Why

Over the past three weeks readers of Syniadau will have read a series of posts about the disciplinary action taken by Plaid Cymru against me following a complaint by Elin Jones about what I wrote on the subject of the Ynys Môn by-election last year.

Rather than offer a running commentary, I took the decision to publish the complete correspondence between myself and the various people involved in a neutral and unvarnished way, because I think what has happened speaks for itself. Of course I realized that if I tried to do it all in one long post, nobody would read it through to the end, so I decided it would be more effective to publish the unfolding drama in a series of instalments. In fact I've written all the posts in this series in advance and scheduled them to be published automatically, one each day. Meanwhile, I decided to take what I'd like to believe is a well-deserved holiday ... killing two birds with one stone by giving me a break from politics, while at the same time giving everybody who reads Syniadau something to read while I enjoy the last few weeks of winter.

This is the last post in the series, and I'm writing it to explain why I have taken the decision to make what has happened public.

     

The first thing to note is that, throughout the disciplinary process, I have taken care to follow all the rules as set out in Plaid Cymru's Standing Orders. Unless we all act in accordance with an agreed set of rules, the party will descend into chaos. It was the Membership, Discipline and Standards Panel (the Hearing Panel is made up of three members of the MDSP) that broke these rules, and that is why my appeal against their decision was successful. They acted unjustly.

However, in now publishing what has happened I am still not breaking any of the rules set out in Standing Orders. Several people involved in the disciplinary procedure against me have tried to use Clause 9.1 of Standing Orders to make out that the procedure is confidential, but this simply isn't true. This is what Section 9 actually says:

9. PUBLIC STATEMENTS

9.1  No public statement regarding the circumstances or persons involved in a disciplinary procedure shall be made by any member other than the Chair of the Party until after the conclusion of any appeal or until after the last day for the making of an appeal in the event of no appeal being made.

Standing Orders for Membership, Discipline and Standards

There is no mention of confidentially in this clause or anywhere else in Standing Orders, and indeed the procedure cannot be confidential, for how else could an accused person take advice or have the right to choose to be represented by someone else at any hearing? The idea that the procedure is somehow confidential is completely bogus, but when this bogus claim gets repeated time and time again, it is hard to escape the conclusion that Chris, Dafydd and Alun were trying to intimidate me to avoid embarrassment to themselves. Such bully-boy tactics might work on others, but they won't work on me.

Clause 9.1 is not about confidentiality, it only restricts a member from making public statements until after the conclusion of any appeal. An appeal (whether it turns out to be the only one or not is irrelevant) has now been concluded, therefore I am perfectly free to make any public statement I wish. Once again people in positions of power in Plaid Cymru need to learn to read the rules as written, rather than ignore them or pretend that they say something different.

-

However, even though there is nothing in Standing Orders that prevents me from now speaking out about what has happened, I feel I need to make it clear why I am doing this. Despite what some people might think, it is definitely not because I want to damage the public reputation of Plaid Cymru. Quite the contrary, I am doing this in order to uphold our values and reputation as a party. Yes, I have exposed the lies, double standards, wrongdoing and hypocrisy of some people in positions of power within our party, and I make no apology for that, but I am doing this so that others in the party know about what is being done in their name and can take action to put these things right. Our reputation as a party will be enhanced, not damaged, if we are seen to do this. I have not, at least not yet, given up on Plaid Cymru. I am and I intend to remain a member of Plaid Cymru in order to fight for what I see as the soul of our party. Most people leave political parties because they don't agree with party policy; am I to go down in history as someone who is thrown out of my party because I do agree with party policy?

One crucial thing that makes us in Plaid Cymru different from Labour and the Tories is that our party policy is decided democratically by members at conference rather than imposed from on high by leaders or shadowy committees. It is explicitly set out in section 15.2i of our constitution that conference is responsible for determining the party's policy. No matter how "inconvenient" this may be for those in positions of power in the party, our rules are quite clear.

Time after time delegates and now ordinary members of Plaid Cymru have reaffirmed at conference our total opposition to the construction of any new nuclear power stations, without making any distinction between new nuclear power stations on new sites and new nuclear power stations on existing nuclear sites. We cannot let this, our right as members to decide policy, be hijacked by those who want to undermine what we have decided by telling lies about it, no matter what positions they hold in the party. It is the thin end of a very dangerous wedge.

