Rhun ap Iorwerth and Rod Richards

Rhun ap Iorwerth and Rod Richards have more in common than either would be likely to admit. Both were media personalities and both recently joined political parties in the expectation of immediately being selected as candidates.

So we can perhaps imagine Rod's surprise to find out that he had to go through a rigorous selection procedure, and his disappointment to find out that he didn't perform very well in it. UKIP's chairman described it like this:

The assessment process is immensely detailed and multi-faceted and has been devised to be as objective as possible.

We had 140 would-be candidates and had to whittle them down to 70. Rod hasn't been a member for very long and was at a slight disadvantage because he was not so au fait with our ways as others might be.

Wales Online, 15 August 2013

Isn't it strange that one party regards not being a member for very long as a disadvantage, yet the other party regards not knowing about a new member's political views as something that can be overlooked ... only to later find out that the new member actually opposes one of his party's key policies, tells blatant lies about it, and admits that he will vote against his party colleagues if he gets the chance to do so?

It's a sorry day for Plaid Cymru when even UKIP can teach us a lesson on how to select candidates in an objective and professional way.

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Beard said...

I think you'll find Rhun was a member for years in his youth before joining the BBC and running over your dog.

Cymro i'r Carn said...

O seriously you are getting boring now, like a dog with a bone, please do yourself a favour and regain that once wonderful flare in which you wrote great informative blogs rather than boring, personal drivle.

MH said...

The story that Rhun was a former member of Plaid has been doing the rounds, Beard. I don't think it's particularly important either way, but I'll point you to what I said about it here on BlogMenai. Rhun described himself as a new member here on his blog, not as someone who was rejoining the party. So if he was in fact a former member, it would be another example of him misleading people.


If what I write bores you or anyone else, you don't have to read it, Ci'rC. But I suggest your reaction shows that what I've said has hit home. Read the BlogMenai thread I linked to. There is no real doubt that Rhun was ambigous about where he stood on the issue in order to get selected, because different people reached opposite conclusions about whether he was for or against Wylfa B.

Elmore said...

Considering the fruitcakes and Nazis that UKIP actually selects, your final sentence is clearly bollocks.

kp said...

You do the job we expect of highly paid political reporters working for newspapers, radio and TV in Wales.

Your tenacity and dedication heaps shame upon them.

No, I don't vote Plaid Cymru. Or I haven't yet. But I'd happily vote for you, a man of some principles!

Jac o' the North, said...

You should know you're on the wrong side when kp supports you.

ioanp said...

MH said: "people reached opposite conclusions about whether he was for or against Wylfa B ".

Can you tell me who was at the hustings and thought Rhyn was against Wylfa B?

Cai Larsen said...

The name of one person who voted for Rhun at the hustings because he/she was nder the impression that he opposed WylfaB would be helpful. If you can't manage that the whole thesis is an inverted pyramid of piffle.

MH said...

Ioan asked for the name of one person who thought Rhun was opposed to Wylfa B at the hustings. One person was Cai Larsen, who said that the position of Heledd, Ann and Rhun on Wylfa B was "more or less identical". As Heledd and Ann both made it clear they were opposed to Wylfa B, Cai must have thought Rhun was too.

Furthermore, Cai has now praised Rhun for giving out a deliberately ambiguous message which he knew that some people would interpret one way and others would interpret another way. He said:

"Everyone is ambiguous. They have to be ambiguous or they will lose the nomination by losing half the audience before they begin."

Two points. The first is that Ann and Heledd were not ambiguous. They were open and honest enough to made it clear that they supported Plaid Cymru's position and were against Wylfa B. The second is that if Rhun had made it clear that he was opposed to Plaid Cymru's policy on Wylfa B and that he would vote against the party if the matter came up in the Assembly, it is a cast-iron certainty that he would have alienated half the audience. Probably more than half, because not many people in the party will put up with someone who they know is going to rebel against it. And if people knew he would resort to telling lies about it, then even fewer would have voted for him; not because of his opinion on Wylfa B one way or the other, but because telling lies is unacceptable.


But that's only to repeat what's already been said. The point of this post is that UKIP actually put their prospective candidates through a rigorous and objective selection process, and did not accept a new member of their party as a candidate just because he was a media personality who fancied a change of career. My point from the beginning has been that it was unprofessional of us as a political party to select a new member as a candidate, especially for a safe seat, without knowing where s/he stands on the issues.

If we had waited a year or so, we would have been able to find out what any new member's political views are on a whole range of issues, and we would therefore be able to make an objective assessment of their suitability as a candidate rather than take them merely on trust.

