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

Monday, September 07, 2009

Who has really been snubbed?

Judging by the prominence given by the Western Mail to former Plaid Cymru Leader, Dafydd Wigley's decision to withdraw his candidacy for a seat in the House of Lords anybody would think that a major political earthquake had taken place.

Dafydd Wigley is an honourable man and a talented politician. If anybody should be in the House of Lords then he should. However, nobody has a right to be there, least of all a minor Nationalist Party with ideas above its station or at least that is how it may be viewed in Westminster.

Indeed the comments of the Cabinet Office say as much: “We cannot comment on individual cases, but Plaid Cymru did not follow the correct procedure. They made unsolicited nominations. The procedure is that from time to time the Prime Minister makes political appointments to the Lords by seeking nominations from party leaders.”

What irks me the most about this whole affair is the way that Plaid Cymru assume that their interests are synonymous with those of Wales and that this is reinforced by the comment piece attached. It is complete nonsense. Plaid's hubris and that of its Parliamentary leader is unbounded.

Yes, it would be nice to have more Welsh Lords and yes, that would also help the passage of Legislative Competence Orders. But all our experience indicates that the biggest obstacles to LCOs sit in the House of Commons and amongst Whitehall civil servants and their Ministers. That is the logjam that needs breaking and no number of Welsh peerages will make a dent in it.

Elfyn LLwyd is right on one thing, the process of nominating members of the House of Lords is farcical and open to abuse. A fully elected second chamber that reflects the constitutional changes that have taken place in Britain since 1997 is essential.

In the meantime perhaps we should reflect that Wales has not so much been snubbed as deeply embarrassed at the ineptitude of Plaid's Parliamentary leadership in failing to secure a peerage for an outstanding statesman such as Dafydd Wigley.
The Plaid triumverate of bloggers are clearly narked by your insights. As you say, the episode highlights the Party of Wales' ineptitude. It also indicates their over-estimation of Plaid's actual influence within the Palace of Westminster.
Then again with the number of Lords who should be un-lorded you'd think they would find space for him after all with out Plaid we have no Labour government in Wales, we might have had a Tory one. Then again with Brown he might not even know where Wales is, he has problems with Afghanistan and Pakistan
Does anyone outside the Welsh political sphere give a hoot about this? Makes me laugh when I read Elfyn Llwyd's comments about democracy when he's referring to his own failed efforts to get a Peerage for a party chum. All very undignified and a period of shutting up about it would be wise.
"... However, nobody has a right to be there, least of all a minor Nationalist Party with ideas above its station."

Should read:

"... However, nobody has a right to be there, least of all a minor Nationalist Party with delusions of adaquacy."
a minor nationalist party which demonstrates how irrelevant the liberals are to wales.
Your comments clearly show the hypocrisy of the political class and the Liberal Democrats in particular. You claim to want a reformed elected House of Lords but when a rival party attempts to introduce a modicum of democracy in having a ballot to elect “nominations”. You end up supporting the status quo; if the Liberal Democrat had carried out similar internal elections you would have hailed it as a beacon of democracy. Do you really believe what you have written or is it simple political expediency.
Peter, you are on record boasting that the Libs had elected Lords before Plaid. If you are critical of Plaid's approach, then surely you are also critical of your own party.
Glyn the Liberal Democrats have carried out similar elections three times and before Plaid Cymru thought of it and we never met any of these problems. I am not criticising the process but the self-important hubris of Plaid Cymru in thinking they are more important than they are and their incompetence in failing to seal the deal.

Anon 1.36pm: did you even read this post before you posted your comment. Yes I am proud that the Liberal Democrats led the way in electing their nominees to the Lords and yes I want the Lords turned into a fully elected second chamber. I also believe that Wigley should be in the Lords. But this post is not about this. It is about Plaid's hubris and incompetence as set out above.
What incompetence?
They followed the advice they were offered and their membership decided that only a democratic vote could choose the candidates.
What exactly have they done wrong which was in any way different to what the Lib Dems did? You are making the accusation but not stating exactly what the mistake was-apart from of course trusting the British establishment.
Well clearly the difference is that the Liberal Democrats actually got some of those elected by their membership into the House of Lords. So you tell me what Plaid Cymru did wrong because they sure as hell did not get the result they wanted and it is no good blaming others for that.
Who exactly of the Liberal Democrats elected by their membership are in the House of Lords? If this is the case what has Plaid done that is supposed to be wrong? I'm sorry but you are only digging a bigger hole for yourself. What hubris is it in a party that is informed it is technically entitled to seats in the House of Lords to expect their nominations to go through or do you expect the British Prime minister to select them? TheLlib Dems pretend to be above the dirt but it is clear you will fight in the gutter like everyone else
For goodness sake, anybody would think that Plaid Cymru are above criticism. They are not and the effectiveness of our scrutiny of their record in government is demonstrated by over-the-top reactions like yours.

This post is not gutter politics it is legitimate comment. It is a damn sight more constructive than some of the nonsense that appears in anonymous comments here or on anonymous official Plaid Cymru attack blogs.

As for hubris then re-read the post it is explained there for you. I do not have a full list of Liberal Democrats peers who were nominated as a result of the elections we held as a party but two that spring to mind immediately are Lord Roger Roberts from Llandudno (I forget his full title) and Lord Greaves. I think Baronness Northover was another.
A House of lords that includes the likes of the shameful pair of Kinnocks , Lord Archer of Mendacity, Lord Mark Thatcher of Mercenary, and Lord Mandelson of manipulation ,(as well as the others who have cynically tried to defraud the state through expenses - we all know who they are!) is no place for a prince like Wigley!
Post a Comment

<< Home

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