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

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Old enemies

The by-now infamous video on the Aneurin Glyndwr blog site may have signalled the re-opening of hostilities between Labour and Plaid Cymru in advance of the European elections but surely nobody expected relations to deteriorate as quickly as they now appear to have done.

Yesterday Plaid Cymru Assembly Member, Leanne Wood invited us all to sign up to a statement of opinion commemorating Welsh volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War on the 70th anniversary of it ending, which happens to be today. The motion read:

Commemorating Welsh anti-fascists in the Spanish Civil War

This Assembly:

Notes that the 1st April will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Spanish Civil War, and acknowledges the sacrifices made by the Welsh volunteers who went to fight fascism;

Reaffirms its opposition to fascism;

Wishes to commemorate people from Wales who volunteered to fight against fascism in Spain;

Supports the installation of a permanent memorial at the Senedd.

Leighton Andrews, who is a Deputy Minister and who reports to Plaid Cymru Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones was quick to respond:


Forgive me, but 70 years ago weren’t Plaid Cymru’s leaders supporting Franco?



We eagerly await round three.

Update: the conversation between Leighton and Plaid Cymru AMs and their staff is beginning to get nasty:

From Helen Mary Jones - Cheap shot Leighton. How long ago is it that you were a Lib Dem? Helen Mary

And then Leighton Andrews:

Ha Ha.

I defer to Gwyn Alf Williams, a fomer Plaid Vice President, in When Was Wales? (Penguin) when he argued: "During the 1930s Plaid became even more of a right wing force. Its journal refused to resist Hitler or Mussolini, ignored or tolerated anti-Semitism and, in effect, came out in support of Franco. In 1941 Saunders Lewis’ pamphlet "The Church and the World" explicitly rejected the war against Nazi Germany while in 1944 Ambrose Bebb condemned the plot to assassinate Hitler."
Reading Leighton's latest blog comment it seems that he's lashing out at the world today - must have been a tough week!
Leighton Andrews playing politics over a war memorial, great.

Let's put party aside and back a permanent memorial.
Perhaps this is the response?

Of course supporting George Bush into an illegal war in Iraq is fine! lol
Isn't about time that some Assembly members grew up and stopped playing gesture politics more suited to student union politics in the 1970s. Most of the foreigners who fought in Spain in the 1930s on the side of the Republic were internationalists not Nationalists. Frankly they would not have wanted to be associated with any member of Plaid Cymru now or then.Saunders Lewis and Bebb were political oddballs who were influenced by the ideas of Action Francaise. Finally it would be nice if AMs such as Leanne Wood bothered to study some Spanish history and stopped talking about the Civil War as simply a fight between the left and Fascism. It was far more complex than that. Franco,for example, was not a Fascist and many of the Basques who fought on the side of the Republic were pretty right wing.If Carwyn Jones can claim expenses for a book on Plaid then the Plaid members should use their expense account to start to read some of the work of Paul Preston or Stanley Payne and then they might understand what the Civil War was all about.
In his characteristically spiteful missive to leanne leighton andrews seems to have overlooked the fact that his own party has its own history of associating with fascists!

After all wasnt oswald mosely a labour cabinet minister before he went off to launch the hitler loving British union of fascists? John Strachey was a labour MP before he too left to link up with mosely. Does that make the labour party fascist sympathisers? Of course not! (well except maybe for Kim howells - apparently an admirer of the columbian govts right wing death squads)

Even liberal party legend lloyd george is said to have remarked that hitler was 'germany's george washington' after meeting him in 1936.

We can all play that old political game all day - it proves nothing. But perhaps these 'games' shows what the ambitious andrews is reduced to these days since failing to get a single labour AM to back his leadership campign!

I understand that Saunders Lewis despised the English Refugees (children) escaping the Blitz in London and the Home Counties coming to live with welsh families!

My grandparents put up two of these refugees in their small house in Cwmafan, we shall never live down the shame!!
Juan Negrin the original call by Leanne as evidenced on Vaughan Roderick's blog is for CROSS-PARTY SUPPORT for a war memorial, nothing to do with Plaid Cymru.

Has it not occurred to you that Leighton Andrews was the first person to play gesture politics over this?
well whatever saunders lewis may have been guilty of - and he clearly had his shortcomings politically speaking - he wasnt guilty of launching a illegal war on another country, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in that country (iraq) Unlike a recent former labour leader i could mention.

Neither did the much malinged lewis order cluster bombs to be dropped on the people of another country (serbia) Unlike a recent former labour leader i could mention.

Neither did he collude with govt of another nation in the torture and imprisonment of people convicted of no crime whatsoever(guantanamo bay) Unlike a recent former labour leader i could mention

Whatever lewis's sometimes questionable political leanings nothing he ever said or did - however wrong he may have been on occassions - compares to the very real criminal acts carried out out by the former leader of leighton andrews party.

But there is already a memorial to those who fought in the International Brigade in Cardiff. But why worry when this is just the sort of nonsense you get from the Dave Spart faction in Plaid. All designed to show to a completely turned off electorate that they are somehow more socialist than the Labour Party. Afterall it a wellknown fact that Dic Penderyn was the sec of the Plaid branch in the Gurnos before being framend by the English establishment. In a few years time we will have the hundredth anniversary of the Tonypandy Riots.Look out for the Plaid motions condemning Winston Churchill, Liberal attitudes to industrial action and the need to adopt syndicalist solutions to solve the problems of Wales. Why we haven't already had a national day of mourning for the two boys brutally shot by English troops outside Llanelli station is beyond me. Wake up Helen Mary and get that monument erected before Leanne really starts looking at the history of the working class in Wales.
being more socialist than labour - the party of war and privatisation is hardly difficult. Nick bourne's tories are arguably nmore socialist than them!

Perhaps the last word on this should be left to Adam Price who on his blog on 2 july 2007 said "While the odd reference to Saunders Lewis' Francoist leanings is still de rigeur among Labour MPs." 70 years ago as staunch Catholic Lewis was probably saying a few hail Marys for the saviour of the Catholic faith in Spain the Caudillo. Lewis had basically the same Medieval view of the modern world as Franco. Both would have been happy in a Europe in the middle ages dominated by the Catholic Church and where an industrial revolution had not produced socialism.
Leanne, Helen Mary and others in Plaid promoting this commeration are socialists and have every right to feel pride in Welsh socialists who all that time ago had the guts to put their lives on the line for their beliefs. I wonder which party Leighton would have been a member of in the 1930s? I suspect the same one he was president of in Bangor University and a parliamentary candidate for in the 1980s - the Liberals. Can't find any evidence of them flocking to the colours of the International Brigade........
what was irritating about this exchange was that they all insisted on including every support staff member. Wading through this rubbish in my in box to get to emails I actually needed was not wildly helpful.
Post a Comment

<< Home

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