Simon jumps, and might pull Elin down too

Starting with the obvious: Simon Thomas had absolutely no chance of becoming leader of Plaid Cymru and therefore it is not too much of a surprise to see him bow out of the leadership race. The only question to ask is why he put himself up for election in the first place.

However there is one aspect of his retirement from the leadership contest that is a cause for serious concern. He is reported on both the BBC and WalesOnline as saying that he would support Elin Jones "as her deputy on a joint ticket".

This is simply not possible. The Standing Orders for the party's group in the National Assembly make it quite clear that:

3.2  The leader of the party’s group in the National Assembly shall be elected by the party’s membership in accordance with the relevant Standing Orders.

3.3  All other officers of the Group [this includes the Deputy Leader] are to be elected by secret ballot of the members of the group following the party’s Rules for Internal Elections.

The new leader of Plaid Cymru cannot determine who will be her deputy after she is elected. It is up to the party's AMs, and only the party's AMs, to decide who the deputy leader should be. There is no such thing as a "joint ticket". In a way this is a shame, because I personally had argued for such an arrangement in this post back in May. But rules are rules, and it wasn't possible to change them.

-

However what seems more disturbing is that Elin Jones, judging by what she is reported as saying in WalesOnline, seems to have bought into the idea of Simon as her deputy. It is actually more embarrassing for a potential leader to not understand how the election of the deputy leader works.

If anything, she appears to have been so unquestioningly grateful for Simon's support that she was willing to offer him a position that is not in the gift of the party leader. And it might well prove to be a poisoned kiss. After all, if Simon doesn't have leadership qualities, it's tying a millstone round your own neck to say that you want him to be your deputy leader. And it seems particularly ill-advised for Elin to say that Simon's vision for Plaid Cymru is "identical" with her own when the one thing that was most obviously lacking in Simon's leadership bid was any sense of vision. That's surely the main reason why he was getting virtually no support from party members.

This is a shame, because I think Elin would make a good leader ... although in my opinion not as good a leader as Leanne Wood will be.

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48 comments:

Anonymous said...

If Simon's vision for Plaid Cymru is "identical" to anyone's, then it is very much closer to that of Dafydd Elis-Thomas than that of Elin Jones.

The Machiavelli in me suspects that DET put Simon up for this, and that Elin fell for it.

Anonymous said...

Plaid will be jumping off an electoral cliff by electing Leanne Wood.

Plaid has two distinct sources of votes:

(1) the country, language and culture vote of North West Wales
(2) and the left of Labour, socialist vote in S.Wales.

Leanne, due to the double whammy of not speaking Welsh & coming from S.Wales will alienate (1) above. So therefore Plaid's only hope will be to out-Labour Labour in S.Wales. Fat hope of that — especially while Labour are in opposition in Westminster.

Adam Price knows this — that's why he nominated the Leader most likely to crash and burn the quickest, thus keeping his rightful place open for his triumphal return.

The only people who support Leanne are the ultra-grass-root-crazies like MH. Welcome to cliff edge, Plaid.

Anonymous said...

Anon 16.26

Take a look at this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EPrYZfFRLZ

Leanne is the most pro-language canditate by far. Besides, the towns in Gwynedd where the language is strongest tend to be post-industrial and left leaning... just like the valleys.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with not being able to have a deputy. If the leaders will was to have X as deputy - It would be embarrassing if the group voted against this (months after an election).

As for the Anon 16.26,
I am a member of Plaid Cymru from Ynys Mon. I don't think she will alienate us, she may well lose one or two if she does not speak Welsh in public or on things like Newyddion. But it is not a huge concern.

I do though think the final paragraph is worrying. Three months ago I would NEVER have wanted Leanne as leader. However even I am questioning whether I have just been overwhelmed by the hype and I am backing for the hell of it. Or is it, as I believe (apart from Lindsay) 'the best of a bad bunch'????

Nevertheless a dream ticket would always have Leanne as a deputy, with say Adam Jones as leader. Or in my proper dreams, my dream ticked is Lord Wigley with Leanne as a prominent, Sturgeon-like deputy.

Anonymous said...