I think UKIP have handled their "new-member-media-personality-who-joined-in-order-to-be-a-candidate" in a much more professional way than Plaid Cymru have. Sadly we have a track record of selecting people on the basis of appearance, taking their political opinions for granted, and then being let down when their actual opinions eventually come out. Mohammad Asghar should have been a salutary lesson for us ... or at least the most recent one.

As for Rod, my guess would be that if he wants to stick with his new party, demonstrates his commitment to it, and wins the trust of his fellow members, he would have a very good chance of being one of the 20 regional list candidates for the 2016 Assembly election, and might even get one of the top slots. I don't think it's likely that UKIP will win 8 seats, as predicted here, but 4 or 5 is a realistic possibility and if he chooses his region well he has every chance of being elected.

Cai Larsen said...

Please name someone who was misled - after all you've told us that there is no doubt that people came to opposite conclusions. If you can't point to anyone we'll have to assume that you're telling porkies won't we?

MH said...

I just did, Cai. You.

Cai Larsen said...

No you didn't. You claim that people voted for Rhun because they had been misled as regards his position on WylfaB - but can't point to such an individusl - directly or indirectly.

Just like you claimed that many Plaid members were shocked by Rhun's position on WylfaB but couldn't name any such individuals. You're making dtuff up,

Cai Larsen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cai Larsen said...

You can't point to anyone then?

Perhaps you should consider withdrawing some of your crazy & inaccurate claims. No?

Cai Larsen said...

You don't seem to be able to name a single person who believes himself / herself to have been misled.

Surely you'll withdraw the lie then - as a man who claims not to like people who lie.

MH said...

Go back and read the first paragraph of my 16:19 comment again, Cai. Then go round and round in circles for as long as you like. It's your own tail you're chasing.

Cai Larsen said...

So the only thing you can point to In support of your claim that people voted for Rhun at the hustings because they had been misled about WylfaB is one of many, many comments made by myself on the subject - someone who wasn't at the hustings, who didn't have a vote & who certainly doesn't feel he's been misled by anyone?

Everybody's position was nuanced that's been explained to you many times. Yet you choose to interpret that as if everyone expressed opposition to WylfaB. The reason you make that choice is so that you can continue a highly vindictive & personal public attack on one of the individuals involved.i

Abject dishonesty.

MH said...

No, I was asked to name one person who was misled, and I named you, Cai.

If you felt you were unqualified to give your opinion, why did you say the positions of Ann, Heledd and Rhun on nuclear power were "more or less identical"? It clearly shows that you were misled. And if you weren't at the hustings yourself, then the person or people who gave you this information were misled. So you'll be able to name them yourself ... if, that is, you think it is important for people to know their names.

kp said...

Comments notwithstanding, the election of a duplicitous individual, not just the incumbent but any such, represents a sad day for Anglesey and a sad day for democracy.

No, I don't propose an Egyptian style resolution. But I do think we need to know a whole lot more about any and all candidates who come forth for possible election. And, most importantly of all, we need to know that they support the views of the party for which they purport to stand.

Pwll y Carw said...

Regrettably MH, this blog is turning into an esperpentic circus attraction. As author and editor only you are responsible for that (there is as much strength and integrity in not replying to something as there is in replying).

I will call in at some point in the future to see if you manage to salvage something of this blog's former reputation, but until then ta ta.

Phil Davies

MH said...

If Cai were some anonymous troll I would probably ignore him, Phil.

But he isn't. He's someone who I like, admire and respect. So if he wants to fight something out, I think he deserves more than to simply be ignored.

Cai Larsen said...

So you named someone who wasn't misled.

I'm afraid that your understanding of all this is built on self deception.

Your claim that Rhun said he was against WylfaB seems to be solely based on a comment of mine that the position stated by the candidates in the hustings were similar. You decided that meant that all three stated they were opposed to WylfaB on the back of one of the candidates' previous stated position. That wasn't a logical position to take & it was counter factual.

What has happened here is that you've started with a prejudiced position, you've grasped at a factoid that supports it, you've spun & weaved that factoid to further support your claim & you've come up with a position that is pretty close to the original prejudiced one.

So we end up with an internet based version of reality which is completely at odds with reality on the ground in Ynys Mon. None of this discontent actually exists, no one feels cheated. In fact the entire Movement is pretty close to being euphoric.

If you'll forgive me for this, we're in the Llais Gwynedd school of blogging here - start off with a prejudiced position (which is often personal & malicious) mangle facts in such a way that they support the position & claim that the position is proven.

You're better than that Michael.

MH said...

No, Cai. You've got several things very wrong. Instead of trying to argue with what I said, you are trying to make out that I said something else.

