Fortnight In Review
Prime Minister Geraint Llewelyn finished his visit to Baranxtu claiming enormous success. The Prime Minister was reported to have been able to converse in the Baranxtuan tongue, albeit in a limited manner. Nevertheless, the two countries were brought closer together in economic and diplomatic terms. The big winners, though, appear to be the two foreign ministers, who formed a fast friendship.
However, the PM was greeted with astonishing news when he alighted from the plane. The House of Peers had inserted a poisoned pill amendment to his budget, effectively denying him supply.
If it had been allowed to stand, the budget would never have survived a vote in the Commons. The House of Peers cannot actually deny the Government supply, i.e. prevent the Government from passing a budget, but it can amend the budgets. However, no serious amendment has been offered in years until today. Rebellious peers inserted an amendment that would have denied funding to any school that taught Welsh to primary schoolers. The amendment was not a serious attempt to actually exclude the Mother Tongue. Rather it was a way to force the Commons to take up the budget after it had already passed.
The budget was only narrowly passed recently in the Commons, and as such returning it would almost certainly have lead to defeat as skittish MPs began to look to the upcoming elections. But one of the University Peers, Lord Rhoddri, tabled a point of order within the last few minutes of Monday's sitting. The Convener of the House declined to take it up. Instead, the House of Peers recessed until today.
The Convener also decided to state the question on the Point of Order rather than rule himself. The debate on the point was rancorous and lengthy. But in the end, the Government triumphed, declaring the amendment ungermane.
Sources inside the Government indicate that PM was on the phones all evening on Monday and during the morning of Tuesday attempting to sway wavering Peers. The effort appears to have been a success, because the Point was won handily, and no further resistance was offered to the budget.
Had the budget failed, Geraint Llewelyn would have been forced to ask the President to dissolve Parliament. This would have lead to the PM contesting an election from a weakened standpoint.
However, the reality turned out much differently, and the PM can breathe a sigh of relief.
The President Ffion Rhys-Jones signed the budget and two memoranda of understanding that had emerged from the Prime Minister's foreign trips. With simple penstrokes, Her Excellency put a fullstop to the week's big stories.
Week of May 29th
Conference Season begins this week. Each of the political parties will hold meetings over the next three weeks to rally behind messages, recruit new members, and galvanise the public. Traditionally, the smaller parties go first. Then the opposition rallies during the second week, and the Government has the final say on the Third Week.
This week saw the minor parties rallying in Aberystwyth. The Communists and Greens are forming an alliance called Together for Tomorrow. The Monarchists are also rallying but on the other side of the city.
The Left is expected to call for the abolition of the House of Peers and calls for proportional representation to the Commons. Their keynote speaker, Dr Brud Williams is expected to highlight many of the woes suffered by the countries poor in an effort to explain why voters should switch to the Left.
The Monarchists meanwhile will highlight the fruits of their new donor drive. They are expected to pull out all the stops and put on a memorable show for the public. In order to show the public they are not a one-issue party they are expected to highlight a number of proposal including public-private partnerships in basic services, and new alternatives to traditional education.
The Opposition meets next week in the small seaside hamlet of Pontypridd, deep in their safest constituency.