How close and how cosy is the partnership between Price and Drakeford? Is the First Minister being challenged robustly enough? These are questions, which are surfacing as the new ‘Co-Operation Agreement’ between Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru bed in.
Before the last Senedd election Plaid and Labour were not exactly bitter rivals. It was more like bouts of argy bargy now and then sprinkled with a little theatre and gesticulation held together nicely by The Llwyd.
Politicians of yesteryear may have hoped for a Welsh Parliament similar to if not more robust and passionate in their arguments, debates and discussions or perhaps they may have welcomed the less combative approach and an array of partnerships and agreements being formed for the good of the nation. I have yet to meet a politician that does not like a good argument.
What we see at Westminster or UK Govland is more akin to amateur cage fighting albeit with monotone alliteration of text from pieces of paper. Gone are the days when people like Dennis Skinner would pounce up like a coiled spring and launch a brazen attack on the opposition. Even Cameron and Blair were exciting compared to what’s happening down the road in Seneddland. The Boris and Starmer show is quite entertaining too. Here in Seneddland it appears that we have something more like the Odd Couple. Happy to live together and whinge a little but not really as bitterly opposed as one would like.
Take the debate on the Welsh media, for example. It is not a devolved issue and therefore one could argue that it has no place as a discussion point in the realms of Welsh Government unless over a nice cup of posh coffee and one of them there posh cakes what they sell in the capital city of Seneddland.
As one Welsh con pointed out recently, the political con of course, “Plaid Cymru’s leader continues to give the first minister an easy ride in the Senedd, and he’s now openly violating the Llywydd’s rules to promote areas of his coalition agreement when he should be using FMQs to hold the first minister and Labour administration in Cardiff Bay to account.”
Now that’s more like it and I am not a great fan of the Conservatives, nor for that matter any other political party. Welsh politics is done differently it has been said on more than one occasion at the Senedd. It is an ambiguous adjective at best and a disappointment at worse for those who really do believe that each of the political parties in Wales have something very different to offer, have very different ideas, different policies and different ways of spending our cash.
Let’s hope that Price and Drakeford get back to the gloves off approach to politics if only to spice up the Senedd TV presentations. Let’s see a bit more of Ena Sharples and Elsie Tanner off ‘t street and less of Crowley & Aziraphale.