Sunday, 1 July 2007

Plaid in Rainy Carmarthen - 02/07/07

This is the big day in Carmarthen when the present leader of Plaid Cymru, Ieuan Wyn Jones, will address his supporters and explain why the decision was made to go in with Labour in the One Wales Agreement. It was a difficult decision to make, for it risks alienating the supporters on the right of the party, who are mostly from north Wales. It is generally agreed that Plaid Cymru positions itself to the left of centre in Welsh politics, and therefore in this sense it is a natural outcome. Nevertheless, this decision is a strategic one and is based on strategy alone, and not merely on Plaid's political complexion, or the fact that it is, along with Labour, a progressive party of the left. It is something that should be borne in mind by the delegates to the conference next Saturday when the National Council meets to give their verdict, Yes or No.
The pros and cons of going with one agreement or the others has gone back and forth and has been discussed endlessly in Plaid's attempt to find the best solution for the people of Wales. Ieuan has forsaken his desire to become Chief Minister, and to take the lead in a majority coalition with the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, for the good of the people of Wales and for the opportunity to strike headlong for a referendum on a Welsh Parliament. By doing so he has undoubtedly put the interests of the party and the best interests of Wales first, ahead of his own political ambitions.
The stance taken by the leadership of Plaid Cymru should therefore be commended, as the best way forward. Leaving aside political hues and other considerations Plaid is the only party which has adopted wholeheartedly the cause of independence. In fact it is its raison d'etre, the main purpose its its existence. It is the only Party of Wales, as it has declared itself to be, for the other parties in Wales are clones or to a great extent derivations of the British parties whose representatives are elected to Westminster. There is a trend for these British parties to devolve and become truly Welsh parties, and this may be the eventual outcome, but the fact that they are not is highlighted by the recent abhorrence of Welsh MPs to the thought of a pact with Plaid Cymru with its ambitions to withdraw eventually from the Union in its present form. This is why these MPs and others whose habitual thinking follows similar lines have been designated "Yesterday's Men", people who are still locked into the politics of the last century. Change is in the air and it is time to make a difference. We are moving away from polarisation politics to an acceptance of consensus, for the ultimate good of the people and their continued welfare. We are moving towards real democracy and a connection with the grass roots, which are grounded in the sanctified soil of Wales.

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