Why Wales needs a new Nationalist political party

Merthyr Tudful. Picture by Biggs (CC BY 2.0)

 

Royston Jonesblogger Jac o’ the North, explains why he’s for establishing a new Nationalist party

A number of people think we do need a new nationalist party, and that’s why I’m writing this. But beyond that, we believe that Wales also needs a new type of political party.

The parties we have at present have lost touch with ordinary people. They seem to be involved in some private game in which the object is to ‘score’ more MPs or AMs than the other ‘teams’.

Once elected, these go off to some self-contained bubble in London or Cardiff where they argue with each other and regard it as an achievement if they say something clever or appear on television.

In addition to which, these parties seem to fall into two categories, neither of which has done anything for Wales.

  1. Those who are always looking for enemies for us to focus on, or other distractions, while they pander to the rich, allow tax avoidance, privatise everything, and preach a ‘Britishness’ that is just Englishness by another name.
  2. Controlling and inefficient statist parties that seem to exploit poverty and deprivation for electoral success. For these, tackling Wales’s woes extends no further than posturing and setting up yet more new bodies to waste public money.

What the current parties share is a belief that we are best governed from London, with a tin-pot regional assembly in Cardiff giving the impression we have some control over our own affairs.

Clearly, these parties are not serving the national interest and that’s why we need a new party and a different kind of party.

The way ahead

As readers of my Jac o’ the North blog will know, we held our inaugural meeting in Aberystwyth on November the 18th, and it was very successful in pointing the way ahead for the new party.

To begin with, the meeting rejected the ideological labels of left, centre, right, we’ve been lumbered with since the French Revolution in favour of what might be described as, ‘Whatever works best for Wales’.

A refreshing pragmatism that argued Wales’s problems must be confronted and tackled without the hindrance of ideology, and free from worries about antagonising persons outside Wales who do not have our interests at heart anyway.

It was also argued that we must not be afraid to speak of ‘the Welsh nation’. For there is a Welsh nation, and it has existed for two thousand years or more.

But, equally, it was also stressed that this nation is not exclusive or closed, it welcomes those prepared to join and assimilate.

On the pressing issues of the day, it soon became clear that those gathered in Aberystwyth were united in rejecting the many forms of colonialism and colonisation affecting Wales.

For we must have control of our natural resources and control over who moves to Wales.

The meeting was equally determined that it would be futile for Wales, a small country with so many problems of its own, to try to solve the problems of other countries, or the world.

Consequently, it’s about time there was a political party committed to focusing on Wales, without allowing itself to be distracted by issues over which we can have no real influence.

The new party will be that party.

Independence

The big question, of course, remains independence. Here the consensus was that while independence has to be the ultimate political objective, stressing it obsessively from the outset could turn people away.

This is due to too many of our people having been being conditioned by self-serving and insulting  Unionist arguments: ‘Wales is too small and too poor, the Welsh are too stupid.’

Independence is the ambition of our new party and for us it is more than just idle dreaming. We believe that only through independence can we fully realise our country’s potential.

But we need to educate our people, overcome the conditioning. For example, make them realise that the dire state of the NHS is not due to ‘immigrants’ from the EU, or further afield, but is just another aspect of an insidious and long-standing problem closer to home.

Thankfully, our people are not stupid, they can see the problems around them, the problems they and their children experience day after day. These problems that give us a land in terminal decline.

We must tell then why they have these problems and make them realise that almost all of Wales’s problems can be traced to an unequal relationship with England. There is also inequality within Wales.

And so the new party will argue for investment and employment to be spread to every part of the country. No one with a national vision can allow oases of investment and employment in a desert of managed decline.

Even though they can see these problems, the mistake too many of our people have made is in putting their faith in the existing political parties to resolve those problems.

It’s encouraging to see a growing number of them now reject all existing parties.

The next step

The new party is of course in its formative stage, and now you have the chance of influencing the direction it takes, the strategies and policies it adopts.

If you truly care about Wales, if you want to preserve our national identity within a prosperous and confident country, one where every person and all areas can feel valued, then look around you and ask who’s going to deliver that.

Something new is obviously needed, isn’t it, and we are that ‘something new’.

We’re not saying we’ll have the answers to all of Wales’s problems, but we promise you that we shall ask the right questions and look for the right answers.

So why not get involved? The first step is to register your interest.

