Friday, March 13, 2009

Eluned 'Firebrand' Morgan

Glad I watched Dragon's Eye tonight. There was one of these studio discussions when a couple of politicians are wheeled out to disagree in an entirely predictable way as a rather boring modern substitute for cockfighting. Tonight, the subject was Plaid Cymru's recent decision to 'out' themselves as supporters of 'Independence'. I thought the issue flickered a bit on Monday and died on Tuesday - but it seems not. Anyway tonight it turned out to be a cracker of a discussion - two 'cocks' in their prime. Not sure there was any need for Adrian Masters at all - except to ring the final bell.

Now Adam Price is no mean performer, and I was expecting him to deploy his wonderful (if sometimes stuttering) voice to put Ms Morgan in her place. But she was on fire. How anyone watching who still believes in the Labour movement must be wondering how they can Eluned into the race to be successor to Rhodri Morgan. She'd put a bit of spark into what is probably the most moribund leadership contest in Welsh history.


Welsh Ramblings said...

Well done for plucking up the courage to post on independence Glyn.

Perhaps you should have taken on Eluned Morgan with your "Wales would flourish as an independent country" line.

Anonymous said...

It was an interesting programme (for a change). Both Adam Price and Eluned Morgan did well. Although she did have a mad old look in her eye at times and kept interrupting. Adam Price kept his cool and chipped away at Eluned's arguments quite persuasively. I'd probably call it a score draw.

Anonymous said...

Your 100% right Glyn - I had just come from a meeting at which Dafydd Wigley was the guest speaker in St Asaph - he was spell binding in content, thought and delivery - how the Plaid must miss that? The 200 plus at the function all seemed to wonder why this man was only of the edge of his Party.

On the box - there was Eluned Morgan at her very best and Adam Price for once wrong footed by someone coming back to Wales to spend more time with her family ( and with us?)

She even looked younger than Adam - who looked as though he was having too many late nights.

Ieuan Wyn must have given a slight smile seeing all this i would think and i look forward as many of your other occasional readers do to reading the sharp comments of Jeff Jones on the above.

Jeff Jones said...

But sadly Glyn she can't be a candidate for the position that is due for election when Rhodri Morgan stands down. Rhodri might be described by the press as the Leader of the Labour Party in Wales and in practice he is treated by many as if he was the Leader of the Labour Party in Wales. The only problem with this is that there isn't unlike in some other European countries a separate regional Labour Party. There is only one Labour Party in the UK and that is the United Kingdom Labour Party. It's leader is Gordon Brown. Rhodri is the Leader of the Labour Group in the Assembly. As a result he can only be replaced by another Assembly member. Although there was press speculation that Eluned might be fast tracked into the Assembly I can't see that happening. I do, however, agree with your assessment of her performance last night. She was excellent and spoke in my opinion for the majority of Labour party members. As I've said previously I think that Adam Price and Helen Mary Jones have made a serious tactical error in highlighting independence as an issue before any future referendum. There is of course nothing wrong with advocating independence. In fact it would be a strange nationalist who did not see this as the ultimate goal. But it has nothing to do with economic prosperity. It has all to do with the fact that you feel that you are somehow different from others and in some ways even superior. Once you start down the economic prosperity argument you are destined to be shot down in flames. The simple fact is that someone like myself born in the valleys of South Wales and who doesn't speak Welsh often feels that they have more in common with other former industrial areas in the UK than with North Wales. It is one of the reasons why I'm not a nationalist and the recent economic crisis has strengthened my long held view that independence for Wales would be a disaster for ordinary people in the region.

Glyn Davies said...

WR - I used to comment quite often on the concept of 'Independence'. And I do see no reason why an independent Wales should not be successful. But it would be a very different Wales, and would greatly weaken the place of Britain in the world. On the other hand, I see granting law making powers to the Assembly in devolved subject areas to be a way of strengthening Britain.

Anon - A score draw with Adam Price is a very good result, even if I personally thought she took it - mainly because he probably wasn't expecting such fire.

