Unequivocal about independence

Leanne Wood's interview on Sharp End last night was music to my ears. She said exactly the right things. In particular, I liked what she had to say in answer to the question about whether Wales can afford to be independent in economic terms.


All in all it was a very assured performance which demonstrates her growing political stature. This is why we elected her as leader.

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Anonymous said...

MH - as you say, it was good to hear her say clearly that Plaid wanted independence. But again, it was a missed chance. She could have used that 5 minute interview to outline how independence would work and benefit Wales - given clear examples; shown how London and Labour isn't working for us.
It was a totally missed opportunity. The SNP have taken advantage of every opportunity for decades to advocate independence. Plaid have never done that. They've never converted anyone to independence and nationalism because the case is never ever made. Leanne didn't give us 'troops' some examples we could use in conversation with our friends and family.

Essentially, a decent Labour AM or even David Melding could have said that, or at least 95% of it.

There was a lack of confidence in Leanne, I sensed she wanted to come over and sensible and rational but came over a bit bland.

It was a score draw. No win, no loss. Score draw.

Anonymous said...

And what, pray, was so objectionable about my earlier post?

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the commenter above and think Leanne has taken the right line. I am convinced most Plaid members will agree, the ones in my branch definitely. She is confirming she wants to make the case and that we should make it. But she is saying part of that case is that the economy in Wales has to be stronger. In my conversations with family this is what comes up time and time again. They get that Ireland is small and successful and we could be too. But they think we need a better economy before independence. I think this is because voters won't take a plunge into the unknown with their jobs, incomes at risk. They will not trust a promise that "never mind the economy will boom after independence", they'd like to see us be a more credible country as a precursor. We probably also need more national confidence and Adam Price has said this comes from the economy.

We have to get to a position where Plaid politicians on TV aren't addressing "the troops" as the commenter above pleads, but addressing the nation and non-nationalist voters.

Anonymous said...

"The SNP have taken advantage of every opportunity for decades to advocate independence. Plaid have never done that. They've never converted anyone to independence and nationalism because the case is never ever made."

Can you not see the obvious differences in the case in Scotland compared to the case that we have to make in Wales?

MH said...

I'm sure decent Labour AMs and David Melding will be surprised to learn that they are 95% in favour of independence, 19:57.


Pretty much all of it, 22:10.


The points 10:07 makes about the economy are actually not what Leanne said. Her point was the opposite of the usually expressed opinion that we can only be independent when our economy improves. She said that having more powers over our economy is what will enable us to improve it.


Apart from the fact that the name of our country has five letters and Scotland has eight, what are the obvious differences, 10:08?

Anonymous said...

After reading MH's intro I was expecting Leanne to outline some specific ways in which independence would benefit Wales. Whilst it was good to hear her say she and Plaid wanted independence I did find Leanne a little hesitant and lacking in confidence to make the case for independence.

I would also like to see Plaid and Leanne making a positive case for independence at all opportunities. May I also suggest that Plaid does need to appeal to the 'troops'. I've just seen some opinion poll on twitter which shows that 92% of SNP are definately going to vote at the Euro elections but only 62% of Plaid (same as LibDem and behind Labour, Tory and UKIP).

So, may I suggest some lines to take?

Yes, we need independence because we're getting poorer with the current situation. Independence is a vehicle for change. There are 5 different constitutional set ups - Wales as an integral part of England; Wales with some national recognition (Welsh Office); devolution without financial responsibility. Under those three set-ups we've become poorer. There are two other consitutional set-ups 'Home Rule'/Devo Max - power over most taxes except maybe pensions and defence; Independence. We've tried 3 of the 5 lets give the other two a go.

Indepence in Wales is effectively Devo Max but cutting out the Westminster middle man - we'd still have to have tax policy etc fairly similar to England, we'd share the same currency too. But independence would give us some more political power to balance the se-saw in our favour against the City of London's priorities. Political power = economic power. The reason the SE of England is so rich is because the political power of the UK is there. By moving political power to Wales we can help rebalance the economy of the island of Britain.

There are important structural changes which independence would give to Wales which devolution - and voting for devolutionist parties - can't:

1. control over taxation. We can't envisage a situation where the Welsh taxation policy would be totally different to England but we can make some important changes which suit our situtation.

2. Move jobs in government, administration, defence, policy, agencies from London to Wales. These are pubic sector jobs for which already pay for in our taxes but are located outside Wales. These jobs can be located in any part of Wales to help spread economic wealth.

3. Control over utilities - post office, gas etc. They've been privatised by the UK government and devolution won't allow us to change that.

4. Control over our land and natural resources. Because of Labour policy (Govt of Wales 2006 Act) Welsh water is not under Welsh control. Independence would give us control over crown land and resources.

These are just 4 ideas off the top of my head.

We're in a period where the whole future of the UK is in the air. The BBC, Aljazeera, Russia Today, CNN should at least be sending some film crew to see 'what about Wales?'If they did, then that in itself would raise Plaid's profile and raise Wales's case for independence. We aren't seeing these tv crews because not even Plaid is making the case for independence. We're missing an opportunity to get press coverage!

We need to have the independence debate so we can flush out the stupid arguments (can't watch Coronatin Street etc). When Scotland gains indepdnence Wales will be unready and uneducated and so will again vote for what it feels comfortabe with - Labour.

Why are we being so defensive? Plaid ar stuck on 10%! What votes are we going to lose!? Surely, if we started being more positive for independence we'd get more coverage, more opportunity for people to hear our arguments and we'd move the discussion forward. We've nothing to lose. At the moment Plaid are in danger of losing it's Euro seat and of being totally irrelevant.


Anonymous said...

One of the big differences between Wales and Scotland is they have already been a "state" and have various institutions resulting from that, and a stronger sense
of political nationhood, and a media. They've also had a nationalist government elected twice, we haven't had that yet although we will in the future. I don't want us to e downhearted though or worry about Scotland (they may even vote no). We can eventually be an independent country. I was just saying (quite badly) that people might want to see progress under devolution before they want to vote for independence. So more powers, and a Plaid government to use them. This isn't a defeatist argument, but people might not want independence (yet) because they perceive Wales to be relatively poor. They would change their minds if we can get rid of some (not necessarily all) of that perception. They will also look at how Scotland is
doing and be influenced by other factors. I think Leanne is setting out a good policy agenda for running a Welsh Government that would be seen as credible and competent.

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