IEUAN WYN JONES has come close to ruling out the possibility of a "Rainbow" coalition involving Plaid Cymru, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats after next year’s National Assembly election.The day of their conference opening would not have been the best day for Ieuan Wyn Jones to admit otherwise; proposing to swop one "London" Unionist party for two others (especially when one of that two would be the Conservatives )would have gone down like a lead balloon with his fellow nats I'm sure.
Plaid’s annual conference opens today in Aberystwyth with the unveiling of a series of radical ideas that could be included in the manifesto.
In a pre-conference interview with the Western Mail, Mr Jones was initially reluctant to consider possible scenarios after the election.
But when pressed on whether it would be possible for Plaid to go into coalition with the two parties at Westminster who were imposing swingeing spending cuts, he said: "Let’s be honest. I think that does make a Rainbow [government] more difficult. I think there’s no question about that. The political context means that would be much, much more difficult to achieve than it was in 2007."
However, counterintuitively, such an administration might be beneficial for Wales.
A Westminster government dealing with a coalition government containing members of its own parties may, just may, be tempted to give more leeway in cases of doubt than it would with a Labour/Plaid Cymru coalition. At the very least, a coalition in Cardiff containing Conservatives and Liberal Democrats would get a more sympathetic hearing from the UK government. Problem for Plaid Cymru is that such a coalition would most likely cause Labour to unleash the hounds of the bitterest hell against them; I can't imagine the more "red" wing of the nationalist party would be too chuffed with the situation either.
So, Plaid Cymru are potentially going to be left with what must be ultimate dilemma for a nationalist party- to do right by your country and damage, possibly fatally your party... or to play for pure partisan political advantage and possibly see your country suffer more than it may have done otherwise.
* I will be highly surprised if that's the correct Latin translation, anyone got a better one?