Westminster MPs call for Cardiff chaos

The Welsh Labour Party is today voting on whether to go into coalition with Plaid Cymru.

Plaid has opted to negotiate the One Wales deal even though it could have taken the First Minister’s job by going for a rainbow alliance with the Tories and Lib Dems instead. Ieuan Wyn Jones said Plaid’s decision had been based on "two key elements".

"The first is we wanted to secure a stable government in the best interests of the people of Wales and we wanted to make sure that whatever arrangement we had had the ability to be sustained over a four-year period," he said. (ICWales)

It appears that the logic of stability doesn’t appeal to all Welsh Labour MPs.

Asked what should happen
instead, [Labour MP Don]Touhig said: "We are the largest party in the assembly and
Rhodri Morgan should put his programme to the assembly.

"If they vote him down then they will have to take responsibility for the administration and I do not believe it would succeed." (ePolitix.com)

In Wales as in Scotland it is the nationalist parties which have taken the lead in seeking workable governments. In Scotland, the unionist parties opted for what they though would be a weak SNP minority administration. Now their Welsh counterparts want an unstable three-way coalition.

Jack McConnell bowed to this kind of Westminster pressure when he dropped his early talk of more powers for Holyrood in favour of Nat-bashing. Rhodri Morgan appears to have learned from his mistake, perhaps because one nationalist-led government is more than enough for Gordon Brown.

Update: Labour backed the deal by a margin of nearly four to one, in spite of heavyweight opposition from figures like Lord Kinnock and former Welsh (and NI) Secretary Paul Murphy.

Plaid has also voted in favour by more than 90 per cent, prompting this comment from the BBC:

Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will be First Minister Rhodri Morgan’s deputy and other Plaid AMs join the cabinet.

It also means that eight years after devolution began,
nationalists will be in government in Wales, Northern Ireland and
Scotland. (BBC Wales)






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