Do it by clicking on this link.

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59 Comments

  1. “it would be futile for Wales, a small country with so many problems of its own, to try to solve the problems of other countries, or the world”.

    Sounds lovely.

    • A nice touch of realism – we have enough problems to deal with, without wasting time and effort trying to tackle the obviously unachievable. A no-nonsense practical style of politics, which isn’t driven by all the moralistic, touchy feely, posh, dinner party soundbites sounds great.

      • Absolutely right; practical solutions that are known to lift small nations out of poverty; no virtue-signalling allowed.

      • It’s taken years of work to build a national reputation as a welcoming and tolerant country, to develop a positive image for the language as symbolic of Wales’s place in a diverse global community, and to shake off allegations of fascism about the movement for a better country, and you really think people will stand by and let you drag all that through the mud just to peddle a nativist agenda? No chance.

        • CambroUiDunlainge

          Nativist agenda? Is that what you call people who see the increasing numbers of our own people living in poverty and what to do something about it? We’re perceived as a welcome and tolerant country because our people are welcoming and tolerant… its not something thats been built, or something anyone (including Plaid Cymru) can take credit for.

          Oh and if Plaid’s record this far in protecting Wales and defending our interests is anything to go by… yeah you will stand by and do nothing. Have a great day.

        • Wales has neither a welcomed nor rejected incomers. It has had (and still has) no say in who moves across the border to live here, and has therefore been saddled with the same problem that faced the Baltic countries during the second period of (Russian) Soviet occupation, namely, the problem of how, on a national/cultural level, to avoid death by arithmetic in terms of post-war large-scale Russian settlement.
          Short of expelling Wales’s settlers and immigrants, which will not be an option, the only sensible approach is to encourage them to invest emotionally in the new Wales and to accept and adopt its culture, language and values. But we have a right, nevertheless, to take control of who moves here, and to do nationwide what they do in Gwynedd and Ceredigion as regards the ‘cymricisation’ of settler children (see the YouTube video ‘Make Me Welsh’). This could be done now, if the political will was there.
          Otherwise, what’s the point of independence? We’d just be a small, independent Little England.
          And anyway, it’s not just about language and culture, its also, as Jac says in his post, about environment, resources, and wealth inequality. There’s nothing wrong in putting Wales first in an attempt to solve these problems.

        • What have you been drinking/sniffing/ingesting in some other way ? The speed with which you get round to inserting a reference to “fascism” gives your silly game away. You probably hum “We’ll keep a welcome in the hillsides” while you fetch in all sorts of “problem cases” from our far richer neighbours beyond Clawdd Offa. Is this the enrichment you crave in your fantasy world ?

          Don’t rely on any level of English authority from Parliament down to local authorities to treat you with goodwill, they spend a lot of time slicing and dicing each other as the processes of gentrification and white flight from their old haunts continues apace. The English or indeed any other race that turns up in Wales will be welcomed but there has to be a massive change in the supremacist attitudes they bring with them for that integration to work for our benefit as well as theirs. People who arrived here as evacuees and in the immediate post WW2 years settled and got a working knowledge of our language and the customs of local communities. The vast majority of recent ( 20 – 30 years ) arrivals don’t bother, indeed they expect the natives to modify behaviours to accommodate them !

        • You are using the lexicon of the imperialist. A country that lies down to be walked over is ‘welcoming’ and ‘tolerant’. A country that stands up to imperialism and exploitation becomes ‘unwelcoming’, ‘xenophobic’, ‘intolerant’. Haven’t you worked it out yet?

          Though using ‘fascism’ is a bit of a give-away, telling us whose side you’re on.

        • You missed the bit about welcoming those prepared to join and assimilate? This ‘national reputation as a welcoming country’ you talk of is another way of saying ‘way too eager to please everyone so that they will like us’ or, to put it another way, ‘doormat’.

        • 33% Welsh child poverty…..all the dinner table chats in the world…..can’t help the rest of the world if you are too poor and powerless to do anything

          • Correct so let’s show a bit of talent in overcoming our indigenous problems then we might have something real to contribute on the bigger stage rather than just the hot air produced by the chattering pseudos.

        • Over reaction llwyr

  2. James W. Soares Jones

    Can citizens of the USA, resident outside Wales/Cymru find out more information before agreeing to support the new party? Thank you.

