Fair points made in this article but then I do believe that the belief that changing the leader of a party is going to change the party itself is short-sighted and wrong. The party has a lot of internal issues and a change of strategy is needed both electorally and internally. There is as much responsbility on the membership as there is the leadership. ‘She has needlessly dragged the party to the left, and there is certainly a perception among some quarters than the party now prioritizes socialism, feminism, minority politics, environmentalism (which are all worthy causes) above Welsh nationalism’… Read more »
No, they are not all a part of Welsh nationalism, they are part of one form of Welh nationalism. I can be a Liberal (or a Conservative) and in favour of my country being independent. The Left does not have a monopoly on Welsh patriotism; we need a Plaid that includes Liberals and Conservatives too, they are part of our country and always will be.
Here here… I’ve had enough of people in Plaid claiming that you’ve got to be a red flag waving communist in order to be a nationalist and believe that your country can and should be independent. When I joined there were of course those on the left of the party that advocated left policies (as were their right) but we also had people from the center and the right. We used to be more of a broad church of ideas, united in the belief that a better Wales was possible, a Wales that took control of her own destiny.
I disagree. Yes we need an independence movement that encompass the full political spectrum – no one wants a one party state when we reach (we will!) that stage. But there’s no reason the whole independence endeavour has to hang on Plaid’s shoulders either and thus force them into a more centrist standpoint than they want to make. No reason Plaid can’t be a left leaning campaigner for independence while some other party is a right wing campaigners for same. The fact that Wales does consistently vote more to the left than England does suggest that there an appetite for… Read more »
There is nothing that needs to be added to this. The blogger is absolutely spot on. So many Plaid members have mocked me and been aggressive for saying more or less exactly the same thing, and I’d add actually that these idiots are just as detrimental to future success as Leanne is. Wake up and smell the coffee. Do people in the Cardiff bubble really think feminism, Green policies and our deep love for immigration won the Rhondda and 33 extra Council seats? No. And being from Blaenau Gwent and having actually campaigned there, LW was not an asset. Without… Read more »
“Do people in the Cardiff bubble really think feminism, Green policies and our deep love for immigration won the Rhondda and 33 extra Council seats? No.” I am sick of this ridiculous and lazy argument. Feminists and environmentalists in the Labour party increased their majorities throughout Wales during this election, standing on a Corbynite feminist and environmentalist manifesto. Look at Jo Stevens, who turned a marginal seat into a thumping 17,000 majority. It has nothing to do with ‘feminism and environmentalism’ Ben, it has to do with a lack of organisation and discipline throughout the party and a cosmetic change… Read more »
If you’re not intelligent and respectful enough to argue without calling the thoughts of others ‘lazy and rediculous’ then I’m not going to engage with you. Save your bile for the Labour Party. All I’ll say is that Plaid needs to change it’s strategy and key messages. The current one hasn’t worked.
Ridiculous, not rediculous.
I know it’s ridiculous, for some reason it’s down as rediculous in my SwiftKey. I think your main point though is that you’re my intellectual superior, mainly because we have a differing view of the leadership. Unless you have a 1st class honours degree, a PhD and have published, you’re not. People disagree, it doesn’t make you any less or more intelligent. Calling somebody’s comment lazy and ridiculous however does belie a slight immaturity and ability to debate like an adult in my opinion. All you needed to do was articulate respectfully why you disagree. You didn’t, choosing to be… Read more »
I think that you think that getting a PhD makes you my intellectual superior, which is laughable. There are many people in the world who have no qualifications, and argue better than you do.
I do not pretend to be your intellectual superior in any way, shape or form. I just said that your argument that Plaid Cymru’s feminism/environmentalism is somehow to be blamed for its failures was lazy and ridiculous, as it is a claim that has been thoroughly disproven due to the Labour party’s recent success.
(I do have a first class honours degree by the way.)
Whoa! Hold on a minute. Putting words in my mouth again. I don’t think I’m better than anyone, far from it. You corrected my spelling, or the rather the mistake made by my predicted text, thereby calling into question my intelligence.
Anyway, we can agree to disagree amicably, no? The nationalist movement is too small.
I’d wager that a high percentage of feminists and environmentalists in Wales are deeply hostile to Welsh identity, culture, accents and language. Why waste our time on people who despise us?
