Thursday, 13 September 2012

Plaid Leader's first annual conference

Political parties herald the start of Autumn by holding their conferences. The first one to kick-off is Plaid Cymru. They take over Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon at the end of the week.
Expect to hear a great deal about Wales’s struggling economy. Leanne Wood has made it her priority and has set in train a group to come up with an economic plan.
After a lackluster few months this will be an opportunity for the new leader to make her mark. She’s speaking to conference tomorrow afternoon. It’s billed as a keynote speech. 
Strange isn’t it that all speeches by party leaders are keynote. It means ‘what I’m about to say is very very important. So listen and learn.’ 
Certainly the leaders speech will have two purposes. The first is reaffirm to the membership that they made the right choice earlier in the year in choosing her as leader. She’s still in her honeymoon period, but a political party wouldn’t be a political party without a number of skeptics and there will be a number of those she still has to win over. So her speech to the faithful matters.
But what about the great unwashed outside the conference hall, what’s she going to say to us. Is she going to flesh out her approach. It’s not rhetoric that’s required but thought out adult policies that convince that she knows what she’s doing and where her party is going.
The party chair, Helen Mary Jones, says in a taster for the two days that "Tackling Wales’ economic problems is the priority for Plaid Cymru. The economic gap widened under the last Labour Government in Westminster and that is continuing under the UK Tory-Lib Dem Coalition.
"Plaid Cymru believes that only by taking more control here in Wales can we create the successful nation that we know we can be.” 
Yes, quite so. 
But details are necessary. Voters hold all politicians in low regard. They need to know the how, in some detail before they give any party their support. 
Even for Plaid Cymru under a personable new leader the call is for substance not superficiality. 

1 comment:

  1. Let's see what happens. And let's see the strength and depth of political reporting at these party conferences.