Why is everyone saying Leanne isn't a welsh speaker - She may not have Welsh as a first language - But she has learned welsh and can speak it ok. Leanne has worked hard with Cymdethias to protect and promote the langauge. Leanne would be excellent for Plaid - I think we will see a big increase in our membership and votes with Leanne as leader - she is an excellent comminicator (as seen often on Question Time)

Alun Evans said...

looks to me like a North/South divide, with the Northern/Western candidates ganging up to make sure no-one from the South and East can get in. Gerrymandering and fixing.

But you can bet they'll want the vote of the south and east at election time.. just as long as you don't want to run the party, because you're not good enough... #justsaying

Siônnyn said...

Anon 16:26 saying that Leanne doesn't speak Welsh is just a lie, or a sign that you don't know what your are talking about.

Leanne has grown from strength to strength, both during her time in the Assembly, and during the campaign for leadership. She offers us hope and vision for a better, independent Wales that we can communicate to the electorate. The others offer at best managerial stasis - more of the same . At worst, electoral extinction.

Leanne will be a risk as leader, but a bet that, if it pays off will yield huge rewards to the party and to the country. Elin and DET represent and even greater risk, of leading the party into irrelevance at a time when the constitutional settlement is in a state of turmoil and flux. I'm going with Leanne.

So far, Elin has made all the right noises - but that is all they are! I'll reserve judgement until I have seen the hustings, but so far there is nothing to inspire confidence from her - and Simon (who hasn't been forgiven in Ceredigion for losing what should be a safe seat) will just stymie her campaign.

So it has to be Leanne if we want to see Wales go forward.

maen_tramgwydd said...

It must have seemed obvious to ST that he had little or no support. His endorsement of EJ won't help her much, and may well be a hindrance, certainly given his public comment regarding 'Fisher Price politics'.

EJ should have distanced herself from that immediately, if she was aware that he had said it, otherwise it indicates a lack of political nouse.

Anon 16:26 & Alun:

I don't sense a north & west/south divide among party members - most of us want a leader who can take the party and the people of Wales forward after a period of relative stagnation in the party's fortunes.

Leanne seems the by far and away the best bet, and I support her bid for a number of reasons. I think she has the potential to appeal to a wider electoral constituency Her election would mark a departure from Plaid's past - the type of leader it has hitherto had. She could be a breath of fresh air, so to speak.

It is in the interest of all of us who live in Wales that the country prospers. Under successive Labour and Tory governments Wales has steadily declined and stagnated, and it shows every sign of getting worse, and at an accelerating rate.

Millions of people in the UK are unhappy at how it has been governed, and it is manifesting itself strikingly in Scotland. The unionists have no idea how to combat it, and it seems likely that the UK is in the process of distintegration.

Wales has to be in a position to influence the course of events which will shape its future. The Tories are an alien political force, and Labour's loylaties are divided, focused more on Westminster than on Wales.

That leaves Plaid to fight Wales' corner, and it needs an effective leader to do so.

Unusually in a political figure, Leanne has honesty, sincerity and charisma in abundance, with clear, strong political convictions and a vision for the future. Therefore I'm not surprised that she has the backing of such as Adam Price and Dafydd Iwan.

Anonymous said...

One question I'd always like to ask Leanne.

What would she want first:
- a Republican UK
or
- an independent Wales with the Queen, still as HoState

Anonymous said...

"(2) and the left of Labour, socialist vote in S.Wales."

Not many of those in my neck of S. Wales. Plaid tend to be those who hate Labour, but can't bring themselves to vote Tory.

Alun Evans said...

@anon 1 : neither.

I assume she would want an independent Wales with it's own head of state. Which is the sensible, modern, 21st century democratic thing to want.

Anonymous said...

"The only question to ask is why he put himself up for election in the first place."

Because at the moment he is keeping Adam Price's seat warm. He needs to increase his profile or he will be out on his ear.

Anonymous said...

Elin Jones has done herself no favours. Rather than strengthen her position, she now seems weak by having sought/agreed to the backing of the last-placed candidate. If the winner gets to be leader, then the runner up should be deputy - decided by the membership and not a backroom deal which flouts the spirit, if not the letter, of the party's constitution.

The Informer said...

Same old Plaid problem, more concerned about who speak's 'Welsh' rather than "who will lead us towards independence?"

Penderyn said...

Comment from Elin Jones on Twitter:
#plaidcymru 's only Deputy Leader is in Assembly Group. I'd nominate @SimonThomasAber but it will be AMs who decide

Siônnyn said...

