Sunday, 25 September 2016

Leanne should have welcomed Corbyn's election for now.

I must admit I was disappointed with Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood's response to Jeremy Corbyn's reelection.

Plaid’s Ms Wood said:

“The chaos and infighting engulfing the Labour party as well as the proposed boundary changes mean that the party is unlikely to win a Westminster election for at least a decade, possibly even longer. This leaves us facing the prospect of a Tory UK Government in London, that Wales has not voted for, doing its worst for the people in this country.

It  loks like that Leanne is accepting the Right Wing Media analysis that a Left Wing leader canot win a UK General Election.

She goes on to say

“It is not often I agree with [Owen Smith], but when he said that a victory for Jeremy Corbyn would condemn the UK to a decade of Tory cuts, it is difficult to see how he is wrong.
She could have argued that a Corbyn victory will be made more difficult  by Smith standing against Corbyn and increasing the turmoil within the Labour party and that if Smith had won then it could be harder for other Parties to work with Labour adopting a right of centre position.

What i believe she should have said that Plaid welcomed Corbyn  election in the hope that he would lead Labour in to  a Progressive direction and Unite with Plaid,the SNP and Green MPs in opposing the Tories Austerity program  finally ending the Blarite  project which prepared the way for Cameron and May.

The LibDems are clearly hoping that there will be Anti-Corbyn defections from Labour to them as Peter Black indicates in a current Blog.

I doubt if Plaid would want them and I doubt that this was the call that Leanne's press statement intended.

Leanne is right in that if it becomes clear that the Tories will be in power from the Tories then 

“The only alternative to this now is a much a stronger devolution settlement for Wales and greater self-rule.”
But why no use of the "I"word

 “On issues of great importance like justice and welfare, Wales continues to be at the mercy of the Tories in Westminster who have little understanding or concern when it comes to how their decisions impact our country and its people. The time has come for Wales to chart its own course.”
One of the strange things about the Corbyn   campaign and that of the new Labour members around him and Momentum particularly is their views on devolution of power from Westminster.

You get the impression it is  something Jeremy has not really given much thought about,

If I was Leanne Wood, Nicola Sturgeon and Caroline Lucus . I would call for talks with Jeremy on constitutional reform including devolution to the English regions and find out if he is a progressive on such issues or is just another London-Centric  politician.


  1. I would imagine that Wood, Sturgeon and Lucas have been quietly trying to form an alliance with Cornyn begins the scenes for the last year, and that Leanne has had enough time to conclude that Cornyn is a London centric politician.

    I also don't see any evidence that momentum are interested in devolution (they seem like old style brit-lefties) or working with other parties. The don't even seem that keen on working with other members of their own party!

    1. I fear you are right but I see no harm in trying.

  2. I disagree, Corbyn’s call for action on opposition to grammar schools in England and his reluctance to have Scottish or Welsh Labour members on the party’s ruling NEC proved he has a blind spot towards devolution and that Leanne Wood took the right option.

    She’s finally learnt that for Plaid Cymru to be a serious option as an alternative Welsh Government in 2021 the cosying up to Labour has to stop, her first instinct after Brexit was to call for a cross party response – well there is one, a Labour, Lib Dem, Tory and UKIP one for hard Brexit and thank goodness Plaid Cymru aren’t part of it.

    1. Not sure how Corbyn opposing grammar schools in england is problematic anon - education is devolved and May's proposals only applies to england. Corbyn is right to oppose proposals that would condemn millions of children in england to a second class education - im certain Leanne would be opposed to any such proposals for Wales too.

      But youre right about momentum's apparent ignorance of devolution, and their seeming inability to grasp the notion that wales and scotland are national entities in their own right. As old british left failing as you say.

    2. It was the England-only focus I was talking about, not the grammar school’s policy which I like you oppose and why the shock at WOL comments it’s been like that for years, the Brexit vote has emboldened the Wales haters. UKIP’s hard right agenda is in the ascendancy in Wales and the majority are happily dancing to their tune.

      All of us are going to get used to it sadly because any progress for the left in Wales will be hard fought in the years ahead because Labour in Wales has sold their souls in the search for (UKIP) votes yet again.

  3. "What i believe she should have said that Plaid welcomed Corbyn election in the hope that he would lead Labour in to a Progressive direction and Unite with Plaid,the SNP and Green MPs in opposing the Tories Austerity program finally ending the Blarite project which prepared the way for Cameron and May".

    Agreed Glyn and disappointing to hear a socialist like leanne seeming to echo the blairite's narrative on Corbyn. She and plaid should perhaps remember that the same right wing british media which has spent the last 12 months demonising corbyn would be unleashed on Leanne and Plaid too if it looked like they were about to make a significant snp style breakthrough in wales.

    Jeremy Corbyn and people who want self government for Wales have the same enemies - the right wing british media.

  4. PS i made the mistake of reading the fail's story on this on its website Walesonline - it's a cesspit of anti welsh and anti plaid bile. One particularly repugnant poster seems to be likening plaid supporters to child sex offenders!!!

    Does anyone at WOL actually moderate public posts on its stories?

    1. I have given up reading the comments page on that website in dispair.

  5. You either have Glasnost there spreading his anti Welsh Language bile or a group of people who equate Plaid with fascism. Everything goes off topic so quickly. I have to cede the discussion to them but they and their sock puppets dominate.

  6. I wouldn't wish to speak for Leanne, or any of my other colleagues within Plaid Cymru, but I think you mistake the thrust of her criticism. When Corbyn was first elected last year, Plaid Cymru were in the strange position of knowing him better than most of his Labour colleagues, having worked closely with him in Westminster on opposing many of the Blair and Brown governments' policies. I expressed my own (qualified) support for him back then, which you can see here:

    The problem with Corbyn is not that he is too left-wing to be elected. It is rather that he seems incapable of putting into practice any of his policies. The fundamental issue that makes Corbyn a liability for the left is not ideology, but competence. He is unable to run his own party, so why would anyone trust him to run a country?

    Of course the media have demonised him, and of course he has been treated atrociously by his own parliamentary party. But he cannot blame all of his failings on others. Having been elected to the leadership, he has made one poor decision after another; surrounding himself with yes-men who insulate him from criticism, distancing himself from fellow party-members who are not factionally aligned with him. Again, the fundamental question is: if he cannot persuade the right-wing of the Labour party of the value of his ideas, how can he expect to persuade the electorate at large?

    It should be remembered, as well, that while Plaid Cymru, the SNP and the Greens have all made the right noises about a 'progressive alliance', Corbyn himself has proved hostile to the idea. And not only has he refused to discuss co-operation with other left-wing parties, but he has also seemingly rowed back on the constitutional question. Here is a man who seems quite happy to pal around with Sinn Fein, but once the issue of Scottish and Welsh self-determination comes up, he is silent.

    I wish Jeremy Corbyn had done better as leader. I hope that he still has the opportunity to improve. But I am not convinced that he offers a realistic prospect of change that will improve the lives of ordinary Welsh men and women. Plaid Cymru is the only party that can do so.