    • At this stage there is little more to say. We are currently accepting expressions of interest and deciding on a name. You can either get involved now and help determine the direction of travel or wait until others have done so and then make up your mind.

      • When I first joined Plaid Cymru (1991 I think) I was at the time living in British Columbia. Although Plaid Cymru’s international support has never been vast (as far as I am aware), a genuine Welsh national party with vision and drive could attract the support of many ex-pats overseas. You’d be hard to find more a committed Welshman than many Welshmen living abroad. It might even encourage many to come back home. Never underestimate the pull and power of hiraeth.

        • CambroUiDunlainge

          Yanks often speak of themselves as Irish-American and stuff but Welsh-American is a far less associated status… but a new political party rocking the boat and putting Wales on the map may be a good start in an overseas renaissance. What binds us here is heritage, but we’re also bound with people who do live over seas as you say – all we’ve got to do is give them something to be proud of!

  3. Having read this article it is still difficult to see how this party would be radically (/any) different from what we already have… Aside from the hard-line around ‘assimilation’ – which is a cause currently championed by Stephen Kinnock… More of the same perhaps?

  4. Argue unashamedly and unequivocally for independence, control of land and natural resources, re-establishing Welsh law, and I’ll mark my X tomorrow.

  5. @Glenn. I very much doubt that Kinnock is keen to see the colonists on whom he and his Unionist party pin their hopes “assimilate”. For the ignorant Kinnocks, both junior and senior, Wales is nothing more than a rugby team.

  6. I see one or two comments from the fluffy Liberal wing, pretending Wales and our language are flourishing thanks to the tens of thousands of people who move here every year and learn the language. Trip to Happy Donkey Hill anyone?

  7. Graham John Hathaway

    There is a dissatisfied Welsh electorate of recent decades/times. To many, the Senedd has not proved the answer to the deep seated structural problems of Wales. How else can you explain the UKIP vote in areas like Merthyr, indeed widespread in Wales. More than a touch of desperation for change. The UK labour vote is on the rise, the Conservative vote isn’t diminishing in Wales as the second largest party at the Bay, and little traction elsewhere.

    The prospects of a further marginalised state is looming and can either spark a transformative political landscape, or more than likely, a stagnant, grim resignation to a diminished life for those on borderline living, reaching upwards. How far it travels is open to what holds for Wales following the impact for Brexit.

    All out of the compass and responsibility of our Senedd, and that should be sufficient to ignite a desperation for voters to invest it’s trust in a fully functioning Welsh democracy, with its own legislature, and fiscal controls.

  8. A breath of fresh air after decades of stagnation with PC. Hope you’ll be up and running by the next elections,count me in to help in any way I can👍

  9. Benjiman L. Angwin

    De Nugis Curialium (circa 1190), gan Gwallter Map (bl. 1140 – 1209).

    “Na soniwch am ladd. Nid wyf ond yn pylu cyrn epil Cymru rhag iddynt glwyfo eu mam” (Do not mention about killing. I am but dulling the horns of Wales’ progeny lest they mortally wound their mother’.) Gruffudd ap Llywelyn (m. 1060.)

    Do not be fooled by your pride Royston Jones, Wales has suffered useless internal bickering before as Gwallter Map above knew. As a centrist Liberal I support and promote Plaid Cymru not because we agree on all things but because it is the best thing to do for this country.

    • ‘Pride’! Do you think it’s pride that motives me?

      At my age I’d rather be deepening my knowledge of Argentine wines, sharing time with my grandchildren, watching football, catching up with the books I should have read; but Wales is up Shit Creek due to useless ‘Centrist liberals’ like you accepting every insult and burden for fear of being called ‘intolerant by some blackmailing imperialist bastard who knows how to emasculate people like you, and a nation.

      Go away and preach your platitudinous bollocks to those who agree with you. Thank God! there are fewer and fewer of them.

  10. Is the greatest opposition to the new party going to come from the very Party that should have been raising all these issues in the first place?

    • Stan, Very likely.

      Our old acquaintance Gee once commented about the dog in the manger, I added “more like the corpse in my chair”. If it doesn’t budge soon, it’ll be time to tip the old carcass out and clean the chair for a new user.