Anon - I believe Leanne has the intelligence to see that you pose a false question. An independent Wales is something we can have influence over, and possibly achieve as a people. A republican UK would depend on persuading too many English people to abandon their beloved monarch for us to have any real influence on it. Therefore there is only one sensible course - gain independence, and then let the people of Wales decide - the same strategy as Salmond is following very successfully in Scotland.

It is apparent that not many in your part of Wales really understand what Plaid can and will do for them. Leanne will make it clear that it is possible for us to stand on our own feet, and prosper. Again, the left/right thing is rather irrelevant as she will lead a party with a good mix of both. What we all have in common is a sense of fairness lacking in British politics, and as a leader representing all of us, Leanne will communicate that to the electorate in a way that none of the others possibly can. I predict that under her leadership, she will also heal the resentment within Plaid to what many of us see as the anti Welsh Labour party of the past (Remember George Thomas, anyone?)and reach out to those many decent, traditional, Labour supporters who realise that they have been betrayed time after time by the London wing of their party.

Do not forget that the SNP lost badly in Scotland in 2003. Salmond came back to lead them, and at the same time, Labour started treating victory in Scotland as their birthright. 8 years later the whole of British politics has been stood on its head.

Gwalchmei said...

The key thing will be the potential of electoral success.
Leanne is the only likely leader who can win over those traditionally left-leaning voters who still cling onto labour as a bastion against the Tories.
The ‘dream ticket’ of Elin and Simon would be more of the same, and hence, a real disaster for Plaid. What we’ve got to do is convince the party members of this.
Leanne is set to win the hearts and minds and make inroads where Plaid hasn’t gone before.
We’ve got to make it obvious.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that Elin Jones has allowed herself to be bounced into a back-room deal. By tying herself to the dead-weight candidate, Elin has further restricted her already limited appeal.

Whilst a Leanne Wood leadership with Elin Jones as Deputy leader could potentially prove to be a formidable "One Wales" force, the Ceredigion coalition will have little appeal beyond rural mid-Wales.

Anonymous said...

The north /South, Welsh-speaking v non-Welsh speaking argument is a nonsense. I live in Pwllheli and I have stated from the start that I'm backing Leanne Wood. Judging by the response from her Q & A session in Penygroes the other day, there is real momentum beyond Leanne's campaign in Arfon and Dwyfor #gogsdrosleanne

Anonymous said...

Simon has got a right to support whoever he wants and his endorsement does carry weight. As an AM and former MP he is clearly intellectually gifted and in Assembly politics is effective whenver he speaks.

But he has lost my respect over the fisher price remark. Who even knows what it was aimed at? He denied it was at Leanne but it came across as crass and crude. Up until then we could have claimed the race has been completely clean and respectful- rare in modern politics. Instead it seems that some people now want to fight it as if we're in America or the Labour party. Sad.

It will look to everyone like they're ganging up on Leanne who has only had good words to say about Elin.

Anonymous said...

Simon's got it wrong again, its Adam Price not FischerPrice who is backing Leanne Wood

Anonymous said...

I had been puzzling as to why Simon, someone with an excellent intellect, had bothered standing at all given that he's waged such a lacklustre campaign that looked as if he was never serious about it. I now find myself wondering if ultimately backing Elin in return for the deputy leadership had been the strategy for both of them all along... but maybe I'm reading too much into it.

MH said...

Thanks for the comments. I have to say that there might be something in what Anon says about Machiavelli. It is hard to see how what has happened actually benefits Elin. And if Elin is not the intended beneficiary, who then stands to gain most?

All would have been well if Simon has simply bowed out and given his endorsement to Elin. But to do so as part of a deal in which he gets to be deputy leader is tawdry; to make sideswipes about "Fisher Price" politics is cheap; and to then refuse to say who that sideswipe was directed towards is cowardly. Simon has done himself no good at all.

But Elin has done herself a good deal of harm by doing a deal with Simon. She could have simply accepted his endorsement ... without any strings. It's all very well for her to now say (say Penderyn has noted) that she would nominate Simon and it would be for AMs to decide, but she had said on her website that "I have now secured a deputy for that team." That was a very ill-advised thing for her to say.

