The end for Ieuan?

Most of the leadership futures comments following the collapse of the Rainbow have concentrated on the very short future as party leader that Mike German has. But what are the prospects for Ieuan Wyn Jones?

Ieuan Wyn's strength is always claimed to be his ability to wrangle, his ability to do the backroom deal, his Machiavellian ability to plan and conspire. Rhodri Morgan's election as first minister today has shown the limit of Ieuan's wrangling ability, all his wheeler-dealing has ended in failure. On May the 4th he was in a position to get a deal out of Labour or to get a deal out of the other opposition parties. He has ended up with neither.

He has put Plaid in the unsavoury position of being seen as willing to work with the Hairy Arsed Tory Monster with nothing but the odium of that willingness to show for it. A coalition with the Tories that delivered the goods would have provided some buffer from the Tory lover jibe that Labour is sure to make (and make often), but without a single Plaid-Tory policy passed for the benefit of the people, the party is left defenceless against such Labour jibes.

The Rainbow Rebels have also shown IWJ's inability to maintain party discipline, which is made more serious by who those rebels were: The deputy party president, the party's A star election winning candidate and two new AM's who's first outing in the Bay was an act of rebellion against his leadership.

The election of Rhodri Morgan, the hopes raised by IWJ that have since been dashed and the internal disquiet must, surely, mean that Ieuan's days as Plaid's Assembly leader are numbered.


  1. As I understand it the gang of four were prepared to go along with the majority viewpoint once it had been made. Nothing wrong with that.

    If they continue their opposition after the majority have spoken then that's another matter. HMJ is a personality but the other three and you can add in Jill Evans would not be much of a loss.

    Infact the battle to win the valleys seems to have stalled and gone into reverse since Leanne and Jill came to the fore. Plaid does better in some of the Cardiff suburbs than it does in the valleys - "socialism" isn't much of a vote winner with people who are fed-up with the hug a hoodie social-worker mentality.

    Who do you replace IWJ with? The leader must surely sit in the Senedd and do any of the other AMs stand out?

  2. At the cost of repeating myself: Assembly members - yes, even virgin ones - need to understand their role in life once elected. They are no longer party players, jockying for position, playing a game of who can shine best; they are not even delegated representatives of the tiny number who make up the memebrship of the party (or worse, their bit of it); they are AM's. That means they have been elected to use their judgment and skills for the benefit of all their electorate, the citizens of Wales.
    If that means facing tribal loyalties, undoing prejudice, confronting new ways of working, then that's the deal.
    That - at the end of the day - is what the cheque's in the post for.
    Get on with it.

  3. Rhodri is a bully. It is no longer acceptable behaviour to speak to others like he does. He's too old to change. The media let him knmow that this week. But it goes over the heads of some.

    IWJ demonstrated superb and hidden talents for leadership during the last two weeks. Controlling his members is not democratic government, his job is to inspire and lead them to do the best for the country. Not just his party. He showed us the electorate he could do it.

    Plaid will be making a big mistake if they try to change him.