  11. We”ll probably hear the timeworn canard before long ” but this will split the nationalist vote”!.

    Not necessarily- especially in view of the fact that a STV voting system is likely to be in place by the next Senedd elections in 2021, which will mean that every single vote will count, and that more than one party can be represented in each constituency( 30 x 3 members is likely).

    It’s not at all inconceivable that a new grouping like this, if they can really get their act together, could attract say 5- 10 per cent of the popular vote, which could mean a handful of seats in the new Senedd.

    But quite apart from these type of electoral calculations, I for one welcome this initiative to provide a much needed shot in the arm for our torpid and uninspiring Welsh democracy.

    Wales needs a grouping which will tell us the truth about our current predicament, and which is willing to stand for that truth without fear or favour.

    One good thing about Brexit is that it has freed up political debate in a way that would never have happened had the UK voted to stay. Rather than bleat about how terrible this is, the Welsh national movement needs to avail itself of the opportunity that it has presented itself. As Napoleon once remarked: ” never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake’. The mistake being in this instance, England’s imperial delusions about the subservience of the Celtic nations of the isles.

    Brexit has exposed this imperial mindset in a way that has never quite been seen before. The only rational response to it is to stand unequivocally for the Welsh National Interest above all other considerations.

    My sense is that there are literally thousands upon thousands of Welsh voters who would be very receptive to a message which puts the Welsh national interest first and foremost.

    It’s very encouraging that this new grouping has stated from the outset that it rejects this false left/right ideological divide hoisted upon us by Westminster and its placement and lackeys.

    Wales First must be the guiding philosophy- not outdated political labels.

    • CambroUiDunlainge

      Well if Plaid’s policies are true to its voters then it shouldn’t split the nationalist vote at all… unless they’re relying on people voting them because they feel they have nowhere else to go… like Welsh Labour voters tend to do…

  12. At the moment it would unwise for this new party to stand in seats where Plaid Cymru either hold or can win as this can result under the present electorial system to a divided vote and letting in a pro-English unionist party which I hope none of us want.
    However, If your new centre-right nationalist party can recruit new supporters from the border regions and other areas where Plaid haven’t reached, such as Monmouth, Mongormary and perhaps in Pembrokeshire (at the expense of the British controlled Conservatives) then it will contribute to the overall Welsh national movement.

    Plaid Cymru is the best movement to promote the interests of the people of Wales as a united political force. Any move to the right or left will only seek to divide Wales.

    • The problem is that Plaid is (either by misfortune or design) consistently failing to ‘promote the interests of the people of Wales as a united political force’. The New Party absolutely must not be seen to be tippy-toeing around Plaid or it will quickly gain the reputation for being Plaid By Another Name thus rendering it as useless as Plaid.

    • In the last general election Plaid got 164,000 votes out of 1.5 million voters or an electorate of 2.3 million. That’s a lot of people who don’t and perhaps will never vote Plaid – maybe the stats are better for assembly elections, but it’s still a low voter base. I suspect that Plaid doesn’t even represent the party of the stereotypical, historically literate, proudly Welsh, Welsh speaking voter from those numbers.

  13. There must be a huge number of people in Wales politically switched off. Perhaps it’s apathy, perhaps they’ve been active in the past but just see nothing that now motivates them coming from the status quo. Possibly they see two (or three) cheeks of the same arse as all that’s on offer. A recent article I read said that polls showed the political parties within Wales were virtually stagnant in terms of where their support was heading.

    I may be rusty on my memory of this but the Devolution referendum in 1999 here got around 50% of the electorate interested enough to vote? In Scotland in 2014 the turnout of 84.6% was the highest recorded for an election or referendum in the United Kingdom since the introduction of universal suffrage. Yes, they were split not far off even, but at least people went out and put a cross on a voting paper. Get the message right and there must be a market going begging in Wales. So I think it’s perfectly legitimate to ask – why hasn’t anyone tapped into it yet?

  14. Hywel Moseley

    Wales needs a new political party like a hole in the head. We already have a large well-established political party in Plaid Cymru. If you do not agree with its policies, work to change them from within. You will find that not everyone who supports PC agrees with every utterance of its leaders. To start a new party is unrealistic and doomed to failure, like the Welsh Republican party of old. Did it have any other member than Gwilym Prys Davies?

    • Plaid has a well practised “snuff” procedure for internal dissent. By now it’s so well developed it’s about to snuff the Party itself !

