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

Saturday, April 12, 2008

One Lord-a-leaping

I meant to comment on this yesterday but the demands of the local election campaign on top of my normal duties has severely restricted my time. As it is I have 1,600 leaflets to deliver before Doctor Who starts tonight so I cannot linger here long.

Plaid Cymru's wait to bolster their presence in the House of Lords looks like it may carry on for quite some time. The Western Mail speculated on the reason yesterday morning but one could not help coming away from the piece thinking that it was a bit presumptuous of the Nationalists to elect three nominees after all this time of poo-pooing the institution and then expect instant elevation from a grateful UK Government.

One suggestion is that Labour is unhappy that Plaid organised an internal party election for its nominees because it shows up Labour’s own process for nominating new peers as undemocratic. That is clearly nonsense as the Liberal Democrats have been organising internal elections for their nominees for almost a decade now.

There is of course a solid logic behind the need for more Plaid Cymru peers and I would not want to take that away from them. They have resisted the temptation for years on principle. So why should everybody else suddenly be expected to fall in behind their Damoscene conversion? It is almost worth keeping them waiting a bit longer just to hear more of Elfyn Llwyd's indignant complaining about the injustice of it all.

Mr. Llwyd told the Western Mail that, “I don’t know what more can be done about this – it’s very frustrating. I put in the CVs of our nominees many weeks ago, but after three meetings with the Government Chief Whip we are still no further forward. What has become clear is that the block is coming directly from the Prime Minister’s office.”

For goodness sake, you are bound to get your peers, but you cannot seriously expect the Prime Minister to make a special effort just for Plaid Cymru. There have been no working peers created since 2005. The reason for that is unknown but I would guess that the Government do not believe there is a need for additional members of the House of Lords at the moment, especially when they are considering much needed reforms that might bring some democracy to the Upper House for the first time ever.

Whatever happens, the next time Gordon Brown creates more peers he should include at least one of Plaid Cymru's nominees. But in the meantime could we please have a bit more dignity and a little less moaning.
Only 1,600. You're just not trying are you?
I can only speak parochially from my corner of Swansea. the "Lords Issue" has caused the total disintegration of the Plaid Cymru Branch here at Clydach where Plaid has previously held County and Borough Council seats and until recently were in control of the large Community Council here. In the coming Council Elections Plaid have not got a single County or Community Council candidate standing here. Why? Because the local Branch has disintegrated totally with internal acrimony over the sending of the issue of sending Party Members to the House of Lords. Has this happened elsewhere in Wales? It looks as if the Lib Dems are due to mop up the traditional Plaid vote in Clydach, Swansea, which probably means the Lib Dems will win both of the two County seats there - they already hold one firmly.
The peerage issue is sadly yet another example of how some in Plaid got completely carried away by the coalition deal. They genuinely believed that they were on a roll when in reality all that had happened was that Labour was determined to stay in power at what ever cost. In the event the cost was relatively small namely the promise of a refererndum before 2011 with no real time table for delivery. On the ground everyone knows that the Labour party can't deliver its grass roots members to campaign for a 'yes' vote. In too many areas Plaid is the enemy as the present local government campaign shows. What Plaid gains from sending yesterday's politicians to the Lords except a source of further quotes in the Western Mail is difficult to see. You are entirely right to suggest that there is no need for any more working peers. Plaid already have one peer to present their point of view in the limited number of debates that might concern Wales directly.
Post a Comment

<< Home

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