A broader base of talent



   Glyndwr is a past Plaid Cymru candidate, the present Chair of Plaid’s
   Branch in London, and holds a senior position at an international
   examinations board. His father, Gwynoro Jones, is a former Labour MP.

Plaid must draw on a broader base of talent to tackle the challenges facing modern Wales

In the wake of Plaid’s most disappointing election result for the Assembly to date, I feel compelled to discuss a few challenges facing the Party today.

The contrast between the SNP’s success in capturing the imagination of the electorate and our Party’s inability to do so is telling. Plaid received warning signs of the potential problems ahead during the last two years, but did not take effective action to address them – indeed, the Party appeared unable to do so.

The consequence of this inaction is that Labour has now gained four AMs and the Conservatives two. The Liberal Democrats and Independents lost one AM each, but Plaid lost four AMs – a greater loss than to any other party.

Unlike the SNP, Plaid has not capitalised on the significant business and professional experiences which many of its members and supporters hold. It has tended to operate, at the top, as a clique with personalities often steering policy items in a manner which helps them maintain their own position, rather than what is best for the long-term aspirations of the Party and people in Wales.

This narrowness and short-sightedness has damaged Plaid as a strategic organisation, and with it our ability to pursue our main political objectives though effective campaigns.

The question which comes to my mind after last week is whether Plaid could ever replicate the SNP’s successes in Scotland. For this to be achievable, I believe the Party’s organisational machinery requires fundamental restructuring and a clear succession process on the Leadership made public, now that Ieuan has made his announcement.

We must look to the future and move forward.

I urge the Party to demonstrate the vision, willingness and determination necessary to nurture the broader base of talent we need to tackle the challenges facing modern Wales. If we do not, then I fear that – in contrast to the SNP’s nationwide support across Scotland – Plaid will flourish only in certain areas.

We need to meet these challenges head on and ensure that the Party is set on the right path for the future.

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Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Similar points were raised yesterday's NEC, and they are being addressed.

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