Anon - The yet to be ennobled Baron Wigley is indeed a class act, which the Assembly could do with. Adam Price will be ready for her next time, and will not start off in quite such a 'gentle' manner.

Jeff - You anticipated anon well. The only way she could be a candidate is if Jane Davidson resigned her seat to take up the Duchess' position she seems so stylisticly suited for, allowing Eluned to contest the by-election. I don't think it will happen now, because there is no guarentee she would win. I agree with your assessment of an Independent Wales. Some bloggers try to make something of my view that Wales might 'flourish' as an Independent nation. It would certainly 'flourish' culturally, and it would Wales would develop a stronger identity - which would be a huge challenge because of the cultural differences within Wales. But I do not think Wales would 'flourish' economically, and since the world moved into financial crisis, this aspect of measuring success has become much more important. Plaid have made a serious tactical mistake by raising the 'Independence' issue now - and they probably did it only to divert attention away from its split on top-up fees.

Anonymous said...

.. what, Labour member talks Wales down ... again ... surely, this can't be true.

With Labour - Wales Can't!

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments, I thought Eluned was rather manic,and lost a lot though that.Adam was laconic as usual but kept his cool and so won some points.Yep a draw for me.
It should have been longer and may be with a stronger interviewer.I am sure that Cardiff bay would benefit from the quality of these two,and as a result we would. One on your side who is also a quality performer is your present MEP. Jonathan Evans.
Passion,intelligence, good debating techniques, experience- yes it would make such a difference.
Independence, nice idea,not viable and not a prospect so why such a fuss.

B Griffiths said...

It is a shame we don't have Adam Price,Dafydd Wigley, Ron Davies, and Jonathan Evans the conservative MEP in the bay. These are all people with political experience, intelligence and passion.

They would be far better than the safe-seat Labour dross we have at the moment.

Draig said...

I gotta beg to differ with the views on Independence expressed here. Once lawmaking powers for the Assembly are settled as an issue over the next few years, Independence will gradually establish itself on the agenda.

It's the logical next step.

In Wales, the simple thing that will drive it is what I'd call "Resource Nationalism". We have abundant resources in Wales, and they are being exploited for others benefit, and not ours. The Mid-Wales powerline is a case in point, and it's interesting that it's crossing the same area as the old reservoirs and dams. The electricity will go to England. How do we really benefit?

In South Wales the driver will be different: South Wales is sitting on 13 trillion cubic feet of gas. Control and extraction of that gas resource will be a major factor in the politics of the south wales valleys over the next 10 - 15 years.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand those like Jeff Jones who are against independence who say we are economically too small to be independent. Many of the most prosperous countries in the world are small nations, and according to the UN the richest country in the world is Luxembourg. And the nation with highest quality of life is Ireland. So if they can flourish, why can't Wales? Are we less capable or less intelligent?

Welsh guy in DC said...

I'm with you Glyn. Specifically, that Wales will 'flourish' culturally, but will not 'flourish' economically.

Right now Plaid is a joke of a party. Plaid says one thing about a thing, then u-turns and votes in a different way about the thing they say they are so passionate about as evidenced by their top-up fees intra-party confusion. Then there's Plaid speaking with conflicting voices on Nuke Power - Nuclear Free Wales is the often heard cry from Plaid - but their leader says the opposite - he wants nuke power!

I just feel good that the Plaid leader was not in Washington DC last week giving his version of Nuke-Free Wales (re: Promote Wales event at the British Ambassador’s residence in Washington, DC).

B Griffiths said...

Jeff Jones writes 'The simple fact is that someone like myself born in the valleys of South Wales and who doesn't speak Welsh often feels that they have more in common with other former industrial areas in the UK than with North Wales.'