     

As I see things, this is not particularly about me or any disciplinary procedure against me. As I said in my email to Leanne on this page, I regard this disciplinary procedure as a relatively minor matter. What is important is that we in Plaid Cymru should be clear in public about what our policy on nuclear energy is.

Over the past few years a series of high-profile Plaid Cymru politicians such as Elfyn Llwyd, Bob Parry, Dafydd Elis-Thomas and now Rhun ap Iorwerth have told blatant lies about our nuclear policy ... yet our leaders will not speak out to put the record straight. Although he probably didn't use these exact words, Edmund Burke is usually credited with saying, "all that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing", and it's true. Because the leadership of Plaid Cymru have sat on their hands and done nothing, the lie that people such as Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and now Rhun keep repeating has gained traction to the extent that most people in Wales probably believe it.

All I asked Leanne to do was to ensure that either she as our leader, or Llyr Gruffydd as our spokesman on energy, put the record straight by saying, explicitly, that it is not 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. We need to make it clear beyond any shadow of doubt that Plaid's policy is one of total opposition to the construction of any new nuclear power stations.

But she hasn't done this, and neither has Llyr. In fact Llyr has gone out of his way to ignore the subject even when it cried out to be addressed. Only a few weeks ago he published a policy paper on energy, which is available here. In many ways it's a good paper, but it doesn't mention our policy on nuclear energy at all. How can we possibly have a policy on energy without it addressing the issue of nuclear power? By ignoring the elephant in the room, he has turned a good piece of work into something that cannot be seen as credible. For some hidden reason, the good people in our party who should be speaking out about our policy on nuclear energy have been silenced, and this means that the lies go unchallenged and gradually become accepted as fact.

Because I have been one of the few people in the party who has not been afraid to expose the lies that Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and Rhun have told, the guns have now been turned on me. Rather than stand up for what they know is true, some people would prefer to maintain a false semblance of party "unity" by accepting these lies as if they were true. This is spineless capitulation, and I am not prepared to fall into line behind a lie. Silence implies consent, therefore I must speak out. It is because I have spoken out that people like Elin Jones want to punish me for it ... and she has found willing accomplices in those members of the MDSP who were prepared to ride roughshod over party rules in order to stitch me up.

-

To be clear, the MDSP not only rode roughshod over party rules in order to find me "guilty" of bringing the party into disrepute; they also rode roughshod over party rules in the way they refused to set up any investigation or take any action against Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and Rhun for bringing the party into disrepute through their lies. If the minutes of the MDSP meeting are to be believed (and there is a very large question mark over that) the MDSP made the decision to ignore their wrongdoing, but neglected to inform me of that decision or give any reasons for it, even though they are specifically required to explain their reasons under Clause 3.5 of Standing Orders. I'm not at all surprised. There is no reason they could possibly give that wouldn't immediately be seen as hollow and ridiculous.

As a result of this decision, more than anything else, they have made Plaid Cymru a complete laughing stock. The members of the MDSP had a duty to treat my complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd in exactly the same way as they treated Elin's complaint against me. Their refusal to act in an impartial and even-handed manner shows blatant bias and prejudice, has damaged the reputation of those responsible, and has brought shame and disgrace upon the party as a whole. Yet to add to that hypocrisy, it did not even enter their heads to want to "re-start" the disciplinary process against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd. They only want to "re-start" the disciplinary process against me.

Yet despite all their bluster, there is no provision under Standing Orders that allows the MDSP to "re-start" the disciplinary process after an appeal, and Dafydd Trystan acknowledged in his email of 4 February that there is no constitutional provision for it. Even so, I have said that I am prepared for there to be a new investigation. However the remit of any new investigation must include my complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd, as well as Elin's complaint against me. Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd must be formally told that their statements are being investigated as part of a disciplinary procedure against them and must be made subject to the same potential sanctions as I might be. The investigation must be carried out by someone of stature from outside the party, must itself reach firm conclusions as to culpability, and must be published. This is the only way to handle things fairly.