  15. Jonathan Edwards Sir Benfro

    James W.Soares Jones – you could do worse than contact this Tar Heel by adoption. I spend 50/50 time in NC and Wales.(email jgme@btinternetcom). North Carolina is a good working example of a highly devolved State, more devolved than Scotland, light years ahead of Wales. So I to transmit the knowledge to Wales, which badly needs it. And a properly functioning National Party.
    What is wrong with Plaid?
    – very tightly defined Aims in its Constitution. Includes the “socialist” requirement.
    – This has the effect of restricting who can lead Plaid. They then restrict who joins, or contributes. They are entrenched and hard to shift because they like this very Welsh set-up. Be boss of something small and you can feel safe, and smug.
    – not helped by the suspicion that there is more than a little female-pattern bullying going on in Plaid Cymru.
    – good ideas exist, but are held back by all this.
    And Plaid shows no feel for statesmanship – how you take a conquered nation with limited control or resources and take it on the road taken by North Carolina (saw off the British and then joined a Federal Union, Ireland (saw off the British and then joined a highly valuable confederation, the EU), Catalunya (leaders in jail for their principles – will end up like NC or Ireland).
    What is the answer for Plaid?
    Unite nationalists for one. Two steps are involved
    1 – widen the aims. Drop the vague and exclusionary “socialism” requirement and replace the aims with something more open, and dynamic.
    2 – reach out to the people who ought to be in Plaid.
    Why this will not happen is instructive.
    Take Royston Jones of the new party – “All Wales” or whatever it will be called. Plaid should recruit him and the new party. Why wont’ they? Well, 40-50 years ago a lot of people broke the law in order to promote Wales. Many were jailed. Later they were released and ended up running broadcasting or Welsh universities or publishers. They raised families and their hair turned grey. Who cares that they broke the law by “painting the world green” etc?
    As far as I know, Royston never broke the law. He did get mixed up in the Free Wales Army. To what extent I don’t know and don’t care. But the facts are that he was never convicted or bombing or anything like it. If you look on the internet you can see a black and white photo of the young and dashing Royston holding a revolver with a great twinkle in his eye doing…what exactly? 50+ years ago! Who cares?
    Plaid would care. They are very keen on excluding people. They do not want Royston’s priceless exposures of the abuse of Wales and Welsh public money by carpet-baggers from England or the corrupt Welsh members of Welsh Quangos. Plaid would say that someone, somewhere might go so far as to make some negative comment if Royston joined. So Plaid would block him. And anyone else whose face did not fit.
    The more energetic and effective they are the more the leaders of Plaid attack them – look at Neil McEvoy. They seem to want him out altogether.
    Plaid can’t go on like this.
    Will someone from Plaid please tell me/us how Plaid will use all the talents available, raise its game and take action in the urgent and open circumstances created by Brexit and the British meltdown?

  16. Wales needs to industrialise, not just at a local level, but at a national level, bring in the made in Wales brand, from technology to green energy and vehichles made in this country, bring in the bank if Wales, be the centre of education better health care and that country worth investing in? Ideas of lifting Wales up from the poor little beggar on the west?
    Will the leader of this party be a charasmatic one who’s aim is to really mean everything he says? Will this party revulutionise Wales and stand up to Westminster and give Wales a stronger voice?

    I hope so!

  17. 1. ‘What the current parties share is a belief that we are best governed from London’ – This is just a lie, Plaid Cymru always says Wales is best governed from Wales, I challenge you to produce any evidence to the contrary.
    2. ‘It was also argued that we must not be afraid to speak of ‘the Welsh nation’. For there is a Welsh nation, and it has existed for two thousand years or more.’ – Plaid always talks about the Welsh Nation. It is in fact the name of its in-house publication and is in around 80% of all communications.
    3. ‘But, equally, it was also stressed that this nation is not exclusive or closed, it welcomes those prepared to join and assimilate.’ – This is civic nationalism, same as Plaid.
    4. ‘The big question, of course, remains independence. Here the consensus was that while independence has to be the ultimate political objective, stressing it obsessively from the outset could turn people away.’ – Plaid’s stance.
    5. ‘But we need to educate our people, overcome the conditioning. For example, make them realise that the dire state of the NHS is not due to ‘immigrants’ from the EU, or further afield, but is just another aspect of an insidious and long-standing problem closer to home.’ – A point Plaid has made repeatedly.
    6. ‘And so the new party will argue for investment and employment to be spread to every part of the country.’ – Plaid Cymru policy.

