How Plaid Cymru Works - 7

This is the seventh tranche of emails from the correspondence between various people in Plaid Cymru and myself, following a complaint about what I had written on the subject of the Ynys Môn by-election last year. For easy reference, I've put together the all the previous corresponence on this page, which I will keep updating as further emails are published.

In my email to Chris of 14 October, I had told him that I would take steps to have him removed from his position as Chair of the Membership, Discipline and Standards Panel because he continued to refuse to answer my questions. Although Chris then sent me two further emails, he still didn't answer them.

In any organization, people have different roles and responsibilities. Chris had been given this role and responsibility, and therefore I dealt with him, made it clear to him what he was doing wrong, and gave him every possible opportunity to do his job properly. It was only appropriate to get other people involved when it became obvious that Chris had no intention of either answering my questions or doing his job properly.

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Monday, 21 October 2013, 3:26pm
To: Leanne Wood
Subject: Proposals for resolving our problem

Dear Leanne

I have kept you informed of correspondence between Chris Franks and myself by sending you copies of our emails, but I am now writing to you directly as leader of the party.

As anybody can see (and this includes a number of people from whom I have taken advice) Chris is either completely out of his depth as Chairman of the MDSP or, from a more charitable perspective, that dealing with too many other commitments means he does not have sufficient time to devote to this particular job. I must therefore ask that you replace him with someone who is able to do the job properly.

Despite my warnings, Chris appears determined to press ahead with disciplinary action against me with a cavalier disregard for his obligation to follow the correct procedures and act in a fair and even-handed manner, and is defensive and evasive when put on the spot about it. There are many questions which he has simply refused to answer.

He has also not done anything with regard to the formal complaint that I made against Rhun ap Iorwerth, something I did on the grounds that it was wholly unreasonable for any disciplinary procedure to hold me to account for my criticism of his dishonesty without at the same time holding Rhun to account for telling the lies that occasioned such criticism. And because it would be unfair to single out Rhun for telling essentially the same lie as Elfyn Llwyd, Bob Parry and Dafydd Elis-Thomas had told before him, natural justice requires that all four of them should be held to account.

-

The onus is on you, as leader of the party, to act. If the current farce is allowed to continue, it has the potential to be hugely damaging to the party. I assure you that I have no desire to see this happen, and therefore want to propose this solution.

The issue at hand is public perception about Plaid's policy on nuclear energy. A series of high-profile members of the party have made public statements in the media which are untrue, and the general public (and probably a good number of Plaid Cymru members as well) have therefore been misled about what our policy is. This is what needs to be corrected.

You as leader of the party, backed up by Llyr Huws Gruffydd as our Environment, Energy and Agriculture spokesman, need to make prominent public statements saying, explicitly, that it has not been our policy to treat a new nuclear power station on or next to an existing nuclear site any differently from a new nuclear power station somewhere else, and that Plaid's policy is one of total opposition to the construction of any new nuclear power stations.

I am not asking you to make any explicit public criticism of Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and Rhun for having said something different. They do need to be reprimanded for making these untrue statements, but this can be done internally to spare them and the party any public embarrassment.

My motivation throughout has been to stand up for Plaid Cymru and our policies in the face of those who have tried to undermine our position on this issue by telling lies about it. I, therefore, will be satisfied if you and Llyr make these public statements.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

The following emails are not in strict chronological order. I sent Chris an email on 21 October, immediately following the above email to Leanne, but I will publish it in the next tranche. I've done this because I think it is more helpful to keep my correspondence with Leanne in one place.

From: Leanne Wood
Sent: Tuesday, 22 October 2013, 11:04pm
To: Michael Haggett
Cc: Dafydd Trystan
Subject: Re: Proposals for resolving our problem

Dear Michael

Many thanks for your e mail and for copying me in on previous correspondence. Given that there is this process is underway, it would not be appropriate for me to intervene at this stage. If the process has not been followed properly, then that is a concern. I have therefore passed your message on to Dafydd Trystan as chair and I have asked him to look at the situation with a view to ensuring all procedures are properly followed and that everyone is treated properly and fairly. I have also asked him to make contact with you to ensure that any points you have regarding the process may be addressed. Dafydd has been copied in to this.

Best wishes

Leanne

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013, 9:00pm
To: Leanne Wood
Subject: Re: Proposals for resolving our problem

Dear Leanne

Thank you for your email.

I'm quite happy for you to delegate the matter of investigation and disciplinary proceedings to Dafydd as Chair of the party. I've received an email from him, and have just received a flurry of emails from Chris attaching various documents and a response to my last email to him. He still hasn't answered most of my questions, but at least there has been some action and I'm grateful to you for that.

