A few more kicks to the head

We've seen it on too many TV dramas. Someone gets beaten up by a gang and is left lying in a dark side street. Then, from out of the shadows when the big boys have gone, someone comes and delivers a few more kicks to the head.

It's not a new storyline, but we saw it acted out again today.


I am going to stand up for S4C. Whatever its failings, I don't think any purpose is served by attacking it in a way that seems, to me at least, to be vicious and vindictive rather than constructive.

We should ask ourselves why, if this is what Dafydd Elis-Thomas thinks, did he not offer some constructive criticism at a time when it might have made a difference. And I found it sad that even now he had nothing positive to offer as a way forward for S4C ... he just wanted to slag people off.

Our politics needs to be better than this.

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Anonymous said...

Dafydd Elis-Thomas is one of the most politically intelligent men of his era (in Wales) and despite the peculiarities and complexities of his character and his constitutional, institutional nationalism, there isn't any evidence to suggest he has become less intelligent or incisive or particularly pro-establishment (you could see he still had his old passion when he condemned the visit of the Israeli ambassador).

Why then, did he think it appropriate to suggest a low turn-out in the referendum (almost guaranteed for structural and cultural reasons) would damage the mandate of the Assembly? It seems like wishful thinking on his part, that he will make that declaration and turn-out will magically increase (that people will do the work for him). Why say that the LCO system is working when alot of the charities and third sector groups (let alone politicians) were clear that it wasn't?

Is Dafydd Elis-Thomas now at a stage where he is making serious errors of political judgement?

I don't think "realism and pragmatism" is an excuse because Cynog Dafis (another constitutional, federal-style nationalist from more or less the same era) has that same view as to making the Assembly work and not promoting independence, but is still sharp and saw the LCO system's failings straight away, without even being in the Assembly.

Unknown said...

Was there something personal behind this extraordinary outburst?

The way he spat out his condemnation of the 'Welsh Language cultural elite' had more venom in it than you would expect from a dispassionate, objective observer.

MH said...

Anon, I don't doubt DET's intelligence, but intelligence does not inoculate anyone from behaving in a vicious or vindictive way. As Siônnyn suggests, there seemed to be some sort of personal agenda at play. And for him to attack "the Welsh language cultural elite" is not just jumping onto a bandwagon, but positively disingenuous coming from someone who is himself just as much a part of that club as anyone.

However, I usually try to focus any criticism I have on what people say and do, rather than make more general points about their character. That's because people can more easily change the way they behave than what they are as a person. So I'm a bit reluctant to tread on the ground you've opened up.

But I think I can say this, as it was a part of the same interview. He has been Llywydd for some time now, and even though the constitutional implications of the role are not as well defined as they would be for the Speaker of the Commons at Westminster, I am very uncertain about whether it would be wise for him to seek to re-enter the Assembly as a normal AM. Unlike the Speaker of the Commons, his seat has been contested ... but hardly seriously, since it is rock solid Plaid territory.

I think it would be a grave political error for him to try and be a normal AM again. Players can become referees, but I don't think it is a good idea for referees to become players. So I would urge him not to do it, and urge the party to act if that is what he is intent on doing.

Unknown said...

He's at it again! This one looks very much like a job application!

He's Plaid's very own Peter Madelson! Machiavellian to the last!

MH said...

Glyn Davies mentioned it on his blog, Siônnyn. I made a comment or two there.

Carl Morris said...

Siônnyn's link to WalesOnline is insightful as it contains some Elis-Thomas thinking on "multi-platform" TV. Just did a post on it.

(Is Elis-Thomas ever specific about technology when he invokes it in his pronouncements?)

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