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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plaid's dilemma

One of the great imponderables of the One Wales Government has always been how Plaid Cymru as a party will react to having to make difficult decisions. This is especially so on issues like the NHS where they have always taken an oppositionist and opportunistic stance.

Plaid Cymru Chair and wannabe AM for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, John Dixon, provides part of the answer in his latest blog post. In essence he concludes that the Labour-Plaid Cymru proposals for re-organising the health service are a pile of dirt and not worth the paper they are written on.

I may have lost a bit in the translation there but I think that a detailed read of John Dixon's analysis amounts to something close to that view. No doubt Plaid Cymru Ministers will be taking note.

It's pretty sweet that you are accusing Plaid of opportunism. In local government you are simply a coalition of independents who can deal with anyone and seem to have no ideology or beliefs.

The only reason you are not in government yourselves is that you and Kirsty couldn't stand the thought of Mike german in the cabinet.
Firstly, I am not accusing Plaid of 'opportunism in local government'.

Secondly, the Welsh Liberal Democrats are a long established political party with a clear philosophy and policies (many of which Plaid Cymru have stolen for themselves). We form the administration on 13 of Wales' 22 local Councils. In those Councils and in others we are delivering Welsh Liberal Democrat policies. That is as far as you can get from 'a coalition of independents'. Your accusation is absurd.

Thirdly, the previous coalition discussions are not relevant to this post. However, Kirsty took view consistently throughout that she wanted the Welsh Lib Dems to coalesce with Labour not the Tories.

The rainbow coalition did not happen because Plaid Cymru walked away from it. Part of their reason was because they wrongly believed that the Welsh Lib Dems were not sincere as those in favour of the coalition such as Mike German and Jenny Randerson had been unable to convince the party at a crucial moment that the programme was deliverable.
"No doubt Plaid Cymru Ministers will be taking note."

No doubt - what with it being a consultation!

Otherwise what's your interpretation of "consultation"

Does your post really amount to anything more than "Shock, horror! Different people in Plaid may have different views"?

David Walters
tee hee! Plaid have got away with their double-sided act for too long now. Are they socialists, as they claim in south wales, or christian democrats, as they seem in the north, or what?

we oughtn't to be surprised, this joke of a welsh national party can't even decide whether they want indepedence, or not!

Obviously my little tongue in cheek biography is not quite clear enough for you; I describe myself as a future ex-Chair; they haven't managed to get rid of me just yet. (As far as I know, no-one is working on it either, but hey, this is politics, so who knows!)

'Pile of dirt' is considerably stronger than the comments which I made, methinks. I made it clear that I very much support the agreed 'One Wales' objective of eliminating the internal market, but not the detail.

Given that 'One Wales' does not spell out the detail of how that will be achieved, and that the detail is subject to a process of consultation, I have chosen to add my two penn'orth, and to do so by making comments which are entirely consistent with the platform on which I fought an election barely twelve months ago.

I'm sure that there will be those in Plaid who will disagree with me, but as a candidate, I have pledged to promote the interests of the people in this constituency to the best of my ability. I intend to do precisely that - and in this case, nothing that I have said is in any way inconsistent with the policy of Plaid Cymru.
In that case Plaid policy must be at odds with the actions of the Assembly Government.
An interesting misinterpretation, if I may say so. Let me try and explain, in simple terms.

1. Plaid adopted a policy for the last Assembly election of calling for a commission to examine the number and scope of bodies running the health service in Wales.

2. Plaid adopted the 'One Wales' document in its entirety, as a programme for a coalition government, recognising that any coalition (and any good Liberal Democrat would surely reognise this point?) will involve compromises on both sides, without changing party policy on either.

Neither of those documents was prescriptive about the number, area, or scope of the health bodies which would result; that is a matter of detail, subject to a public consultation. It is therefore perfectly possible for me to respond to that consultation without in any way being inconsistent with either of the above statements.

Even if that were not the case, I have to say that I really have enormous difficulty believing that you, as an experienced Lib Dem, would really try and argue that the compromise policies which must inevitably occur to form a coalition must therefore change the underlying policies of the constituent parties. That is a nonsense - and you know it.
After all this clever talk - the bottom line is - PLAID CYMRU HAVE LOST THEIR WAY - Lywelyn; Owain Glyndwr; Saunders Lewis; Gwynfor Evans and even Dafydd Wilgley would be ashamed of the shower there now. I bumped into one of their apologists today who was all agog excited about their recent summer school at Cuba. The biggest issue is - when are they going to consideer CYMRU?
Peter, I really feel I've got to correct you on the above ".....Welsh Liberal Democrats are a long established political party with a clear philosophy and policies (many of which Plaid Cymru have stolen for themselves)."

It is true that Plaid stole such policies as a Local Income Tax, Nuclear Free Wales, etc, but since they've got into bed with New Labour all those philosophys and policies have been dropped, since we didn't receive a bilingual election leaflet from Plaid in Maesteg West during the May elections; can we assume that they've also gone back on their committment to the Welsh Language? Especially after Cllr Malcolm James' comments in the Glamorgan Gazette that the Rainbow alliance has done nothing for the Llynfi Valley - what about the Welsh School; Bridgend would still be waiting for this if it had been up to Labour, and no help from the Assembly! Guess which ward is going to be a target ward in 2012?

G. Lewis
Bridgend Lib Dems
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