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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Absent friends

The Wales Labour Party have told the Western Mail that they decided not to exhibit at this year’s National Eisteddfod because last year its stand was “vandalised” by Welsh language activists.

A Labour spokesperon insists that the party have not abandoned the event altogether: “We have had a strong presence at this year’s National Eisteddfod, supporting an interesting and thought- provoking Cymdeithas Cledwyn event. In addition, many of Labour’s AMs and MPs attended the Prifwyl."

That may well be the case but in the housing debate I did for Community Housing Cymru there was no Labour representative on the platform. Instead it was left to Hywel Williams MP to represent the views of the coalition government, a task which he was very reluctant to undertake.

If Labour are to re-engage with Welsh speaking communities as they say then they will need to redress this situation. It might also help if they were to reach out to rural Wales as well, but then that would mean having a stand at the Royal Welsh Show, another missing link this summer. Has ten years of government led them to retreat to their urban redoubts in disarray or is it just that they cannot be bothered reaching out to non-sympathetic groups anymore?
But why would Plaid MP Hywel Wiiliams be reluctant to support in public the programme of the Plaid-Labour assembly govt?

I think we should be told!
Strange world ain't it? Plaid Cymru are supposed to be all for "Yr Iaith Gymraeg" yet they are in Coalition with Labour at the Assembly in Cardiff Bay and with Labour (and Conservative) at Swansea Council in the PLC Coalition there grabbing all the paid allownces at Swansea. Yet two top Swansea Labour Councillors Mark Child and Des Thomas were quoted on front page of Times Educational (Wales) Supplement very recently demanding that no more money be spent on Welsh Schools. Not one Welsh Language supporter protested at that! Why? Because they are Coalition buddies for paid positions! With Plaid Cymru it is obviously £money before our proud language!
I suspect Labour's financial circumstances may be the true cause, but they also have a fair point in asking why they arte expected to pay for a stand simply in order that cymdeithas / cymuned thugs can have something to smash up and vandalise?

since i gather, Labour have told the Eisteddfod committee that they will not be back until some sort of assurance can be given that their stall and staff will be kept unmolested. It doesn't seem that unreasonable!
Rhodri Morgan was spotted swimming in a circle in Cardigan Bay on the week of the Eisteddfod. He showed no sign of sinking.
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