It makes it look like a stitch-up. Elin has dug herself into a hole. I think she has no choice but to distance herself from the "Fisher Price" quote and apologize for having taken it for granted that she could name her own deputy if she was elected leader.

It might well be that the other Plaid AMs would indeed go along with the recommendation of a new leader regarding the deputy. But it was wrong of her to simply assume they will.

-

Turning to the broader picture, anyone who followed the link to what I wrote in May about the benefits of Plaid having a balanced leader and deputy leader team will see that I advocated that we should try and balance male with female, Welsh first language with English first language, and the south and east with the north and west of Wales. I still firmly believe there is a benefit in that, and that AMs should choose the deputy leader so as to give us a balanced leadership team that would broaden our appeal to all sections of Wales.

Simon (whose first language is in fact English, and who originally comes form Aberdar) is not such a bad balance to Elin on paper. It's just a little unfortunate that he is now primarily associated with Ceredigion, which is where Elin's own base is, though he is now operating from Llanelli. That's why I suggested that Lindsay Whittle might make a far better deputy if Elin were to be leader. Being deputy leader is not necessarily a job for someone who is a potential leader themself or, even worse, a consolation prize for an unhappy loser. Without wanting to be unkind to Prestatyn's most pugnacious son, John Prescott could never have been leader of the Labour Party himself; but he made a very good deputy to Tony Blair because he was perceived to be grass roots old Labour and therefore a foil to Tony Blair ... who wasn't really Labour at all.

And if, as I hope, Leanne becomes leader, the best deputy for her might well be a man, whose first language is Welsh and who is based in the north. Llyr or even Alun Ffred might be good choices. The name of the game is to broaden the party's appeal to all sections of Wales.

Nat said...

Simon looks silly because he doesn't have the balls to man up and face up to what he said.

If Simon was so impressed by Elin, then why did he stand against her, even though Leanne hadn't even declared at the time.

Simon said; "'If you want a leader who’ll always talk about independence, then don’t vote for me"

So he then goes and backs the candidate who hasn't stopped talking about it during the campaign. Go figure!

Anonymous said...

Alun Ffred would be an excellent Deputy to Leanne as would Llyr.

More and more members (especially those of us from the north who have historically been tarred with the "conservative cultural nationalist" tag) are seeing the many positive benefits of what Leanne has to offer.

If Leanne can demonstrate that she will lead in an inclusive way for all parts of the party over the next few weeks she really could seal the deal as far as the north west is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Leanne needs to really target Arfon and Meirion Dwyfor. Elin's campaign is doing a lot of "under the radar" work here and DET is assuming - possibly quite astutely- that he could stroll through the middle and win on 2nd preference votes.

Geraint said...

The contest is starting to get nasty, with Simon describing Leanne Wood's policies as "Fisher Price" and Plaid needing "realistic and credible" policies.

Anonymous said...

I didnt expect him to drop out, but I suppose its no great suprise as he was doing so poorly.
The real question is why Elin, and what is all this thing about the deputy leadership. To me it seems like some sort of Cardi stitch up. Yes Simon is from Aberdare and is English first language. However he is linked with Ceredigion and the Welsh language more than Elin IMO. You say his base is no in Llanelli, but I do believe his family home is still in Aberysywth. Thats all this confirms to me is that Elin isnt the right candidate. I agree with your old post about a dual leadership like the SNP. A Leanne-Alun Ffred/Llyr Huws G team would be good, as would a Adam Price/ Leanne duo. Though I agree with another blogger, make him ten years younger and an AM and a Dafydd Wigley/ Leanne dream team.

What 'under-the-radar' work has Elin been doing anywhere in Arfon and D-M? They are the two largest local parties in number of members and are of course important, but dont see what work she has been doing.

I know Leanne has done a lot in Arfon and despite what you say DET has been on the bara brith circuit across Gwynedd. Elin's campaign it seems to me has been the most lacklustre on the ground, except Simons of course.

Anonymous said...

Leanne will keep it clean, no jibes or sniping, i believe Elin has made a massive mistake in this and i don't believe our AM's will appreciate her 'annointing' her deputy during the campaign either TBH?
Only Leanne has the wide appeal and can reach out to the whole of Wales and make us a party to be reckoned with!
VOTE LEANNE WOOD X
Elyboy.

Anonymous said...

