Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Leanne calls for a progressive -left English Party.

Leanne Wood could be in danger of burnout as she appears not over all of Wales but  also in Catalonia and now in Manchester. She is really staring to look as not only as a party leader but a national leader.

Popping up in  Manchester yesterday she ,  claimed England lacked the progressive voice that her party provided in Wales.

She said she often gets messages from English people who wish Plaid operated on their side of the border and suggested that the film-maker Ken Loach's proposal for a new party of the left could be a launch pad for a new movement.
"England outside the overheating centre needs a voice, and the left needs a party," Wood said. "In Wales we do have an alternative voice, we have a fourth party that vies for power with Labour and, at the very least, keeps it honest."
Guardian 2nd July 2013 

Leanne  said Plaid would like to work with activists in England who wanted to redress the balance of power.

The speech will cause some raised eyebrows. It is relatively rare for a Plaid leader to make a speech in England – and the party's ultimate aim is an independent Wales.

But at an event hosted by the Institute of Public Policy Research North in Manchester, she  said:
 "I get comments regularly on Facebook and Twitter saying 'I wish Plaid stood in England'."Plaid Cymru genuinely wants to support those of you in England who want to rebalance political and economic power. We are not sectarian by nature. We are not consumed by any antipathy to … England.

Before some Nationalists start claiming Leanne shouldn't  be speaking about England and seeking links there The Party have been there b

 The Common Wealth Party (CW) was a socialist political party in the United Kingdom in the Second World War. Thereafter, it continued in being, essentially as a pressure group, until 1993

According  to Wikipedia
Founded in July 1942, during World War II, by the alliance of two left wing groups, the 1941 Committee – a think tank brought together by Picture Post owner Edward G. Hulton, and their 'star' writers J.B. Priestley and Tom Wintringham – and the neo-Christian Forward March movement led by Liberal Party Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Acland, along with independents and former Liberals who believed that party had no direction. It appealed to the egalitarian sentiments of the English populace and hence aimed to be more appealing to Labour's potential voters, rather than voters leaning Conservative. Led by Sir Richard Acland, Vernon Bartlett, J. B. Priestley, and Tom Wintringham the group called for common ownership, "vital democracy" and morality in politics. Its programme of common ownership echoed that of the Labour Party but stemmed from a more idealistic perspective, later termed "libertarian socialist". It came to reject the State-dominated form of socialism adopted by Labour under the influence of Sidney and Beatrice Webb, increasingly aligning itself instead with co-operative, syndicalist and guild socialist traditions. One party proposal was that all incomes should be subjected to an absolute upper limit..

 It goes on
In the post-war period CW was active in a number of domestic and international campaigns and developed worldwide contacts. In the Middle East, it worked for a two-state solution to the Israel/Palestine issue. At home, it helped to form the Industrial Common Ownership Movement (ICOM) and campaigned with others in its situation for small parties to be allowed to make party political broadcasts. Through the latter campaign it developed close links with Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party. Common ground was found with Plaid Cymru's syndicalist tradition. The high point of active collaboration was the joint publication in 1956 of Our Three Nations. This advocated the replacement of the United Kingdom by a 'confraternity' of self-governing states. CW also favoured regional government within England and was sympathetic to Mebyon Kernow. Executive Committee members played an active, at times leading, role in English regionalist movements, especially during the 1980s. Other members were active in the environmental movement, including the Ecology Party which then evolved into the Green party.

So there once was a largely English Part that not only were sympathetic to the cause of Scotland and Wales but also Cornwall. and Leanne call can well be seen as a cal for a new party similar to the Commonwealth Party to be established in England.

One thing is important to note the SNP have benefited from Alex Salmond  being one of the outstanding  politicians in these Islands and Leanne can do herself no harm by raising her profile on a  UK level . 

How often does a Plaid Leader appear in a London based Newspaper?

It would be ironic that History may attribute the foundation of a successful progressive party in England could be partly attributed to the speech of a Welsh Nationalist leader. 


  1. "England outside the overheating centre needs a voice, and the left needs a party," Wood said. "In Wales we do have an alternative voice, we have a fourth party that vies for power with Labour and, at the very least, keeps it honest."

    That's not the sort of thing I want to hear. I want to hear her talk about exposing Labour as the RedTory scumbags that they are. Not cosying up to them.

    Also the last thing we in Wales want is a nice party in Charge of England (and therefore Wales). We need the complete scumbags we have now and the scumbags who'll most likely replace them in a few years.

    Unfortunately for Wales we need to go through far more pain and suffering before we wake up and realise that Labour are nothing more than an English regionalist party that hate Wales and the people of Wales.

  2. Mmmm Common Wealth was a very interesting party - Tom Driberg was elected with their support during the war time truce between the parties and in the 1960s tried to interest Mick Jagger in becoming the leader! England would certainly have been better off it the party had developed

  3. I agree with Leanne and sadly perhaps, it's only by saying things about England that a Welsh nationalist can get in any UK paper (and even then only the 'clever' one).

    I don't think it can or will happen though under England's electoral system, which has no PR.