In order to thrive economically Wales needs motorways, airports, industry. Wales needs more large Welsh-speaking families to maintain our language. Are these priorities for environmentalists and feminists?
The ‘large Welsh-speaking families’ I know are far more interested in feminism and environmentalism than motorways, airports and industry.
You have zero evidence for that claim.
Although 9 of the 33 gains were in Rhondda Cynon Taf, almost a third of the national total.
It’s unlikely feminism, environment and immigration were on people’s minds in either a pro or anti way.
No they weren’t on people’s minds necessarily so why are they the focus of the core messages?
I’m not sure they are? I’ve not come across it.
Ok, not core message, but ethos?
I think you have made some good points, Ben. I also think that Plaid seem to be a party that champions ‘niche’ political causes such as feminism and immigration when they should be talking about practical, material benefits that e.g. an independent Wales could benefit from. Incentives to bring graduates back home to Wales; turning Cardiff airport into a fully-fledged international airport; control of our natural resources and incentives for businesses to relocate here; renewable energy programmes; allowing every child in Wales to have the opportunity to be taught through their native language; transport improvements to provide better links between… Read more »
Cynan- thank you. It’s nice not to have my intelligence called into question and have to respond to aggressive posts. Somebody earlier even accused me having a ‘hidden agenda’! I’ve been a member of Plaid Cymru for 6 years!
Immigrants, by and large, are economically important and enrich our culture. Leanne was right to point out that a tiny minority of people in Wales are not from the UK. The principals of Feminism and the Green movement are also important. But this slight obsession with niche issues is the problem.
“I love ducks, I really do, but I wouldn’t vote for one” pretty much sums up the nonsense in this article.
It’s the same argument as that against Corbyn, which has just recently failed to be born out isn’t it?
Glenn- the fact you’ve been unable to deconstruct this article, and instead pick up on a frivolous comment, says it all. The situation is indefensible.
To some extent, Leanne Wood as Plaid leader is the inevitable conclusion of a process put in train, ironically, by Dafydd Elis Thomas back in the 1980s. This realignment involved backtracking on Welsh identity, welcoming the colonisation taking place (calling R S Thomas a fascist for opposing it), and embracing all manner of oddballs and their causes. It meant putting Plaid Cymru into some left-liberal, UK-wide movement that existed nowhere outside the imaginations of those
As much as I hate to say it I tend to agree with you, and I speak as someone who finally joined Plaid *because* Leanne became leader, offering a bit of fresh 21st Century air to the party and its aims. But much as I like her – she seems an admirable and charming person – she does lack leadership qualities. Its unfair to make the comparison but when placed alongside Nicola Sturgeon (we won’t bring Mrs May into it, please) she is distinctly lacking the genuinely European-level statesmanlike qualities that the Scottish leader has in adundance. And again, as… Read more »
Hmm I like seeing the counter view here, but am not entirely convinced by it. That said the REASON I joined Plaid was I liked Leanne, I like the left leaning stance and I liked the civic outward-looking flavour of nationalism, I liked the fact we finally had a second-language Welsh speaker and I hoped that might broaden the party appeal as it did for me. So I’m going to find it very hard to be an unbiased commentator. The fact that four other potential leaders are so easy to name must be good though. Perhaps with hindsight standing for… Read more »
Insanity: is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
And that is exactly what Plaid does every election.