I'm proud to call myself a cultural nationalist. (As a nation is a cultural concept I'd argue that it's difficult not to be).

I also live in the west and wouldn't call myself a socialist.

However, I'm leaning towards Leanne. There's been a lot of lazy short hand about the place about right wing, conservative, Welsh speaking cultural nationalists and this exotic breed would be against Leanne. Don't be so sure.

Look, we've got hears, we canvass, we know how anglicised our communities have become. We look at non Welsh speaking parents at our village school or the person who's always been quite supportive of the language and of Wales but isn't a nationalist nor speaks Welsh. And we think, hmm, could Leanne be the person, in her being and background to tell these people it's ok to vote plaid? They include different kinds of Welshness. There's a constituency in places like Bangor, Aber, Carmarthen, where Leanne would be that extra few votes.


Jac y Fro

Anonymous said...

Spot on Jac y Fro ;-) i'm on the republican left so it's no secret i'll be for Leanne but you're right she's the only one that can do this, she has a positive and fresh approach for our future there are many more centre right bloggers, members who are backing her also because of her no nonsense approach on independence.
I'm tipping she'll reach those you talk about.
YMLAEN!
Elyboy

glasiad said...

Whether Elin could constitutionally select Simon as her deputy if elected leader or not is irrelevant. It's the spirit of the matter that counts. Simon backs Elin ... and the show roles on.

As the comments here indicate, there's a lot of hype building around Leanne's bid so I went to Caerfilli rugby club the other day to see her presentation there. I don't want to sound mean but I was very disappointed. She simply read from a piece of paper in a rather flat and contrived manner. It felt more like being in a committee meeting than a leadership rally. Even her few lines in Welsh sounded awkward and stilted.

Now don't get me wrong. Leanne is a nice person. But nice people don't make inspiring leaders. This was Simon Thomas' Achilles Heal. In politics, nice guys finish last.

Anonymous said...

glasiad - that is MY worry. I too think she speaks rather flat, I also think she struggles on things like BBCQT. And I am really worried that I am voting for her because of the hype.

However what is worse - there is no alternative. I can't see Elin gaining ground in Labour heartlands and annoyingly - although I think DET is the best politician of the lot... I completely disagree with his policies.

I feel, like the SNP the leadership should've been open for all (a pool of Eleven [bearing in mind some 5 of them may retire] is just not enough. Instead the party could've had a rule saying if the leader is not an AM, he/she must have a deputy who is an AM (as happened with the SNP!).

The more the campaign goes one. The more I fear that the party just have not learned lessons from the past. And haven't looked at some of the basic things that the SNP did.

Is it too late to have a refund on my membership!!?

Anonymous said...

Anons 09:54 & 10:09

"If I were going to Dublin, I wouldn't want to be starting from here!"

Plaid members have to choose the best candidate from among the three that remain standing. No prospective leader is perfect, all have strengths and weaknesses. In this case, each brings a risk.

Blair was acclaimed as a messianic figure in 1997. Millions voted for him, but in reality they were voting for a neo-tory. I can't see the point of that. DET has a lot of political experience but he's equivocated on independence, and is trying to stand on his head right now. One might just as well vote Labour as vote for him.

I attended Leanne's launch at Ammanford, and she spoke confidently. There is potential to grow into a role, and that frequently happens as people gain experience and they mature. Alex Salmond is a good example of that as he wasn't always the towering figure he is today.

Any and all nationalists can expect a hard time on the EBC, especially on its nationally networked programmes such as Newsnight and QT. Unionists gang up on nationalists, and are aided by the Corporation in so-doing.

We are witnessing Cameron, Clegg and Miliband uniting in an unholy alliance against Salmond. It's unfair to judge Leanne in that context.

Those of us who believe that Wales should strive for sovereign independence have had to contend for years with the likes of DET, RhGT, CD and others in the party undermining the basis of nationalist politics. It seems that ST is of like-mind, and it bodes ill for EJ that she has allied herself with him. His ill-considered remarks make him a liability.

True, Plaid has made strategic errors which have led to its having the choice of leader it has today.

One of the best examples is its decision to have positive discrimination for women on its regional lists - a laudable policy - but an impractical one for a small party having a limited pool of talent. It resulted in Dafydd Wigley failing to get a seat in the Assembly.

