09/06/2007

Adam and the Right

After using his latest blog post to make a bitter personal attack on Sanddef Rhyferys , Adam Price MP then goes on to comment on right wing nationalists in general:

Plaid is, of course, a “broad inter-faith community.” It is itself a political and social coalition whose philosophical glue is the love of Wales, its land and its people. However, if the party is to be relevant, it has to have something to say on the social and economic policy issues of the day and, for the time being at least, the centre of gravity is essentially social-democratic. I have always been completely welcoming of non-socialists in the party who are nevertheless democrats prepared to accept the democratic outcome of debate in the party. What I have never understood is a tendency among some right-wing nationalists that would almost prefer if people like myself had actually joined the Labour Party instead of joining Plaid. This is a bizarre position for people who are ostensibly seeking to win over Labour voters in the south Wales valleys and elsewhere. All that awaits them from the likes of Ordovicus, it seems, is a bucket of well-stirred vitriol

I disagree with a number of comments that Mr Price makes here. Firstly I don't think that Plaid is the broad inter faith community (or broad church, as most would say) that it once was. The party's membership card states unequivocally that the party is a socialist party, so quite clearly there is no room in it for nationalists who believe that socialism has harmed Wales and will continue to harm Wales. Indeed the party has expelled people, such as Guto Bebb, for holding free market economic views. Even Mr Price's comment, which might appear broad and conciliatory on first reading:

I have always been completely welcoming of non-socialists in the party who are nevertheless democrats prepared to accept the democratic outcome of debate in the party

can actually be paraphrased as you don't have to be a socialist as long as you pretend to support the socialist views of the majority.

This is of course one of the silly things that happens in Plaid these days, you have people who are clearly not socialists, like Ieuan Wyn Jones, pretending that they are socialist. I find this funny; many potential voters find it duplicitous, dishonest, opportunistic and worst of all off putting. If Plaid is to succeed the party needs to go back to being a broad church that allows people of left, centre and right to support the national cause, that is Plaid's true core value, in an open and honest way.

I have never heard anybody on the right wing of the national cause say that they wish that Adam had joined the Labour party. Most of us, despite disagreeing with his socialist ideology, recognise that he is a great asset to Plaid and is probably the most charismatic and able of the party's elected members. Personally I feel sad that his socialist colleague and contemporary in the Plaid youth movement, Alun Davies, did join the Labour party. The loss of somebody of Alun's calibre was a great blow to Plaid, despite the fact that he has always been a committed leftie.

The criticism that many of us on the right do make about the socialist in Plaid is that they too often take a British Socialist view, rather than a left wing Welsh Nationalist view and that many of them promote the socialist cause instead of rather than as well as Welsh Nationalism (I don't include Adam in this group, incidentally). If all Plaid is about is promoting collectivism, republicanism, pacifism, trade unionism etc then it may as well merge with a British left party. Unless Plaid Cymru is first and foremost a nationalist party that promotes Welsh Independence, there is no point in its existence.

12 comments:

  1. Adam claims that Plaid is decentralist and libertarian. Perhaps Plaid should decentralise itself. One idea that popped into mind was to let the party's members form two or three groups to reflect the political spectrum, whilst remaining unified as a party. This would be democratic and would reflect a true 'broad church'.

    Gyda llaw, er efallai fy mod yn rhyfeddol, dw'i erioed wedi bod yn rhyfeddus! Rhyferys ydy'r cyfenw go iawn ;)

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  2. Plaid needs to decide what it actually is about. May be then if it shows a united front to the electorate who knew if they voting for a socialist or conservative, republican, decentralist, independence etc etc party
    Very confusing for some who are looking for a political nesting place.

    There are a considerable number of voters to be had in the valleys, people who are not just disillusioned with labour but now also with Lib Dems. Plaid could be their party but when we talk together – the question is well is plaid Leanne Adam Price or Dafydd Wigley.( yes he is still the name associated with and respected by those who remember when he led the council in Merthyr); who is leading Plaid in terms of policy and vision.

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  3. A small point but I'd like to comment on Adam Price's statement about "non-socialists in the party who are nevertheless democrats".

    Now maybe I'm reading too much into this but isn't it the socialists who have to prove that they are democrats. The Plaid left are happy to support Socialist Worker front organisations - the Socialist Workers Party is not a democratic party and in it's Respect guise it is an anti-semitic party.

    Socialism - that would be the philosophy that murdered millions in Russia and elsewhere.

    Look at what is happening in the Baltic states now that the dead hand of socialism has been removed from those countries. Their economies are booming. Wales is just like those Baltic states - far too many working in the public sector and far too many of the jobs taken by Russians - er sorry English people. Listen to the mangeled Welsh election results to see how many Chief Execs are foreigners, here today gone today careerists with little regard for the country in which they find themselves.

    The socialists need to prove their democratic credentials not the so-called "right"

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  4. Mr Rhyfeddol : "One idea that popped into mind was to let the party's members form two or three groups to reflect the political spectrum, whilst remaining unified as a party."

    What ever happened to Triban Coch? And wasn't there also a group - led by Dafydd Wigley and Cynog Dafis - who basically lay the ground for the Rainbow - or am I wrong on this?

    An interesting development in the future, with a larger parliament and a better PR system, is that smaller parties could also get in -we could see more than one nationalist party of different political shades. After all, up until now, each political party is a kind of 'broad church', because to be too 'specific' meant that you stodd little chance under FPTP.

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  5. elio said:

    "The Plaid left are happy to support Socialist Worker front organisations - the Socialist Workers Party is not a democratic party and in it's Respect guise it is an anti-semitic party."

    Can someone explain this comment please?

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  6. Anonymous said...
    elio said:

    "The Plaid left are happy to support Socialist Worker front organisations - the Socialist Workers Party is not a democratic party and in it's Respect guise it is an anti-semitic party."

    Can someone explain this comment please?


    Try this:

    http://oliverkamm.typepad.com/blog/2004/08/fascism_and_the.html

    Plaid Cymru left-wingers share platforms with the SWP, which in my opinion is just as despicable as sharing a platfoprm with the BNP.

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  7. An interesting development in the future, with a larger parliament and a better PR system, is that smaller parties could also get in -we could see more than one nationalist party of different political shades.

    Well a start in that direction would be to set up a group where non socialist nationalists could get to know eachother and exchange viewpoints, and where better to begin than on the internet?

    If anyone's interested in the idea then email me at ordovicius(at)gmail.com

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  8. My earlier link didn't work, try googling "oliver kamm" fascist left

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  9. David Walters11/06/2007, 11:44

    The departure of Alun Davies was not a "great blow" to Plaid.

    This is not sour grapes from a Plaid member (which I am), but an honest view. Alun can be likeable in many ways but, as a friend put it to me recently, "I wouldn't put him in charge of a barbecue."

    In any event, Plaid is bigger than any individual, (even Dafydd Wigley) (and AD is no Wigley)

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  10. The departure of Alun Davies was not a "great blow" to Plaid

    So how come Plaid go purple in the face just at the mention of his name?

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  11. Guto Bebb was not expelled from Plaid Cymru - he left them to join the Conservative Party

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  12. Guto was given a clear choice by the party leadership during the 2000 Plaid conference to either leave The Businesses for Stirling Campaign or to leave the Plaid Cymru.

    Formal expulsion procedures were not used but they were threatened in no uncertain terms. So Guto did not leave Plaid voluntarily he was forced out.

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