    This party is basically Plaid Cymru but with different people. The only way it seems to differ is by wanting to have immigration controls for Wales. Oh wait, this is Plaid Cymru policy as well: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/call-devolved-immigration-system-compulsory-12405820

    How can this venture achieve anything except split the nationalist vote and make it easier for Labour to be able to govern here indefinitely?

    • Differentiate between Policy on one hand and Actions on the other. The Party of Wales continues to behave as it is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th party of Cardiff, wedded to Capital City investment with crumbs for the rest. If it was genuinely the Party of Wales it would be kicking lumps out of Jones’ Labour gang for its unbalanced record to date. Stop sucking up and be assertive for the sake of the nation.

    • CambroUiDunlainge

      1. Correct me if I’m wrong but Leanne Wood wanted to challenge for the Rhondda seat in the General Election? Doesn’t seem like she wants to govern from Wales!
      2. What it talks about is the image of a Welsh Nation that does no resonate with much of the Welsh population: see election results.
      3. Well you have to say these things don’t you? Its often the case that nationalism is seen as insular… so its got to be said.
      4. Its the stance of anyone with a brain… just Plaid has failed to increase its audience in order to push its argument, see number 2.
      5. Yet they allied with Labour, they work with Labour. Want to see how a true nationalist party works? See Sinn Fein. Plaibour are a toothless Labour support group.
      6. Well they’re to busy working with Labour to challenge them on Cardiff investment. Well this is one who challenges… one.

      Basically like Plaid Cymru in the fact its a nationalist political party… without all the baggage of being now and forever the Welsh speakers party and pretty much observed to be part of the establishment. They don’t want to change… and they need to change to win more votes. So why would anyone with common sense waste their time?

      It won’t split the vote if you’re so confident in Plaid. It shouldn’t effect Plaid’s support at all unless they, like their Labour partners are relying too heavily on those who feel they are the only choice for them to vote for. But there’s an untapped resource of nationalists in this country and Plaid hasn’t managed to win them over because… see 2.

      • Dafis: This just isn’t true. It’s Plaid policy to pass a law so that all Welsh regions get fair investment. There has been no sucking up to Labour on this issue, if you want to make that claim then please provide the evidence. Here is my evidence: Adam Price “kicking lumps out of Jones’ Labour gang for its unbalanced record to date” :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJMAGruF9Ag

        Cambro:
        1. Yes that’s wrong, she decided Assembly was more important.
        2. That doesn’t answer my point which is that new party’s stance is the same as Plaid’s.
        3. Ditto.
        4. Ditto.
        5. Are you aware that Sinn Fein passed a motion in their conference in favour of entering a coalition in the Dail with one of the establishment parties? Whereas Leanne Wood challenged Carwyn Jones for the job of FM and decided not to seek coalition negotiations? Which party is taking the most oppositionist stance?
        6. This just isn’t true (see my answer to Dafis above).

        If the idea is to take support from Labour rather than Plaid, then why do the vast majority of the new party’s advocates seem to come from Plaid rather than Labour heartlands? Why was the inaugural meeting held in Aberystwyth rather than the north east / Valleys?

        • They need to be putting the boot into Labour on a regular basis in Y Cynulliad rather than just those odd occasions to which we can all easily refer. It smacks of a lazy token opposition with too much emphasis on aping CJ and his gang passing “blame” onto Westminster/Whitehall. The significant underperformance of Labour in government here in Wales provides ample ammunition for Plaid to be engaged in a sustained programme of criticism which in turn gives a platform for communicating the Party’s alternative solutions. But it ain’t happening. In fact the 4 M.P’s do a much more consistent job in minor opposition than the larger group of A.M ‘s in Cardiff Bay.

        • Margaret Hall

          Exactly! There’s plenty of support for independence from the Welsh speaking North West, but Plaid doesn’t chime with the voters in the North East and the South Wales valleys because of the language question. In recent years Plaid have tried to downplay the Welsh language issue and promote themselves very firmly as the Party of the whole of Wales, but they’re finding it hard going in the areas currently held by Labour. We don’t want another independence party fighting over voters who are already committed to independence. If a new party is to be useful in furthering the cause, it needs to try to win the hearts and minds of the people who repeatedly vote Labour and think independence is just something that loony Welsh Nats want.

