Monday, 5 May 2008

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: What next, Rhodri?

At best, a pair of hands - not a safe one - that gets on with the job, whether good or bad. At worst, an embarrassment and a liability to both his party and country.

Please stop wearing the casual gear when it isn't appropriate, and blaming UK politics for all of Welsh Labour's failings.

Rhodri has always relied heavily on there being no other Welsh Minister with enough of a profile to take over from him. Many in the party believe him to show too much arrogance and reliance on his down to earth attitude with the Welsh public. This has kept him in a safe place in Labour's hierarchy after the awkward departure of Alun Michael.

Miss Wagstaff has pointed out in the past that "Labour in London" or "Unionist Labour" is seen as a good description for the ‘old enemy’ and is constantly used by Plaid Cymru. Senedd Whip is concerned that Welsh Labour is now dangerously close to choosing this option.

It's time for Rhodri to carry out the decent act for his party and step down for another to take over and settle in before the next Assembly term.

Those close to him, if they are loyal to their party, should advise Rhodri to go in the next couple of months. This should give them enough time to select a new leader. A fresh face, a new challenge, and hopefully new ideas and a new style and attitude to political life, whether that be within Wales, the UK or the wider world.

Please stop blaming others for Welsh Labour's failings. Please dress appropriately for the job and give Wales and the office the respect it deserves.

Rhodri, you've had a good run within Wales, more than making up for previous disappointment at Westminster... please...stop!

I don't think the Welsh public are asking for too much.

15 comments:

Ordovicius 5 May 2008 at 09:23  

Those close to him, if they are loyal to their party, should advise Rhodri to go in the next couple of months.

Why? He's going any way next year.

Please stop blaming others for Welsh Labour's failings.

Since when were Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling members of vWelsh Labour?

Miss Wagstaff has pointed out in the past that "Labour in London" or "Unionist Labour" is seen as a good description for the ‘old enemy’ and is constantly used by Plaid Cymru. Senedd Whip is concerned that Welsh Labour is now dangerously close to choosing this option.

What's "dangerous" about it?

Senedd Whip 5 May 2008 at 09:41  

"Why? He's going any way next year"

This should give them enough time to select a new leader. A fresh face, a new challenge, and hopefully new ideas and a new style and attitude to political life, whether that be within Wales, the UK or the wider world.

"Since when were Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling members of Welsh Labour?"

Didn't say they were. Rhodri is passing the blame on to general UK problems, rather than spreading the blame and also looking at his own policies.

"What's "dangerous" about it?"

The possibility of alienating his own party in the long term. Welsh Labour and UK Labour are still Labour.

Ordovicius 5 May 2008 at 10:22  

The possibility of alienating his own party in the long term. Welsh Labour and UK Labour are still Labour.

Actually I think most AMs in Welsh Labour would share the same view as Rhodri. And if voters were unhappy with the Assembly Government then why did Plaid do so well?

Peter Freeman 5 May 2008 at 19:26  

Rhodri shares a great deal of the blame for May 1st. Labour had another lack lustre campaign in which he didn't pull his weight and they sent out the wrong messages. The PPBs were childish and you begin to wonder what sort of individuals were responsible for this rubbish. Lousy Libs and you end up with Lib Dems in Merthyr! The Labour party is in crisis and Rhodri just carries on as normal. He should realise that his own vote has declined in each successive Assembly election. His comments about even places such as Bridgend where Labour regained control despite performing badly were bizarre. Perhaps he could explain what happened in Fairwater and Riverside. If he claims that Labour needs to listen to voters then he should practice what he preaches. He never was any good and has lived off the Alun Michael fiasco for th alst 8 years when basically he was just an ordinary backbencher with limited ability. It is obvious from the results that going into partnershipp with Plaid was the wrong option for the long term interests of the Labour party. Opposition might have denied Rhodri and his cronies the cars and the trappings of office but at least it would have allowed Labour to honestly face the crisis which stares it in the face and develop policies and ideas which will appeal to people in Wales in the 21st century. They could start by electing a Leader who doesn't look as if he spent the whole of Friday on the pop in the local Weatherspoons when he is making a TV broadcast.

Ordovicius 5 May 2008 at 21:07  

It is obvious from the results that going into partnershipp with Plaid was the wrong option for the long term interests of the Labour party.

Again, if it was a judgement on the coalition then Plaid would have suffered too. we didn't. Having said that going into opposition would have given Labour the opportunity to revitalise itself. Still, in the long run it is also good for Welsh Labour and Wales that they have put anti-Plaid partisan tribalism behind them (to a certain extent of course) in forming the coalition.

Frankly, given that Rhodri only intends to serve half a term, and that the Conservatives will be in government at Westminster come the next Assembly elections, there is sufficient reason to believe that Labour could do well in 2011. After one or possibly two years of Tory rule Welsh Labour could well cash in on an anti-Cameron vote. It all depends on who takes hold of the reins in Cardiff Bay once Morgan steps aside next year.