I like Leanne, but do quietly agree with some of the comments, except that I don’t think the alternatives are good enough to make the startling difference everyone wants in the short to medium term. There may be another election very soon and it may well be fought on very different grounds. This is no time for a new leader, since the party could be in the midst of a leadership election while the next election is taking place!!. The likeability of Plaid is there, but it’s very soft support and more often than not it doesn’t lead to votes,… Read more »
We held 3 and we gained 1 seat, which is very good and the electoral map looks very nice with the green bit covering most of the “Fro Gymraeg”. It was brilliant to gain Ceredigion, and well done to that young man Ben Lake! However, the Arfon result was extremely close. Only 92 votes were in it. I hold my hand up, I was too complacent to be honest. Probably many Plaid members and supporters in that area were also even though Hywel’s army of volunteers worked very hard on the doorstep. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi! Changing leadership… Read more »
‘She has needlessly dragged the party to the left, and there is certainly a perception among some quarters than the party now prioritizes socialism, feminism, minority politics, environmentalism (which are all worthy causes) above Welsh nationalism’ —> No, this is misguided. These causes ARE a part of Welsh nationalism. That’s the whole point. The belief that changing the leader of a party is going to change the party itself is short-sighted and wrong. The party has a lot of internal issues and a change of strategy is needed both on the campaign front and internally. There is as much responsbility… Read more »
I’m afraid that I agree with everything this article says, and have thought this way ever since Plaid Cymru got fewer votes than UKIP at the General Election in 2015. Don’t get me wrong; I feel that Leanne Wood is good in many ways, she is great at holding public meetings and I first got attracted to Plaid Cymru via one, but it is clear that the last five years have not seen Plaid Cymru advance, with the exception of Leanne winning the Rhondda, which I praise her for. The other elections, and perhaps even that one as well, have… Read more »
Well said. Just wear your bullet proof vest, her aggressive supporters are out in force. If you haven’t read it yet, Oggy Bloggy Ogwr also analyses this election and comes to a similar conclusion, yet thinks a leadership challenge should not come as quickly.
How can you dismiss the second largest increase in councillors in the UK achieved by plaid only last month?
Changing the leader would be a cosmetic change which would have absolutely no affect on Plaid’s electoral fortunes. In this election, like in every other election, the smaller parties were squeezed out of the picture by the Labour v Tory narrative. This is inevitable no matter how brilliant a leader Plaid has. Plaid’s problem is that it puts too much effort into the electoral campaigns where it’s voice is inevitably drowned out. What we need to do is to campaign vigorously on both national, but more importantly, local issues, in between electoral cycles, when there won’t be as much competition… Read more »
For once, I almost agree with Alwyn ap Huw!
my initial reaction, based on a view held for some time, is that Leanne is not up to the job of leader despite having strong credentials as a representative politician at y Cynulliad. However there is much merit in considering the alternative which is the need for the entire Party to its collective finger out and start working “ar lawr gwlad” instead of engaging in internal discussions. Success comes in due course when the hard slog has been well under way – talking to communities who feel wronged, where services have been abruptly curtailed or discontinued, individuals who feel that… Read more »
Des doesn’t agree with changing the leader because he likes Leanne. Fair enough. Each to their own. I won’t call his opinion ridiculous or lazy though, because it’s not how adults debate Alwyn, I have to disagree. Having a leadership challenge is healthy. I voted for LW in 2012 in the hope it would widen Plaid’s appeal. It hasn’t really though, has it? As the blogger correctly said, it’s been 5 years. Assembly, Council and Westminster elections have come and gone, but with little success. Plaid always says ‘it’s a difficult election’. Well obviously, we’re Welsh Nationalists, arguing against the… Read more »
thank you for the comment re the leadership! I am not sure you need to compare me with anyone as I am never intending to put myself up for Leadership even if the opportunity should arise! I feel the Leadership role should however remain within the Assembly group. As a party, it is at the Senedd where we want to develop control and powers and having a leader of a party there is the rationale for that focus. And I would not describe my comments re another AM as a spat. I believed at that time that due to the… Read more »
Plaid’s error has been to support get in to pacts with Labour. I was elected as Plaid councillor on Cardiff through weeks of hard work. Any pact, support, lend your vote to, or other rubbish that supports rotten , curupt, jobs for the boys Labour is a stab in the back to the grass roots party workers. On the door step people say” Plaid support Labour” Support a statement on Brexit with Carwyn Jones cost us 50,000 votes. Support Free Wales and campaign for it or die as a party.
Mixed feelings about this, she’s steadily built Plaid results over the past few years, without winning anything major. However I meant her briefly at one point and informed me that my party (the Yorkshire Party, who sit in the same European Grouping as Plaid) are “probably better off looking to work with the Cornish, as they aren’t a nation, either.” Bit dim witted to assume a Celtic nation like Cornwall is just a region.