     

In short, those in positions of power in Plaid Cymru are now faced with a choice. On the one hand, if they insist on taking this matter further, it must be done on a level playing field and in the light of public scrutiny rather than behind closed doors. I have no doubt that a proper, independent investigation carried out by someone of stature from outside the party will find that Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd have lied and misled the public, and that it is they who are guilty of damaging the public reputation of our party, not me. It's not often that I'll give the Liberal Democrats credit, but they undoubtedly did the right thing by referring the recent complaints against Chris Rennard to an independent QC. We should learn from them. No in-house investigation would or could be credible, because Chris Rennard in the case of the LibDems and Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd in the case of Plaid Cymru are in positions of power within their respective parties.

But, on the other hand, if those in positions of power in Plaid Cymru are not prepared to do this, then it might be better for Elin to withdraw her complaint and for Alun to drop his threat of further disciplinary action against me. If they do this, then I will be happy to withdraw my complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd.

I have no doubt that some people are incensed that I managed to foil a blatant attempt to stitch me up behind closed doors. People in positions of authority don't like being challenged. Egos have been bruised, tempers are frayed, and things now need to cool down. That's one reason why I decided that this would be a good time to take a break. I hope that by the time I get back in March, wiser counsel will prevail and the leadership of Plaid Cymru will step in to say that enough is enough. I'm sure we all have better things to do, not least fighting the next election. Jill Evans, as we can read here, was not intimidated by Bob Parry's lies when she spoke at a conference against nuclear energy in 2010, and it would be a tragedy if we did not come together as a party to make sure that someone who agrees with party policy keeps her seat in the European Parliament.

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67 comments:

Anonymous said...

You really have lost all sense of propotion haven't you?

You're being disciplined for trying to sabbotage an important by election campaign (and incidentally showing complete contempt towards the hundreds of ordinary party members who worked day in, day out or contributed financially towards the campaign.

Now please grow up and deal with it - you're behaving like a spoilt public school boy. Had you been a Labour party member you'd have been out on your ear before you could have said 'Damn bad show all round chaps'.

Anonymous said...

That isn't fair. I think you'll find that Michael was full of praise for the hard work of Plaid members on the ground, and everyone would agree that he's done more than his fair share of work in supporting the party through his blog.

The question is whether Rhun was the right candidate, and what Michael has shown is that he certainly wasn't. He's two faced. He told people he SUPPORTED nuclear power during the campaign, but then he told the investigation that he was AGAINST it. I want 'not so squeaky clean Rhun' to tell all of us which one of these is true. We deserve to know the truth.

Anonymous said...

He was pissing all the way from London on honest, decent party workers who were congregating on Ynys Mon from all parts of Wales to give of their time & effort.

Michael is in the habit of copiously praising himself, but any praise he's given ordinary party members (if there is indeed an instance of him doing that) pales into total insignificance besides the mountains praise & adoration he heaps on himself.

Anonymous said...

MH is clearly a British undercover security services plant, and we should get rid of him before he reveals even more things to damage us as a party.

Anonymous said...

To be honest I can't understand why the Chris Franks enquiry didn't decide to get rid of him. As things are Plaid are a hostage to fortune - if someone says something he doesn't like in the Euro elections he can kick up a huge fuss & create an illusion of a split as he did last year. The fact that it's merely a split between him & the rest of the party won't be reported in the Wasting Mule & the Echo.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a split between Mike and the rest of the party. It's a split between the party membership and a faction in the National Executive that wants to change party policy on nuclear despite what the membership thinks. Mike is speaking for the majority of Plaid members.

Anonymous said...

Do you have any evidence for that theory - other than Michael's intemperate ramblings?

Why do you think that no one in any sort of position in the party, whatever their position on nuclear, has uttered even a word in support of his position?

Anonymous said...

"Do you have any evidence" that the majority of the party membership are against nuclear power???????? What planet are you living on?????????

Anonymous said...

Plaid Cymru members are just sheep. In the end they'll go along with whatever the leadership decides is best for them without a whimper. They don't have any choice. If they speak out they'll get the same treatment.

Anonymous said...

