Left, Right or Welsh Nationalist?

I am a Welsh nationalist. I believe that Wales should be an Independent Country. I use to be a member and a branch officer of Plaid Cymru, I have been an electoral agent for the party and I have made speeches in many of the party conferences!

I have not stopped being a supporter of Plaid Cymru, I just stopped paying my membership fees after Dafydd Wigley's statement that plaid had never ever supported Independence for Wales, some 15 years ago!

I support independence!

It's interesting to see Plaid Members calling out Plaid reps on the independence question now!

The one thing that stops me joining Plaid is a quote that appears often on Syniadau's blog when he calls others to order:

2.2 To ensure................, decentralist socialism.

Decentralised socialism is an oxymoron. You can do what you want in your neighbourhood as long as it is Socialist – that isn't decentralisation! It's as stupid as saying that Wales can be independent as long as it remains British!

I was a member of Plaid when this Socialist crap came to a head, in the days of the Hydro Group. The silly thing was that on individual motions there was never a "Hydro" v "Socialist" split, both groups either supported each other, or both split amongst themselves!

I think that there is something quite pathetic in the fact that Plaid's rules exclude me from membership of the party for agreeing on social policy from a right wing Christian position with Welsh Ramblings ultra left atheist position on many areas of public policy. Surely it's the policy that counts - not the background doctrine!!!!


  1. But Alwyn, it seems that the 'independence' bit doesn't stop people who are opposed to independence being members - even senior ones - even AMs - even would be leaders.

  2. 'Surely it's the policy that counts - not the background doctrine!!!! '.

    Quite so. So now explain what the benefits would be for the people of Wales as an independent nation. And forget the background doctrine!

  3. First of all just like all nations an Independent Wales will have its full spectrum of views, from left to right. The first stage in this process is to achieve independence. My views are left of centre and my natural home is in Plaid, even though like others I have concerns about the end game for some in the party.

    Without doubt Wales will be a centre left democracy after independence, although that may change with time as we become more affluent. The fact is that for anyone supporting the independence of Wales Plaid are the only option. Whilst the Tories position has softened a little in no way could they be described as anything other than "Hard Unionist".

    On the basis of "The end justifies the means", Welsh patriots should back Plaid even though they may wish to plough their own furrow once independence is achieved.

  4. The Scots didn't vote for the SNP because they guaranteed them independence. But because they guaranteed them the choice.

    We lack any sort of choice down here. Even if Plaid were to be voted in, then what?

    All we are doing down here is treading water whilst the inglish continue to move in and continue to water us down.

  5. Might I offer your readers the definitive document that describes A Decentralist Manifesto written by Ralph Borsodi ...


    ... this is the vision that I believe underpins Plaid's "decentralist socialism", published during the 1950's it influenced many people who I would describe as syndicalist, this group drifted towards nationalism in Wales because it seemed to offer a new canvas upon which they might build their utopia, their vision of a brave new world, as they are entitled.

    The reality lies within the document, it is the subordination of the majority by an elite, I believe we have the foundations of such an elite in Wales, this elite is quite different to our political elites.

  6. I don't have an atheist line on anything, Alwyn. "Ultra-left" is pushing it too. My political tradition is generally Eurocommunism, not Trotskyism or utlra-leftism. Ramblings as a blog is middle of the road and pragmatic, recognising the need for private enterprise but arguing that it should serve the many, not the few.

  7. Interesting perspective Alwyn as ever, but not sure I go along with you 100%.

    Do we need a nationalist campaign for independence wider than electoral politics?

    100% Yes. I think that Plaid Cymru is the only choice for those who support independence, but I certainly believe increasing the support for independence is far too important for it to only be wrapped up in one party’s fortunes.

    I also think you are being a bit churlish in suggesting that agreeing with every bit and bob of the constitution is somehow sacrosanct in Plaid. I joined Plaid Cymru because I want independence for Wales...that used to manifest itself when I supported Labour when I publicly supported ‘self governance’.

    You cannot equate our commitment to independence to our commitment to ‘de centralist socialism’. A term I find difficult to understand and have wrote about previously.

    What I have understood is that independence is the only way to truly have self governance. Oddly perhaps I have become less left wing since I have joined Plaid, I am social democrat, not a socialist.
    My view is that Plaid needs to become a nationalist party first, then a centre left party second. While that is not set in stone, it’s my view that nationalist sentiments are what will elevate Plaid eventually to deliver and independence vote. I am in politics for nationalist and not socialist reasons, albeit I am on the centre left.

