Saturday, 11 October 2008

Mike German takes a bow

The BBC have reported that the Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Mike German is to step down at his party's autumn conference later.

Mr German, 63, who was a former deputy first minister, has been at the helm of his party in Cardiff Bay since the assembly was set up in 1999. He has also been leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats for the last year.

Mr German will warn there is a danger of the Welsh Assembly being left behind by the devolution movement in his speech at Clydach, near Swansea. He will warn that while Wales is grappling with the question of law-making powers, Scotland is racing ahead by pushing for more financial autonomy.

Ahead of the speech, aides said Mr German will declare unionism "dead" and say that in the future the devolution debate will be between supporters of a federal Britain and independence.

Party activists will discuss a long list of amendments to the party's constitution at the two-day conference. These include changes to the way candidates to succeed Mr German, who has vowed to keep out of the contest for next leader, are nominated.

Immediately after the assembly elections in May 2007, Liberal Democrat AM Peter Black called for Mr German to go. He said the party needed a leader with a "fresh mandate".

Fellow assembly member Kirsty Williams has already declared her candidacy for the job and is supported by Peter Black.

Two colleagues in Cardiff Bay, Jenny Randerson and Eleanor Burnham, are deciding whether to stand against Ms Williams.

The BBC asked back in March 2007... Has anyone else at this conference noticed the striking similarity between the Liberal Democrats' assembly member for Brecon & Radnor, Kirsty Williams, and the socialist French presidential hopeful Ségolène Royal? Or is it just that they happen to share the same burning ambition for leadership?

Kirsty will be hoping that she doesn't suffer the same fate.


Anonymous 11 October 2008 at 13:04  

Williams is our woman mainly because she's young. It's a common trend to go for young these days and makes a party look modern.

Anonymous 11 October 2008 at 13:36  

I see Peter Black is backing a winner. Everyone knows he's not fond of Burnham and Randerson.

Anonymous 11 October 2008 at 16:23  

But Kirsty - or Kleenex as she is known - is prone to emotional spasms in the Assembly during debates.
She would be a disaster in the cut and thrust of politics, if she is reduced to tears every five minutes.
She is not strong enough I am afraid - a loser!

Alfie 11 October 2008 at 16:27  

Anonymous 16:23

I have to agree. She doesn't have that calm exterior that is needed by a leader. Gets wound up too easily and needs to have that calm, killer instinct to get her point across at the right moment.

Anonymous 11 October 2008 at 20:25  

I think the last thing the Lib Dems need s another young wimp as a leader.
I think some gravitas is needed -is Jenny Randerson going to stand,she seems to be the one that may just save their bacon.
Kirsty - just doesnt have it

Anonymous 12 October 2008 at 10:05  

Have you seen Kirsty on TV 'losing it'in the Assembly? She is bonkers!

No wonder they call her Kleenex!

Mind you, they are all a pretty strange lot! Look at Peter Black and Eleanor Burnham for as start - weirdos!

Randerson is the only real choice they have as leader.

Anonymous 12 October 2008 at 10:46  

Why do I get the impression that one of Jenny's staff wrote the last comment?

Rhetoric Innes 12 October 2008 at 13:16  

I am undecided who to pick as leader as someone who has a vote.
Both ladies would be good leaders and both have experience.

Miss Wagstaff 12 October 2008 at 13:31  


I'm betting that long term aim and 'something different' will have to be taken into account.

Dominic Hannigan 14 October 2008 at 15:33  

"Why do I get the impression that one of Jenny's staff wrote the last comment?"

I can assure you that none of Jenny's staff or anyone close to her made this comment or any of the other personal attacks above. I think that anyone expressing personal attacks while hiding behind anonymity has to be taken with a pinch of salt. In my experience, they are people who wish neither candidate, nor the party as a whole well in the long term.

Dominic Hannigan
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