        • CambroUiDunlainge

          1) Leanne Wood ‘seriously considering’ Rhondda election fight:

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-39642337

          But she still considered doing it, publicly. If you want to argue that she decided the Assembly was more important be by guest it doesnt change the fact she aired the idea. If the Assembly was that important surely she would have contemplated it behind the scenes so not to appear that contrary to your point the Assembly was not as important. Its not so much about words… people talk. Its about actions.

          2) It’s not that Plaid has bad policies its just ineffective in being able to gain support.
          5) Talking about Sinn Fein not sitting in Westminster while the Welsh nationalist party is happy to work with the party it should be removing. But we know Leanne would not work with UKIP and the Tories don’t we? Because shes Plaibour.
          6) Yes it is (see Dafis answer below).

          As for your final point… if Plaid is all you say it is and the broad range of people discontent with them are all wrong then you will have nothing to worry about. But all the Plaid luvvies here saying about vote splitting are clearly worried enough to argue against it. Look there’s always the change it from the inside angle… but with Brexit and its fallout its now or never. We will not have a better time to do this… there’s just not time to deal with it. Its got 20% of the vote… it’d be a waste of time and effort anyway when there’s 80% of Wales to win over.

  18. Plaid rarely if ever talk of the Welsh nation. They much prefer the term ‘the people of Wales’. Immigration? Leanne Wood publicly said that Wales had no problem with immigration. When did Plaid ever state that immigration was a problem from ‘closer to home’ regarding our NHS? At least since that time of the Seimon Glyn ‘event’?

  19. Red Dragon Jim

    The Sinn Fein comparison is a poor one, because it does work with other parties, not only in a peace process context (incomparable to Wales) but in a recent vote to consider coalitions in the Republic.

    Plaid Cymru gets a similar sized vote to Sinn Fein in the Republic. It’s not one of the big two, but it’s not “nothing to lose” territory because there are four MPs. Which of these Plaid Cymru MPs does a new party want to get rid of? Which of the AMs? Any of the councillors? Perhaps I’m too soft or liberal in my wisdom but I can’t be the only person who sees Plaid Cymru politicians and thinks they deserve some support?

    • CambroUiDunlainge

      I’m not talking within the context of the Republic I’m speaking of a nationalist party within the confines of the UK political system clearly. Plaid are too busy cosying upto the party it should be trying to remove rather than what it should be doing and focusing its time and resources on the Assembly – my point about Sinn Fein was that they do not sit in Westminster.

  20. Red Dragon Jim

    I’ve got to say, Plaid Cymru does mention the nation. If you follow their social media there are repeated attacks on Westminster, on Labour, there are calls for Welsh resources to be controlled by us, stuff about redistributing wealth and jobs around Wales…

    But, they have to accept they have worked with Labour as well. I am not a tribalist and can see why it’s the best thing for Wales. Parties working together is the norm elsewhere in Europe and I could wax lyrical about the crap partisanship in Wales. But Plaid has to realise, working with Labour will create negative commentary on the internet, not least when Plaid Cymru is saying Labour is doing badly (and trust me, they are saying it today).

    • Graham John Hathaway

      The experience that jumps out when talking about working in partnership with another party is the Lib/dem, conservative coalition. Lib/Dems have still to recover. But if partnership can work elsewhere in Europe then what is different in the UK. The essence of proportional representation is that it’s a rainbow collection of politics, as voted. Isn’t the issue more about who the partner is, and if there’s synergy between the leaders and their policies. I suspect the issue is that the greater part of the partnership becomes the beneficiaries of the good stable governance it might bring.
      The time of grown up politics still eludes us.

      • Red Dragon Jim

        The reason the UK is different because of first past the post. But there are a few European countries where coalitions are similarly less usual. Yes, the compatibility of parties is vital, and the bigger party does better. The smaller partner accepts a hit in order to get some of its agenda through. In places like Finland, Sweden, Norway there are parties that in effect spend their lives in coalition. It allows you to get things done and shape country.

        But what I’m saying is that by working with Labour without a coalition, and accepting a coalition isn’t wise, Plaid has to expect people to say “well you aren’t attacking them”. They should publicise attacks on Labour more, because tribalism isn’t going anywhere. Wales eh!

