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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Body Language

The consensus in the media, on the blogs and elsewhere from Plaid Cymru's Conference last weekend is that Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Adam Price took Llandudno by storm.

His speech which can be found here and here (David Jones MP please note) is certainly impressive, hitting all the right notes for a nationalist audience, providing a personal narrative, touching upon some totemic symbols such as Tryweryn and Rebecca and firmly positioning Plaid Cymru on the anti-Tory, socialist left.

In fact Adam was so good that people stopped talking about the earlier, woeful performance of his Leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, so in that respect it had a double benefit for his party.

In fact one could be forgiven for thinking that Adam Price was the leader not Ieuan.

No doubt members of Plaid will be queuing up to tell me that none of this matters, that I am being picky and negative and a whole host of other insults as well, but even they cannot deny the body language on show from the party's Parliamentary leader, Elfyn Llwyd on yesterday's Politics Show.

Mr. Llwyd grew visibly irritated that the interviewer repeatedly quoted from Adam Price's speech in her questions to him. So much so that at one point he virtually pointed out that as the leader in Westminster he has his own views and 'could we please talk about those instead.'

Is it the case that Adam's over-weaning ambition and his stature as the great-Nationalist-hope is starting to irritate some of his more senior colleagues?
All good knockout about stuff. I doubt however whether it will influence the views of one voter. Most people will be particularly confused by terms such as the 'concentration camps of Pretoria'. I suppose at this point Adam was trying to take on the mantle of Lloyd George. The only problem with this view of the Welsh and war is that fighting for the English from the middle ages onwards has been popular with thousands of Welshmen. It is no accident that that the first war memorials in Wales are to the men who volunteered and fought for the Empire in the Boer War. Look at the proud figure of Oiseau Bird on the sea front at Swansea. Adam is also a little harsh with the Tories when it comes to electoral reform. 1867,1918 and 1928 were all passed By governments that either were Tory or dominated by the Tories. But why let the facts get in the way of a good argument. What was missing from the speech which I watched on BBC2 was policy. As Ronnie Reagan would say " Where's the beef Adam?" Attacking poor Jimmy Thomas is no substitute for policy. Jimmy Thomas had lots of faults but not many young railwaymen before the First World War ended up as a cabinet minister. To criticise him for being the Minister for the Colonies nbetwen the wars is a bit daft when Britain had an Empire and even a Labour government had to have a minister for the Colonies.
This is applicable to all parties: being a leader isn't all about whether you can balance the books, and how many law degrees you have (afterall, you have a cabinet to do all that). It takes a special kind of person to lead, to inspire. Something that is sadly lacking in ALL parties. I mean - Brown.... c'mon, can you see him riding a horse along the front of the troop giving a "men now abed would think themselves accursed they were not here" type motivational speech?

Adam is the ace in Plaid's hand, and as long as they allow him to play they could end up winning the game. So the question they're going to have to collectively ask themselves is: do they put aside personal ambitions for the good of the party? Remains to be seen. I hope so. Adam is practically invisible in Westminster. But on the front bench of the Senedd he could make a real difference, not just to Plaid, but to Wales' image of itself.
Methinks that Plaid protest too much on this one - think you might have hit a raw nerve Peter.
So, Plaid like little digs at David Lloyd George, they get very, very upset when people mention the Right Wing, pro-fascist anti-semetic antics of one Saunders Lewis!

As a decentent of a family who took in ENGLISH children who were escaping the Blitz in London and the Home Counties, I for one would never, ever vote for these Nationalists!

In addition the two MPs (Price & Llwyd) mentioned in Peter's blog, both claimed Accountancy Fees on their parlimentary expenses, just for the record!
Agree largely with jeff. Would add that it seems like an ace speech for the plaid faithful, but beyond that, what can you really say - it certainly didn't mesh with the message of the conf as a whole imho - and giving the timing that poses an interesting question. After disapointing results in 08 and 09 and after a poor speech from the leader, price's speech HAD to be externally focused with a few months to the election. It wasn't which suggests to me that this was all about his own ambitions rather than anything election focused.
Was there any appearance of the "Yesterday Men" - Cynog Dafis & Dafydd Iwan & Dafydd Huws & Rhodri Glyn Thomas? If so what did they have to contribute?
the plaid bloggers were just waiting for you to blog so they could have a 'pop' at your 'pop'!!!......predictable,boring plad bloggers
D said:

"After disapointing results in 08 and 09"

Erm..'08 council elections plaid returned its highest ever number of councillors and formed coalitions across wales including in the capitol for the forst time? Hardly disapointing.

'09 was dissapointing in terms of not coming first maybe but they still increased their vote. a great result compared to coming 5th i am sure?
IWJ's speech seems to have hit a nerve with the public givent he rsponse we have had. Adam a big hit with both activists and media.

All in all a fantastic conference certainly our besty since Swansea in 2006 and on a personal note the most enjoyable I ahve been to.she
Adam Price was preaching to the choir, or should I say giving them a 101 in Welsh radicalism. The problem that most of these events had nothing to do with nationalism, being Welsh or anything else. They had their counterparts in England too. So Professor your facts are slightly spun. Even the mention of Nye Bevan who hated nationalism as much as he did the Tories sounded bizarre. This was what I call classic Howard Zinn, people's history. Though I would agree with what Jeff Jones has said here (and on Glyn Davies's blog) that it is irrelevant to Joe Public. They want to know about their economic well being and whether they will keep their jobs. They are also concerned about Plaid's preoccupation with the Welsh language. English speakers still feel that Plaid is still the Welsh Language Society's political arm. That is reflected in where their main level of support is in the Welsh speaking heartlands. And when they do target English speaking areas its seems that it only the south Wales valleys that are. They seemed to have very little interest in the cities, and the evidence is a lack of reference in their main blogs such as WR and Guerrilla Gravara to Cardiff. My other concern is Adam Price himself (a very highly and respected politician) the air of almost of a messianic quality is disturbing. There has been no “miracle gro” support in Plaid Cymru, and they still come third in the popular vote even in Assembly elections. So why He should given the first speech and Ieuan as party leader. Why dont they do a job swap with Ieuan and send him to Parliament?
Post a Comment

<< Home

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