Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Carwyn by loosing to Farage damaged the European case.

 Most Pundits seem to think Ukip leader Nigel Farage  got thee better of Carwyn Jones in the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA ) two man debate on Monday night.

Of course there a danger in those  who did not see  being influenced by the pres reports .

Even those who attended  the debate may well have changed their view on who had won

".In response, Plaid Cymru said UKIP's approach was "based on division and the scapegoating of vulnerable people".

 Plaid Leader Leanne Wood  certainly seemed to have not  only lost but damaged the whole Pro Union campaign.

During their exchange in First Minister's Questions on Tuesday

Ms Wood said: 

"First minister, last night you participated in the first major public debate on the future for Wales within the European Union.
"You went head-to-head with the voice of the far right.
"Do you think your performance helped or hindered the Welsh campaign on the EU?"

, Ms Wood told Mr Jones that "a new Europe is possible, but you failed to put that positive vision in that debate last night".
Mr Jones said Ms Wood 

"fails to outline how she would have done anything differently, what message she would put forward".
 if Carwyn wanted to know what Leanne would have done differently he should  not have agreed like Nick Clegg before him to have a one to one debate in the  arrogant belief he could best Farage and boost his own parties chances in May
 Both failed spectacularly and the reverse happened.

UKIP has accused Plaid  "tacky and baseless" jibes after calling Nigel Farage the "voice of the far right".

A UKIP spokesman said she had acted "crudely and immaturely
In their response Ukip  spokesman seemed to believe that rather than lok at Plaid support in Wales it should be taken in a UK context.

 "She so crudely and immaturely labels the one politician fighting for British sovereignty, against unelected foreign control, in order to put the interests of the men and women of the UK first, as 'far right'.
"Perhaps she should reflect on her own 0.6% share of the vote in the general election, compared to UKIP's support a massive 21 times higher, making UKIP the third most popular party in the UK, before she uses tacky and baseless labels to accuse a party backed by 4m voters as representing extreme or niche politics."
 Looking at Ukip "friends " in the European Parliament.The Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe, Far right seems a fair assessment.

It is perhaps indicative  that they don't  mention that  they out polled Plaid in Last Years General Election and although they didnt't win a seat (to Plaid's 3) they came second in many Welsh Constituencies.

LAB 36.9%
CON 27.2%
UKIP 13.6%
PC 12.1%
LD 6.5%
GRN 2.6%

Instead they make a Comparison which  even if Plaid had matched the SNP in having 50% of the vote, Ukip would still have out out polled them using UK wide results.

 Perhaps the oddest criticism of Leanne came from  Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott who  criticised Ms Wood's tactics, saying on Twitter:

 "If Plaid want Wales to remain in Europe, it's not wise for their leader to stand here and drive wedges between people on the same side."

Maybe its the "Clegg disaster " Ms Parrott was  thinking of and seeing any criticism of Carwyn Jones rebound.

But being "on the same side" does not mean that Plaid or any Party should accept such a disaster that Carwyn Jones  and the IWA took us into on Monday night  in the belief it would be god for the Labour Pert.

It was not and damaged the Pro-European campaign.


  1. farage could have recited the ten times table and would still have received a thunderous applause from the hordes of kippers who were packed among the audience. poor carwyn - and the mugs at the IWA - imagined the event would be a serious debate, but instead the 'debate' turned into a tailor made opportunity for the wiley farage to treat the audience (and the tv cameras) to plenty of soundbites and theatrical verbal flourishes.

    Thus while the immediate reaction by the 'twitter-ati' seems to be that farage decisively won the debate if one actually examines the substance of the debate and what they both said an honourable draw would be a fairer description. But farage treated the event like a pantomime and played to the gallery to great effect, and it would be a mistake to imagine the likes of leanne or kirsty would have fared any better than carwyn did in such circumstances.

    So while a serious debate it sadly wasnt it was a foretaste of what we can expect when the referendum campaign starts in earnest. And those on the stay in side in wales are going to have to battle hard to get the benefits to wales of eu membership heard over the negative 'noise' we'll get from the kippers.

    But let no one on the progressive side of politics in wales be in any doubt that the prospect of a vote to leave - prompting another scottish independence referendum - and of wales being permanently locked in to a right wing 'england and wales' is a very real possibility.

    1. True but if it had been a proper Leaders debate and Farage and Carwyn were up against the other parties it would be a different story.

  2. Couple of things

    Plenty of people in all parties and none warned beforehand that this event would only help UKIP and so it proved, UKIP could easily win 10 seats in May (2 in each regional list) and Carwyn’s less than stellar performance along with the IWA's desperation for publicity and cash boosted the kipper campaign enormously.

    It’s also no secret that Labour is struggling for a campaign narrative for the Welsh elections, their under pressure from all sides and loosing votes which is why Carwyn sought the debate in the first place, he and his advisors thought a decent performance would set the scene for a binary Labour versus UKIP campaign which would help galvanise Labour voters that both parties are targeting, but it blew up in his and Labour’s face.

    Carwyn’s damaged not just the the pro European campaign in Wales but across the UK, he’s a liabilitybecause he not used to be put under pressure welsh journalist and pundits don’t see it, so when he’s exposed to pressure he crumbles and the debate also proves how bad the three opposition leaders are in debating Carwyn Jones at the weekly a FMQ’s, if Nigel Farage who was average managed to comprehensively out play him albeit on his favourite subject, Europe.

    I’m not overly worried about a Leave vote, without EU funds, without farm subsidies and massive public cuts to public services Welsh politicians of all stripe would have to adapt and it might finally be the catalyst to wake Welsh voters and Plaid Cymru from their slumber and to the dangers of slowly becoming a region of England.

    1. hard to see how wales losing tens of thousands of jobs and billions to its economy (both sure consequences of a vote to leave) would be a good thing - unless of course you like mass employment and mass poverty?

      Sadly such delusions are an example of the muddled thinking that appears to exist in some welsh nationalist circles on the forthcoming referendum. A vote to leave would be a disaster for wales of unimaginable proportions. Indeed nothing is more sure to reduce wales to the status of a 'region of england' than a vote to leave - a grim future as a region of 'osbornia' as we have dubbed it

    2. Let's be honest, Wales is already considered as nothing more than a region of England by many people. This is particularly true of the unionist political parties in Wales and their Westminster masters.

  3. Leanne Wood's article in the Sunday Times last week highlighted many positives of the Union, access to the the largest trading block in the world, safeguards and rights for workers & consumers. She rightly raised many legitimate questions, the most important probably being more power to the communities of Europe, that the Union needs to address. Better in, sorting out these problems than winging outside.