No - evidence of a faction who are in favour of nuclear power manipulating the party. Michael wants you to believe that he's being disciplined because of his attitude to nuclear. It isn't - it's because of gross disloyalty during a vital by election campaign. If it was a a nuclear matter he would have recieved support from a large number of members. But he has barely any support of any kind.

The NEC faction theory is just something he's invented to explain his predicament.

Anonymous said...

Oh, & Anon 14.17 - do you have any evidence of anybody in Plaid being disciplined for speaking their mind on nuclear - or us this just more makey uppy stuff?

Anonymous said...

I do not understand how a member of any political party can actively call for the defeat of its official candidate in an important election and remain a member of that party. It is ridiculous. Although he never said it explicitly, MH's comments during the Ynys Mon campaign implied that he would have preferred, for example, a UKIP victory rather then see Rhun elected. Had it happened, that would have been a real tragedy for Wales.

Anonymous said...

What about Rhun's "gross disloyalty"? He didn't say where he stood on nuclear until after he had been selected. Then he came out in favour. But now he tells a party investigation that he's against. MH is consistent. Rhun is all over the place. Plaid should take more care when they select candidates in future.

Anonymous said...

That's why I just can't understand why the Disciplinary Panel was so incredibly lenient with the man. That's the real issue with this particular disceplinary process. As things stand he's free to try to sabbotage the European elections - or the Westminster ones, or the Assembly ones by making up a split within the party, and doing that as a party member.

Anonymous said...

One honest blogger, but Plaid Cymru fall over themselves to try and gag him.

Anonymous said...

But he isn't an honest blogger - his account is dishonest & inaccurate from beginning to end. It's also conceted, self centred & totally disrespectful of other party members.

Anonymous said...

@15:18 - I think you'll find that Plaid Cymru have sabotaged themselves. The leadership thought they could throw away party policy and make a "special exception" for Ynys Mon. But I guarantee that they'll lose twenty times more votes in the rest of Wales than they won by throwing away thier policies and their principles for just one by-election and a candidate that has shown himself to be dishonest. I cannot see them holding onto their Euro seat after this fiasco.

Anonymous said...

"Dishonset and innaccurate". How so, pray tell? He published every email. Those emails tell the story all by themselves.

Anonymous said...

But how do we know that he didn't falsify the emails? I wouldn't put it past him.

Anonymous said...

The account is full of inaccuracies - from the false claim at the beginning that Angharad Mair was rejected because she had not been a party member for a year to the latest claim that there's a pro nuclear faction on the NEC holding the party to ransome. He makes stuff up as he goes along. To use his own termenology he's a 'bare faced liar'.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and Anon 15.18 - MH thought that his blog was so very important & so very influencial that he could reduce the Plaid vote in Ynys Mon - the result was a large increase. Why do you reckon that things would be different in the rest of Wales where nuclear is far less of a divisive issue than it is in Ynys Mon?

Anonymous said...

You can tell where MH's sympahies lie. He thinks UKIP have better selection processes than Plaid.

http://syniadau--buildinganindependentwales.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/rhun-ap-iorwerth-and-rod-richards.html

Anonymous said...

Is that the UKIP that selected Godfrey Bloom?

Anonymous said...

A party cant have a position of opposing nuclear power in the rest of wales but saying its okay in ynys mon. We all know plaid has tried to ride these two horses at the same time for years and all this unseemly row has done is to bring this untenable feat of political gymnastics out into the open. Now this issue is fully in the public gaze there is no longer any hiding place for plaid cymru on this issue. If they do not address these unsustainable contradictions over nuclear then they will not be taken seriously by voters in wales in any future elections and they will have given their political opponents a big stick with which to beat them with time and time again.

Anonymous said...

Quite possibly - but the political opponent who's been doing the beating with a big stick here is MH, who is supposed to be a party member.

Anonymous said...

Well what a cowardly little cabal of mice we have here. We have a member who has quite openly put his neck on the line to uphold Party policy, and as far as I am concerned the evidence is incontrovertible. As a member, I for one am not going to let this lie and will be pursuing this further.

