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Sunday, May 15, 2005

Walking down the street with banners

According to the Wales on Sunday the reponse of Plaid Cymru's President to his party's electoral disaster on 5th May is to "walk down the streets of Wales with banners". Apparently, that is what resonates with the public.

Whether Plaid's expensive consultants will agree with this has yet to be seen. It certainly does not appear to be the direction being taken by a new lobby group within the nationalist movement. They believe that Plaid Cymru should embrace policies which would make it more credible and electable. That rules out independence then, so what is left as a reason for Plaid Cymru to exist at all?

With an increasingly bitter Simon Thomas calling for an overhaul of the leadership, with consultants being employed by the party's executive committee to look in depth at their structure, the way they are campaigning and the way that they use resources and with the Party President hunting in his attic for some tamberines, banners and balloons, Plaid looks to be in a pretty sorry state indeed.
The fact that you are so pre-occupied with Plaid Cymru demonstrates they scare the pants off you.
As for Welsh independence being not a credible policy, I advise you to consider the wider implications again.
There are several independent nations within the EU which have a smaller population than Wales, and similarly throughout the world (just look at New Zealand!) all of whom are independent, prosperous and are represented within the United Nations. With Scotland having an undeniably more than credible case for independence, surely Wales also deserves to establish its rightful place in the world and needs to consider this option for our nation's long term future?
Peter I think you are a terrific politician, but you could never count on my support while you have such a blinkered approach to enhanced democracy for Wales and you persist with such parochial attacks on Plaid.
Acdtually, if you go back through the entries in this blog you will find that I don't tend to discriminate in the political parties I pre-occupy myself with. It just so happens that it is Plaid's turn. Today I have done Labour and ID cards, on Saturday it was Labour and Lords reform, on Friday it was Labour and Peter Law, on Wednesday it was the Tories.

I fully support enhanced democracy for Wales but through full powers for the Assembly as per Scotland. I am a Federalist and want to see a properly Federal UK. That is also the position of some Plaid Cymru members I know.

I do not support Independence as I do not believe that it is credible or affordable or necessary.
Thank you for your prompt reply Peter.

I take your point regarding your attack of Labour. But what about the Tories? Unlike Labour, I feared for their potential return - conceivably, they represent more of a threat to Liberal's values than Labour. For example, it was the Tories' stated pledge to abolish the Human Rights Act and to be the first western democracy to withdraw from the 1950 UN treaty relating to refugess. It's my view that Conservative policy is an affront to anyone with a politically moderate mind.

As for Welsh independence, I cited some examples of nations which prove unquestionably the viability of independence in the context of a small nation. There's the Republic of Ireland as well of course.

I'm perplexed you'd consider independence to be "unnecessary". Let's imagine New Zealand was politically an integral part of Australia, as Wales is effectively an integral part of England. New Zealand's status on the world stage would be considerably diminished - as Wales is. However some might deny it, Wales is a nation in its own right, a proud nation with an ancient tradition which predates England's subjugation.

Please don't misinterpret me - I'm not an isolationist. For example, I believe passionately that the UK should be at the heart of the EU, involved and influential in international decisions. However, by the same token, Wales should surely have the self-confidence to stand up for itself as a nation. Why do we need to have England hold our hand, wipe our bottom, distribute our pocket money and lay down the rules according to its own self interest? Wales inevitably has its own agenda - which is why your support for a Welsh Parliament on the Scottish model is admirable and very welcome. However, even this power could only extend to certain facets such as health, housing, roads and education. If you feel Wales deserves this power, why seek to restrict Wales's power to only a few areas? To believe in a Welsh Parliament on the Scottish model is still only support for limited power, albeit less limited than the current woeful "settlement"?
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