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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Bemused of Plaid Cymru

Dragon's Eye has just done a piece on Plaid Cymru's stance on the armed forces. I have already noted on this blog the call by senior Plaid politicians for the army to stop recruiting in schools.

Now, it seems that Plaid President, Dafydd Iwan, has gone one step further and suggested that in an Independent Wales, the British Army would be banished to the other side of Offa's Dyke. He would only want enough troops to remain to defend Wales. Talk about having your cake and eating it.

There are 6,400 jobs in Wales related to the army and defence contracts. There is the possibility of another 5,000 jobs if the military academy is awarded to St Athan. Are the nationalists seriously going to the polls in May advocating the long term loss of this employment?

Some would say that they can do nothing right this week. They are certainly in disarray - performing u-turns, showing weak leadership, arguing amongst themselves about tactics on the budget,undermining the armed forces and reminding people of their deeply unpopular policy of independence and its consequences. These could be the five days that started a further political meltdown for Plaid Cymru.
I absolutely agree with you Peter. I like all the Plaid AMs but they are just not tough enough for Government. They behave more like a school debating society or an enthusiastic lobby group than a serious political party. My own Party is making great efforts to change and become at least a potential partner in governing Wales, giving Welsh voters a non-Labour option - but it is impossible to work with such a divided and directionless party as Plaid are at the moment. I suspect that they are angling for a deal with Labour next May.

Bit surprised when I read this . The article has a real ring of desperation about it and I was baffled as to why.

Then I saw the results for the Lib dems in council by-elections in Conwy and Caerphilly. Now I see why you are grasping at straws.
That will be the Kinmel Bay by-election last night in which Plaid Cymru failed to put up a candidate? There has not been a by-election in Caerphilly since March this year and that was in a safe Plaid Cymru ward. I think it is you who are grasping at straws.
In all fairness to the Nationalists, if you believe in independence it would be bizarre to allow a foreign country to base its military on your territory. How independent would Wales be if we were automatically drawn into an English war effort?

Plaid would probably aim for a solution akin to the Treaty Ports (which the UK abandoned its rights to in 1938, after Dev made clear that he wouldn't allow them to be used in the event of war). The British Army continues to draw recruits from Eire to this day.

It is interesting that in the Trident debate no one has so far raised the issue of where these new submarines will be based in the event that Scotland leaves the Union. Presumably the answer is Devonport, but no one has raised it yet.

Were I Perm Sec at the MOD i'd certainly have reservations about building new bases at vast expense in a nation that may UDI in the foreseeable future.

There was a by-election in Caerphilly BC Thursday night but in the Islwyn seat hence my comments about the Lib dems pitiful performance.

No we did not have a candidate in Kimmel Bay as we pick the contests we fight seriously with care (in the north anyway) these days.
Mark, I cannot find any reference to a by-election in Islwyn anywhere though Mike German seems to think it was in Pengam. Perhaps you would give us chapter and verse. Either way we did not stand anymore than you stood in Kinmel Bay, presumably for the same reasons. In fact in 2004 we only stood five candidates in the whole of the Caerphilly County Borough Council area so I do not think it is a strong area for us.

I can point to local by-election successes for the Welsh Liberal Democrats as well. The fact is though that they do not add up to much when it comes to an Assembly election and at the moment Plaid Cymru appears to be on a self-destruct course in relation to that election.
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