Right v Left or Best for Wales?

As a part of Click on Wales' season of post about the position of Plaid Cymru, there is an interesting article by Gwion Owain about Plaid Cymru's Socialist Platform.

There is also an interesting response to the post from Glyn Beddau on the National Left Blog.

Being a one nation conservative type nationalist I don't agree entirely with either post, but I tend to favour Gwion's position.

I hate Socialism with a capital H A T E! So why wrap those Plaid policies that I agree with in a wrapping that I will chuck in the bin before opening?

I was a member of Plaid in the days that it was seen as the nonconformist chapels at prayer. When Dr Gwynfor Evans was the president of the Congregationalist Union, when the Rev Dr Tudur Jones, was vice president, when the Rev D Pennar Davies and the Rev Poet O.M.Lloyd were the backbone of the party. I was a member of the party when the young Dafydd Elis Thomas discarded the tradition of his father's generation by turning Plaid into a, so called, Socialist Party!

What's odd is that in changing Plaid from a chapel party to a lefties party Plaid's values have hardly changed at all, so why insist on calling a value socialist in order to piss me and my like off and alienate us?

Why not call policies Best for Wales and entice both right wing nationalists, like me, and my socialist friends in the national cause to support them?


  1. Spot on MOF. Let's not be suckered into this Westminster world view of left wing v right wing once again.

    The new leader should focus relentlessly on the Welsh National Interest first and foremost. That can lead to a new Made in Wales political model, that can draw on our different traditions but address the needs of today and tomorrow.

  2. "...in changing Plaid from a chapel party to a lefties party Plaid's values have hardly changed at all".
    So, if Plaid's values have hardly changed at all, what's actually the problem? Could it be that you're making too much of the use of a single word? Shouldn't we debate policies rather than words?

  3. Quite anon 20.25! Why annoy people and put them off supporting the national cause by using phrases to which they cannot subscribe to? Given its history one could sincerely claim that Plaid is a party based on Christian values. To go into an election saying so would be rather silly, because it would turn people who agree with the values but don't subscribe to Christianity against the party. The same is true with socialism, why shackle policies that many of us can support with an ism which some of us oppose?

  4. ... so post independence, it would be more of the same, just different faces.

  5. Socialism is old hat, nobody really believes in that stuff anymore except for a few folk detached from reality.

    Of course there certainly is an issue with corrupt, crony capitalism ... the deformed version of capitalism which sees politicians in bed with guys who really should be in jail ... but who in Wales is up to speed with any of that. We're still trailing along in the wake of the middle-class lefties you can stereotype as Guardianistas.

    Of course any sane Welsh party would concentrate on Welsh issues and not parade around as "socialists" which I suppose gives them some sense of moral superiority without having to think about what really works.

    I'm afraid Plaid is going to get associated with the whole public sector, politically correct, elitist caboodle when the proverbial hits the fan.

    Meanwhile we dream of swopping one set of masters, Westminster, for an even worse bunch, the eurocrats and no doubt cheer loudly while Leveson plots to emasculate a free press and the the massed ranks of mobile phone Stasi dob in anyone expressing mildly outrageous viewpoints to be dragged before the courts. And this is the liberal viewpoint?

    A Wales that is independent and sets its own taxes - no-one seems to believe in that anymore. Frankly I'm depressed.

  6. We are all being suppressed by an Tory Government nobody in Wales or Scotland voted for. I cannot fathom how why we are still putting up with it and refusing to let Wales try for it on their own, what is there to lose ? benefit allowances ? The assembly is just not being given a chance to work by vested interests. Get rid of MP's for s start. Cut the links to the gravy train there.

  7. ... MM, 382,730 people of Wales voted for Conservative candidates. The Labour Party gained 531,601 votes, the LD's gained 295,164, Plaid a total of 165,394.

    The coalition in Wales received 677,894 in total, hardly "... Tory Government nobody in Wales [or Scotland] voted for." Can it be we are closet conservative liberals by nature.

  8. I agree that the values of Wales - and Plaid- whether the rural Chapel liberalism or the Valleys radical socialism have little to distinguish them except for context, they are both based on a fundamental belief in equality and the rights of man. I would prefer to refer to them as Social democratic values than part of the left/right spectrum, which is frankly rather outdated in a European context.

    Since the contest for leadership has been announced, I have seen nothing written by, or reported about, Leanne which mentions socialism as a burning credo, and when she is elected, I am certain that she will be mindful of the fact that she is leading the whole party, not furthering a personal campaign to establish a workers' paradise in Wales. If she doe that, then we can vote her out in a few years anyway.

  9. 'Spot on MOF. Let's not be suckered into this Westminster world view of left wing v right wing once again.'

    Right that the Welsh national interest comes first, as should a made in Wales model. .But don't worry about it. Every country in the world has a left and a right. Isn't our argument that Wales is a 'normal' country enough to be independent?

    I don't see Alwyn's points as being a major problem. Debate policies instead of words, as anon 20-25 says. Don't be yourselves up about the left or socialism. Debate actions and policies.

  10. 'I hate Socialism with a capital H A T E! So why wrap those Plaid policies that I agree with in a wrapping that I will chuck in the bin before opening?'

    Plaid Cymru is a decentralist socialist party according to the party constitution. It has been for decades. The party has just held a review in which it conluded the vast majority of members are happy with this.

    Has this all passed you by!?

  11. Regardless of boundary changes Tories still can't win it. Also the majority who voted wanted an Welsh Assembly too. People only support PR when the stats are in their favour else they revert to the status quo again. Tories and PR ? c'mon ! Tories are anti-wales they always were.

  12. Kristian Poul Herkild25/06/2012, 10:59

    What kind of Socialism? There's at least two major branches, one being statist (Marxist) and the other being Libertarian (one might even claim socially conservative) Socialism. Those two branches have less in common with each other than both have with Conservatism.