They could start by electing a Leader who doesn't look as if he spent the whole of Friday on the pop in the local Weatherspoons when he is making a TV broadcast.

Trendy Lefty he is not ;)

Ted Williams 6 May 2008 at 06:59  

No Rhodri is and always has been a right wing member of the Labour party stuck in the 1980s. Dressing like a scruff does nothing for the
politician concerned. As people are looking at the image they are not listening to the message. It is obvious that Ordo has never stood for election in his life. Labour is in trouble and so is the referendum before 2011. Given the present anti politics mood abroad it will be a piece of cake for anyone to attack more powers for the Assembly. More politicians ,the possiblity of tax raising powers and allowing laws to be changed by the gang in the Bay wil go down like a lead balloon in many parts of Wales. To make matters worse in the south east Labour members will either do nothing or come out for the 'no' vote. As for the Tories Bourne has no control over them what so ever. They like many Labour members will do their own thing. Don't be fooled by the Plaid successes in Cardiff. They owe a great deal in Riverside to Asian politics and in Fairwater they were a verdict on the sitting Labour councillors and the campaigning skills of the former Labour councillors who is now a Plaid member.Plaid benefitted from the fact thta most voters don't take much notice of what happens in the bay and Palid were therfore still seen as opposition to the Labour party. Many Labour party members are not going to tolerate a situation where Rhodri and Carwyn who may as well be a Plaid member are in bed with Plaid in the bay whilst they have to fight them in the valleys.

Ordovicius 6 May 2008 at 12:05  

It is obvious that Ordo has never stood for election in his life.

What has that got do with anything? Enlighten me, do...

More politicians ,the possiblity of tax raising powers and allowing laws to be changed by the gang in the Bay wil go down like a lead balloon in many parts of Wales.

And yet the most recent polls on Welsh attitudes towards devolution shows quite the reverse...

Plaid benefitted from the fact thta most voters don't take much notice of what happens in the bay and Palid were therfore still seen as opposition to the Labour party.

Now you're just fantasizing. People do actually watch the local news on telly, doncha know.

Anonymous 6 May 2008 at 14:31  

Of course they watch TV. But it tends not to be BBC Wales in this digital world. Stay in a hotel in North Wales and you will see that all the TVs are tuned in to the North East of England. Most people know about what is happening to Manchester and Liverpool Council than they do about the Bay. Many of us who have friends in England and who saw Rhodri on national Tv phoned to ask was he on his last leags because he looks awful.

Ted Williams 6 May 2008 at 14:32  

Of course they watch TV. But it tends not to be BBC Wales in this digital world. Stay in a hotel in North Wales and you will see that all the TVs are tuned in to the North East of England. Most people know about what is happening to Manchester and Liverpool Council than they do about the Bay. Many of us who have friends in England and who saw Rhodri on national Tv phoned to ask was he on his last leags because he looks awful.

Ordovicius 6 May 2008 at 18:59  

Stay in a hotel in North Wales and you will see that all the TVs are tuned in to the North East of England.

Maybe the odd one in the North East is, or in those small pockets where reception gives locals no choice, but generally in North Wales everything is as it should be, everybody gets to see Wales Today and others get to read the Daily Post at work or down the pub.

Anonymous 7 May 2008 at 07:17  

Ordo, this is not true. Big chunks of Flintshire and Wrexham have to watch Granada or Central TV (yep, the news about Oxford) because the transmitters aren't up to the job. Also, traditionally many people's aerials have pointed to Winter Hill rather than Moel y Parc.
I've stayed in Cardiff hotels and got BBC Bristol :-(

Anonymous 7 May 2008 at 07:20  

Reluctantly, I think it is time for Rhodri to go. It's also time for Labour to ditch the One Wales agreement - the only people benefittnig from it is Plaid. Labour needs to get in with the LibDems because they are no threat at Assembly level.

Anonymous 8 May 2008 at 16:07  

"the only people benefittnig from it is Plaid."

- can't see signs of that in policy terms

"Labour needs to get in with the LibDems because they are no threat at Assembly level."

- please no, not 8 more years of absolutely nothing of any note being achieved. 8 years of Labour government and what did they have to show? Children's Commissioner and a couple of NHS bribes.

Miss Wag - you're right. Can we please have a FM who dresses as the dignity of the job and Wales expects.

Anonymous 8 May 2008 at 21:01  

I think there is a certain logic in allowing the Titanic to hit the iceberg.

Miss Wagstaff 12 May 2008 at 12:30  

A touch of political strategy...

Change the leader ASAP and get back with the Lib Dems by the end of the year.

A clean 'Welsh' slate if ever I saw one.

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