If Wales forms an historic coalition government between two former enemies, and not a single UK newspaper bothers to give it more than a paragraph of attention, did it happen?
According to the BBC:
A senior Plaid source said it had been given an offer that would be very difficult to refuse.
Cue: visions of horse’s heads and wedding parties.
To be honest, I think this is the best possible outcome. It will of course drag Labour off to the left, which in turn will force the Conservatives to behave like a rightwing party again.
A Lib Dem-Labour coalition was the only other sustainable option in my view, and that has already been ruled out. A Plaid-Labour coalition would get the Lib Dems off the hook and enable them to start the long process of rebuilding the party into a party of government. As I said last month, in my view they have a long way to go.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying a Plaid-Labour coalition would be a good thing. Plaid’s policies are a sort of a caricature of leftwing, tokenistic politics, with a dubious dash of nationalism thrown in. But there is an enormous leftwing consensus in Wales, with all Welsh parties crowding around the centre-left. Only the formation of an unbridled leftwing government has a chance of smashing this consensus and making Welsh politics a little bit more interesting.
The Lib Dems have been hampered these last four years by a Labour government carrying on the policies negotiated in coalition, thus forcing them to support measures they initiated and yet have no chance of being able to claim credit for. The Tories have been stuck having to pretend to be nice fluffy bunny rabbits because that’s where the Welsh polity is at. All this will be different after four years of laptops for every child, economically unsustainable housing policies, and a general governmental snuggling inside the Welsh flag.
Finally, I thought this quip from Mike German was a little disingenuous:
Mike German, leader of the Liberal Democrats in the assembly, said he “wouldn’t have expected anything different from Labour”.
“They get desperately keen on making sure they hang on by their fingertips to power,” he said.
For a man to make a statement like this, he must first be able to state that there is anything he would not be prepared to tolerate with a view to getting his own fingertips on power, and keep a straight face. Can Mike German pass this test? My reading of last month, and the run up to the election, is that he can’t.
Plaid Cymru are crying foul over the BBC’s decision not to throw the Representation of the People Act out of the window and allow them thousands of pounds of state-subsidised advertising.
All I can say to that is: ha ha. If Plaid should be angry at anyone, it is the Welsh Rugby grounds who signed a contract that they surely knew they had no ability to fulfill.