I find the them and us, north v south, east v west, Welsh speakers v non-Welsh speakers mentality incredibly sad, parochial and negative. We all celebrate when Wales does well in rugby and sing our anthem, and we should all be proud of our language, whether we speak it or not. The bottom line is we are not West Mercia or West Cheshire, as a bilingual northerner with relatives in in the Rhondda - we are all Welsh and we live in Wales.

Jeff Jones said...

If you are a Welsh speaking nationalist you obviously believe that the area that is defined on a map as Wales is one country. Where as in reality unlike Scotland there has never been a country called Wales. This was even the case if you read R R Davies's important book 'The Age of Conquest' in the Middle Ages. Just as many Welsh speakers would take the King's shilling as would fight for Owain Glyndwr. At Crecy and Agincourt the last words many a French Knight would hear on this earth would be Welsh as his throat was slit. It might have confused my young daughters as Edward 1 in the film Braveheart said 'send in the Welsh'. But the reality of the Middle Ages was that the bare legged Welsh were often prepared to fight for anyone as long as they paid. Even in 1914 a shrewd American observer argued that Wales was divided into three,American Wales, Welsh Wales and English Wales. He said this at a time when many would argue that Wales was more united thanever because of nonconformity. With the decline of nonconformity what have Colwyn Bay and Caerphilly,for example, in common? Answers on a postage stamp. As someone who still lives in the area he called American Wales I have to say that you can't built a nation on a rugby team or singing. The simple fact is that like 80% of the region I speak and think through the medium of English and don't feel oppressed!. Nationalism is not the answer to the problems that face too many communities in Wales.How can an independent Wales even think of financing an economy with a public sector larger than Kadar's Hungary in the 1960s. It is a distraction from the real issues that we now face.Small countries can survive in a global economy but they do so not because of their size but because of the uniqueness of their geographical position or their economy. To survive in the 21st century we have to get away from the gesture politics and blaming others and instead decide what sort of economy we want in the future. In Maesteg there as an empty factory site where once over 2000 people were employed. Finding employment on that site is far more important in my opinion than worrying about a Welsh language LCO which will not make one jot of differnce to the survival of Welsh as a language in a world where 60% of meetings in the EU at all levels are conducted through the medium of English.

B Griffiths said...

So Wales is not a nation? Mmmm. I suspect the majority of people would disagree with you. We have a NATIONAL Assembly of Wales now, a national forum where we discuss and legislate on matters that are devolved to Wales, the nation, not the region. Look at the BBC charter where Wales is legally classed as a nation. You seem to think there is no difference between being English and Welsh, and that we are somehow incorporated into a Greater England as West Mercia or Cheshire. Well that is your opinion and your entitled to it, but that is an extreme view and many people who are not Welsh nationalist or speak a word of Welsh (which you seem to think is the same thing) would disagree with you. I am sure there are some who do agree with you but as each day passes such attitudes decrease. As I previously said your Welsh speakers v English speakers, North v South, them and Us mentality really saddens me. We are all Welsh and we all live in the nation called Wales.

True Wales said...

Damn right Jeff Jones it's a province in revolt, and that's why we at True Wales are committed to discussing with our brothers the immediate setting-up of True Ireland, dedicated to helping the country recover from its disastrous independence adventure.
We will call for the creation of a LCO system, overseen by the secretary of State for Ireland, who will retain the power of veto etc etc. narrow nationalists ... disastrous slide... further cut off form the UK... 9 billion pound deficit... what will happen to all those jobs at the DVLA... how will Don Touhig make £200,00 grand profit from his publicly-funded property sales... government funded Yes campaign... small nations... protected by the UK government... blah blah blah...

Glyn Davies said...

VM - Jonathon Evans, Adam Price and Eluned Morgan - and why not Peter Hain, Dafydd Wigley, Peter Rogers and Daran Hill as well. Now that would make an Assembly to be proud of. And I repeat a draw against Adam is a good result.

BG - Yes, and I agree with about Ron Davies as far as ability is concerned - but there's probably too much history.

The rest of this thread has run away from me. Hospital visiting and writing my posts is as much as I can do.