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Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Plaid Cymru confusion

What is going on with Plaid Cymru? Have they really lost the plot or are they just trying to lull us all into a false sense of security?

First, of all we have the former MP and 'future leader', Adam Price popping back from his intellectual sojourn in America to address us from the mountain top. He told the CF99 programme on S4C that voters are not being offered a strong enough choice of candidates in next year's assembly election. Well Adam, you had your chance to stand and you blew it.

Mr. Price told the programme that a "lack of skills amongst politicians is making it difficult to tackle big economic challenges". He said: "The gap between the problems we face in Wales and the skill-set of the people we're drawing in to politics is huge"

Given that his own party leader holds the economy brief in the Welsh Government, that is a pretty strong attack and indicates some discontent within Plaid Cymru as to how their ministers are performing.

And then as if to rub salt into the wound, the former Chair of Plaid Cymru steps up to the mark and effectively accuses the party of being ageist and obsessed with projecting a youthful image.

John Dixon has claimed that Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones told him that Plaid could not afford to have more “old men” running for winnable seats at next May’s election:

Writing on his blog today, he said his age was raised by Mr Jones, 61, the previous month.

Mr Dixon said all parties were affected by a “cult of youth” and that he was not convinced by the tendency for people to go straight into politics after university without first gaining any wider experience.

“That cult certainly affects Plaid Cymru,” he wrote.

“When Ieuan told me in June that he did not want me to be a candidate for next May’s Assembly elections, my age was one of the issues he raised.

“It was his view that, with Ron Davies likely to be selected in Caerffili, the party simply couldn’t afford to have any other old men standing as candidates where we might win, because that would send the wrong message about what sort of a party Plaid Cymru is.”

He added: “It’s a valid viewpoint, but it owes more to getting the right image than the right mix of skills and experience, it seems to me.”

All of this is quite embarrassing for Plaid Cymru. The outcome of the General Election was a big disappointment for them and seems to have caused them to become unfocussed and disputatious. If this continues then they may struggle next May as well.
The outcome of the General Election was a big disappointment

Is it not more likely that they are disappointed with their fellow-members' performance in coalition in Cardiff?
Peter- if you look at "the Druid of Anglesey" blog you'll see that Adam has a point. - Not one LibDem worked in the Private Sector - Only Alun Ffred was a 'wealth creator' from Plaid - Just 14% of the Labour party were in Private Sector. So I think Adam is right to say that IWJ may not be the best for the jobs. It's good he doesn't follow party discipline!- I hate it!
Actually, the Druid is wrong. Mick Bates has his own business, a farming business in Montgomeryshire and a wealth of business experience. Kirsty Williams has worked for a private sector design company as a marketing executive. Veronica German is a scientist by profession who put the bubbles into the wispa bar. Eleanor Burnham has also worked in the private sector and although I was a civil servant before becoming an AM and Jenny Randerson an FE lecturer, we both have a huge amount of experience as Councillors helping to run a multi-million pound business. albeit in the public sector.
I find it quite disturbing that Plaid is introducing an negative discrimination against age.

Recently, within the past couple of years it's become illegal to discriminate against anyone on grounds of age (& Creed) so I think if Plaid are persuing such policies then they are on a very slippery slope, may long it continue!
I wonder how many "wealth creators" were elected to the US Congress?
Yes and yes - it's amazing 'Plaid" stuff hitting the fan. Plaid has lost its rattle (plot). On the one hand there's Adam Price who did not exclude Plaid from his observations and John Dixon accusing his own party (Plaid) of age discrimination. Plaid demonstrates at every turn that it is incapable of meeting the great challenges facing Wales. Its leader (IWJ) lacks a fundamental understanding of the need to couple huge university grants to JCPs (job creating patents).
Anon (2:38 PM)> the United States political setup (pretty much as defined by the Founding Fathers) allows the Executive Branch (headed up by the President of the day) to appoint non-elected members to Cabinet posts.

I think, but not sure so please correct me, that the House of Lords can be used as a vehicle by the PM of the day to appoint non-elected members to Cabinet posts - wasn't that how, for example, Lord or Earl of Shaftesbury held a Cabinet post got the Innovation and Skills brief ?
"experience as Councillors helping to run a multi-million pound business. albeit in the public sector."

With the best will in the world, councils are not businesses. They don't have to sell their services and people can't go elsewhere to a competitor.

How many businesses get handed hundreds of millions of pounds on the "income" side of their balance sheet without doing anything to earn it? They all have to generate their income.
Yes, I am not pretending that there is a valid comparision between being a Councillor and working in the private sector. My point was that it is relevant experience. The information about the other four Lib Dem AMs though is correct and undermines the Druid's case.
Anon (7:47 PM)> you might think this is 'small change', but Peter Black is one Welsh AM who has recognized that patent protection in Wales is vital for quality job creation in Wales. I think that is HIGHLY relevant. Wales needs more AMs like Peter Black.
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