Monday 23 July 2012

Who's whose poodle

So party stalwart and ex MP & AM Cynog Dafis wants Plaid to forget about independence and concentrate on trying to be nice to Labour. Presumably so that Labour relents and allow Plaid Cymru back into government.
In a Radio interview Mr Dafis said his party should do a deal with Labour and agree a way forward for the Welsh NHS.
Mr Dafis seems to be singing from the same hymn sheet as Dafydd Elis-Thomas. Both want a governmental role for their party rather than a constant oppositional role.
What both are saying don’t bother trying to hold the Welsh government to account, don’t co-operate with the other opposition parties.  Put simply, just cosy up to Labour.
Such a strategy must be music to the ears of Carwyn Jones and Labour. If Plaid Cymru was to adopt such a policy, Labour would be given a free hand in the governance of Wales.
Now whilst some in Plaid Cymru might agree with Lord Elis-Thomas that there was no evidence that a no confidence vote was warranted on the Health Minister. Maybe, on this occasion the party got it wrong. 

But surely there will be occasions when the government will need to be held to account by the opposition parties. And yes even a vote of no-confidence will be warranted. 
A party whose main strategy is getting into bed with the government rules out any constructive role of opposition.
The nub of it, is that with such an approach Plaid Cymru is accepting Labour hegemony. It is accepting one-party rule in Wales. And is not inclined to challenge Labour’s dominance. 
Such a policy is inherently anti-democratic, it it is exactly the approach that was taken in the old Soviet Block where other parties were allowed to exist, but in name only. There was, of course, a condition for their existence. They always had to vote with the comrades in the Communist party. 
Forget the realignment of Welsh politics. One party rule forever.
Is there room in the Welsh politic scene for such a party. 
A party that kicks its reason for existence into the very long grass  and turns its back on independence. It’s only role in life, to prop up Labour.

“Vote for us and we’ll help Labour.” Doesn’t do it for me as a winning formula to gather votes on election day. Why vote for the monkey when the organ grinder is on the ballot paper.


  1. Last week may have been the wrong strategy on the NHS, but equating that failure with the prospect of Labour hegemony is disingenuous, Labour will get its way on reform because Wales has always been an untouchable and unaccountable Labour hegemony and it will remain that way in the future despite the pretense of democracy at elections which are nothing more than a head count.

    As for Plaid Cymru they are a branch of the Labour Party so why not join the Government, just like the Lib Dems want to.

    And for the record the Assembly is already like a Soviet puppet Government complete with a Business Minister on record as regretting capitalism.

  2. In fairness that isn't exactly what he said. I read the BBC article and I was quite angered. But then I listend to the show, and he says that we should concentrate NOW on building Wales into a better country (instead of independence). I think that is quite a good idea, build up Wales so that she can be ready for independence.

    The take that Cynnog and Daf have taken are quite strange. They say we shouldn't be "cwn bach" to the Tories, yet that is exactly what they advocate us to be for Labour. To me this does not make any sense, and we go back to the old Welsh cliche: tories = bad, labour = good. When in actual fact, the Tories may actual do more for Wales (as they actually have to fight to get our votes).

    This term may well be tough for the Labour party in Wales (it's why I think we'll get next to no legislation through, particularly controversial ones). So although this sounds highly political, Plaid should just stand back and make it as difficult as possible for them. Thereby in 2015 coming in with more votes, and who knows - able to form a government to reverse all the mistakes Labour have done. By going into a coalition with them, we don't have that arm to fight with.

    As for the issue of health. Plaid CANNOT allow what Labour want to do with the health service. So they are right to flag it up, and now therefore is the time to 'come together' to try and change the policy.

    On a final note- do you think the party should listen to Dafis's tactics bearing mind what he said to Wigley?.

  3. What did he say to Wigley?

  4. Apologies to the last two comments they were deleted in error. Would happily post them if resubmitted

  5. Cynog Dafis has spouted this nonsense for years. He is not a nationalist, what is he doing in Plaid Cymru? He won a seat years ago by getting crackpot greenies and teepee dwellers to vote for him.He should be sacked.

  6. Excellent blog post. Agree entirely.

    DET and Cynog should support Leanne Wood as she finds her feet and develops a genuine Left and independent alternative to Labour. Time for the old men in the party to support the new generation and its vision - just as we supported them in the past (my first vote in an election was for Cynog in 1992).

