm wanting to cut a deal (possibly). If they should offer Plaid a good deal - less seats for more powers (police may be) for Wales and PR, lets say, then they can do it. Parliament is sovereign, nothing to do with who speaks for Wales.

Labour wanted Parliament to be sovereign, they could have beefed up the 2006 Govt of Wales act for the 2011 Referendum but decided against it. They want Wales to be part of the UK, then, they have to agree that more seats for less votes + Assembly + Cabinet Minister is a very unfair deal for the rest of the UK.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Tories even support devolving criminal justice to Wales. Or PR. But let's see if they want to do a deal.

Plaid Cymru has said it would do a deal for a major transfer of powers.

MH said...

I think Vaughan is indulging in rhetoric at the expense of one or two facts. For example, in 2007 the choice was not only about whether to be in government with Labour or lead a government with the Tories and LibDems. One other factor (for me it was the most important one, but perhaps not for everyone in the party) was that the referendum on primary lawmaking powers could only be delivered with Labour, because it required a two-thirds majority. If that hurdle had not been cleared, there would be no serious talk today about tax or devolving more areas of responsibility to Wales.

But on the specific point about whether we should do a deal with the Tories on boundary changes, I think we should ... but only if we get things that benefit Wales in return.

For some years I have said that I've no problem with reducing the number of Welsh MPs in the same way as the number of Scottish MPs was reduced in 2005. But at the same time I've said that we need the same things to be devolved to Wales as are devolved to Scotland ... and that extra responsibilities are what would justify an increase in the number of AMs.

The two posts are here and here.

Of course in any negotiating situation we might not get everything we want. However I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect devolution of policing and justice (with Wales established as a separate jurisdiction) and of energy, because these things are already devolved to both Scotland and Northern Ireland.

maen_tramgwydd said...

"If that hurdle..." (legislative powers referendum)"...had not been cleared, there would be no serious talk today about tax or devolving more areas of responsibility to Wales."

I'm not sure I agree with that conclusion. As I've commented before, my guess is that Carwyn Jones would have called the referendum in the kind of situation he finds himself in at the moment, with a hostile Tory-led administration at Westminster - thus making it easier for a Labour dominated Welsh Government to legislate without Tory approval.

The referendum was, in any case, more a symbolic victory than that of substance. It would have cost Labour little, but with much potential gain in being seen as the party of Wales, thus further sidelining PC. It was Labour which enacted the 2006 Act. To think that it never had any intention of moving to Part 4 at some time is simplistic in my humble opinion.

Carwyn, whom I'm no admirer of, btw, has been proclaiming his 'nationalist' credentials of late, in calling for a constitutional convention to consider Wales' relationship with the rest of the UK given the prospects of constitutional change resulting from the 2014 referendum. Why would it therefore surprise us that he would have called a referendum to move to Part 4?

I concluded that the time wasn't ripe for Plaid to enter into a Labour coalition, and the party has suffered an electoral reverse for having done so, from which to date it hasn't showed much sign of recovery.

If as I believe, CJ would have gone for a referendum, which he would have won easily, and with a greater margin than in 2011, then Plaid's decision to cosy up to Labour was a strategic error. It put Plaid electorally into third place behind the Tories, and much of the gains of 2008.

However, what's done is done - all that concerns me is that Plaid doesn't, EVER, repeat that mistake.

Anonymous said...

I can remember the One Wales vs All Wales Accord saga and was a Plaid member at the time, and still am. The main attraction of All Wales Accord was to have a Plaid First Minister, and to have a non-Labour administration. However a problem was we would bring the Tories in to government, and the Lib Dems, and having a three party arrangement would have been chaotic. But anyway, One Wales won the argument because of the referendum.

Labour didn't want to hold a referendum. They wanted to delay it and have it much further down the line, probably in 2015, to use it as a platform during the Westminster election. Having it in 2011 has only bought us three years, but it was obviously a condition of the Silk Commission being set up.

The party's losses in 2011 were not to do with cosying up to Labour. It was because the Tories were in and people got scared. The idea that we had a Welsh election in 2011 is a joke. Nobody cared about the referendum or Plaid.

The real problem is how can Plaid ever gain ground with the Tories in power in London? I think judging from how difficult it is to even obtain modest increases in such a scenario, bringing the Tories into government in Wales would have been even more damaging.

Anonymous said...

Re Anon 18:42

"It was because the Tories were in and people got scared"

How then do you explain the very different outcome in Scotland? Also, why did the Tories do better in Wales in 2011, pushing Plaid into third place in the Assembly?

The SNP avoided any agreement with Labour like the plague, and were perfectly capable of running a (very) minority administration after 2008. Labour could easily have done the same, without a One Wales Agreement. Plaid should have avoided government altogther. and left Labour to get on with it.

As you admit yourself, the referendum wouldn't have been delayed significantly. Silk is unlikely to make a real difference in terms of devolution of power, in any case its recommendations are unlikely to happen much before 2020. It's what is happening in Scotland that will push forward the agenda. That's an indirect dividend courtesy of the SNP.

Plaid's coalition with Labour gave the Welsh electorate no real alternative in 2011. "Vote Plaid get Labour" was the message, much simpler therefore to just vote Labour, which is what people did. I agree that nobody cared about the referendum, except IWJ, who was naive enough to think he would get an electoral dividend. He didn't, and he led Plaid into a semi-wilderness for the coming period.

Let's face it, if Plaid is ever going to lead a government in Wales, it has to defeat Labour at the ballot box. Emulating, supporting, cosying up, call it what you will, to Labour is entirely the wrong strategy. In my opinion it will spell the end of the party as a real political force. I fear that lesson has yet to be learned.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:32
"How then do you explain the very different outcome in Scotland?"

This has been done to death. Because the SNP had run a successful government, had already beaten Labour in 2007, had the best leader in the UK, had a great record, and crucially, were up against one of the worst Labour leaders in Scottish history, the deeply unpopular Iain Gray.

You are right though that Plaid didn't offer the electorate an alternative and couldn't do so from the position of coalition. I can't dispute that. There's just a touch of rewriting history in your comment though. It wasn't only IWJ that cared about the referendum, Plaid's membership were very supportive of the referendum and the party leadership. Criticising One Wales now doesn't really make a difference. I didn't hear anyone at the time making credible arguments against One Wales, and it actually was a popular government and boosted Plaid electorally in 08 and 09. The gains of course dried up when the Tories got in.

Anonymous said...

Plaid can never and will never defeat Labour nationally until we have a Welsh election context. It is simply not going to be possible. But i'm sure much more gains can be made than in the past, if the right ingredients are put in place.

Anonymous said...

While it would be good to get PR and increase the number of AMs this will not have much impact outside of the political classes. However, if we can get control over policing and criminal justice and a Welsh jurisdiction then that would be a valuable step forward.


Anonymous said...

It's hard to tell what's going to happen. If the Assembly gets more and more powers then the media might be "forced" to create Welsh editions and Welsh programming. But I suspect the biggest problem is the apathy of the public and Wales being much more intertwined with England than Scotland is.

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