Sunday, 16 May 2010
Broken promises and the lust for power
Plaid may not have increased our number of MPs at this election, but it was good to see significant gains made in the Rhondda and next door in Cynon. The two constituencies saw significant swings to Plaid and cuts to the Labour majority. We saw our vote improve in many other valleys seats too.
The results show that in Wales people did not embrace the Tories, despite the instructions from the London papers. UK-wide, they failed to secure the majority they needed to form a government. Despite this lack of public confidence, we have ended up with an old Etonian at number 10 due, in part, to the opportunism of the Liberal Democrats who ditched their principles in their lust for power.
All this will make for interesting Assembly elections next year. In the first post-election debate at the Senedd, Kirsty Williams and her party colleagues were noticeably squirming about the policies they’ve had to ditch for this deal. Despite warning of the dangers of Tory public sector cuts before May 6, Liberal Democrat AMs will now have to remain silent while we take slash and burn cuts which they will no doubt try to spin as 'efficiency savings'.
Plaid Cymru has calculated that cuts of £220 million will be made to the Assembly budget this year alone, despite previous assurances from Tories that the Welsh budget would be protected for 12 months under their government. If we don’t see those cuts this year, we expect them to be doubled next year.
Grass roots Liberal Democrats must be left wondering if selling out on cuts and PR for a handful of cabinet seats is worth it. Disgruntled left-leaning Liberal Democrats have been invited to switch their allegiance to Plaid.
As for Labour, their scaremongering tactics which aimed to get people to vote for Labour in order to keep the Tories out, turned out to be rubbish. When they had an opportunity to stop Cameron and his cronies by forming a 'progressive alliance', they blew it. They must therefore take a share of the blame for what happens over the next five years.
I only hope that people remember that the election promises of Labour and Liberal Democrats were broken so, so quickly.