Why Plaid Cymru must re-elect Alun Ffred and reject attempts to divide the party

Alun Ffred picture by the National Assembly (CC BY 2.0).

Jocelyn Davies, former Deputy Minister for Housing and Regeneration

Imagine the headlines on the morning of Friday the 7th of May 2021 as Wales wakes up to its first modern pro-independence government led by First Minister Adam Price.

What a good morning that will be in Wales.

That future will be achieved by a united and dedicated team of Plaid Cymru activists. And as someone who was a Minister in our first taste of national government from 2007 to 2011, I am well aware of the hard work that needs to be done to get the party ready for that future.

At Plaid Cymru’s conference on October 4th-5th at Swansea Grand Theatre, we will be electing the Chair of Plaid Cymru, and Alun Ffred will once again stand as a candidate.

I’m pleased to support Alun Ffred because I believe he has the capabilities to bring the party together when the need for unity and discipline is more important than ever as we face the challenge of winning in May 2021.

I’ve worked closely with Alun Ffred (or Ffred as he is known to his peers) as part of the One Wales Government. He was a successful Minister in a quiet, professional and reassuring way. He is someone that will keep your back no matter what and has an unwavering sense of loyalty to his fellow Plaid Cymru colleagues and members.

His time in the One Wales government as a minister, ushering in a new legal status for the Welsh language, showed how valuable his past experience leading Gwynedd Council and in business was.

As Plaid Cymru faces the challenge of pitching for government, the party needs a chair who can ensure its members are as much part of government as its ministers. Quietly effective, not seeking the limelight for himself (except perhaps when auctioning on behalf of the party!), Alun Ffred will ensure that all members have their say and that includes those who don’t attend every (sometimes tedious and fractious) branch or constituency meeting.

Factionalism

It goes without saying that he has been a chair in difficult circumstances as of late – the snap Westminster election in 2017, and a leadership election last year. However, Ffred always keeps his cool in times of stress and through the trials and tribulations of modern Welsh politics, maintains his professionalism and efficiency.

Working effectively with former leader Leanne Wood and now with Adam Price at the helm, Ffred continues to work tirelessly to be fair to all and ensure the party’s democratic processes work as they should.

His strong track record of running Gwynedd Council as leader and then leading a department of the Welsh Government shows that he is a man of steel and does not falter under pressure. We need his expertise as we go on to elect Adam Price as First Minister in 2021.

Alun Ffred can provide the stability and continuity our National Executive, our committed members and our hard-working staff need as we look ahead to the next two crucial years.

As Adam Price said in his recent article for Nation Cymru: it is a time to unite as a party, so we can unite our nation. Adam feared “Reports of a concerted attempt by some non-members of Plaid Cymru to intervene in our democracy.”

Such intervention, according to these reports, takes the form of a coordinated effort to suborn our internal elections to the National Executive Committee, due to take place at our annual party conference in the autumn.

He is right when he says that these efforts – from outside our membership – achieve nothing but the stoking of factionalism and division inside our party and could also be fatal to our mission to form our country’s next government.

Adam has made a personal appeal to all members of Plaid Cymru who share our vision of victory in 2021 to reject this attempt to divide us.

I, therefore, urge members of the party to re-elect Alun Ffred Jones as party chair as we start on our journey to 2021. We don’t need a puppet controlled by elements outside the party as chair.

We have seen the recent success of the European election where we beat Labour for the first time in our 94-year history. Now more than ever, we need to go forward together as we move towards success in 2021.

At a time when all political parties are facing challenges from simplistic populists who seek to divide and a need to set out complex but necessary safeguards for society and all individuals Plaid Cymru cannot assume we are immune to such pressure.

The road to independence needs unity, not division, and Alun Ffred will ensure that.

 

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Anne GreagsbyMax WallisRussell ElliottJocelynDaviesKeith Parry Recent comment authors
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Max Wallis
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Max Wallis

Shameful ! Calling someone she disfavours “a puppet controlled by elements outside the party” is unfitting of a serious politician. And breaches Plaid’s rules- to respect other party members.
Was this written for Joselyn, or was she put up to writing it by the group of AMs – let Joslyn disclose the factional forces behind her!

