Plaid's Long and Winding Road

Whatever one's opinion of Plaid Cymru, one could never accuse the party of doing a U turn. When Plaid changes direction it does so by using good, old fashioned, long and winding Welsh country roads.

A mid ranking party member makes a comment in a meeting, that may be recorded in the local press. A maverick or a free thinking senior party member will then make a similar comment (usually in Welsh) on a TV or a radio programme with low listening / viewing figures, or in a magazine such as Barn, which has few readers but is highly respected.

The idea is then suggested in English as an aside or as a lighthearted comment during a wide-ranging interview.

Then it is announced to a wider read media a few months later as a long standing party view, or even with a statement that Plaid never ever thought differently.

This is how Plaid changed from being a liberal party into a Socialist Party, from being anti Europe to being hugely pro-Europe, from being a nationalist party to becoming a devolutionist party, from opposing Lords to selecting Lords.

Plaid's faithful were persuaded to agree to the Red Green pact rather than the Rainbow Alliance because the GoW Act 2006 requires at least 40 out of 60 AM's to vote in favour of a referendum to enact the full parliament clause of the act. Rainbow didn't have the numbers, so the only chance of getting a referendum was for Plaid to sacrifice power in exchange for a referendum (so we were told).

Plaid knew, full well, at that time, that a referendum before 2011 was not on offer from Labour. Petulant leftists had dug their heels in and said to the party leadership that there were only two choices - join Labour or split the party. Lying about a referendum promise, that wasn't on the table, was the only way that Plaid could con the majority of its members into backing the leftists thugs in order to avoid a split

Before the ink of Rhodri and Ieuan's signatures was dried on the One Wales Agreement Labour people were celebrating the fact that no referendum would be held before the next Assembly election in 2011.

David Cornock's blog (but not yet his official BBC reports) quotes Elfyn Llwyd as saying Rushing through and saying it has got to be a referendum in 2011 - I don't actually sign up to that. David seems to think that this is an U turn. No its not, its a bend in the road that Plaid has been travelling upon since June. Elfyn's comments are nothing new (sorry Ceredig). Dafydd Elis made a similar statement back in July. The three Plaid ministers have been telling village branches all autumn that what Plaid does in government is even more important than a referendum.

U turn - NO! Plaid is taking its usual long and winding country road away from the principal that was once hailed as the cornerstone of the One Wales Agreement.

Expect an announcement from IWJ about March-May, stating that Plaid never, ever expected that a referendum would be held before 2011.


  1. There is a big difference between DET saying it and EL saying it. DET is eccentric and given to such contrarian views, EL is the party's Parliamentary leader. It's a new development all right.

  2. Sorry Alwyn, but you look guilty of trying to put a favourable gloss on Elfyn's total undermining of the Assembly group. I'm agree with NM on this.

  3. You seem to be misreading Alwyn's post (or I am!) - it reads to me like a criticism of Plaid, saying that they have a habit of trying to hide their U-turns by making it one long turn over months.

  4. Plaid Cymru are only in this mess because they have failed to win the argument over more powers to turn the Assembly into a Parliament and now all they can do is play along with Don Touhig and Paul Murphy and the Labour Party line that we dont need any more powers. A sad time for Welsh Patriots indeed.

  5. Yes Normal, it is a "development". The Point being that Plaid are old hands at "developing" policy changes in this long and tortuous way. It's still just Elfyn's "personal opinion" at the moment though, it will take a few more twists and turns before it becomes the position that "Plaid has always held". As I say I expect the party to reach that position in 3 to 6 months time.

    Any favourable gloss is totally unintentional, Glyn. The post is meant to be a criticism of the way that Plaid connives to undermine the national cause. At least Hen Ferchetan understood the point:-)

    I agree with the Anonymous contribution - it is another very sad time for Welsh patriots indeed

  6. Glyn Davies said...
    Sorry Alwyn, but you look guilty of trying to put a favourable gloss on Elfyn's total undermining of the Assembly group. I'm agree with NM on this.

    The man is loosing is head, gone quite native!!

  7. But he HAS learned excellent Welsh.

  8. he has a new found confidence in speaking Welsh.
    Show how having a good teacher helps no end!