Such issues have to be addressed.

I will be looking for a refund of membership if DET is elected.

Siônnyn said...

I don't know what happened in Caerffili, perhaps Leanne had an off day, but I do know that on her hind legs Leanne can inspire and persuade better than any of the others. Only Adam price is more gifted in that respect.

I would like to make the point, though, that even her opponents have conceded that Leanne has won the cyber campaign hands down. Now while I know this won't mean a lot to Mrs Williams of Garndolbenmaen and many other of our more elderly traditional, cultural supporters (and God belss them!), for anyone looking forwards to a new Wales, it has to be the clincher! Young people are our future, our hope, our deliverance - and they are all dependent on social media! Leanne has shown that she understands that, and has mastered the art. I'm sorry, Mrs Williams , Leanne will not be oblivious to your views and attitudes, but nor will she be driven by them as the other candidates appear willing to be.

Though Elin's Website is competent, it is not inspiring. Compare that to Lanne's site , where her vision and policies are laid out in detail, and you can see why there can be only winner in this contest for the future of Wales.

Oddly, I see Leanne now as being the unity candidate, whereas a few years ago I suspect she would have riven discord. Now I suspect it is the others which will cause splits.

Siônnyn said...

Ann 10:09 - I think it is unfair to be too hard on IWJ and hi leadership. At the time I was as displeased as anyone by his emollient approach - even left the party for a bit, but looking back without his guile there would have been no One Wales, and no Law making powers, so I think history will be a bit kinder to him than either you or I are able to feel at the moment.

But that is the past. We cannot live in the past - the crisis in our country precludes that as an option. A semi comatose Labour administration sleep-walking towards economic disaster, safe in the knowledge (it thinks) that it will be re-elected regardless. Only leanne can shock them into wakefulness, and force them to work with us for the good of Wales. If they fail to do that, then they stand to lose the support of their most loyal heartlands, as they did in Scotland.

Personally,, I don't mind if it is Plaid or Labour that lead us to independence, but I do know that without a loud, strident nationalist voice, Labour will choose to just politically sleep out the next century in Wales.

Anonymous said...

Elin sounds like she's lost it a bit here as well :

http://www.elindrosgymru.com/2012/01/31/llythyr-ir-new-york-times/

Something more similar to a comment on Betsan Powys's blog rather than from a potential Plaid leader and First Minister of Wales.

Anonymous said...

Leanne Wood is a divisive, dogmatic figure who will make us a fringe party, happy to be Labour's conscience. The Green Print to the Valleys is about as lightweight as it gets. She will be Plaid's Michael Foot, her election will be the longest suicide note in history.

Anonymous said...

I find the concept of 'deputy leader' a strange one. It was a post conceived for those political parties who seek to be Prime Minister of the UK, and in case, God forbid, the Prime Minister was assassinated or was killed in an accident. In the 1950s, the party deputy, and thus, the Deputy Prime Minister would be in charge of the button for the nuclear deterrent. In what way does this apply now to Plaid Cymru, and the AM for Ceredigion ?

The only other use for such a title is with my lawn mower. The main one is petrol driven and if I run out of fuel while half way through the task, I dig out the old electric one from the shed. It's not really up to the task but a handy relic for a bodge just in case.

Anonymous said...

It is all about ego - look at Nick Clegg as example.

Penddu

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:46

Unfortunately Plaid is well on the way to being a 'fringe' party. It needs a leader capable of reversing that tendency.

You have two other candidates to choose from.

The high ambition of one of them is to assist Labour in governing Wales. Why vote for the monkey when you can vote for the organ grinder?

He is viewed as an elitist and an establishment figure, confirmed by his acceptance of a peerage.

I understand that he is reputed to have said something along the lines that Wales will never be independent, but seems to have had a change of mind after deciding to stand for the leadership.

The party made no electoral progress when he was its leader in the 1980s. He represents Plaid's past, and not Plaid's best.

Your other choice is a person that one might at best decribe as 'unremarkable'. Someone described her as a spokesperson for the NFU. She made little or no impact as minister for agriculture, other than agree to a badger cull.

She has teamed-up with a self-appointed 'deputy' whose supporters wouldn't fill a phone kiosk. He even managed to insult a large swathe of members who want an inspiring charismatic leader who can take Wales forward.

