Leanne Wood will rise again and show us what true leadership is all about

Leanne Wood. Picture by Plaid Cymru

Ffred Ffransis

In 2012 Leanne Wood was elected the leader of Plaid Cymru – the first time a woman was elected, and the first time since Gwynfor Evans that the party has elected someone who wasn’t a former MP.

The first time someone from the valleys was the leader, and the first time someone who wasn’t a fluent Welsh speaker was the leader.

In 2018 she has become the first ever Plaid Cymru leader to be voted out in an election, and with such an unexpectedly harsh result.

It’s important that we keep in our thoughts a woman who has had to endure such a personal disappointment and sadness after six years of such hard work travelling to stand shoulder with people in communities around Wales.

We must also consider the danger that people in the valleys misinterpret this result as a sign that Wales’ national party does not appreciate a woman from the valleys with isn’t a member of the political class and who hasn’t mastered the Welsh language.

That has the potential to disillusion many people.

But such a judgement would be unfair on Adam Price, a man who is on fire for justice and ensuring that everyone has a place in the new Free Wales.

How then do we turn this potential problem into a revival?

Ironically, Leanne Wood now has the chance to show that leadership is about much more than being voted into office by the party membership.

When the people of Wales see Leanne rise again after such a setback – not only accepting the situation gracefully but throwing herself back into the fight for Wales and the communities she loves so much – she will inspire thousands of others to work for our country.

We shouldn’t be satisfied with nice words thanking Leanne for what she has done in the past. Instead, we can look forward to what she will achieve in the future – possibly as a Minister for Social Justice in a Plaid Cymru government.

She can identify with the disappointment and difficult times that many of our fellow Welshmen and women experience, but knows how to rise again and offer them a new hope.

We can be proud of what she will achieve in the future while keeping her in our thoughts now.

We should also share in Adam’s joy that so many of our fellow Welshmen and women are so confident in his ability to offer leadership.

His greatest challenges still await him as Wales hobbles towards freedom.

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