Saturday, 14 May 2011

Ieuan quits (but not just yet)

Blogger went off line yesterday so news  of Ieuan Wyn Jone' announcement that he will stand down as Plaid Cymru leader in the first half of the Welsh assembly's five-year term. has not hit the Welsh bloggersphere  in the numbers you would expect, He said it had always been his intention to leave the role at some point before the next election in 2016

So there will not be contest yet; But already Dafydd Elis Thomas has thrown his hat in the ring indicating that he would lead the Party  into coalition with Labour. But I can't see someone who has severed 12 years as Llywedd becoming leader of the Party and he would only be seen as a stop gap untill a nsomeone who is not yet a AM is elected in 2016  but clearly he has much to offer.

But by delaying his departure Jones has probably make this likely as the party will be looking for a younger leader who will take the Party forward in the next 10 years.

The delay also allows the Party to amend any constitutional barrier demanding the leader must be a member of the Assembly and allowing the "Pri(n)e over the water" to stand or  allow Simon Thomas time to establish himself in the Assembly.

Others may include Elin Jones who can probably shake of the controvert of the Badger Cull by the time of the next election and who has been impressive in government.

So expect a lot of manouvering in the next yeat and it at least means Plaid  Members will be attending their next conference concentrating on the preformance of the Leadership contenders rather than that of poor recent election results.

Which may just be what IWJ has planned for.


  1. Elin Jones is not an option. She can't string a sentence without saying 'umm' in it. She's good, she's intelligent, radical but sensible but not carismatic.

    DET - I still have a soft spot for DET. He's intelligent, has experience. When he's good he's very good. The trouble is I just don't trust him. The issue of trust is his big problem. I can just imagine him saying something like 'the nation state is dead' or 'independence is reactionary' two weeks before the election. If DET and his supporters are reading this then he really needs to get to grip with this image of trust, stop treating the assembly like a Hay on Wye discussion forum and stop showing contempt for the rank and file.

    Simon Thomas has come over well in the media over the past week. But again is he a people's man? I heard a Plaid member say that ST (again) walked into a Plaid event and didn't speak to people, ask how they are, glad-hand them. Basically doing the stuff which is a part of a politician's job. That's one reason he lost Ceredigion. Unless he does the stuff which he may think is below him or disingenious, then he's not fit to become leader as he doesn't udnerstand people or how politics works. Politics isn't just about policies. It's about people.

  2. Good point on DET but not sure about Elin Jones. You can rely to much on charisma and of course it can come and go

    I see Llyr Huws Gruffydd name is being touted by some: But like Simon Thomas he represents a regional seat and the lesson of Nick Bourne shows that this is a dangerous position to be in when you are making progress.

    Can any party promote a leader that doesn't have a relatively safe constituency seat?

    But then Plaid should start campaigning for STV for 2016 as nonnegotiable if they are even to remotely support the Labour administration.

  3. DET would be an odd choice, I'm sure the London media would love the idea that the Welsh Nationalists are led by a Lord.

    Elin Jones would be a poor choice, and though it would sure up Plaid's base, that's hardly what's needed at the moment.

    The stand out choice would be Leanne Wood, she would attract many people to the party who are currently hostile to what they see as a rural backwater party. Of course her lack of fluent welsh may be a problem.

  4. Leanne, Certainly my favorite AM not sure that someone who stands by her principles can make it as a Party leader but it would be nice to see.

    On her ability in Welsh perhaps its time that Plaid had a non-welsh speaker in a party that seeks to bring in all aspects of Wales. It would be highly desirable if the leader was fluent but it would be foolish to exclude anybody who wasn't.

    After all the main criteria in this was commitment to the future of the language and there are many people who cannot speak Welsh who are and many Unionist who can speak Welsh who aren't.