A vote against a Lib Dem in the Cabinet

Gwynoro Jones explains his reasons for voting against Kirsty Williams joining the Welsh Cabinet.

I am still reflecting on Saturday’s ‪#‎WelshLibDems meeting. Some 100 people out of a membership of around 3000 were present: no endorsement at all. The truth is only the ‘fan club’ were present!

Nevertheless, a crucial decision was taken. I voted against Kirsty Williams joining a Welsh Labour cabinet, not because I am against the idea per se – in fact as a former Labour MP and social democrat, I think it is good news. I am a believer in a‪ #‎progressivealliance in UK and Welsh politics. ‪No. I voted against because of the hypocrisy of the situation party members were being asked to support.

Just hear this:
’17 years of continuous Labour Government and they have failed to even get the basics right.’

There’s more:
‘Don’t blame devolution because the Welsh Government hasn’t delivered; don’t blame devolution that the people’s voices remain ignored; don’t blame devolution for 16 years of falling standards. Blame Labour!
Not Leanne Wood nor ‪‎Andrew RT Davies not even ‪‎UKIP Wales.’

These are Kirsty’s words in the last few weeks!

The truth is that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are a party struggling with organisation, strategy, identity and future. On Saturday there were over four hours of debate, but I doubt if the name Liberal Democrat was used half a dozen times – but ‘Liberal’ whether as an individual, organisation and values and policies mentioned endlessly. I thought I was back in the Liberal Party of the 1970s! And that is where we are now in electoral terms too!

Good AMs lost their seats; up to 20 staff were made redundant – but it seems that there’s an attitude that ‘never mind, one person came shining through.’ I am greatly saddened over the state of the party.
The remorseless pursuit and implementation of the ‘cult of personality’ politics and strategy for over a decade has brought the Welsh Lib Dems to this point, I am afraid.

Gwynoro Jones is a former Member of Parliament for Carmarthen. This blog was first published on his personal blog site: http://gwynorojones.blogspot.co.uk/

5 thoughts on “A vote against a Lib Dem in the Cabinet

  1. Very interesting article. Don’t disagree with any of it. Hopefully the Welsh Lib Dems don’t treat you in the same way dissent was treated during the last coalition.

  2. While Mrs Williams made the wrong choice in allowing the one party state to continue, it was her choice to make and hers alone.

    Although it may be a legal fiction these days, the principle is right that an elected representative serves the people she represents before her party, and, as a representative, as opposed to a delegate, does so according to her own conscience and best judgement.

    There is therefore something almost repugnant about the very notion of unelected apparatchiks telling an elected representative of the people what she should do in public office. Those who disagree with her have the option of seeking selection and election in her place.

  3. Spot on Gwynoro. This is very much a “Kirsty’s legacy” scenario. The cult of personality is as bad here as anywhere. People saying they’d only vote for a particular party because of its leader, or because they dislike the leader of another party, is as ridiculous as it gets. Whatever happened to discussions about their party’s policy and ideology? Kirsty will probably do well at Education – for our sake she must – and will then be ermined at that Palace on the Thames. Her true legacy, however, will be that she will be the last Lib Dem, for a very long time, in the Senedd.

  4. I totally agree with the ,’hypocrisy’ of the political goings – on at WAG.
    Are these people who, are paid to represent a Welsh democracy and it’s people ( not self-aggrandisement ) really mindful of that fact ?

  5. Well said John, the decision was for Kirsty to make, not some past person. I think her decision, was brave, and the right one in practical terms to get Wales moving and add a decent, intelligent representative to a tired cabinet. Hope she gets the chance to take education forward, it certainly needs it from my experience. She will also introduce a voice for the Rural dimension which has been sadly lacking of late.

Comments are closed.

Also within Politics and Policy