  8. Blogmenai, your post broadly agreed with Syniadau's here is a direct quote from his blog The constitution requires all members of the party "to further the aims of the party as described in this Constitution". Therefore there is no place in Plaid Cymru for those who do not agree with these aims, and there is certainly no place for elected representatives who publicly express views which directly contradict these aims.

    One of those aims is to support decentralist socialism; a position that I fundamentally oppose, never mind directly contradict – there is therefore no place in the party for me, according to MH and by virtue of your support for MH according to you too.

    You say (my translation)
    One of the historical problems that Plaid has had is the failure to present a clear narrative. Because of this some of those speaking on behalf of the party in the media often present messages that are partly personal to themselves and which occasionally contradict each other. The result of this is that Plaid has gained a complex and vague image. Such an image is not one that promotes electoral success. A situation where the party spokespersons argue against party policies in public complicates this situation and makes it worse.

    Does this situation need to be further complicated by those of us who oppose Plaid's constitutional support of socialism joining and putting ourselves forward for elected office?

  9. KP, Plaid's support for Socialism isn't a background doctrine – it is a fundamental part of the party's constitution. Something which, according to party rules, one MUST support in order to become a member.

  10. Ramblings, Eurocommunism sound ultra left to me. You probably know what your friend Mr Marx said about religion, so Eurocommunism sounds quite atheistic to me too!

  11. KP. Here's a quick example of how we'd be better off. Under inglish rule Wales is being raped of it's resources and covered in windmills that are built, installed and maintained by foreigners. The excess and PR of these renewables is then shared under the British banner. So someone with a nice view in the lake district can say that their country generates as much green energy as someone in Mid Wales with a view of dozens of turbines.

    Under Welsh rule instead of letting foreigners benefit from all this renawble energy it becomes on our terms. We have many many billions of pounds worth of shale gas and many hundreds of years worth of coal beneath our feet.

    Using coal and gas power could generate tens of thousands of jobs. And the excess would be sold on our terms and not just taken.

    This is just one quick example of how we could quickly generate lots of jobs and lots of money in order to invest in the future.

  12. stuart, appreciate the reply but am not convinced by the argument.

    Take coal. Yes, we could start mining again with all the associated health problems. But for all the coal we mine we still couldn't afford to pay anything more than your average Chinese worker salary. And that's about a fiver a day, with no pension entitlement.

    Now I think people would be prepared to work for this, don't get me wrong, men will do anything to get out the house each and every morning. But first we need to get the Welsh government to scrap all the rubbish about minimum wage. We're talking £5 per day, not hour! And I just don't see this happening anytime soon.

    As for the issue of foreigners working here in Wales, well, unfortunately independence won't get rid of them (unless they come from non-EU countries). No, the only solution I see here is to enforce Welsh as the national language. Everyone in work must speak Welsh in the workplace. This would help get rid of a whole lot of people. But, many of them might be the doctors and nurses we would so desperately need as and when the mining industry started up again.

    Shale gas sounds promising. It would certainly help reinvigorate the building industry if we end with a whole lot of mini earthquakes all over the country! Mind you, what it'd do for our house insurance policies is rather open to question.

    So yes, I agree. We can create a whole lot of jobs. But maybe we won't have the right type of staff to fill the jobs. And maybe none of these jobs will create any money for future investment.

    But who cares. Europe will just have to take care of us.

  13. kp

    You're a troll. You have nothing constructive to say and talk a lot of nonsense, and that's putting it politely.

    I suggest you join the small group of anti-Welsh and anti-Wales w****** on Betsan's blog.

    Apologies to Alwyn for expressing myself in direct terms.

  14. Anon 19.17, I guess you mean you don't agree with me but you can't be bothered to explain why. Okay, fine.

    But remember, supporting nationalism isn't the same as supporting a football team. If you fail you don't get another go next year, you have to wait a generation.

    So think on.

  15. Yes, Alwyn, you've hit on something that Plaid's apologists would rather ignore - it is a socialist party. And this is why a right-of-centre nationalist like me is not a member.

    I wonder how many people there are in Wales - both inside and outside Plaid Cymru - who want independence but are not socialists? How many are put off supporting independence by the prospect of living in a socialist State?

  16. The Welsh people do not want socialism. Hopefully tax-varying powers will allow for a mature debate in Wales.

    I'd prefer it if Plaid Cymru were an agrarian party influenced by the ideas of Thomas Jefferson. We need self-sufficiency, self-government, and individual responsibility.

  17. Poverty is a relative thing!

    As a region of Britain Wales is the poorest region of the UK!

    Even with current GDP differentials between Wales and England, an independent Wales would still be in the top 10% of the richest countries of Europe and the top 15% of the richest countries in the world.

    Wales suffers from being a region of the UK.