But what's truly pathetic is that certain individuals, spineless pathetic excuses for individuals, see fit to launch into a campaign of character assasination to further their own hidden agenda. Why would anyone impute any credibility to people posting such tripe under the flag of anonymity? Anyone who has half a brain or any kind of education can weigh the evidence placed before them by Mr. Haggett, and the pathetic snipings of these anonymous little trolls, and see which should be accorded the credibility it deserves.

The rot has gone too far, and needs to be stopped now.

James Michael Dunckley,
Gower Branch, Plaid Cymru.

Anonymous said...

Calm down Mr Dunckley, calm down. The blog allows anonymous comments, it doesn't have to. Many anonomous comments support MH's attempts at electoral sabbotage, & some don't. You object the ones that criticize the attempted sabbotage, but not the ones that support it.

I also note that you demean yourself by following MH's compulsion to name call & attack people personally, the politics of the public school play field. Pity.

Welsh not British said...

To accuse MH of falsifying emails shows the utmost in stupidity because it would be so easy to prove that they were false. It would give them the ammo they need to discipline him and simultaneously discredit him at the same time. You would have to be a complete moron to believe that after being so methodical throughout he would jeopardise it all by trying something so idiotic.

Whether you agree with his decision to publish the initial blogs or not is academic at this point because the issue at hand here is the fact that the witch hunt against him was executed so badly that it was thrown out on appeal.

The fact that MH warned them about this at the very beginning and throughout this very long drawn out saga is now being twisted by some as arrogance. It's also a fact that MH insisted on everything being done via electronic means because he knew full well that he be able to have it thrown out on appeal and would be perfectly entitled to publish this whole thing. He's a prolific blogger and they were queuing up to provide content for him and none of them had the foresight to realise this.

There have been Plaid members openly questioning their membership as a result of reading this information. And from the post made above I'm sure there will be members who are more comitted to their party than they were before.

Anonymous said...

Mr Dunckley - if you leave your name here, Haggett will categorise you as an 'evil' man or woman (as opposed to most members who are in terms of this morality play 'good' but 'stupid' & 'cowardly' & himself who's 'good', 'brave' and 'very, very clever'. He'll then bury you in an avalanche of personal abuse. In other words he'd bully you. Why would anyone want to subject herself to that?

Anonymous said...

If an individual member being honest is "damaging" to your party's image, then something is terribly wrong with your party, and not with the individual member who is being honest.

Anonymous said...

But he isn't honest - he lies routinely.

Anonymous said...

I'm interested in the 'hundreds of ordinary party members who worked day in, day out or contributed financially towards the campaign' on Ynys Mon.

And also the 'decent party workers who were congregating on Ynys Mon from all parts of Wales to give of their time & effort.'

Did Rhun ap Iowerth actually manage to dupe all these people too? Or are they also part of a much wider spread conspiracy?

Anonymous said...

Political parties rely on donations, loans, grants, state funding and membership subs for funding.

Given the obfuscation over nuclear power policy and the 'possible' fraudulent actions of party members and workers on Ynys Mon much of this money will now have to be re-paid.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21.21 Everybody involved belongs to the evil narrow interest group that Michael is so bravely fighting against MPs, AMs, party officials, party donors, party workers, party officers, NEC members, National Council members, everybody, everybody, can't you see, can nobody but for Michael see the truth?

Anon 21.31, fraudulent action? That's a new one, not even Michael has thought of that one. Good luck with it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 21.21 Most party members, like most people in general don't care all that much about nuclear power. They might be vaguely against it, but it isn't a particularly important matter for them. They don't really follow what so and so thinks about it, they have other political priorities. There's also the problem that most parties have that people interested in conferences and the like are ideological, people who walk the streets knocking doors aren't, they're generally pragmatic folk who don't obsess over nuclear power and the like.

Anonymous said...

Anon 22:49, my understanding for Plaid Cymru is that party policy is set by the membership rather than the executive. It's upon this principal that the party exists and the funds for such are raised.

You may be right that the 'people who walk the streets' are pragmatic rather than obsessive. But they sure don't have a right to peddle un-truths in the name of the Plaid Cymru political party.

Or are you suggesting otherwise?



Anonymous said...

They didn't peddle untruths. Unless you know otherwise of course.

Anonymous said...

