Insight

Covid pass: Like narrow victories in rugby, a win is a win - Mark Drakeford knows that feeling today

Wales narrowly beat Scotland at Murrayfield earlier this year in the Six Nations by 24-25. Mark Drakeford will now know the feeling of a very close victory.

If this was a debacle, it was a debacle for the opposition parties who failed in their attempt to block the Welsh Government in introducing Covid passes for nightclubs and large events from next week. 

In sport, in referendums, in elections and in Senedd votes, a one-vote win is still a win. 

Supporters of winning rugby sides, supporters of Brexit, supporters of Boris Johnson or Keir Starmer do not call for reruns and criticise their opponents who do. 

Certainly there are questions about the continued use of remote voting in the Welsh Parliament although it's important to say that, despite huge challenges, that system has been remarkably resilient during the pandemic. 

And in this case a return to wholly in-person voting wouldn't have solved the opposition parties' problem - the member who failed to join Zoom wasn't in Cardiff Bay anyway. 

That though, is a decision for the Senedd Commission which is run by representatives of all three of the main political parties.

Opposition parties cry foul at their own risk because it could draw attention to their own mistakes and their own roles in deciding the rules. 

That's not to say that those who want change to the system, who dislike devolution or who simply are opposed to Covid passes shouldn't campaign and argue against the way things are done or even to abolish it altogether: these are deeply-held views which some have been campaigning on for a long time and will continue to do so. 

As for the political fall-out from this, well it was a dramatic failure for the first attempt by the opposition parties to unite to try to block the Welsh Government, but it reminds Mark Drakeford that they could certainly do that.

They very nearly did and both sides were preparing for that eventuality until the vote itself happened. 

There had been discussions between the Labour and Plaid Cymru about an "ambitious co-operation agreement". Will these now continue?

Once they've licked their wounds over this, they ought to be able to do it again and then Mark Drakeford might not be so lucky.

I wonder too where it leaves the negotiations between Labour and Plaid Cymru who were looking for a way to work together in the longer term. 

I can't see how those talks would have survived if the opposition parties had succeeded last night. That's what was behind Eluned Morgan's charge of "gross irresponsibility."

As it is they continue, for now, but trust will have been lost. The political landscape was re-sculpted a little last night. 


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