  7. Ridiculous comments about Cynog. A progressive politician who wanted Plaid representation and knew he had to make alliances to get it. Regardless of what the haters say, I'm proud he was a Plaid-Green MP for us. I don't agree with his views this time but he isn't my enemy. Cynog isn't necessarily siding with DET, he was once drumming up support for an anti-Labour coalition through the "Dewis" group as I've said elsewhere. He wants Plaid to have it's hands on the levers of power. I think he's wrong this time around but having that view doesn't make him "not a nationalist".

    The anti-devolution, anti-wind farm, right-wing fringe nationalists are completely out of touch with Plaid and should form their own party so that they can take us on, rather than bothering us online.

  8. Am I missing something here. If it was a Labour-Plaid coalition, or a Labour-Lib Dem coalition, it wouldn't be "one party rule". The One Wales coalition did stuff that Labour wouldn't have done on its own.

    But that said, Labour wouldn't want or need a coalition with Plaid. They would be much more likely to work with the Lib Dems.

    1. In theory you're right but in the truth it has been a Labour dominated government. They've always called the shots. That to me is one-party rule.They've have had power ever since the Assembly was created and are likely to maintain that dominance for the foreseeable future.

    2. I agree Gareth and of course they would ultimately call the shots- and i'm not a Labour supporter- but isn't that because they win the elections every time? If Labour is winning the elections, and you can work with them, are you then not diluting their power? I don't agree with Cynog and I don't see what Plaid would get out of a coalition this time around, but if Plaid did go in with Labour at another time it isn't really like the "Soviet Bloc" it's just like many other European countries where coalitions are fairly normal.

  9. maen_tramgwydd25 July 2012 at 15:43

    Anon 15:49

    "'s just like many other European countries where coalitions are fairly normal."

    Yes, but the difference here is that Plaid is a nationalist party. As such it has ultimately a radically different agenda to all the other unionist parties. Coalitions with unionist parties are likely to be damaging for nationalist parties as they are unable to further their fundamental aim of independence. This has proved true in Plaid's case - it is now in no position to further either the cause of devolution of greater powers, or of independence. The unionists now call the shots. I would say that Plaid has shot itself in the foot under IWJ's leadership. Those prominent members, such as Cynog Dafis and DET who want another Labour-Plaid agreement must have a death wish for their party. The golden opportunity Plaid had when the Assembly was created and they gained 17 seats has truly been squandered. Following Labour's agenda gets Plaid nowhere. The 1997 devolution settlement was Labour's, the 2006 Act was Labour's, about all Plaid managed to do was get them to implement Part 4, resulting in weak legislative powers - which ironically are held by Labour. I call that sheer stupidity. I predicted it would happen when IWJ wanted to get into government. Labour would have implemented Part 4 anyway, probably during this session, when the ConDems are ruling the roost at Westminster, thus proving to the people of Wales that they are the party of Wales, and not Plaid. It was a cunning strategy, and IWJ fell for it. Salmond had more sense, and has reaped the rewards. If I were Plaid's leader, DET and Cynog would be drummed out - they should have been long since- to casue troubel for another party, preferably Labour. If a tooth continually aches and makes your life a misery, have it extracted, so that you can get on with achieving something in life.

  10. You've said all this before MT, however the idea that one Wales was all a cunning plan by Labour seems a bit like a conspiracy theory.

  11. maen_tramgwydd26 July 2012 at 08:14

    Anon 18:42

    I didn't say 'One Wales' was a cunning plan by Labour. Read my comment. Remember George Robertson who said "Devolution will kill nationalism stone dead" and tell me that it wasn't their plan?

    Plaid fell for it, the SNP didn't. Dafis and DET are still falling for it (and a couple of other brickheads in the party), now if that isn't stupidity, tell me what is.

    Plaid is going backwards, not forwards. It has to defeat Labour at the ballot box - there is no other way. Labour is Plaid's true opponent - the fundamental aims of the parties are in conflict. Labour exists to gain power in the UK - Wales is largely an irrelevance to it - it provides some of the seats it needs in the Commons with little or no questioning by the electorate. It suits Labour to have a dependant, underperforming Wales, with large numbers of people living off the state, so that they keep voting Labour to keep the dreaded Tories out who threaten (and do )to cut their benefits.

    Labour has created the vicious cycle, and Catch 22 situation, Wales finds itself in - the need for Barnett and ever larger fiscal transfers. DET and Dafis want to perpetuate that and make Wales' situation worse. Has Labour's devolution plan made Wales a more prosperous place to live in over thirteen years? No, it hasn't. Did the One Wales government do that? No, it didn't. More of the same won't help.

    Open your eyes, the emperor has no clothes.