Lords Revisited

Plaid's Conference has decided to re-open the debate on whether the party should or shouldn't have members in the House of Lords. The Conference hasn't made a decision one way or another, but has asked the national Council to look at the issue.

I have made my opinion on this issue known in a previous post, so I shan't reiterate it here.

During the limited coverage of the Conference on BBC2 this afternoon Gareth Jones AM for Aberconwy told Rhun ap Iorwerth that he disliked the idea of Plaid Members in the Lords, because Plaid has always opposed the idea of having unelected politicians. This may always have been Plaid's theoretical view but it certainly hasn't been Plaids practical view in the past.

Former Plaid president Dafydd Elis Thomas is already a Lord, of course, albeit as a cross bencher rather than a party representative.

Before the 1974 Local Government reorganisation councillors could co-opt Aldermen to serve as councillors, not elected by the general population. Plaid had a number of these including non other than party icon Gwynfor Evans.

So with at least two former party presidents having served as unelected politicians there is quite a strong precedent for such representatives and no historic grounds, as Gareth claimed, for the party to oppose the idea of unelected people having political influence.

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