Thursday, 16 July 2015

The big boys made me do it.

Can the Welsh Liberal Democrats to “draw a line under the last five years” after its general election collapse. as their leader Kirsty Wiliams (La Pasionaria) wants to?
Yesterday in speaking in Cardiff Bay and with a n article in Click on Wales Ms Williams  has revealed her anger and frustration during the party’s Westminster coalition.
She said phone calls with party leader Nick Clegg and then Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander “weren’t always comfortable”.
But despite a disastrous general election for the Lib Dems, she has not ruled out coalition in the National Assembly.
Ms Williams said she would have to be 100% satisfied with any deal as she admitted that the Tory-Lib Dem tie-up “never felt good” – with claustrophobic photo opportunities with Tory ministers and uncomfortable conversations with senior Lib Dem figures.
In a speech at the St David’s Hotel in Cardiff Bay, she said: “Will I rule my party out of any future coalitions in Wales? No I will not. But lessons must be learnt.
“I will not rule out working with a particular party. I have no over-arching wish to pledge to the people of Wales before an election that they can only live under a Labour First Minister.”
Which may be a response after there was some criticism of Plaid leader Leanne Wood who ruled out a coalition with the Tories leaving to accusation that Ms Wood was prepared to prop up another Labour Assembly Administration and give us four more years of lethargic government..
But with the possibility of no more than two Liberal AMs being elected next May if Ms Williams wants a coalition Labour will be her only opposition
Her analysis on Click on Wales despite drifting off in attempt to put some historical comtrext is interesting
She writes
You might expect me to say that I come to bury the Coalition, not to praise it – but that wouldn’t be the considered response, and in any case, the voters of Britain have beaten me to it. Let me pick out some key themes that may help explain my thinking. Trust, Tories and Teams. In short:
  • We lost a colossal amount of trust over tuition fees.  Not only did we break our pledge, but it’s worse than that, it never even looked like we fought to keep it.  That was wrong, it was a mistake of the highest order and one for which we were never forgiven.  It didn’t matter that in many ways the new policy was better for poorer students.  Nor that the issue was devolved.  And it didn’t matter that all Welsh Lib Dem MPs kept their pledge: It was a political disaster.  At that moment, for the people who were already sceptical, this was all the confirmation they needed.  Details no longer mattered, people simply stopped listening.
  • The Tories, frankly, were better prepared back in 2010, constructed a more potent narrative, and were brilliant at assimilating Lib Dem policies and boxing us in.  Critically, they owned the economic narrative and made the political weather. We got the grief when things went wrong and never the credit for the good stuff. I lost count the number of times people said they liked the Coalition, which was why they would vote Tory this time rather than us.
  • And let us be in no doubt, although we were dealt a difficult hand, we could have handled it better. Obsessed with showing that coalition could work and that we could take ‘tough decisions’ we lost our own focus, our own identity, forgot to take ownership of our achievements until it was too late – it just came across as ‘Team Coalition’, rather than ‘Team Lib Dem’. From the Rose Garden on, we were swallowed up.
And more than that – and maybe in the end this was the biggest self-inflicted wound – we appeared to the electorate to leap from a firm and hard fought anchorage in one part of UK politics to another without so much as a by-your-leave.
However Ms Williams can not simply claim that she didn't like what was happening and expect forgiveness 
She was and still is the leader of a Federal party and she should have voiced her disquiet as that leader or is the truth she is also a "Branch Officer" like her Labour and Tory counterparts?
It is the " The big boys made me do it" defence of a child caught throwing stones against a pensioners window. Possibly getting some sympathy but not forgiveness.
It will not be up to the Welsh Libdems  to draw a line under the last five years it will be Welsh electorate and they appear not to be able to forgive or forget.

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