Beware the Ides of March

It seems entirely appropriate for the seers to have foretold that Ieuan Wyn Jones' final day as leader of Plaid Cymru will be on 15 March next year.

     

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19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Haleliwia

Glyndo said...

"Haleliwia"

Perhaps you could suggest someone who would have done a better job over the last ten years?

Anonymous said...

Dafydd Wigley

Anonymous said...

Dafydd Wigley all the way. The best modern Plaid Leader IMO.

This is going to be an intresting battle. I just hope the choice isnt between a rock and a hard place (Elin Jones and His Lordship).

Anonymous said...

The election should take place sooner. There are only a very limited number of candidates. In the meantime Plaid flounders.

Siônnyn said...

Leanne Wood is the only realistic candidate as far as I can see if the party wants to go forwards!

I agree we have missed Dafydd Wiggley over the last 10 years.

If DET even comes close to wining, I for one will be leaving Plaid, and looking for a proper nationalist party to join, and I will not be alone!

MH said...

If there is a parallel with Gaius Julius Caesar, then I think we'll look back at IWJ's leadership as the period when we achieved more than at any time before. Plaid Cymru has been in government for the first time, and we delivered a proper parliament for Wales. These are huge milestones.

But the other parallel is that Caesar's death marked Rome's change from being a republic to being a monarchy. Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So let's make sure that we choose a new leader who is committed to republican values rather than a fawning monarchist.

Anonymous said...

MH

You're over-egging it.

"..we delivered a proper parliament for Wales."

It's hardly a 'proper parliament'. We're still unsure about exactly what it can legislate on - allotments and cycle paths aren't going to address Wales' dire problems.

It's going too far to credit IWJ with even that achievement, as it wasn't Plaid's electoral following which sealed it...essentially it was Labour support. The proof of is that IWJ didn't get any electoral dividend as a result - although he was, imo, naive enough to think he would. Even worse, Plaid slipped, when there was a golden opportunity for advancement.

Sionnyn

Me too, I'm out of Plaid if DET gets it. It would no longer be a nationalist party. Elin Jones is a poor uninspiring candidate for leadership.

I'm also coming around to the view that Leanne Wood is the best available. The party would benefit from a female who has a valleys background and who is down to earth. She has the potential to appeal to a far wider constituency than Plaid has hitherto done and move from being an anti-Labour protest party in south east Wales, to a party with the prospect of delivering a better future for the country. The unionist parties have failed abysmally.

Anonymous said...

Anon- fair points but when you say "Even worse, Plaid slipped, when there was a golden opportunity for advancement.", i'm not sure that rings true. The opportunity was in fact golden for Labour, with an unpopular UK Tory government and a visible and popular leader. And they still failed to get a majority, which would seem to prove your suggestion that there is potential for the future.

As for a proper parliament, it is a proper parliament within the devolved areas, but you're spot on to point out how fragile and limited that set up is. Plaid's next leader will have to figure out how to put that message across to the people of Wales, but surely it would be made clear that what was secured in March is not enough. It helps in a way that dramatic global events will make what the Assembly does look uninfluential (especially as Labour are in power), but tough times mean we will need Plaid to have self-belief in their values (and in independence), and the next leader will have to engender that feeling.

Anonymous said...

Anon: 16:08

"...i'm not sure that rings true"

It rang true for the SNP, accepting of course that Wales isn't Scotland.

Nevertheless the opportunity would have been there if Plaid (its leadership, that is) had set the stage for it. Its failure was not to do so by being a minority coalition partner.

Labour was unpopular after a decade of Blair and Brown, and the financial calamity their administrations had helped to bring on us.

Plaid failed to capitalise, even allowing the Tories (who were in government) to become the second largest party in the Assembly. In Scotland all the unionist parties lost out to the SNP.

It's a more serious setback than just the loss of three seats and pivotal AMs. The party has lost impetus for at least five years. It will be worse if the lessons aren't learned now. The choice of leader is of immense importance. The wrong choice will be a disaster, as will further support for Labour.

You are right in pointing out that given the circumstances in Wales, unparalleled events are taking place on the world stage the effects of which are unpredictable. There could well be serious social unrest in the UK.

Apart from that, the Scots will have the opportunity to upset the unionists' apple cart in 3-4 years time. Whatever happens then, devo-max is likely to be the least the Scots will accept, which could result in a federal UK - which is not long term solution. No-one can predict the effects of such developments on Wales.

