Which brings me to the news that commission set up by Plaid Cymru in the face of two poor election results to recommend that Plaid should consider changing its name to the Welsh National Party.
If you didn't know and I wouldn't blame if you did. Plaid's English name is currently the "Party of Wales "( a more direct translation). Its been suggested that the name was adopted In order that Welsh Labour couldn't Labour it self Welsh Labour - The party of Wales.
Since then has anyone really noticed the Plaid- Party of Wales name on party leaflets?, Hss any member canvassing said . Hello I'm calling on behalf of the Party of Wales? Has any senior Party member used it on a Pol tics pro gramme?Has any journalist or member of the public
Indeed nearly everyone simply refers to the Party as "Plaid Cymru "or simperly "Plaid" or if they wish to be negative "Welsh Nats" or even more derogatory " Nats".
Would a name change make any difference I doubt it and I suspect hardly any member will use it . Indeed it will be largely only the Blaid's opponents who will.
Quite frankly if Plaid wants to link more with English speakers and avoid being seen as a Welsh speaking party it should concentrate it efforts more in widening it membership and campaigning more in the South Wales Valleys.Including a staffed valleys office
So why has the commission come out with the name change proposal which they must know most members will not use ? Could it be that the Party realised that this would be the major issue taken up with the report? And therefore the main points will be left to the membership and the four leadership contenders to digest rather than the media?
Gareth Hughes on his blog has given us most of the real recommendation of the commission and I reproduce them below.
- The establishment of a National Academy to revolutionise campaigning and organisation, as well as nurturing the community champions and national leaders of the future.
- A radical modernisation of the party’s campaigning methods to create a permanently campaigning party equipped with the tools that are necessary for a modern 21st century party.
- The establishment of a more effective mechanism for policy formulation. Ensuring that the skills of members, supporters and external experts are utilised in order to ensure better policy development.
- An acceptance that the Party needs greater clarity over its aims in order to be able to present a coherent and united message to the people of Wales.
- Fundamental changes to the Party’s structures in order to ensure clearer leadership and greater accountability from all Plaid representatives
Quite frankly the future of Plaid for the next decade will .not be based on a inward revue but on who it elects as its leadership in March and who can galvanize the Party with a vision of a Independent Wales that will unite all of its people. The question is will she be up to the task