My post last Wednesday, in which I quoted an anti Welsh socialist rant, seems to have touched some raw nerves. Bethan Jenkins AM seems to have been particularly peeved by it, so peeved that she has posted an intemperate response on her own blog. Ms Jenkins asks in her post Is there anything more miserable than a Miserable Old Fart?
Unfortunately it appears that the answer is YES. The thing that is more miserable than a Miserable Old fart is a Militant Young Socialist.
Ms Jenkins tells me that she supports socialism because she is not in the business of advocating Independence without taking in to regard the type of Independent Wales [she] would like to see. Fine, but at least have the courtesy to accept that I oppose socialism for exactly the same reason. I want Wales to be independent but I don't want it to be a statist country, where social class is divided against social class in a way that has always been alien to the Welsh communities in which I have lived
I don’t want an independent Wales to be based on an economic system characterized by state ownership of the means of production and distribution. I don't want an independent Wales where people are despised for being entrepreneurs, or punished for being economically successful. I want to live in an independent country in which the citizens of that country are also independent and not dependent on the state.
The main criticism of my post seem to be that it was somehow wrong to link Plaid's socialist tendency with the views of a member of the incongruously named Respect Party. They may both be socialist parties but it's unacceptable to tar all socialists with the same brush. However, as it is the socialists themselves who choose to use the same label to describe their political philosophy, there must be some basic principals that they share. Some of the comments from Respect seem to be fairly typical socialist principals, the sort of arguments that one has been use to hearing from socialists of all hues for many years:
No nations! No borders!
Internationalism and solidarity!Somebody Welsh on the minimum wage has more in common with an English or Polish worker than a Welsh millionaire!
If Ms Jenkins and her ilk, don't believe that class solidarity overrides national solidarity, why do they insist on using the socialist tag?
Whenever I criticise Plaid's socialist tendency I can guarantee that somebody will say that I shouldn't do so, because they are fellow nationalists and my criticism should be aimed at unionists. Ignoring the fact that most posts on this blog have promoted independence and opposed unionism. I am also told that there is no need to criticise Plaid because Plaid is a broad church (or as Adam Price would prefer, a broad inter faith community). This is a myth. Plaid's aims, as noted on its membership card, are based on decentralist socialism. Because I believe that socialism is an evil doctrine, because I believe that an independent Wales would be best served by a vibrant capitalist economy I am excluded from the party by its aims, and my economic and political philosophy is condemned by the party's aims. The idea that I should embrace a party or refrain from criticising a party that excludes me and condemns my views by virtue of its stated aims is laughable.
The only thing that separates me from David Jones MP, Nick Bourne AM and especially Glyn Davies is that I believe that Wales should be independent and they (for reasons that are beyond my understanding) do not. I disagree with Plaid's socialist tendency on a range of economic and social attitudes, so is it any wonder that I criticise Plaid more often than I criticise the Tories?
The saddest thing about the demise of Plaid's core values over the past few decades is that I can't even agree with Plaid on the independence issue any more. Plaid has done bugger all to promote independence in the last 20 years because the party is too hung up on the evolution of devolution to care about making a positive case for independence.