Thursday, 30 July 2015

Has Dafydd Elis Thomas had a gagging order?

According to the Wasting Mule online

 Dafydd Elis-Thomas has been told he can not make public statements on Plaid Cymru’s policy and strategy without agreeing them with his constituency first, it has emerged.

Initial reports from a private constituency meeting in Porthmadog on Tuesday suggested that the constituency party had given his backing to Lord Elis-Thomas remaining a candidate for the Assembly.
But a source within Plaid says that the meeting also agreed that the former leader should not speak out on substantive party issues without talking to the local party beforehand.

“The meeting basically agreed that if he makes public statements they have to be agreed by the local constituency,” the source said.
“It was agreed that he should continue as a candidate, but there was anger that he kept undermining the party.
“He was held to account.
“He can talk to the press, but he has to do it in a way that is a representative of the party, rather than just giving out his own opinion.”
We can wonder  what the response from the constituency  will be  to this leak  and what "basically" can really mean

There was some speculation that D.E.T.   AM for Dwyfor Meirionnydd, is known for being one of the most outspoken members of the Assembly and his party. and often gives his views  sometimes refreshingly honest for a politician but ther has been speculation that  he had the threat of de-selection hanging over his head after he publicly criticised the party's general election campaign in a manner that many felt was unjustified and plain wrong.

It has led to a problem for Plaid in that it could be seen as draconian if it takes  action against action D.E.T. and weak if it does not.

There will be hope that in the months leading up to the Assembly Election  D.E.T.does not rock the boat. But lets face it he not the person who wil kep quiet for long.

He is in a powerful position in that if he was deselected or expelled  then he would probably stand as an Independent almost certainly seeing the Party lose its safest seat.

It may make for interesting politics but I wonder if Plaid realy devre this problem .


  1. you have to hand it to plaid's spin doctors with this tactical 'leak' - clearly a case of 'getting their retaliation in first' as they used to say at pontypool park in the good old days. And before moving onto the more substantive matter of the evident breakdown in relations between leanne and dafydd el this report in the 'mule' raises a couple of interesting questions. firstly does the reporter in question (david deans) know he is quite clearly being used by plaid central office to get their story out? And if he does know this is he happy as an independent journalist to seemingly be used in this way? As to call this a 'report' is stretching matters a bit - its a press release from plaid central office in all but name!

    As for the 'row' itself well you dont have to be to be a psychology professor to see that leanne and dafydd el dont get on. but lets face it you dont have to love one another to be able to work together in poitics - michael foot's ground breaking two part biographies of aneurin bevan give accounts of bevanites and gaitskillites being physicaly sick in toilets before meetings of labour's national executive such was the emnity between labour's right and left in the 1950s.

    At times like this there's no substitute for acting like 'grown ups', getting round a table and thrashing matters out one to one - there must be a nice discreet 'bistro' down by the bay where leanne and dafydd el could hammer out their differences between each other and put this matter to bed before it becomes 'the story'!

    Certainly if it rumbles on there's likely to be only one winner - dafydd el is popular with his local party and popular with people across wales. He strikes a chord with those working class non welsh speaking traditional labour voters in the south plaid needs to appeal to if its to make the fabled 'breakthrough'. The question is are plaid's leadership adult enough to see this ? The ham fisted treatment previously metered out to people like michael haggett sadly suggests not.

  2. Dafydd El for all his faults is right and people inside and outside the party know it, there was no satisfactory post mortem after the General Election either because the party’s leadership is too stubborn, stupid or afraid to learn and change things. If they carry on they’ll look even stupider after the Assembly elections than they do now suggesting Leanne’s on course to be First Minister.

    More widely things are churning the former Plaid Cymru Chairman John Dixon is asking if a new nationalist party is needed on his blog, not in direct response to this ongoing spat, but more generally. Plaid’s monopoly on electoral welsh nationalism might not be as secure if we see another poor set of election results and a leadership not learning lessons.

  3. Plaid cannot depend on Labour getting their tactics wrong again in the Assembly elections and Leanne is looking more and more foolish at times. When asked if she would join a coalition with Labour she said, at various times in the same interview, I am looking to be the first minister for Wales...I am ruling nothing in and nothing out......I am ruling out any coalition with the Tory party.

    Coupled with the laughable claim for financial parity with Scotland....simultaneously with demanding full independence (ie no funding from the UK), and of course the nuclear/no nuclear, Green/opposition to every actual Green energy project stances Plaid looks a mess and more and more people notice this.

    The perennial problem remains; in its heartlands Plaid has deeply conservative voters but its public face is socialist in order to woo the Valleys. The small farmers who are Plaid's backbone would spit on their socialist agenda.

  4. In response to some of the above comments, I don't recognise Elis-Thomas as striking a chord with the working class non welsh speaking traditional labour voters in the South also Ms Wood beat Elis-Thomas to be elected leader [Thomas knocked out in the first round] and the 'mule' is seen by many as a unionist Welsh Labour rag.

    Another 'nationalist' party is not needed as it would split the 'nationalist' vote, there is little appetite for a centre right 'nationalist' party in Wales compared to a centre left 'nationalist' party.

    Plaid has been a socialist party for decades and decades, Ms Wood took over the party when the parties fortunes were on the way down, Ms Wood represented everything previous leaders had not.
    The question is not how much better Plaid would have done with someone else, but how much worse Plaid would have done without Ms Wood ?
    The Assembly elections will decide her fate going forward but she has done well with the hand she was dealt, huge levels of immigration [from over the border] into Wales particularly the Plaid heartlands and the rise of UKIP combined with the usual disingenuous scaremongering towards Plaid by opponents and the media.