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Leanne Wood defends Welsh podcast after controversial Taliban tweet

18 Aug 2021 2 minute read
Leanne Wood picture by Senedd Cymru (CC BY 2.0).

Former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has defended a Welsh podcast that posted a controversial tweet about the Taliban.

Desolation Radio, which have hosted the former Rhondda Senedd Member on their show, posted a poll on Twitter asking people to vote on whether they would rather be governed by the Taliban or Welsh Labour.

The tweet was posted as the Islamist terroristic movement completed their takeover of capital Kabul as US and NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan.

When the tweet caused a backlash they posted two follow-up tweets, one depicting the Taliban at a Welsh Government press conference and a second including “an apology” which spelled out the word ‘Taliban’.

One of Desolation Wales’ tweets

The tweets were widely criticised as “insensitive”, “in poor taste” and “repulsive” by some others on the social media site.

Leanne Wood however defended the podcast after Twitter users called on her to distance herself from Desolation Radio and unfollow them. The former Senedd Member responded that it would be “cancel culture” to do so.

“I have seen Desolation Wales cover some great stories and original content which often pushes boundaries,” she said. “They are a valuable part of the discussion we need to have. I am not going to play along with this cancel culture. Sorry.

“I see Welsh leftists ‘call out’ other Welsh leftists far more than they call out the right or far right. This is culture wars. People are playing along and it’s harmful to all of us. Let’s take a step back, work out who are our allies and who we need to oppose?

“This conversation started because I was asked to unfollow Desolation Wales. I explained why I wouldn’t. Are you saying we should not only denounce those we disagree with, or believe to be discriminatory, but also those who follow those we disagree with too?”


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Anwen
Anwen
11 months ago

A correction: I’m the Twitter user who tagged Leanne on Twitter. At no point did I ask her to unfollow Desolation Radio. I pointed out that they weren’t a podcast that aligned with Plaid’s values. My hope was that she would denounce their racist (not controversial: racist) tweets, as a prominent figure in the Independence movement, to make it clear that racism has no place in it.

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
11 months ago

It does seem to be in poor taste, what is happening in Afghanistan is not something to joke about.

John
John
11 months ago
Reply to  Stephen Owen

You should be allowed to joke about anything.

Dim problem
Dim problem
11 months ago

Quite right

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
11 months ago

She is Johnson’s counterpart. Tribal politics. Supports “her people”, right or wrong.

Gareth Evans
Gareth Evans
11 months ago

I agree that she is a counterpart of Johnson. I don’t like her and would never support her becoming the Senedd leader. But..the cause IS right. That is what I support.

Phil Jones
Phil Jones
11 months ago

Isn’t there room in the Welsh political landscape for a variety of views? The comments here sound like another “get Leanne” opportunity to rubbish a genuine committed woman and lover of Cymru.

j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago
Reply to  Phil Jones

Some people will not be diplomatic whatever. Fortunately most people will have a go.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
11 months ago

An electoral liability! No wonder the public & her own party rejected her so completely!!

Mark
Mark
11 months ago

Solidarity with Deso!

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
11 months ago

Comparing Welsh Labour with the Taliban is a bit dumb to say the least.

Mawkernewek
11 months ago

Obviously the Tweets were in poor taste and would not be appreciated by anyone who has been personally affected by the events in Afghanistan, but I support Leanne in not wanting to play the game of performatively “cancelling” them as some people seem to think she should.

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