John Evans
Guest
John Evans

sorry just curious – could someone explain the subtext please – who do you think this article refers to ? who is this ‘puppet’ and what are these ‘factions’ of which you speak.

Cymrbach
Guest

The only people seeking to ‘split’ our party are those with a pathological hatred of Neil. Until he is re admitted the party will be. divided. This was a very partisan article un befitting our party

John Evans
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John Evans

again if your able to explain to me the meat of what this article is about ( as in the subtext being discussed that is not clear) it would be good. Also who are these pathological members – and are you referring to neil mcevoy?

Anne Greagsby
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Anne Greagsby

The party is already divided. We’ve just witnessed discipline wielded in the tory party and the effect wasn’t unity. Discipline is for dictators.

John Evans
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John Evans

same questions as above – what are the lines of this party division of which you speak? what has the tory party got to do with anything?

Idris
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Idris

I thought you were excluded from the party

Anne Greagsby
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Anne Greagsby

Are you talking to me. I am excluded after complaints orchestrated by Gareth Clubb and his mates after a campaign in Penarth by these few men.

Benjiman Angwin
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Benjiman Angwin

Plaid’s democratic issues and factionalism should be an issue for Plaid alone.

Some of us are tired of hearing about it.

Siôn
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Siôn

To all intents and purposes, Nation.cymru is a nationalist blog, so I’d suggest you read elsewhere if you don’t want to know about the trials and tribulations of Plaid Cymru.

Nia Lloyd
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Nia Lloyd

Who, why and what is the division you speak about? I believe your statement should be backed up with some factual evidence.
To call an interested person for chair a puppet is down right rude. Please explain your meaning?

Huw Davies
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Huw Davies

Probably trying to suck up and ease her way back into the ranks of those favoured by the Politburo. Remember there’s an election in 2021 with places on regional lists up for grabs. That’s how an “inclusive ” party works – some get included, others, not favoured, can buzz off !

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

someone out there just loves the perverse “inclusivity” !!

Jonathan Edwards
Guest
Jonathan Edwards

Where have we heard this sort of thing before? “Reports of a concerted attempt by some non-members…..to intervene in our democracy.” “Such intervention, according to these reports, takes the form of a coordinated effort to suborn our internal elections” “efforts – from outside our membership – achieve nothing but the stoking of factionalism and division inside our party” The answer? -“the need for…discipline is more important than ever” Ah, yes. This is exactly how people apparently talked in Cold War totalitarian Communist Parties. Stilted and sinister language, translated from Russian (Pravda) or Chinese (People’s Daily). Is it only me that… Read more »

Idris
Guest
Idris

I reckon this is pretty creepy: Mr Edwards was found to have:

Written to her stating he had fallen in love with her despite her saying she wanted their relationship to be only professional
Commented inappropriately on her appearance
Touched her inappropriately and attempted to hug and kiss her
Persistently tried to persuade her to enter a relationship with him

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

Idris , Who is this “Mr Edwards ” to whom you refer ?

J.Edwards’ observations above are perfectly legitimate. There is a cluster of politicians, some in representative roles others just office holders or activists, who seem to be particularly fixated with a “defence of the faith” where that “faith” is a narrow intolerant orthodoxy defined by the clique. Sort of people who could do well within Cold War Communist regimes or, if inclined to dress up, somewhere high up in the Catholic Church or even the German Nazi Party.

Idris
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Idris

The Jonathan Edwards commenting above according to the news article. creepy

Dafydd
Guest
Dafydd

The way of the Brits, divide and conquer.

Russell Elliott
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Russell Elliott

We’ve suffered years of nonsense and abuse from the Cardiff Populists, for the sake of the Party we need to hold onto the progress we’ve made. No organised faction should be allowed to take over a political party, whether that’s Militant, Momentum or the rather less populated Propel. Plaid needs to show it is ready for governing a country, the last thing we need is to go back to allowing the childish personality cult of an unbalanced narcissist to show us up. Go and join the Brexit Party if you want that sort of silly politics.

