.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The perils of office

Are we starting to see the beginning of an erosion in support for Plaid Cymru amongst Welsh speakers as a result of them being in government.

My reason for asking is this piece in the Wales on Sunday, which tells us that furious Welsh language campaigners have accused the Assembly Government of breaking its promises after it announced a cash deal for a new Welsh newspaper well below what they wanted.

We are told that Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg have written to Plaid Cymru heritage Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas, accusing him of breaking the promise to pay for a Welsh-language daily, which was in the One Wales document agreed by the Labour-Plaid coalition. The amount of money Mr. Thomas has put into the project, although significant, is not enough to get the paper off the ground.

“The commitment to a daily newspaper in Welsh is clear in the agreement,” said Cymdeithas chair Hywel Griffiths.

“Many people in Wales supported the Labour/Plaid coalition based on the commitments made in the One Wales agreement.

“A few months later, both Plaid and Labour have broken their promise to the people of Wales.”

The lesson for Plaid Cymru must be not to promise things they cannot deliver. This is one development that is worth watching.
Going into coalition with a party whose support is rapidly waning wasn't a great idea. As far as I can tell it just ends up tarring you with the same brush as them in the eyes of the public.

I know my personal opinion of Plaid dipped following the coalition.
I'm afraid the WoS article has its facts quite wrong in the case of Là.

I quote: "The Plaid Cymru minister said publishers could follow the example of Lá Nua, an Irish-language daily newspaper launched last month."

Là was launched 20 years ago, and it was announced last week (on the same day as RhGT made his announcement) that it was going to bring the print edition to an end due to insufficient support from and government advertisements from Northern Ireland.

Proof, if needs be, that minority publications (which are deemed by government to be of benefit to the nation - and this includes English language as well as Welsh language publications) need adequate government support to succeed.

Everybody (including RhGT) knows that £200k a year is insufficient to help launch a daily newspaper of any sort, not just that of Dyddiol's business plans, even Bianchi's report stated this clearly. It's just of surprise to me that nobody bar Eleanor Burnham, in her own muddled way, picked up on this when it was announced.

Of course, with Plaid in government who is there to really put the hard questions to them. Are you're gang up to it Peter?

It also begs the question what "One Wales" promises will be next for dilution?
I was looking forward to the new Welsh language daily. Providing the paper was of good quality it would have been ideal for the hook in the old Ty bach
As a Plaid member, I am also disappointed that the money has not been made available. However, with only 700 people signed up to the daily paper across Wales, the business case was shot full of holes.

I suspect that the best that can now be developed is a quality Sunday in Welsh. It is not an easy time to start any newspaper with the internet threatening advertising budgets. I also suspect that 'Media Wales' would not have stood idly by and let some publicy funded upstart knick all their Welsh language job adverts.

As far as going into coalition with Labour, I don't trust them much but I'm afraid that I trust the Lib Dems less.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?