Plaid's Democratic Peers?

Glyn says on his blog:

Plaid Cymru have pulled off a master stroke today by electing its nominees for the House of Lords. The system of individuals being placed in the Westminster Parliament with no regard for the democratic principle does not look right in 2008. The 'Plaid Three' have made a monkey out of the Labour Government in particular, which has been 'banging on' about introducing democracy into the system of nomination to the Lords for years, but have done nothing whatsoever about it. Plaid have just done it - or at least done enough to make it look as if they've done it.

In its heady days, the Labour Government made its first reform of the House of Lords, depriving most hereditarys of their right to be part of the institution. In response to this reform two parties decided to have internal elections to the House, the Liberal Democrats and Plaid Cymru.

It is by virtue of internal election that the Rev Lord Roger Roberts of Llandudno is a Lord, not by virtue of party (or other) patronage!

Plaid also had a vote amongst party members, and they elected former party secretary Dafydd Williams, (Dai banjo) as prospective party peer. The Plaid Executive wasn't going to allow ordinary members to elect a bloke, that they had recently sacked, as a Lord. So the party decided to play the principal card. The executive decided that reforms hadn't gone far enough to purge their conscience and rejected the members' selection.

Today Dai banjo, the party members' choice was once again on the shortlist of potential peers. But party members didn't have the right to vote for him again. The same committee that decided that it was better for Plaid to have no peers rather than Lord Banjo chose the Plaid peers. Surprise! Surprise! Dai banjo was not amongst the selected.

A democratic Master Stoke! I think not Glyn!

A number of responses to my previous posts about Plaid Lords have mentioned the fact that the SNP was more principled than PC in continuing to reject peerages.

Didn't the SNP have five Lords for five minutes in the 1980's, before they all defected to the Conservative Party?


  1. Sort of ironic really since the SNP does not even support establishing a republic for Scotland.

  2. Sad day for me I had seen much of what Plaid did as an example, but no more.
    Peers voring for Peers is about right Why not an open vote.
    And yoyoy go to the Lords its a bad move Plaid

  3. Alwyn - not sure that you have taken my point. Of course there's been all sorts of 'internal' fixing - but the public perception is that Plaid Cymru have introduced an element of democratic integrity to the process of nomination to the Lords. The party has used the 'presence' and standing of Dafydd Wigley in a very effective way. And I knew that Roger Roberts had been nominated by the same process (Peter Black informed a while back) - but hardly anyone knows this. The 'master stroke' is more to do with 'presentation' that it is about genuine democracy - but master stroke it is, in my opinion.