I did not claim that Rhun said he was against Wylfa B during the selection process. I said that Rhun was deliberately ambiguous about his position, and that this ambiguity resulted in some people (such as yourself) believing that his position was more or less identical to that of Ann and Heledd (who both oppose it) but in others (such as Ioan) believing that he supported it.

There can be no doubt at all about this ambiguity, not least because it continued after he had been selected, as shown in the interview he gave to the Daily Post and in his own blog.

As to his reason for being ambiguous during the selection process, I am inclined to agree with you that if he had made his views clear at the time he would have alienated a large enough portion of the audience to put his selection in jeopardy. Where I differ with you is that I do not believe that "everybody has to be ambiguous". Both Ann and Heledd were open and honest enough to make it clear that they supported Plaid Cymru's position of being against Wylfa B.

Rhun only made it clear that he was opposed to Plaid Cymru's policy on 19 July, after he had been selected and when it was clear to everyone that he would win the seat. However it seems obvious that this was a view that he had held for some time. Therefore the only reasonable explanation for his previous ambiguity is that it was a ploy to deceive people in the party (or, to be more precise, enough people to swing the balance) about what he really thought in order to first be allowed to put his name forward as a candidate and then to win the selection.

Cai Larsen said...

Same old self referential shite.

By the way please don't mis represent my position, you've done it before & I resent it.

You sustain your position by ignoring entirely most of the information given to you & desperately clinging on to a few factoids that you've spun out of all recognition.

So you end up with a version of events that is believed only by yourself - great blogging Michael It's become an exercise in self indulgence & little else.

MH said...

When you attacked things I hadn't said, I made it clear what I did say, Cai. So please tell me in what way I have misrepresented your position.

You said that the position of Ann, Heledd and Rhun on nuclear power was more or less identical. I've reminded you that you said it, and will keep on reminding you that you said it for as long as you try to claim you were not misled.

In doing this I am thinking the best of you, not the worst. It is possible that you knew their positions were different, but said that they were more or less identical. If so, you were lying. But I believe you were telling the truth, and that you genuinely did believe that their positions were more or less identical.

Cai Larsen said...

You've been given all the information you require to come to a balanced conclusion, but you carefully select what you're willing to consider. This exercise is now pointless.

So I'll leave you with your lovely assistant kp with a single question for to ponder. Why do you think it is that your position is supported only by a notorious & utterly irrational anti Welsh troll on the blogosphere, & by no one outside it?

The answer should be obvious, but somehow I reckon that you won't find it.

MH said...

I note that you haven't given any example of me misrepresenting your position, Cai.

And neither is my position supported only by KP (if you think he is supporting it, that is, rather than just doing what trolls do). A number of people both here and on your own blog have agreed with what I've said, and others have supported me privately. But it wouldn't matter if I was alone, I would still say what I've said.

What most people will find strange, however, is that you agree with the key points I've made too. You agree that Rhun repeatedly told a blatant lie about Plaid Cymru's policy on nuclear power, but that doesn't matter to you because think it is a throwback to the student politics of the 60s and 70s that is out of place in the modern world.

You agree that Rhun was deliberately ambiguous about his position during the selection process, but you justified it by saying that everybody had to be ambiguous, for if Rhun had been open and honest about what he thought he would immediately lose the support of half the audience.

The point is that you have chosen to be on the wrong side. Instead of standing up for Plaid Cymru and what we, together, have decided as a party, you are standing up for someone who deceived people about where he stood on the issue during the selection process in order to be allowed to stand and win the selection. Someone who later showed everyone that he is openly opposed to our policy on nuclear power, admitted he will vote against his colleagues in Plaid Cymru on the issue if he gets the opportunity to, and tried to justify himself by repeatedly telling a blatant lie about our policy position.

Yet despite all this, you support him and attack me.

Cai Larsen said...

You're lying about me again.Only one person has called Rhun a liar & that's you.

You're trolling your own blog with lies.

MH said...

You seem to have forgotten what you said, Cai.

I had said this on your blog:

The matter is quite simple, Cai. Rhun was telling a barefaced lie when he said, on Sunday Supplement:

“You know that there’s been a policy in Plaid Cymru going back 40 years where we’ve said, ‘Develop nuclear power stations on the sites where there are nuclear power stations in the past.’”

This isn't a debate over policy, but a matter of telling a lie about policy.

To which you replied:

No, not really, it is also a matter of besmirching a candidate from your own party ...

By saying "also" it seemed clear to me that you had accepted that this was a lie.

But I'll ask you again. Is what Rhun said true or is it a lie?

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