Once Bitten Twice Shy

In those long ago days when he use to smoke like a trooper, I went on a canvassing round with the then newly elected Ynys Môn MP Ieuan Wyn Jones. I can't remember the exact occasion, but I think that it was the time that Dafydd Ellis Thomas was standing as Plaid candidate for the European Parliament.

Whenever Ieuan approached a house in which a dog was barking, Ieuan would stop, light a fag and let another member of the team approach the dog's residence. He had been bitten by a dog as a child, apparently, and was sh** scared of barking dogs as a result of this experience.

It seems that Ieuan has not only given up smoking since then, but that he has also overcome his once bitten twice shy fear.

Peter Black says that Ieuan may well give up the chance to be First Minister and will sacrifice personal ambition so as to secure a proper devolution settlement for Wales because he believes that a Labour-Plaid coalition will be the best chance of getting a referendum on a full Parliament and intends to use that argument to try and sell the deal to more sceptical colleagues.

Ieuan clearly, isn't once bitten twice shy any more, he doesn’t fear the fact that Plaid has been in this situation before, of propping up a failing Labour government in return for a promise of support in a Devolution referendum, despite the fact that when it came to the crunch that support proved to be worthless.

With some Labour hounds already barking in the garden, my advice to Ieuan is:

Stop, have a smoke and think of that dog that bit Plaid's arse back in 1979, before going to knock on Labour's door.


  1. March 1st 1979, the hopes of a generation of patriots died on that day. A defeat in any referendum would inevitably lead to the scrapping of the Assembly altogether.

    Good God Carys Pugh and Betty Bowen almost scuppered the last referendum, what would the Kinnockites do with the next one. It will come at a time when Brown's economic pigeons have finally come home to roost. When a few big Islamist terror bombings will have created a sense of Britishness solidarity, when the continued failings of the politicians will have made "another tier of government" even more unpopular than it is now.

    Wales will be commiting national suicide if Plaid go into a Labour led coalition. A Plaid led rainbow coalition or a Labour minority would be a far better choice. Plaid should either provide a competent administration or a decent opposition to Labour incompetence. The referendum track is playing into the hands of the enemies of Wales.

  2. Labour are dead in the water, and Plaid know it. There is no reason to believe that Labour's devolutionists in opposition would vote against a referendum, even if asked to.

  3. I also remember '79. Talk about a double-whammy. A resounding 'no' to devolutuion and a resounding 'yes' to Thatcher.

    If Labour be the dog that barks... think of the old Welsh saying 'cwn tawel sy'n cnoi' (it's quiet dogs that bite)...

    need I say more?

  4. Of course Wales didn't say YES to Thatcher at all, but Thatcher we got thanks to British Nationalists like Kinnock, Abse etc.

  5. Anon - Yes, we got her. No, I wasn't claiming 'we' voted her in. Yes, if Kinnockites hadn't spread the venom... To be honest, looking back I'm not sure whether a 'yes' vote would have been possible in '79 - just look at the figures again.

    The point I was making was that '79 was a pretty bleak year for Wales and one which has been seared into my memory.

  6. Love that last bit in your post,
    I needed a smile this morning!!