I'll continue to keep you informed of what is happening by copying you in on emails so that you can decide whether to intervene at some stage in the future, if it becomes necessary.

-

There were, however, two parts to my last email. To be frank, any internal investigations or disciplinary procedures are a relatively minor matter, and I am not copying this direct email to you to any of those involved in that process. My intention is simply to raise the matter of being clear in public about what party policy is, because what we as a party say in public is much more important.

I must admit that I can't see any reason why we should be reticent about stating what our policy on nuclear power is. It is crystal clear, both in the 2010 motion and the 2011 motion (some of the associated wording is very slightly different, but not the essential parts) that our policy is to be totally opposed to the construction of any new nuclear power stations, and that Wylfa B would be a "new nuclear power station". I have no idea where the narrative of being "opposed to nuclear, except on existing nuclear sites" has come from. It may, perhaps, have been party policy at some time in the past, but it certainly hasn't been party policy since the September 2010 conference, if not before.

Two things have happened recently which I believe offer us a golden opportunity to make the sort of statement I urged you and Llyr to make now, not as something that would appear to be motivated by any idea of "correcting" what had been said before, but as a completely "natural" response to current political events. The first is that our membership has just overwhelmingly reaffirmed our policy of being totally opposed to any new nuclear power stations, with no distinction between whether they are on new or existing nuclear sites. The second is the deal done to construct Hinkley C, which will escalate electricity prices for decades to come at a time when all political parties are looking for ways to reduce the burden of higher electricity bills, and add to the burden on general taxation through hidden subsidies to cover the underwriting of security, insurance, cost over-run and decommissioning risks.

So please help me out on this. Is there a reason why you would be unwilling to make such a statement?

Best regards

Michael

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8 comments:

Anonymous said...

'Is there a reason why you would be unwilling to make such a statement?'

I, too, am interested to know the answer.

Anonymous said...

michael you seem like a man posssessed. there is more importants things than your tilly over nuclear power, nuclear power may be unsafe too a certain extent, but what energy, publishing all these pointless emails is ruining your reputation let alone Plaids,

Anonymous said...

I suspect Michael has left the party ............

If so, good on him. He won't be the last.

Anonymous said...

Matthew Taylor

The British National party is urging its members not to set up official party blogs in the run-up to this year's European elections because "they can't write proper English" and "get carried away with conspiracy theories", according to a leaked internal guide for senior party activists.

The handbook says that some BNP members are "oddballs", "Walter Mitty characters", "compulsive liars" and "born troublemakers", and advises activists: "If you hear something odd or unpleasant about someone either forget about it or ask them about it to their face."

Polling experts believe that the far-right party, led by Nick Griffin, has a chance of picking up its first seats in the European parliament in the June elections.

The handbook states that "while we cannot stop individuals using the internet ... the BNP does not allow members or units to run websites or blogs which use the BNP logo or party name in their title, or which give the impression of being official BNP operations". Instead, members are advised to "set up political sites which appear to be totally independent of any political party, including ours".

The guide says that these "apparently independent sites exposing the wrongdoings and failings of the old parties and making subtly favourable reference to the BNP, will be much more attractive and convincing to the wider public than sites which are clearly ours".

Gareth said...

Matthew - This advice presumably predates the 2009 European Parliament elections, which were indeed held in June. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8088381.stm This year's elections are held in May

LeighRichards said...

i really do hope you're wrong about that anon 08.33 - the party of wales certainly needs dedicated and principled people like michael, while his widely read blog remains an important ally in the quest to bring about a self governing, progressive and nuclear free wales.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with Leigh.

Michael gives a voice to the grass-roots of Plaid Cymru in a way that no one else does at present. There are many of us who are completely disenchanted with the way that some of our politicians are mis-representing the party's policy on nuclear power. It's only right that they are called to account.

As an ordinary member who wants independence for Wales- I cannot for the life of me see why it's a bad thing to actually try to explain to people( and to get our elected representatives to be part of this discussion) what a new nuclear power station on Ynys Mon would actually mean- liabilities-wise- for any possible independence. Quite simply, independence would be completely impossible if we had to be responsible for the gargantuan costs of a new nuclear station for generations to come.



Anonymous said...

Quite right Anon 14:07. Wylva B is a power station that was 'wanted' by the people of Wales. Well, wanted by our politicians. It was not forced upon by Westminster. And Westminster will not help us with the clear-up costs in the event of independence.

How daft must we look?

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