Anon 23:01, ask yourself how many of these 'people who walk the streets' spoke out when Rhun ap Iowerth voiced his support for a new nuclear power plant at Wylva?

Not one. Complicit and compliant. And therefore guilty by association!

Anonymous said...

Many would have supported WylfaB - Northerners have lived in the shadow of nuclear stations all their lives & many just see them as sources of employment - a bit like Southern attitudes to the coal industry.

Anonymous said...

I think you have made my point. These people were not supporting Plaid policy on nuclear power. And yet they were claiming to be campaigning on behalf of Plaid as they went from doorstep to doorstep.

How fraudulent is that?

Anonymous said...

Every single party has a variation of views on nuclear policy, and virtually everything else.

Anonymous said...

Well I've seen everything on here over the last few weeks, and it all sounds a bit desperate to me. "Mr. Haggett's a spy", "Mr. Haggett's lying", "Mr. Haggett's not from this country anyway so what right has he got to comment", and then the old classic "Mr. Haggett's a bully". Schoolyard stuff and all under that safe little anonymous comfort blanket.

What this all says to me is that there is actually a culture of secrecy and silence in Plaid Cymru, and this is what really riles people, because a mirror has been held up, and people are fighting desperately not to look into it. You can throw as many insults, you can insinuate as many things as you like, you can concoct as many conspiracy theories as you like, but if you cannot engage in open and transparent debate in an organisation that purports to champion democracy in Wales, then what are you here for? What are you people afraid of? Really?

James Michael Dunckley.
Gower Branch, Plaid Cymru.

Anonymous said...

Disciplinary procedures are just that - procedures. They're not a platform for general debate.

Michael was the subject of a complaint following his attempt to undermine a vitally important by election campaign.

All parties have such procedures, but no other would have been as lenient under the circimstances.

Anonymous said...

The good Mr Dunckley returns. Having crammed his initial posts with insults directed at all and sundry he complains about others using vaguely critical language. One rule for Mr Dunkley & Mr Haggett, & quite another for everybody else. Cool.

Anonymous said...

It's very revealing that 23:52 says: 'Michael was the subject of a complaint following his attempt to undermine a vitally important by election campaign.'

Talk about getting things wyneb i wared. Michael stood up for party policy after Rhun undermined the policies of the party he was supposed to represent.

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Anonymous said...

mr haggett should have his welsh citizenship withdrawn. dont tell me he is against fracking as well?

Anonymous said...

James Dunckley- many or even most of the comments here are being left by people who are stirring and people who are not part of Plaid, including some of the comments attacking MH and some of the comments defending him. You have to understand that. It is a mistake to believe that this represents a debate inside the party. It looks like it has been hijacked by people that don't have our or MH's interests to heart. There's a lot of falsification going on. I would urge people they actually are Plaid (like James Dunckley) to take the anonymous comments at face value. The discussion has been manipulated and doesn't reflect the actual, friendly atmosphere there was around the campaign in Ynys Mon at the time.

Anonymous said...

Of course it was a 'friendly atmosphere' ............. so was the atmosphere in Nazi Germany when the Jews were being butchered.

The electorate was lied to ..... and lied to on a monumental scale.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the Nazis and the Jews. I was wondering when they'd come along.

Anonymous said...

With publication of Silk 2 it surely must be time to move on. I can't help it when I think of the Judean people's popular front (splitters) - I greatly respect MH and he has done far more than most in Plaid to advance the cause of Welsh independence, but this obsessive navel gazing benefits nobody but the unionist parties.

Penddu

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see what's become of a once fine blog.

Anonymous said...

As an ordinary member who campaigned on several occasions during the Ynys Mon by-election, I saw no inconsistency between doing this and generally supporting what MH was saying in his blog at the time.

Michael's language may have been too intemperate at times, but there was no doubting the essential truth of what he was saying.i.e with Rhun supporting Wylfa B so openly, this was completely at odds with the party's stated policy of "no new nuclear plants in Wales'". I still feel that Rhun could have won a handsome victory at this by-election by keeping to the policy, such was the complete lack of organization amongst Labour on Ynys Mon, and his high visibility local profile. He could have restated Plaid Cymru's opposition to new nuclear developments, with the proviso that if London insisted on the development, PC would work hard to ensure as many local benefits as possible would occur.

