The Wales@Westminster weblog, BBC Wales' Parliamentary correspondent David Cornock's diary on political life
Wednesday, 07 March
posted by David | 1525 BST |
Politics has often been described as showbusiness for ugly people, but is that about to change?
Plaid Cymru believe voters are ready to move away from charismatic political leaders and embrace those who can get the job done quietly.
The man running Plaid Cymru's campaign for the Welsh assembly elections, Adam Price, described his leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, as "a good country solicitor".
It's not perhaps the most rousing election slogan ever devised but Mr Price believes it indicates someone you can trust.
"He's punctual, he's a good negotiator, a good man and woman manager, he gets the job done. That is what a lot of people are looking for in a first minister.
"He's a good country solicitor, that is the way he comes across."
Mr Price told a Westminster briefing today: "This is not an election about personality."
The approach raises interesting questions. Will voters, after 10 years of Tony Blair, want an antidote to presidential politics, or are youthful, telegenic leaders inevitable in a visual age?
Gordon Brown and David Cameron will be equally keen to hear the public's answer.
Dial M for Mike
posted by David | 1115 BST |
If only some bright lawyer would serve an injunction on the media (and politicians) to ban us from reporting all the speculation swirling around about life after the Welsh assembly elections in May.
In the absence of legal action, I feel sort of obliged to join in. Mike German, who leads the six Liberal Democrats in the assembly, tells today's Western Mail.
"Our position [on joining a coalition] is the simplest of all the parties, and I don't think it's changed since the assembly was created. It is down to the people of Wales to vote as they see fit.
"If the people of Wales determine that there is no overall majority after May, we would work with other parties. We're not going to specify whom or whatever, because what matters to us is the extent of the number of our policies we could put into government."
That's so simple even I can (almost) understand it. It must have been a different Mike German who told the BBC last September: "I can tell you that if we don't get a change in the way we vote and get fair voting for local government, then it won't even be worth anyone picking up the phone".
Here's Peter Hain, the secretary of state for Wales and a senior figure in the Lib Dems' potential coalition partners, Labour: "Our Welsh manifesto will contain a commitment not to introduce proportional representation in local government."
For all the pre-election bluster, I rather suspect, should the political need arise, that won't stop Rhodri Morgan picking up the phone - or Mike German answering it.