Friday, 16 January 2015

Plaid Candidate attacked over "controversial" Blog.

Wales Online report that a "A Plaid Cymru parliamentary candidate has been attacked by Labour over a series of blog posts – including one in which he said he wanted to see a man jump to his death from a city flyover"

it seems Martin Pollard, who in May will be standing in Cardiff Central, is chief executive of the Wales Centre for International Affairs.

He wrote a number of entries in his blog which have been picked out by Labour.

In one he wrote:

 “As I approached the Gabalfa Interchange, the busiest intersection in Cardiff, blue lights lit up the dull, afternoon sky, but tellingly no sirens.
“Then I saw him, perched on the bridge.
“He wasn’t imminently about to jump, you could tell, but his legs swung gently in the breeze as he talked to some unseen police officers.
“He wasn’t about to jump, but I wanted him to.”

n his Woolgatherer blog Mr Pollard also said the use of heroin, cocaine and ecstasy was less dangerous than drinking alcohol. He also said the “three common misconceptions” about paedophilia were that paedophiles were all sex offenders, that they were the worst criminals of all and that paedophilia was one of the greatest threats to children.

And writing in 2009 he backed David Cameron’s proposed austerity policies.

He also advocated student tuition fees of up to £10,000 per year.

The blog has been taken down since we contacted Mr Pollard.

A Labour Party source said:
It beggars belief that anyone would say such peculiar things, but this blog by Plaid’s Cardiff Central candidate is astounding.“From calling for the legalisation of heroin, his disturbed musings on paedophilia, to his bizarre depiction of wanting to watch someone commit suicide, Martin Pollard’s thoughts are simply surreal.“His ramblings on policy will also be hugely embarrassing to Leanne Wood.“While she has spent the week banging the drum against Conservative spending cuts, a prominent Plaid candidate in the capital city has been caught praising Tory ‘frugality’.I#“The thousands of students living in Cardiff Central will be astonished that the so called party of Wales has selected a candidate that wants to raise their tuition fees up to as much as £10,000 a term.“The comments made by Martin Pollard are so deeply offensive, that Leanne Wood needs to take action against him immediately

”The idea that Mr Polland is a Prominent candidate when he is standing in Cardiff Central is abusurd though no one can deny this is an embarrassment ,

Mr Pollard said:
Like many people I have been on a political journey during my adult life where my views have been shaped by a number of issues and, at times, have altered as a result of events.
“Some of the blog posts were published nine years ago, before the recession had taken its dreadful toll on our communities, and as such, some contained views that I held at time when the context was very different.”
“Some of the blog posts were published nine years ago, before the recession had taken its dreadful toll on our communities, and as such, some contained views that I held at time when the context was very different.

A Plaid Cymru spokeswoman said:

 “This is a desperate attempt by the Labour Party to smear a well respected intellectual.
“Plaid Cymru believes that it is important to defend the right to freedom of opinion and expression and that opinions should not be taken out of context as Labour have deliberately attempted to do here.”

I bet a pound to a penny however  that if Mr Pollard was a Labour candidate the roles would be reversed between Plaid and Labour

As a regular Blogger and Daily read other Blogs I've never read or been aware a Blog called of Woolgatherer and have never seen it listed on fellow Bloggers recommendations I wonder how prominent and how regular "Woolgatherer".

It does seem from this case that someone somewhere is scanning the uttering of candidates for political office on Social Media to find controversial outburst.

As an Independent Bloggar I,ve no worries that my musings may be used in the future against me or any Party i was to stand for .

But others may find real problems emerging from the past.

In the run up to GE2015 I expect a rise in Political Blogs as candidates seek to increase their ppro

Certainly in 2005 Heledd Fychan's   Pendroni  blog raised her profile in Montgomery  and was one of the delights of the campaign.

But clearly the message is to avoid making controversial statements  which alas may lead to rather boring contributions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The question remains though Glyn is, who do the heck I vote for? Cardiff Central is a two horse race between Labour and the LibDems, and though I ususally do vote Plaid in complete desperation I don't feel that I can vote for this guy. He may well, as he says, have moved on, but it remains that his expressed views are the kind that are pretty fundamental to who he is. Even if he did write those things nine years ago, they will still be very much part of his psyche - 29 isn't 16, 17 or even 18 years of age, and as we know, once someone reaches about 25 years of age their general views on life are pretty well set for the rest of it - though a few weirdos do like me have moved substantially to the left and more anarchic as we've aged. But even that doesn't mean that I've changed anything fundamentally in the way I think, but that I'm rather more stubborn and cantankerous about it!

As it is, I's seriously thinking of holding my nose an voting tactically for Labour. This would be my first ever time for voting for Labour, and I've been voting since 1979, and apart from that year, I've always voted Plaid in every election, even though I usually view them more as Plaid Llymru rather than Plaid Cymru these days.

Hope all is well with you Glyn - seems like it was aeons ago now since we were all at Coleg Harlech now. Good times, even though we probably didn't realise it at the time!

Padi Phillips