Plaid now has an opportunity to break with its past. Regrettably it is seen (whether true or not) as a party which puts the language and culture of Wales to the fore. No-one denies that the language and its survival is vital, but to be inclusive the party has to be able to appeal to the 80% who do not speak it. I say this as a native Welsh-speaker.

Paradoxically, the language has been both an asset and a handicap to nationalists. It's now time to rebalance the fundamental policy issues. The choice of leader may assist in so doing and in the wider perception of the public. I also believe that a change of name is necessary to reflect a shift in emphasis.

These are very controversial matters. I don't think that Plaid will face up to them as there is a constituency within the party which would find them unpalatable. Unfortunately the party is between a rock and a hard place. Its recent history and the direction it has taken is partly responsible for where it finds itself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 19:30

There is truth in what you're saying and some of your points are fair, but some of it is way off and as this is a blog post about Plaid leadership i'll take up those points.

"Labour was unpopular after a decade of Blair and Brown, and the financial calamity their administrations had helped to bring on us."

This isn't accurate. Labour had been unpopular under Blair and Brown and Plaid did make modest gains in 2008 and 2009, but by 2010 with the prospect of Tory rule Labour were actually very popular in Wales, and by 2011 that popularity had gone up because of the return of the Tories and the Lib Dems collapsing. They were perfect factors for Labour.

It's true that Plaid didn't capitalise and their minority partner status blunted that.

Can there really be any kind of comparison to the SNP? Without even bothering to criticise Plaid's leading figures, Alex Salmond is one of the most cunning and likeable politicians in Europe- a devastating combination for his opponents.

"It's a more serious setback than just the loss of three seats and pivotal AMs. The party has lost impetus for at least five years. It will be worse if the lessons aren't learned now. The choice of leader is of immense importance. The wrong choice will be a disaster, as will further support for Labour."

Valid and strong point. The Tories becoming the main opposition is particularly damaging. Andrew RT Davies' occupation of that role is an embarassment for the Welsh nation and an open goal for Labour who don't even have to do anything in government now.

I understand the issue of the Welsh language but there is a big problem in changing your beliefs or principles. It could lose you activists. Some Welsh speakers will go to the other parties if Plaid moves further away from linguistic policies. We will both have seen how even intelligent Welsh speakers have been conned into thinking the Tories or Labour have become Welsh parties. That would be disproportionately damaging to Plaid.

I don't see a future in which Plaid should change its principles. Instead it's a matter of leadership, inspiration and tactics. Some things can't be changed (principles) unless you sell your soul, other things like leadership and approach can be changed or rectified.

Glyndo said...

Dafydd Wigley

Anon, 17 October 2011 17:48

Wasn't in the assembly, doesn't count. Pick one of the ones that were there.

Anonymous said...

O dear Glyndo, I think you'll find that he was. From May 6th 1999 to May 1st 2003.

IRh

Glyndo said...

"O dear Glyndo, I think you'll find that he was."

OK, my mistake, last 8 years then if we are going to get precious over a couple of years.

Anonymous said...

Not getting "precious". You asked a straightforward question and got a straightforward answer. You can't then change your question to try to make some point.

IRh

Glyndo said...

"You can't then change your question to try to make some point."

Why not?

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing your original point at 17:26 is that there isn't somebody who could have done a better job than IWJ over the last 10 years.

Anonymous 17:48 suggested Dafydd Wigley.

Then changing your question to "over the last 8 years" doesn't rule out Dafydd Wigley, because if he had not stood down (/been pushed), one could assume that he would have stood again for election as AM, and could have continued to be Plaid leader for (at least part of) the next 10 years.

So Anonymous 17:48's answer remains.

IRh

Anonymous said...

But that isn't necessarily my view, by the way.

Although I'm a huge fan of Dafydd Wigley as a leader, IWJ did manage to get Plaid into government for 4 years, and I for one believe that those 4 years were probably the most successful government Wales has had so far, and has helped (in the long term) to make Plaid Cymru a credible party of government.

It's really hard to say how things would have been under Dafydd Wigley, or anybody else.

IRh

Glyndo said...

"It's really hard to say how things would have been under Dafydd Wigley, or anybody else."

IRh

Point conceded. However, you can only play the cards you've got. DW wasn't one of those cards, for whatever reason. You are correct I was trying to get the original poster to produce a positive suggestion instead of the original, extremely negative comment.

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