Can one seriously believe that she will inspire her party's grassroots and attract much wider electoral support?

If you discount Leanne, as you do, then you are faced with a very difficult choice.

M Griffiths said...

Difficult choice or no choice?
Elin Jones promoted a Badger Cull as Rural Affairs Minister but failed to deliver. Interestingly whilst campaigning in last year's election I was struck by how many farmers refused to vote Plaid because Elin Jones made a mess of the Glastir scheme. She also played a major role in formulating the Party's election strategy and must carry a good share of the responsibilty for the very poor showing. Even the referendum result(which she seems very proud of) the percenage of the electorate which voted yes was only 23%. Compare this with the 25% who voted yes to the estblishment of the Assembly.
Time for a fresh start.

M Griffiths said...

Re previous post Sorry for th Typos. Its bloody cold here in Aberteifi

Anonymous said...

MH I follow your blog daily, actually, it's the first website I log on to. So, could you follow the dicmortimer blog and the welshnotbritish blog? I can then use syniadau as my main political site happy to know that I can keep up with other good blogs too.

M.

Anonymous said...

As a non-member but long time Plaid voter, I have to express considerable disappointment with the calibre of all three candidates. Leanne may be a competent cyber politician (or whatever the correct term is)and I share her left leaning outlook, but she lacks the quick-wittedness necessary to survive the cut and thrust of political debate and inspire confidence in voters. Furthermore, anyone who thinks she will convert the Labour voting valleys to the Plaid cause should take a look at Plaid's recent electoral record in her own backyard of the Rhondda. Doesn't bode well. That said, Leanne would still be better than Elin. Woefully lacking in charisma, her election would surely signal electoral catastrophe for the party. Whoever becomes leader has to be a confident communicator in English - it's where the vast majority of the votes are. At times, Elin appears to have only a passing aquaintance with the language. DET is the most intellectually able of the remaining candidates - but he was never leadership material and his inconsistency makes him a divisive figure. To be honest, speaking as an ordinary voter, ST was probably the best candidate of pretty bad bunch. The fact he was the first to fall says a lot about where the party is heading. Adam Price. Where are you? Your party needs you.

Aled GJ said...

For those of us who want change and a strong nationalist voice to take full advantage of the seismic changes taking place in the political landcape right now- the nightmare scenario is Lord Elis Thomas strolling through the middle to take take the crown on second vote preferences. That would be a complete disaster for Plaid Cymru and the national movement as a whole. As somebody else has mentioned, he is truly a Gordon Brown like figure- driven by his ego to feel that he, and he alone, can really manage our current situation. For all his machinations, he, like his counterpart, would also have nothing at all to deliver once having arrived at his destination. There is also a disturbing parallel between how contemptuous Brown was of ordinary Labour members, and how dismissive Dafydd El is of ordinary grass-roots nationalists. Surely we don't want to further ensconse this top-down, "don't trust the little people" approach in Welsh life?

Isn't there therefore a case to be made for the two other candidates to draw up a form of mutual non-aggression pact to ensure that a pro-independence candidate wins this election? i.e that Leanne urges her supporters to give their second votes to Elin, and Elin urges her supporters to give their second votes to Leanne?
This could be an understanding based not on any personal aggrandisement a la Simon Thomas, but an understanding based on pure principle: to ensure that we secure a pro-independence leader. You know, the very policy that we as members re-affirmed in our last party conference? It could still be a real, hands-on contest between the two of them, with no hints of a fix, but it would just make things that more transparent for the increasing number of members who know that we have to move forward as a party. It need not be spelt out as such, but such an understanding could also invoke a vision of an united Wales, Welsh-speaking and English-speaking, rural and urban, West and East together. And if such a pact is not forthcoming, I would at least expect the two of them to link up to turn their guns on dafydd el as someone representing a tradition that has had it's time by now.

Anonymous said...

Aled GJ

"..the nightmare scenario is Lord Elis Thomas strolling through the middle to take take the crown on second vote preferences. That would be a complete disaster for Plaid Cymru and the national movement as a whole.."

I couldn't agree more.

Anonymous said...

...Although the plus would be that we know we'd only have him for a short time. And at least he can handle a tough interview. Choosing the wrong young candidate could leave us with someone very difficult to shift. I'm going 1.LW 2.DET 3.EJ

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