Monday, February 11, 2008

Plaid Pigeons Flying Home

I was in a meeting today, talking about on shore wind farms, when one of our number informed us that Plaid Cymru were, generally speaking not in favour of them. My hackles rose. I felt forced to intervene and say that Plaid Cymru were an integral part of the Welsh Government and are therefore totally committed to the desecration of great swathes of the Welsh countryside by covering them with wind farms. None of this nonsense of being against them where it is 'politically convenient', but sort of in favour everywhere else. This doesn't wash. Plaid Cymru are absolutely, totally 100% in favour of hundreds and hundreds of huge wind turbines being erected all over rural Wales.

My view is that Plaid Cymru have been having their cake and eating it for too long. Its really irritating to be involved in a four party discussion to find the Labour Spokesman going first on behalf of the Government, and then the utterly ridiculous position of the Plaid Cymru spokesman going next to comment on it. Ridiculous and anti-democratic. Plaid are cuddled up in a consumated relationship with Labour. They are as one,

And this is going to get more difficult for Plaid. Over the weekend, Cymdeithas yr Iaith were incandesent about Culture Minister, Rhodri Glyn Thomas' decision to limit the Government money going to the launch of the Welsh Language daily paper, Y Byd to a level which will render the newspaper stillborn. And all of this is going to gather pace as it becomes clear that there will be no referendum on law making powers before or at the 2011 Asembly election. Storm clouds are gathering. I wonder if a rainbow might appear out of the rain-laden sky?

17 comments:

Bill Cove said...

Now you've twigged that there will not be a referendum before 2011. The Jones Parry convention hasn't even announced its membership yet. Then we will have the public meetings around the principality. Then the report will have to be written. It will then become the subject of months of public debate as people argue about whether or not it really reflects opinion in Wales. By this time 2009 will have gone. 2010 will be dominated by the run up to the UK general election and its aftermath. Sorry Glyn you will have to wait until then to take on the Tallinn starman. By then we will be in to 2011 and the run up to the next Assembly election with everyone promising to support a referendum if they win. Labour does badly again and thsi turns all Labour members off more powers. We might be ready by 2012 or perhaps 2013. By then voters wil be so fed up with the failure of the assembly to deliver meaningful policies that all sensible politicians will urge caution and say it isn't the right time to hold a referendum. Instead we will have another convention this time led by Sir Anthony Hopkins who has returned to live in a council house in Sandfields and says that he wants to do something for 'little old Wales and its lovely people'.

Anonymous said...

bill is absolutely right. and anyway, nobody in the real wales or anywhere else gives a flying toss about the referendum.

Carolo Marko said...

This is happening all the time, often at the expense of my Party - Labour. Rhodri's marriage of convenience with Plaid (i.e. - stay in the job 'til he feels like without having to bother with his own pesky backbenchers) is killing Labour by degrees. Just look back to Martin Shipton's piece about economic development last Friday. IWJ quoted as Minister, then a Plaid spokesperson, then... wait for it... Leanne Wood as 'local' AM. Not a word about the Labour dominated administration! Whatever your political persuasion, this can’t be right. Especially with the usual Plaid-favouring media we have in Wales.

Glyn Davies said...

bill cove - we need to think this through. The slow way in which the Convention is being progressed suggests to me (and you) that it will not happen 'before or at' the next Assembly election in 2011. This will be deply embarrassing for Plaid because it was the main reason given for propping up Rhodri Morgan in office last May. So what will happen is the transfer of law making ability from Westminster to Cardiff by Legislative Competence Orders (which do not need any referendum of course). If this carries on for long enough, most power in devolved subject areas will be transferred - rendering a referendum pointless. Pity because I quite like the idea of the emoting knight chairing the Convention Mark 2.

anon - you are right in that very few people give 'a flying toss' about it. Its similar to the EU Treaty in that power is being transferred without a referendum because no-one cares enough to force Government to hold one.

carolo - the main loser in this is the official opposition. But the chickens will come home to roost in time, because Plaid will have to take the blame. Its beginning to happen already. They made a big mistake, which will come back to bite them.

Southpaw Grammar said...

Glyn,

I think you are indulging in a bit of wishful thinking, particularly on the issue of the Welsh Language Newspaper.

The referendum's timescale is a moot point if you ask me, it is about the 'big mo' to use an american saying.

Plaid are taking a battering though from the tories and the lib dems, which potentially could damage the prospective future 'rainbow' coalition.

