Sunday, 8 May 2011

Plaid Should Go It Alone


It is time for Plaid to re-evaluate its whole approach to Welsh politics as well as the leadership of the party. More than a year ago this blog warned against Plaid continuing its association with Labour in the One Wales Agreement. It has served its purpose by delivering the Referendum. Now there is no benefit in associating with unionist parties. They do not share the vision of Cymru Fydd. They rigidly adhere to the status quo and the perpetuation of the Union.

So now the time has come to strike out for core principles and go it alone, free from tainted association with parties that have Britain's interests in mind but not the interests of Wales. It falls to Scotland to lead the way, which Alex Salmond and the SNP does admirably. They demonstrably have at heart the interests of the Scottish people and the future of Scotland is safe in their hands and seen to be so. This is what accounts for the massive landslide towards the SNP and assures the party of majority government for the next five years.

Plaid needs to nail its colours to the mast, as the SNP has done, and prove to the people of Wales that it is not a prop to Labour but an independent force to be reckoned with. It needs to show that it fully represents the people of Wales and their aspirations, socially, economically and constitutionally. It needs to look to Scotland for lessons on how to lead and conduct its campaigns. 

The only thing that really differentiates Plaid from Welsh Labour is the question of independence. Apart from that their social and economic policies and their progressive stance are virtually identical. Therefore, why should Welsh people vote for Plaid if they have no concern about independence? Those who are content for Wales to remain part of the Union will be inclined to vote Labour.

The key difference is independence. Plaid Cymru should proclaim its affirmation of the aim of independence and not hide away from or ignore this salient fact.
After all, it is the reason and sine qua non of why the party was founded in  the first place!

Further Comment

Opposition voices to the SNP victory in Scotland are pushing Alex Salmond to hold a referendum on independence as soon as possible. The reason is that if it were held now a vote in favour of independence  most likely would not succeed. Alex is too canny a politician to fall for that.....

UK 'won't block Scots referendum'

Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has said the UK Government will not obstruct or pre-empt a referendum onScottish independence.
The Liberal Democrat MP also said his party "would have to be tone deaf" to miss the point that the Westminster coalition had a bearing on their heavy defeat in Scotland.
Lib Dem disaffection was a strong factor in the SNP's landslide victory which has cleared the way for an independence referendum in the latter part of the new Scottish Parliament.
Mr Moore said: "As a UK Government we will not be putting obstacles in the way of any referendum. When we get to the point of a referendum actually taking place, as a Liberal Democrat I will obviously campaign against it."
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Murdo Fraser said the UK government should give "very serious consideration" to launching its own referendum on the future of the UK constitution to prevent a "damaging" long-running debate.
However, Mr Moore said: "We will not be bringing forward a referendum ourselves, it's entirely a matter for the Scottish Government." He added: "We're not going to be raising any constitutional questions about the rights or wrongs of holding a referendum on this particular issue. How it's actually structured will need to comply with the law to avoid challenge."
One of Mr Moore's predecessors, Lord Michael Forsyth, the last Conservative secretary of state for Scotland, is reportedly set to lodge an amendment to the Scotland Bill that could enable Westminster to call an independence referendum at a date of its own choosing.
Quoted in the Scottish Mail on Sunday newspaper, Lord Forsyth said: "What we have had is an election campaign where Alex Salmond has promised sweeties to everyone who has had a vote. There was almost no discussion of how we get out of the financial mess we are in or how all the of these promises, such as a council tax freeze, are going to be funded.
"Of course, Mr Salmond will be unable to deliver all this and will blame it all on Westminster and stock up resentment, with a view to having a referendum at a suitably late stage. When the Scotland Bill comes to the House of Lords quite shortly, I will put forward an amendment for a referendum on independence with a view to having a vote in the autumn."
Mr Forsyth reportedly discussed his plans with Prime Minister David Cameron. He added: "Mr Cameron said he has a respect agenda towards Scotland. Well, Scotland appears to have voted for the Nationalists and we need to give Scotland a chance to make clear where it stands on the union."


Bill Chapman said...

There is anorther approach possible. Maybe the way ahead is for Plaid Cymru not to contest Assembly elections in the future, only fighting Westminster elections as Gwynfor did so well.

We would then see IWJ standing (and winning) as a Welsh Conservative Assembly Member on Anglesey, Leanne Wood standing (and winning)as a Welsh Labour Candidate, with Dafydd Elis-Thomas a Conservative, Mary Helen a Labour, and so on. It doesn't take much brain power to work out where each Plaid AM and prospective AM would fit. Then, working inside the system, instead of acting as a permanent party of protest, they would be elected to power and implement nationalist politics. The other parties, like Plaid itself, are broad coalitions and would have plenty of room for patriots of all colours.

What do you think?

Unknown said...

Time is the problem in this scenario. It is another 4 years until the next General Election. Also they would lack crediblity if standing for another party. Sorry - it wouldn't work