    The Common Wealth Party was great. A Plaid Cymru for England. But they had no credibility, activists, finances etc. It's exactly what a progressive English party would have to look like. Not far-left, but more moderate left (like Plaid), and not New Labour. I've always thought the trick is to find the space between New Labour and the far-left.

    It would also need PR.

  4. I'm not too sure why Leanne is bothering. It's not our problem what happens in England. By coming out with these statements she's tying Plaid into a Anglophone narrative 'for Wales see England'.

    In any case, there will never be an 'English Plaid Cymru' for three simple reasons:

    1. Westminster is a First Past the Post system, there's no chance for a smaller left-wing party and Labour won't split. They didn't under Blair they won't under anyone. It's a tribal vote.

    2. There is no votes in being more left wing. People just don't believe it. Leanne and he Left need to recognise that people are very very angry with the smug left for telling them they are racists to be concerned about immigration. The left just can't understand this because 'internationalism' (at whatever cost is their new 'class struggle').

    3. Leanne also needs to understand that the only places where left wing parties are doing well is where those parties are aligned to a nationalist cause - Scotland, Catalonia, Basque Country (Sinn Fein in Irland maybe?). This is not a coincidence. This is because people perfere nationalism to leftwing policies. What nationalism does is fuse state intervention for that stateless nation (Scotland etc) with nation-building of that nation. Nationalism wins votes. In England this dynamic doesn't exist. In fact, England is becoming 'more English' not more British but the English left wing won't embrace this because they're hang-up over 'internatiolism' and against 'Nationalism'.

    So, there is never ever a chance there'll be a Plaid England nor should Leanne seem so arrogant as to tell the English what they want. Maybe, just maybe, the English prefer the right wing conservative which sands against immigration any day over a left wing internationalists which tells them they are parochial?

    This dogs has no legs. Plaid Cymru should stop trying to tie itself into the English/British narrative.

  5. I have to say i'm not really into Wales going through "pain and suffering" as Welsh Not British says, just to make a political point.

    1. Unfortunately, we don't have a choice in the matter.

  6. I share some of Anonymous at 09:31's points on nationalism. Left-nationalism is broadly doing well, although there are a few countries (Galicia, Wales, Corsica) where it's reached a decent level but can't really progress beyond that. You could also say part of Labour's popularity in Wales is on soft nationalist grounds; having a Plaid-sounding First Minister, appearing to want more powers etc.

  7. I don't intend to be rude about this, but the problem is that Leanne is really not all that good. That's certainly not to say she is terrible or anything. She is OK. In truth, she is over sold by Plaid (which is understandable). If you read comments by Plaid members, you would think she was some sort of Obama like character! But, then you see her speeches, see her in the Senedd (she is the worst out of the opposition leaders in FMQs), see her in interviews, and she is well, a bit average at best.

    There is no comparison with Alex Salmond. Salmond is one of, if not THE, most formidable politician in the UK. Leanne's nowhere near one of the best even in the Senedd.

    Just my opinion of course.

  8. That is your opinion and you're entitled to it. I don't think it's accurate.

    We know for example from the last Yougov poll for ITV Wales that Leanne is second most popular party leader, after Carwyn Jones. She is also second most well-known, ahead of RT Davies and Kirsty, although the gap is much closer. Carwyn is admittedly miles ahead on both counts.

    The reason Plaid are third rather than second, in contrast to Leanne being second, is because of non-leadership factors. Certainly nothing to do with FMQs. Also, the reason she is popular amongst Plaid members is that if you meet her in person she's unique.

    So "the problem" isn't her, but there's definitely something else that stops Plaid breaking above the 20% mark in Assembly elections.

  9. Leanne also made many references to Cornwall, Mebyon Kernow and the right to self determination for the Cornish in her speech, sadly not quoted here. When speaking of England and devolved powers please remember that being lumped in with the English, or having references to Cornwall dropped from important statements is something that limits the public perception about Cornwall, which i'm sure anyway is not the intention here, but all the same. If people wish to read what Leanne said about Cornwall, Mebyon Kernow and devolution/self determination for Cornwall please visit- mebyonkernow.blogspot.co.uk

  10. Anonymous 2 - (Im Anonymous #1 !) - I don't think Leanne is the problem at all... I'm just saying she's average.

    And yes, she is the 2nd most well known Leader. That is not suprising really is it? Plaid is the only proper Welsh-only party, that means the leader of Plaid should be unique and much more recognisable than RT or Kirsty. Most people in Wales probably don't even know that there is such a thing as a leader of Welsh Tories or Welsh Libs. They just think the leader's are cameron and clegg.

    It would be pretty disasterous if Leanne wasn't the second most recongniseable. Wyn Jones maybe wasn't, I don't know, but come on he was hardly Mr Charisma was he? (And I say that as being a fan of him!).

  11. According to Plaid Wrecsam the media coverage (and therefore Glyn's post) is a little bit misleading. Only one throwaway reference was made in the speech to an English party. The rest of it, which Arfon has written up on the Plaid Wrecsam blog, makes much more sense and is a really refreshing message. I don't think Plaid has got a finished article yet on England but they need to start discussing it. I wouldn't be surprised if more English support independence than the Welsh do, because they've obviously got the economic criteria to sustain it, "thanks" to the City of London.