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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Plaid Cymru and Labour at war?

Well that is what the South Wales Echo thinks anyway. They say that a furious row is brewing between the two parties over the proposed defence traning Academy at St. Athan.

Then tensions that have existed between the Labour and Plaid Cymru ever since this project was announced have started to bubble to the surface with the news that the planning application will be lodged in the spring:

Labour councillors have taken exception to a series of statement made by Plaid politicians, including councillor Nic Hodges, a Vale councillor and leader of the Plaid group on Barry Town Council.

Labour Councillor and former RAF St Athan worker, Rob Curtis, said: “I’m sick and tired of hearing numerous Plaid Cymru politicians criticising and running down the golden opportunity of having the multi-billion-pound Defence Training Academy located in Wales.

“Numerous negative anti-academy comments were made by their president and former vice -president, Dafydd Iwan and Jill Evans MEP.

The latest attack has come from Barry Plaid Cymru Councillor Steffan Wiliam, who appeared on a recent BBC report saying that well-paid positions would go to people from outside the Vale, with local people left to do ‘menial jobs’.

Mr Curtis reserved particular criticism for Coun Hodges.

He said: “Coun Hodges has already been quoted as saying the academy would be an ‘isolated gated village’ and also added that ‘nearby towns would see an increase in squaddie rowdiness and drop-outs from the academy’.

“These are irresponsible and naive comments. The training academy will provide vital jobs for the South Wales region for generations to come.”

Of course the really interesting fact about this whole controversy is that it is Plaid Cymru Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, who is the Minister responsible for delivering this scheme. No doubt he will want to respond concerns within his own party about a lack of detailed information coming out about it, cost overruns, and the alleged creation of a secure zone from which locals will be excluded.

Perhaps he might also explain to his Assembly Members, MEP, Party President, councillors and activists at the same time the economic realities of attracting such a big investment to Wales, not least the large number of jobs associated with it. Or does he not want to rock the boat with his colleagues?
What is also interesting is that until last May these two were in coalition together running the Vale Council. With friends like this who needs enemies.In any case the coalition in the Bay is basically one between Cardiff West Labour Party and Plaid. Hostilities still continue in the rest of Wales as the lack of Labour grass roots interest in any future referendum will show.
"Perhaps he might also explain to his Assembly Members, MEP, Party President, councillors and activists at the same time the economic realities of attracting such a big investment to Wales"

You seem to be all for it then?
Peter, you should know that the Academy have just enlisted the French company Sodexo as their new partner- a company with a track-record of Union busting in Canada and the United States, as well as bringing MRSA to the Glasgow and Liverpool NHS Trust through botching cleaning contracts (oh the wonders of privatisation) and involvement in the infamous asylum detention centre in England where prisoners managed to break free.

I don't think Plaid can be criticised if some of their members decide to ask questions about this. The privatisation of military training is wrong, no matter how many cleaning and bar/restaurant jobs it creates.
yes could we have some clarity from the lib Dems please? Do you support the privatisation of defence traning?

On another post you attack plaid because the leader takes a different view on nuclear power for anglesey. Now you attack us for being consistent.
Mark, how can you be consistent on this issue when once again your activists take a different line on the St. Athan development to your leader?

Of course the Welsh Liberal Democrats support this development, it will bring jobs and much needed investment to South Wales. That is something Plaid Cymru seem prepared to sacrifice for ideological purity,
Peter, that's why people often remark that the Liberal Democrats have no ideology at all.

When we're talking about investments into Wales quality has to be more important than quantity, as well as whose interests those investments are serving.
No we do have an ideology, it is just not your ideology.

because our policy as adopted at a National Council meeting last year allows us to.

Plaiod as a party recognises there are difference on some issues and allows our people to express them.

I would support St Athans if it was not part of a privatised defence policy which is utter insanity. Others in plaid would not support any defence training establishment because they are pacifists.

The Lib dems support the privatisation of defence training ...astonishing!!
It seems that the Leader of Plaid Cymru does too. Is that astonishing?
This is black and white as far as I am concerned!

We, as a country, are in an economic crisis and yet PLAID are advocating that in order to retain their pacifist ideology they are willing to sacrifice 1,000's of jobs being created for WELSH workers.

Am I missing something here? I thought that the overriding ideology of Plaid (So we are constantly led to believe by their activists on the doorstep) is to represent Welsh interests and the people of Wales above all else. How can Plaid reconcile their stance on the St Athan development with the claim to be representing the best interests of the people of Wales?

When you are experiencing a financial and economic crisis as serious as ours you put asside personal opinions and do what is best for the country for goodness sake! Are Plaid really that inexperienced or indeed stubborn to recognise this?

Wake up Plaid, you are at risk of losing a unique opportunity for the Welsh economy here!

-Richie Northcote
Richie, do you really think the defence academy project will stand or fall on Plaid's say so?
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