  21. I can tell you from my angle, out in my world, that Plaid are not connecting with those it will need to garner support from to make any realistic progress. And the electoral results over many years have proven me right. The number of people local to me that said, why can’t Plaid have someone round these parts like Neil McEvoy instead of the polite, well educated and clearly intelligent people they put forward? That is not meant as a criticism of Neil. I reckon he’s all three of these anyway, but at least he’s up for a real fight. In the local elections this year there were enough open goals left by Welsh Labour that a blind man without a guide dog could have put a hat trick into them. And they missed the lot. Because they’ve held absolute power for so long, Welsh Labour are like a nasty old brute of a dog chewing its bone. No way will they share it if you ask if you can have a bit. The only thing that dog is going to respect and understand is if you go up to it with a big fucking stick prepared to beat the crap out of it. You’ll never see Leanne doing that, be honest now. I give Plaid my vote because it’s the least worst option. As soon as there’s an alternative, I’ll be off.

    • Red Dragon Jim

      But Leanne’s area won the most number of new council seats in the local elections you mention (for Plaid). So she did lead the way on that and must have played a role locally. Something I would never have known if not for Nation.Cymru. That’s not a criticism of other areas of Plaid, I think it was mixed.

      • Just as well then because over the country as a whole, Welsh Labour lost 107 seats, Plaid Cymru gained 33 – and the Tories gained 80!

  22. Sorry everyone I’m a bit late to this thread.

    I’m interested in what this party will have to say. But not only that – Wales desperately needs more parties that operate solely within Wales. Also if we go STV in the Senedd like ‘Cymru Rydd’ is quite confident we will, then having another Nationalist party will actually help, not hinder, things.

    However, there is one concern that I have, namely the sentence – “while independence has to be the ultimate political objective, stressing it obsessively from the outset could turn people away.”

    The word ‘ambition’ makes me suspect that the issue of independence will slip down the priority list once the party gets more support from the Indy-sceptics, and independence will soon become a “medium to long term” thing, just like it has done for Plaid Cymru now on a permanent basis. Wales needs a party that will rise to the challenge of showing evidence that independence will benefit Wales (there’s so much of this evidence out there at the moment it’s ridiculous!)

    For me to up sticks from one nationalist party in Wales to another and move my membership, I’d need for independence to be more than an ambition, but for it to be a core part of your constitution and manifesto, and to campaign directly for it, rather than being content to hop endlessly from one set of Westminster crumbs to the next – which I believe is what you’re suggesting with “independence has to be the ultimate political objective”.

    You say that banging on about independence could turn people away (I assume you mean Labour/Tory/UKIP voters), but these people are the exact same ones that will probably just assume that you’re the same as PC anyway, and turn the other way – in which case you won’t gain anything by being tactical about your the party’s views on independence. But, you might lose a lot of support from people like me who see lack of independence as the root of all our problems, and those people who crave a party that has a completely different approach to all others. Also, Wales has had enough of parties not being fully open about their agenda.

    I’ve been very disappointed with Plaid Cymru’s feeble attitude towards independence, and their lack of ability to capitalise on the recent surge in national confidence. And their commitment to following a gradualist approach to independence isn’t likely to change in the near future either.  This is your chance to really stand out and set yourself apart from Plaid Cymru from the offset – I’d advise you not to waste it.

    • Graham John Hathaway

      We have to “believe in better”. Unless I’ve mis heard it, I understand that the SNP are thinking of the changing the name to Scottish Independence Party. Dropping Nationalist from its lexicon. I read today a saying ” that you can state the facts but the truth will be how you interpret them”. Much is about interpretation or more, an alignment of how you would like to see things.

      • Interesting about the SNP (or SIP). That would be a risky strategy, because they’d risk becoming redundant in the people’s eyes once they get independence, like UKIP.

        • Graham John Hathaway

          I do see the sense in the “redundancy clause” in built in the name change. But the vehicle would have fulfilled its destiny. I would gladly park it up in the museum of political history since the true Wales would be returned to its proper state, a full Nation. That is a prise that anyone would cherish inside or outside any name of a Party. Everything before would be redundant. It’s whether you dare to dream, or be prepared to fail, since in the act of trying you redeem your sense of inner pride, often stolen, but never extinguished.

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