Plaid should have spent the last couple of decades attacking Labour for being a Tory party, but were too nice. Labour are Plaids main competitors in most seats. Plaid should have headed a rainbow alliance when they had the chance, Labour were right wing at the time anyway. Plaid could have justified any coalition by saying there is no difference between you and them whether that be directed to the Conservatives, Lib-Dems or Labour [up to this election]. The way forward in a year or so time [definitely not now as it would send out the wrong message] might well… Read more »
We have a popular loved leader in Leanne. There is no stomach for a shift to the right. The right is already crowded. How could Adam Price right wing policies get us more votes. Promoting dodgy businesses like aerospace, arms companies that promise jobs jobs jobs that never materialise is following the failed policies of labour. A bit more active local campaigning is needed. There are too many opinionated armchair warriors in Plaid. AMs like Bethan Jenkins bring shame on Plaid. We should support our members against labour attacks not do that for them. Let’s support our leader and get… Read more »
!‘She has needlessly dragged the party to the left, and there is certainly a perception among some quarters than the party now prioritizes socialism, feminism, minority politics, environmentalism (which are all worthy causes) above Welsh nationalism’ —> No, this is misguided. These causes ARE a part of Welsh nationalism. That’s the whole point.!” Exactly. What type of people would Jason like to see in Plaid Cymru? Right wing, sexist, climate change deniers? I don’t agree that these issues have been put above Welsh nationalism either. If you ask a member of the public what Plaid Cymru is, I doubt they… Read more »
It does seem that Leanne was representing the party on every TV debate. Our friends in the SNP allowed Angus Robertson to lead on some debates. I know he lost his seat, but the SNP are still by far the biggest party in Scotland and it appears to me that they have strength in depth. Many of the contributors to this item have rightly commented on a string of results that have not seen significant changes and in some cases some very close results that were just wins. We have had two very good wins that no one seems to… Read more »
Jason Morgan has spoken truth to power here. No one doubts that Leanne is a likeable and personable individual who has contributed a huge amount to Plaid Cymru over the years. No one doubts her passion or her commitment to Wales. But, i think that the last five years speak for themselves if we consider the wider picture, i.e the state of the Welsh national movement , As Jason says, not only have Plaid Cymru stagnated electorally with Leanne at the helm since 2012, we are actually doing worse than 10-15 years ago, and this despite the additional TV exposure… Read more »
Plaid always struggles in Westminster elections when the Labour Party us in opposition and resurgent. The SNP lost 21 seats, the Lib Dems gained just four, the Greens flopped again. Why would anyone expect Plaid to do any better in these circumstances? A different leader would have achieved a very similar result. I’d certainly have taken a one seat gain before the election. Leanne’s not perfect, but guess what? Neither’s anyone else. She’s shown far more leadership than I’ve ever seen in a Plaid leader. I’m sticking with her.
I don’t think Leanne should go. It is not her fault. The problem is Plaid. The party has always ran a mile away from the one aim that defines us. I come from an English speaking, working class and Labour voting family in Gorseinon. My family and I have always identified as Welsh. I look back at the chaos and disruption of my youth caused by my father losing his job at Velindre Steelworks. I quickly came to the view that a Welsh state was essential to protect the Welsh people from policies people like Thatcher unleashed on a nation… Read more »
The giveaways in this crude ill disguised hatchet piece is when Jason Roberts (whoever he is) writes “although her politics and mine are somewhat different” while further on he says “She has needlessly dragged the party to the left, and there is certainly a perception among some quarters than the party now prioritizes socialism, feminism, minority politics, environmentalism (which are all worthy causes) above Welsh nationalism”. Yawn…. another right winger unable to bring themselves to join the tories because they are the party of the ‘union’, so people like jason roberts choose to linger on the fringes of a left… Read more »
should be Jason Morgan of course (whoever that is)
Normally I’d just let this slide and let the discussion flow but seeing as you have some strange ideas about me, and because of the tone of your message, I’m going to reply directly. Firstly, just so you know, I’m 32 years old, work as a translator in Cardiff but am originally from north Wales, and I’ve blogged regularly about politics in Welsh for a good decade – nothing more, nothing less. I’m not claiming any specific expertise or insight I’m simply giving my opinion. I was asked to write a previous article for the site and offered this one… Read more »
The arrogant, aggressive and nasty attitude of some of LW’s supporters has shocked me. Yesterday, I was accused of having a hidden agenda. What could that mean? Possibly that I’m not a real supporter? Who knows. I’ve been a member of the party for a 6 years and voted LW (single choice) in 2012.