Glyn Davies said...

southpaw grammer - maybe. We shall see. I hope I'm not seen as 'battering' Plaid. Its more frustration that my advances were so casually cast aside. Not sure that any criticism will have long term impact - after all they did a deal with Labour. and I agree with you about the 'big mo'. Plaid probably want to do an announcement on St David's Day - but this reminds me of Guiliano's gamble on Florida. The 'big mo' went the other way.

alanindyfed said...

Of course I have to dispute your assertion that Labour and Plaid are one. This is a "marriage of convenience" only, and is temporary (until Plaid assumes full control as a majority party in the Assembly). By this time we shall hopefully have a Welsh Parliament, which I believe now has majority support.
Plaid has its own views and is not afraid to state them, and works with Labour when there is no wide divergence. So far it is working.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Glyn: a treaty is a treaty until it is enshrined into the law of the land. It is my understanding that the "EU Treaty" is going to be incorporated into statute - thus Brown spouting on that it is only a treaty is 'boulder-dash'.

Britons/Brits always hated the notion of being a large aircraft carrier for the US military - but now, it seems, the UK is fast becoming a pin-cushion for the EU. The consequences for the nation’s moral are, to coin a phrase, "the big elephant in the room".

Southpaw Grammar said...

" Plaid probably want to do an announcement on St David's Day - but this reminds me of Guiliano's gamble on Florida. The 'big mo' went the other way."

Indeed, personally i think they ought to use an economic term the trickle down effect in terms of pushing for a yes vote that i would like.

Oh yeah, and just to point out i think there is no such thing as 'trickle down' like Messrs Hayek et al promote, but you get my point.

Glyn Davies said...

alan - you seem a nice man, who comments on my blog - so there is no reason why I shouldn't want you to enjoy the view through your rose tinted glasses. My own opinion is that Plaid have made a mistake by going in with Labour, and will eventually see it as a mistake.

Christopher - Gordon Brown has shown himself to be weak in his dealings with the EU, and has played the most dastardly trick on the British electorate by reneging on the Labour promise (which he signed up to) to hold a referendum.

southpaw - I do get your point, but without a real commitment for a referendum, it is not going to happen. Trickle down is not forceful enough to deliver on this one. In my opinion, Plaid have realised this and are not even going for it with any enthusiasm themselves. Wait for the U-turn.

Anonymous said...

we need a referendum with a big No vote to put paid to all this nonsense - at least for a few years.

Anonymous said...

Alan is bonkers, and there is no need to be nice to him.

alanindyfed said...

Rose-tinted spectacles are the best way of viewing the world, and if they continue to be used, can assist in bringing about what is to be.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - a 'No' vote would make no difference to the status quo - unless the referendum question were to be broadened into other areas. It just wouldn't change anything, and it wouldn't stop powers being transferred from Westminster to Cardiff. This is the point I try to get across. The status quo, since last May transfers law making powers by means of Legislative Competence Orders.

Alan may well be bonkers. Lots of my friends are, and not a few politicians are as well. Anyway, I try to be nice to those who comment and engage with the arguments I put.


Alan - There is an element of truth in the assertion that believing in something passionately, does help to convince others and so help bring about fulfillment of a dream - within limits that is. I suggest your glasses are redder than the Welsh Dragon though!

Anonymous said...

a 'No' vote would make no difference to the status quo - unless the referendum question were to be broadened into other areas.

And so it should be. The people of Wales have never been fully consulted.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - you are correct in that the second Government of Wales Act, which took effect last May was not subject to a referendum, as the first had been - on September 18th 1997. It was simply forced through by the Labour Government at Westminster, supported by others. I would not have voted for the Bill because it also gerrymandered the electoral system in a quite disgraceful way. I suspect that very few people in Wales understand that it allows for the transfer of power from Westminster to Cardiff - a process which is already being implemented. None of the main parties are now contemplating an option in any referendum which will reduce devolved power. This decision was taken in the Conservative Party way above my level of seniority. It is against this background that I've wanted to see a referendum on whether the Assembly should be granted law making powers in devolved subject areas. It would be so much more honest and transparent than the system that is now in place.

alanindyfed said...

I take pride in my bonkership (read "The Madman" - Khalil Gibran), and appreciate the designation of friend of rural Wales. My madness is in stark contrast to the sanitized sanity of my detractors. At least I have no mask! (anons)
Time will tell, and I for one am confident of a propitious outcome for Wales.