I've taken time off from assisting lycanthropes to translate this post by Vaughan Roderick:
It's hard to believe sometimes that within a few months we will be half way through the third Assembly's term. It doesn't feel like it. Perhaps that's because the coalition talks and Rhodri Morgan's illness meant that months went past after the elections before the 'One Wales' government could start on its real work.
I don't really understand why but recently a few bloggers and journalists have questioned the future of that coalition. They claim that some different coalition could come into being between now and the next election. Perhaps they're feeling nostalgia for that wondrous period of excitement and farce during the summer of 2007! To be honest I don't see why the present government should not continue. There would have to be a serious falling out or one hell of a good reason for either party to break their agreement and turn their backs on their partner.
Nonetheless some still insist that the political climate has changed with the Liberal Democrats having changed leader and with a similar change on the horizon for Labour. There are all kinds of rumours circulating (groundless I think) concerning secret meetings between Kirsty Williams and one would-be Labour leader or another.
Kirsty cut the feet from under such rumours on Tuesday. The only possible candidate she had met was Carwyn Jones, she said, and that accidentally in a KFC restaurant before a game between the Scarlets and the Ospreys. Is it possible that the future of the Welsh government could be decided over a Bargain Bucket and a Viennetta? Hardly.
Those who think Labour and the Liberal Democrats could reach some kind of deal forget an important fact. Due to Karen Sinclair's illness a red-yellow coalition's majority would be an extremely fragile one. Labour has experienced such torture before. Why on earth would a party leading a government with an overwhelming majority choose to put itself back in the situation where every vote depends on Trish Law's whims and Brian Gibbons' ability to press the right button?
From Labour's position a divorce would be painful and dangerous for whoever leads the party. Even Huw Lewis has declared publicly that the party should keep to its word and ensure that the present government serves its full term.
But what about the other partner in this 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 be deputy rather than First Minister by claiming that only a deal with Labour would ensure a referendum before 2011.
Does anyone expect that to happen? I find it easier to believe that Elvis will be discovered working in a chip shop in Treorchy. Nonetheless walking out of the government would be a ruinous blow to Ieuan Wyn Jones' credibility - an admition of a lack of political savvy. As far as I know there are no plans in Plaid Cymru's ranks to change leader and as long as Ieuan Wyn Jones is in charge 'One Wales' is safe.
Kirsty Williams said on Tuesday that she intends to lead her party back into government. I can't see any way for her to do that before the 2011 election.
Posts by Vaughan Roderick are regularly translated and posted on Politics Cymru
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