    With independence we could raise ourselves to be in the top 5% in Europe and the top 10% in the world maybe.

    The fact is that as the poorest part of the UK we have nothing to lose from independence. We are a rich nation at the bottom of the British dunghill. Things can only get better by controlling our own destiny!

  18. Alwyn ap Huw

    Relatively wealthy now, yes indeed. But able to sustain such a position after independence, no. The books won't balance.

    I think this is the fear England has. If we try to rush things our population will simply move on to richer pasters east.

    Now you see why I urge caution and thoroughly detailed planning. This is not a game.

  19. kp
    None so blind as those who will not see. As Alwyn points out we are already a relatively rich Country constrained only by the colonial leash. The Welsh economy has been stymied by Westminster policies solely designed to benefit the South East of England.

    By severing the smothering effects of a government at best disinterested and at worse downright antagonistic to what is best for Wales, we free ourselves to emulate the other successful small economies. The argument has moved on from scare stories about Independence.

    People are now asking what we get from this stifling union and why we should remain in an unequal "partnership" designed to deliver no more than the dregs from the bottom of the barrel. We must follow in Scotland's wake if we want an improving situation for the future.

    "Carry on doing what you have always done and you will carry on getting what you've always got". The people of Wales want and deserve better. There have been numerous examples of how corrupt and unequal the British state is and this as much as anything has led to the current situation in Scotland.

    As the confidence of Welsh people grows so to will the realisation that we can do better by being in control of our destiny.

  20. Britnot, I suspect you have a lot of Greek blood inside those Welsh veins of yours.

    No-one fears anything regarding Welsh independence subject to the one thing those folk in Brussels have been wrestling with since the onset of UK devolution. If it all goes wrong the rest of the EU, including England, Scotland and Ireland must be able to act to stop migrant inflows of poverty stricken Welsh folk.

    Scotland has the benefit of some entitlement to North Sea oil and gas reserves. Wales has coal, wind and rain. But so do a lot of other countries.

    It's not that I'm against independence, not at all, I am all for it. But I am for it because it will bring me significant benefits. But I doubt it will do anything at all for 'ordinary', long suffering Welsh folk.

    And so I urge caution and meticulous planning.

  21. The elephant in the room in this debate is that there isn't a stateless nationalist party in the whole of Europe where the ideology is "not left or right, just nationalist". It is normal to have nationalist parties with a socialist basis, or alternately a conservative/Christian democratic basis. Plaid is in the former camp and has been since at least the early 1970s. It isn't a new development. Even Dafydd Wigley, seen as a liberal, catch-all leader, contributed to the 'socialists say yes' platform ahead of the recent referendum and linked the outcomes of devolution to trying to have more social justice and equality. As far as I am able to recall, the left has also produced the only real ideas from Plaid Cymru for the past few decades now, and in Welsh intellectual circles in general. Is there any real gain in people that aren't members of Plaid, trying to revive the hydro vs national left debates of decades ago?

  22. kp

    I'd say Scandinavian rather than Greek.Unlike you I see the Welsh glass as half full rather than your half empty. Far from being a people doomed to economic failure I know the reason we are not performing to our ability is because we are the colony of a long since defunct empire.

    The most important natural resource we have are the people living here.When free to make their own decisions they will no doubt avoid the imperialist wars/spending on Nuclear weapons etc. They will also be able to model our society more on the Scandinavian model which has avoided many of the pitfalls that the "greed is good" Anglo Saxon model has caused and fallen foul of.

    People in Wales due to the advent of Social networking are becoming acutely aware of how corrupt and inept the UK is being governed and they would already prefer the Welsh government to have most influence on their lives. We have much more to fear from the status quo than Independence. A quick check on the GDP per capita figures show how well small Countries out perform their larger counterparts. There is no doubt the potential gains far outweigh the pitfalls, especially over the long term.

  23. KP, there's no reason why wages would need to be that low. You are forgetting that in an independent Wales the people would be put first. Unlike in ingurlund where they simply import cheaply and to hell with the local jobs.

    A nationalised coal board and power company would have no fat cats to pay off. So not only would it provide thousands of jobs across Wales but bills would almost certainly be cheaper as a result of this, coupled with subsidies from the exporting of energy to ingurlund and a reduced rate of VAT.

    As for the earthquake scaremongering. If you bothered to do any research you will note that the tremors off Blackpool were a freak occurence in the world of fracking.

  24. "As for the earthquake scaremongering. If you bothered to do any research you will note that the tremors off Blackpool were a freak occurence in the world of fracking."

    Really? If you truly believe that then dont read this. http://blogs.alternet.org/refugee/2011/08/23/did-fracking-cause-the-virginia-earthquake/