The piece was brilliant Jason. You have your supporters too.
How many times do you intend to write the same comment?
That pathetic, pointless comment Jack just sums you up.
Please keep it civil, guys. You’re all on the same side, after all. 🙂
You’re right Ifan, I shouldn’t have responded really!
The problem is, there is no detail in how we would be able to support our economy. Plaid Cymru used to be advocates of taxing the energy and water flowing over Offa’s Dyke. That policy is gathering dust somewhere. The constant playing down of our hopes of being able to support ourselves economically and going cap in hand to London is depressing and uninspiring. We need a firebrand leader who will take the fight to them. Leanne is very nice but fails to inspire.
“I have no ideological opposition to feminism, environmentalism or socialism – I support all to differing degrees. I said they were worthy causes. But when a nationalist party promotes them above its actual USP, it loses its USP”
But when does Plaid do this? If you’re going to accuse Leanne/Plaid of something, give some examples.
I have left these comments on another well known blog recently. Just in case you missed them; Like many I’ve been concerned about Plaid Cymru for some time. 1. Their policies and not radical enough especially policies surrounding the economy. 2. There is no vision of how an independent Wales would look like and how we would pay for it. This argument that we need more money from Westminster (although important) is depressing and does nothing for the nations self esteem 3. There is no leadership, national policies from Plaid are not exercised in councils that they actually run. You… Read more »
As Abertaweman wrote, Brexit and McEvoy are game changers. But why blame Leanne for failure to respond rather than the leadership team with ap Iorwerth and Price now prominent? They are well aware that the ‘bully’ attacks on McEvoy were motivated by personal animosities. Rather than sitting out the pseudo-feminist media campaign orchestrated by Plaid’s enemies, disciplining Bethan Jenkins along with defending the right of Councillors to speak critically of officers would have struck the right note. Over Brexit, Plaid’s leadership has sadly ducked the opportunities to ally their stance with SNP’s and N Ireland’s non-UDP parties’ opposition to the… Read more »
I am not a left winger. I voted against Dafydd Elis Thomas’ move to position Plaid on the left of Welsh politics (a long time before Leanne’s leadership). I supported the Hydro Group in the 1982 conference. I am possibly the last of the Tom Ellis type Liberal Welsh Nonconformist preachers. One of the things that peeves me most about the current situation of the British Political narrative is it’s “Americanisation”, where liberals and One Nation Conservatives are perceived to be extreme left wingers. Plaid is not a “left wing” party, it is a party that supports social justice. Leanne… Read more »
Let me add to my point “don’t blame Leanne” for the leadership’s Brexit and McEvoy-bully failures. It was Adam Price who was arguing for a ‘confederalist’ UK, even though it can’t work for Ireland and the SNP rejects it. Leanne couldn’t lead on the defence of McEvoy, in view of personal friendship with his ex-partner and one of the attack-leaders. But many others of his AM-colleagues could have hit back at the tendentious reporting in the South Wales Echo and attack on Councillor rights to oppose their Council evictions, by depicting it as bullying of the officer (who just happened… Read more »
Sorry, is this a site to deal with Cymreig issues that a extremely important to Cymru or a British online rag of a tabloid? Because it is beginning to read like one already and an outlet for Geriatric Brexiteers who have little to do before the nurse comes to change them!
Don’t like him, don’t like her, oh they’re left, that lot are right Duw!
Round and round we go, where will it end nobody knows, WRONG! I do with our country becoming an English shire!
“Geriatric Brexiteers….” a nice line….. but adapted from English tabloids – Sky News on Twitter: Daily Express 15 Mar 2017 – once geriatric #brexiteers pass on, the young generation will reverse your #Brexshit madness. Doesn’t apply to these exchanges, Dafydd!
I must have heard it somewhere then Max?! I wouldn’t know about English tabloids or any other British controlled media my friend we don’t subscribe, have a lisence etc as we don’t want to subscribe to lies, deceit and utter crap! That does not mean we are not up to date with news as we use social media and scan all news networks especially, independent ones. As for these changes, I don’t see changes just the same old game of soundbites, remodelling of old ideas, no forward thinking, no Cymreig future just kept in limbo by people who continually confuse… Read more »