Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Miserable Old Fart.

Alun Ffred Jones is a better man than the utterly pathetic public comments he's been making about the Commission on devolution that David Cameron announced at our Conference in Llandudno yesterday. Some wet-behind-the-ears spin doctor must have put this stuff out. Government seems to be causing normally sensible Plaid politicians to make the most bizarre public statements. I'll quote the Alun Ffred comments that the BBC has reported.

"Their party leader (David Cameron) has decided to distance himself and his party from Mr Bourne's stance (on devolution). This is a huge embarrassment for Nick Bourne, who's been slapped down for voicing a view without the permission of his bosses in London"

Did you ever read such pathetic piffle? Nick Bourne has expressed his personal opinion (and one that Plaid should be supportive of) but it is not our party's formal position. Some members disagree with Nick (and me as it happens) which is entirely fair. This rather unclear position could have drifted on (perhaps for as long as Plaid and Labour are allowing the preparation of their Local Competence Order on the Welsh Language to drift on). But that's another big story for another day. But we have taken the bull by the horns and asked the much respected Lord Roberts of Conwy to prepare an interim report on how we should develop policy - with an interim report by the summer. This has got to be a courageous step for our party and something that Alun Ffred Jones should have been welcoming. I suppose that's the trouble, from his point of view. Its obvious that this decision has left Plaid Cymru up a dry creek with only a paddle. They threw in their lot with Labour and they are finding all the dreams that the deal was built on collapsing around their ears - while we Tories march forwards without them. You really have to smile.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Q. what sort of tory expresses a view that plaid cymru "should be supportive of"?

A. one who isn't a tory.

Glyn Davies said...

All opinions are welcome on this blog - but I do reserve the right to disagree and have negative thoughts about the commenter!

Anonymous said...

So, Glyn, you like the idea of Tories putting forward ideas that please Plaid Cymru?

How do you feel about Conservative ideas?

Glyn Davies said...

I support Conservative policies, and I'm pleased if other parties support them. It makes it more likely that they will be acted upon. I'm not in politics to play some tribal game, but to deliver what I think is right for those I represent, or seek to represent.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but Bourne's stuff isn't Tory. That's why Cameron has squashed him.

Glyn Davies said...

anon - what policies do you have in mind. In general, I agree with most of the Assembly group's policies - but not all of them . I didn't agree with all of them when I was an AM myself! I do not think you have any evidence whatsoever to claim that Nick Bourne is being 'squashed' as you put it. If a leader hopes to have any influence on change, he (or she) must be prepared to push the boat out a bit, and accept a bit of criticism for that.

Valleys Mam said...

I think its a good move ,Sir Wynn is respected and has some gravitas.
Why would Plaid disparage anything that adds to the evidence and the debate on devolution.
I am a supporter of a full parliament, but also of democracy,and its right to look at all views and get evidence to make sure any policies are backed up.

Glyn Davies said...

VM - where it becomes a problem for Plaid is that if their members begin to see the Conservatives as more structured in their approach to devolution than Labour, their whole strategy of forming a coalition with Labour looks what I always thought it was - a huge error from their point of view. Alun Ffred's hysterical response is that he can see what's coming.

Southpaw Grammar said...

I think it is hugely welcome, measured response from the Tories. Even though my own political beliefs are the antithesis of toryism, it seems wholly correct that the party seek to define themselves in the devolutionary context.

DaiTwp said...

As a bit of an aside to the main point of the article - you mention the drafting of a Welsh language LCO and I'm pretty sure another ones being prepared in the area of housing. I think I'm also correct in thinking that 6 LCO's have already been submitted. I remember our Lord the D E Thomas saying he thought that there would be around 12 LCO's/ year and all of the Labour leadership rubbishing such a prospect and saying the number would be nowhere near that.
It would seem that Daf El was about right though at the present rate and no-one seems to have picked up on it. Either that or my memory's going!

alanindyfed said...

If it was an error it was a well-thought out error and a decision was made following lengthy consultations with all sides.
Whether or not it was an error remains to be seen but Plaid was in fact going along with the devolutionists and not the anti-devolutionists of other parties and this in itself is a justification. Get your leadership to go along with your ideas, Glyn, and who knows, they may be a rethink!

Anonymous said...

http://monkeywithabluerosette.blogspot.com/

My point!
One can see why David Jones never bothered going back to the Assembly.
Like a bloody playground!

Glyn Davies said...

daitwp - I think 6 are somewhere in the pipeline, even if they have not been submitted. I seem to remember Dafydd El talking about 18. My own opinion was that it was important to proceed cautiously (its my nature) and that 6 non controversial LCOs should have been the target in the first year. I wanted to see the system settle in and confidence built up at Westminster, before going ahead with something controversial like the LCO on housing, which I thingk is extremely unwise. It is inevitable that crunchtime will come of course.

alan - a challenge that I'll except. I honestly believe at least a half of Plaid AMs will want a change next time.

Ian said...

Glyn, Several of the Plaid AMs might well have considered the Tories a better bet than Labour, but some of your party's actions and statements since the election may help change their minds. Your party's efforts to be seen as more 'Christian Democratic' in Wales is constantly rebutted by statements from your MPs; particularly the ex AMs.

All your new devolution debate will do is kick any agreed position into the long grass for a while and if your members are really allowed their opinions on greater powers, then the likes of Nick and yourself will be left high and dry.

Having said all that, it may well end up a competition between the Tories and Labour in Wales as to who is more anti-Parliament.

Never mind-there's always the Lib Dems!!!!!!!!!!!