IMAGINE, if you will, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar standing alongside First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to announce a pact between their two parties for the next three years of Government at Holyrood.

Labour alongside the SNP? How can the Red Unionists ever join with the SNP on anything? Yet in Wales yesterday, Mark Drakeford, leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister of Wales since 2018, and nationalist Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price announced a pact in which they will work together to advance 46 centre-left policies.

Sturgeon hailed the deal as “grown-up politics”, just as the SNP government entered a pact with the Scottish Greens after this year’s Holyrood elections – and unlike the Greens, Plaid Cyrmu have not been given any ministerial roles.

Poor Sarwar. Even though he has tried so hard to be a Red Unionist, the message just hasn’t got across. Tory list MSP Stephen Kerr shared a post from Conservative Friends of the Union condemning the deal. It read: “Across the UK, Labour are getting into bed with nationalists to secure power. You can’t trust them with the Union.”

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon praises 'grown-up politics' of Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru deal

Read that again, Anas and Co: “Across the UK, Labour are getting into bed with nationalists to secure power.” It all begs the question – if Labour can do a deal with Plaid Cymru in Wales, why not with the SNP in Scotland ?


MANY of them are far-sighted, and would be the envy of any progressive government anywhere, some looking very like part of the SNP and Greens’ agendas. Surely everyone can agree with reducing the net zero target from 2050 to 2035, for instance.

Among the most controversial proposals are “a cap on the

number of second and holiday homes” to help solve the homeless crisis in Wales.

The policies which will give the Red and Blue Unionists the heebie-jeebies is the plan to increase the Senedd from 60 to between 80 and 100 members. A cross-party group is already working on this policy and will draw up policies for a Senedd reform bill, with Labour and Plaid Cymru both promising to introduce the draft law 12 to 18 months later – the Tories at Westminster will scrap it, of course.

The National: Labour Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford agreed a deal with Plaid CymruLabour Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford agreed a deal with Plaid Cymru

There is already an Independent Commission on Wales’ Constitutional Future. The pact states: “Both parties are free to make submissions and interact with the commission independently.” It was made clear yesterday that any Welsh Labour member supporting independence will not be disciplined. Scottish Labour leaders have not disciplined indy-supporting members even though it is clearly against party policy, and therefore a breach of the party rules, for a Labour member to campaign for Scottish independence. Time for Sarwar to say what he will do.


THE National understands there was solid support for the pact by Welsh Labour’s executive committee at the weekend. The same applied to Plaid Cymru’s national executive committee, but it will require the support of the party’s members in a vote at the weekend.

The Tories in the Senedd will oppose the policies, but can do nothing about them being passed as Labour and Plaid Cymru will have 43 seats out of the 60 in the Senedd.

Once again the Tories shot themselves through both upmarket wellies with a Purdey double-barrelled

shotgun with their official party response to the pact: “The deal is remarkable for its absence of solutions to fix the NHS – currently experiencing its worst performance on

record – or improve the economy in Wales”.

That will be the Tory party out to wreck the NHS with privatisation and which refuses to give Scotland and Wales the powers they need to properly run the economies of the two nations...


LIKE their counterparts in Scotland, BBC Wales were probably tying themselves in knots after reading the deal involves looking into the devolution of broadcasting powers.

READ MORE: Labour and Plaid Cymru agree Welsh government co-operation deal

Both parties want to “explore the creation of a shadow Broadcasting and Communications Authority for Wales” to “address our concerns about the current fragility in the media and attacks on its independence”. The Authority will also look at boosting Welsh language media and education.

Yes, you can just see Sarwar signing up for such an initiative aimed squarely at his pals in the Beeb.

BBC Wales got their reaction in early. Just like BBC Scotland often does, the biggest political story in that country featured only briefly at the top of BBC Wales’ website before it was replaced by a Jim Taggart-style take – “there’s bin a murrder”.

You couldn’t make it up: “Murder investigation after woman’s body found” became the top story. It’s a tragedy of course, but is it really more important than the political future of Wales?

Answer on a postcard please to the BBC, Pacific Quay, Glasgow.