Saturday, 26 August 2017

For Plaid to be relevant , then they must make th assembly relevant.

 It would be difficult to disagree with Neil McEvoy that  "Plaid Cymru remains a well-kept secret and irrelevant to many Welsh youngsters,."
Writing on the Nation.Cymru website, backbencher Neil McEvoy a Plaid Assembly member should end co-operation with Labour, accusing it of working to "meekly" influence the governing party.
He writes,
My political party is as irrelevant to many Welsh youngsters in 2017, as it was to me in 1987; this needs to change.
Plaid needs to be confident and proud of what we are, or perhaps what we should be.
Plaid should be a social movement, not just a political party isolated in the Bay Bubble. We should loudly stand for a fully self-governing and sovereign Wales at every given opportunity.
The national Welsh project must be our centre of gravity. The national cause is more important than any individual or indeed any group of individuals. Just look at what Sinn Fein and the SNP have achieved with a united goal.
We must define our rights as Welsh people through a Welsh constitution. This will establish the standards we can expect in public life through a social contract between Welsh people and the Welsh institutions that govern us; all backed up by a fully-fledged sovereign law system.
We must stand for a reversal of the centuries old trend of young people having to leave Wales to seek their fortune. Neo-liberal capitalism continues to be a very isolating and lonely system of economics that we must reject. No amount of consumerism can fill the voids left in people’s lives in 21st century Wales.
Building community is the key. We should also seek to give people a stake in their workplace. John Lewis shows how successful an employee owned business can be; Wales has a radical history of workers’ cooperatives. Plaid also needs to be pushing this for the industries of the future. Relentlessly defending free trade agreements is not going to get us anywhere and aids neo-liberalism.
Social and environmental criteria must be inserted into economic growth models and plans. Furthermore, Plaid should put proper distance between the Party and Cardiff Bay lobbyists; we should clean up the Bay in every sense.
Above all we must light up the national imagination, empowering people and communities from the bottom up. I never did like top down politics; Plaid must practise grassroots innovation. Plaid politicians should get elected to empower people to live their own lives.
CosyCrucially, instead of meekly seeking to “influence” Labour to implement Plaid Manifesto ideas, which is our current trajectory, we should embrace full-on opposition.
Opposition done in the right way carries its own power; a group of just 2 Plaid councillors out of 75 in Cardiff 2012-2017 proved this time and time again.
As just one example, look at Ysgol Hamadrayad in Butetown. 45 out of 75 Labour councillors were unable to stop the rolling ball of opposition we kick started in September 2013 and Labour’s decision to scrap the new Welsh medium school was defeated.
What could 11 Plaid AMs do against a Labour Government with a soon to be wafer thin majority? Let’s find out.
I want to see the Plaid Group in the Assembly supporting what is right, but opposing with every ounce of our energy what is wrong.
Let’s stop hearing “Would the First Minister agree…” questions from Plaid and bin the cosy pairing system, where we have prior agreement on how many votes the Government will win by.
Let’s take Welsh politics to the Welsh people outside of Cardiff Bay.
Labour has run Wales for close on 100 years and look at the state we are in. In 1997 Labour won in Westminster with a massive majority. After the unprecedented loyalty Wales showed to Labour, you would have thought that going to war on poverty in Wales would have been the priority.
But instead Labour spent billions going to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. They showed no loyalty to us and they never will.
It is time for change. Plaid Cymru must prove through actions that we are that change. I want to defeat the Welsh Establishment. I don’t want to be instructed to bend my knee to it.
Labour is the Establishment in Wales. We will not move Wales forward until we move Labour out of the way. Let’s get it done.

But where are the details?

Where should Plaid be opposing Labour in the Assembly?

To my mind  the problem in the Assembly  is that Carwyn Jones policy is to do nothing radical on the right or left  and therefore leave little to oppose.

Plaid could come up with a wish list of polices that they would implement  in power but that's not going to generate the publicity Plaid need.

There is also a danger of the party adopting a campaign of populist policies like Ukip, but this could mean adopting the sort of rhetoric Ukip uses as well.

Neil's argument of "Let’s take Welsh politics to the Welsh people outside of Cardiff Bay". seems to be just what Plaid's leader has been doing . I don't think any Plaid leader has taken to the streets as she has and not just in her native Rhondda.

I get Neil Mcevoy's drift that Plaid must raise its profile but without a real "Welsh" media that the people of Wales connect to it is hard to see how they can do it.

To my mind Plaid should increase its demand for parity with Scotland and the independence issue.

It may be a Catch 22 question but for Plaid to be relevant  then the Assembly must become relevant.

Plaid should be arguing for the Assembly to have the same powers as Scotland and explain how they would use these powers like the SNP in Scotland.

However this does nor mean opposing the Welsh Labour Government for the sake of opposition.

With no allies in the Assembly opposition who share not  only Plaid's left of centre stance but also empowering the assembly and with a Conservative government  that results in Welsh voters turning back to Labour it's a huge task.

I don't want to sound despondent  but it may well be events beyond their control and the Tories and Labour falling apart  , that gives Plaid an opportunity to fill the vacuum.

If it happens. then the Party need to have something more to offer  the people of Wales not only Independence but a vision of how this will make our people lives. better

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Glyn, and which asks some very pertinent questions of Neil McEvoy's Nation Cymru piece. Neil made some useful points in his piece but i was very disappointed that he also used it to launch a blatant attack on the leadership of leanne wood.

    Might i also suggest you submit this post to the editors of Nation Cymru for publication on their website - it would help balance up the stream of anti leanne wood posts they (for some unfathomable reason) keep running.