Anne Greagsby
Guest
Anne Greagsby

Winning seats and votes is nonsense, is it? Says Elliott who never won a seat in politics ever.

Gwylon Phillips
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Gwylon Phillips

Jocelyn is old-school Plaid. The Party needs a clear-out at the top and amongst those who have ruled the party (sometimes quite disgracefully) for years. Theirs is a don’t rock the boat mentality which is rejected by the majority of grass-roots members. Bring on the change into the future of an Independent Cymru which the younger generation cry out for. The Plaid establishment is running scared.

Alwyn ap Huw
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Alwyn ap Huw

I think it’s a bit rich for a person who has presided over some of the worse divisions in Plaid for many years to call for unity. If Ffred wants unity he should have thought about it before alienating members in Cardiff, Llanelli and other parts of the country.

Keith Parry
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Keith Parry

I have said for many years Plaid should follow the SNP. Have nothing to do with the Labour and campaign for independence. The SNP are on the brinx of independence and have destroyed the Labour Party. We are propping up unionist parties and not fighting for independence.Jocelyn Davies and Alud Fred Jones are the problem not the solution.

Russell Elliott
Guest
Russell Elliott

I was living in Scotland when the SNP began to rise, it had nothing to do with the kind of Populist hate campaign McEvoy has been undertaking against Labour & Plaid people like me who are happy to work with them. The rise of the SNP had everything to do with the fact that Scottish Labour messed up and let themselves be run from London. Welsh Labour have not been so silly and if we want to get ahead, we need to look like a mature party ready for government, not a hate filled bunch of school boys.

Max Wallis
Guest
Max Wallis

Plaid’s hate-filled “girls” are well able to compete with the boys, so why the sexism, Russell? It was you who was excluded from Cyfeillion dros y Blaid for hate-motivated postings. Your politics of work-with-Labour dates back to your promotion of CompassCymru in 2013. Didn’t you show up with the England-based Compass people at one Conference fringe meeting? You’re still down as Wales Convenor for Compass, the ‘up-coming event’ is that 5-yr old fringe meeting with long-departed Green-party’ Alice Hooker-Stroud, while the CompassCymru website disappeared long since. You lost out when Plaid decided the Labour Party is the main political target… Read more »

Anne Greagsby
Guest
Anne Greagsby

I have evidence of the prolonged and obsessive hate campaign by Russell Elliott against Neil McEvoy. Russells allegations are unsubstantiated and his political analysis pitiful. .

JocelynDavies
Guest
JocelynDavies

I’d like to apologise for using the word “puppet” as it wasn’t my intention. I meant to use “mouthpiece”.

Max Wallis
Guest
Max Wallis

This ‘apology’ was first obtained by Martin Shipton, according to his article in yesterday’s (13 Sept Western Mail) “Row as Plaid ex-Minister calls candidate a “puppet”.
Replacing it by “mouthpiece” is no different, breaching Plaid rules in being disrespectful to other members.
Nor does Jocelyn disclose who wrote the article for her, which she now wants to amend. Has she no reservations about other complacent praise for the past chair? What of his recent suspension of party Rules in order to disband the Membership committee that voted the wrong way on McEvoy’s application?

Anne Greagsby
Guest
Anne Greagsby

So Alun Ffred is to be “fair to all and ensure the party’s democratic processes work as they should”. Yet my complaint that the 2016 Women’s meeting at the Llangollan Council failed to notify members (even committee members, I being one) and failed to follow the Constitution on electing reps to the Executive etc. was batted away by Gareth Clubb to Alun Ffred. I re-submitted the complaint to Alun Ffred for the Feb 2017 meeting of the Exec and he never replied, apparently suppressing my complaint. Instead, they concocted a complaint against me – which the Disciplinary Panel fortunately rejected.… Read more »