Turning to the disciplinary matter, I feel there was no need to conduct such a witchhunt.Michael's strident and confrontational tone in dealing with the matter is once again not ideal, but he has managed to draw attention to the inherent contradictions of the complaint against him, and his counter-complaints have upped the ante in a way the disciplinarians at Ty Gwynfor could never have envisaged.

I must say I'm disappointed in Elin Jones in filing the complaint in the first place and one has to ask serious questions about her political acumen in this respect in not considering that MH would have some serious ammunition to counter whatever was thrown at him. As others have suggested, the best course of action now would be for Elin to drop her complaint and for MH to do likewise.

The only positive thing about this whole saga, is that the whole issue of PC's position on nuclear energy must surely now be reconsidered. Why don't Plaid Cymru commission a research company to investigate all aspects of a Wylfa B development, so that a definitive policy position, agreed by all party candidates and representatives- based on the independent findings- can be put in place in time for the run-up to the 2015 general election? This could be sold to the general public as providing essential information for the people of Ynys Mon and the people of Wales as a whole, free from the biased positions of both Horizon on one side and PAWB on the other hand. Surely a development which has so many implications for Wales's economy and society( and future prospects for independence) deserves this level of scrutiny?

There are two possible developments which could work in PC's favour in adopting such an approach. Firstly, there are international lawsuits pending against Hitachi following the Fukishima disaster, which could seriously scupper any plans to develop new nuclear sites. Secondly, a YES vote in September in Scotland is sure to see a reinforced rejection of nuclear technology on these isles, as Scotland commits yet further to renewables of all sorts. Plaid Cymru need to prepare themselves for that independence bounce, and be brave enough to insist, that like Scotland, Wales has the ability to deliver its own renewable energy answers.

Aled GJ

Anonymous said...

Aled GJ talks a whole lot of sense. But he doesn't deal with the most serious outstanding issue, namely that Rhun ap Iowerth was elected as Plaid candidate on a false premise! Worse, he was elected as AM for Ynys Mon on an entirely different false premise.

What to do?

Anonymous said...

Anon 15.07, this takes us back to how Ashgar was selected as a Plaid regional list candidate!!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 23:52 (2nd March) Said:

"Disciplinary procedures are just that - procedures. They're not a platform for general debate."

They are a platform for general debate when SO's are flagrantly ignored by senior figures and officers, for the simple reason that in doing so the officers in question have undermined the basis upon which the whole of Plaid is bound together as an organisation entire. That affects all members of the Party and should be discussed. Clearly you don't understand that concept, or else have a hidden interest of some kind to defend...

"Michael was the subject of a complaint following his attempt to undermine a vitally important by election campaign."

This has always been a key argument of those who have wanted to brush this matter under the carpet. The fact is that Rhun ap Iorwerth - despite his mispronouncements - went on to win a resounding victory. So MH's statements haven't caused any damage to Plaid whatsoever if fact.

That aside the thrust of the argument seems to be to blame grassroots members for the failings of the higher echelons. This is symptomatic of the "professionalised", technocratic culture that has developed in Plaid, particularly since devolution in which Plaid has effectively become sucked into a kind of bland, managerial "Cardiff Bay Consensus".

"All parties have such procedures, but no other would have been as lenient under the circimstances."

The only leniency has been toward senior figures who have flouted Party policy. In pandering to special interest groups and vilifying those who speak out, senior figures are gradually splitting the Blaid. But even if Elin Jones' vindictive complaint was withdrawn now, it doesn't address the deeper problems, which is that at this point in time Plaid is still playing the Labour Party's game and has bought into the whole Unionist narrative set by Labour in Wales. Exactly the narrative that the SNP has broken with in Scotland. Until Plaid actually starts talking about Independence (something else which certain senior figures have managed to muddy Plaid's water on) there is no reason for the electorate to vote for a Party which is working within essentially the same narrative structure as Labour.

There is a failure of leadership within the Plaid. It's been going on for at least 30 years, and we see the consequences of our cowardice and complicity all around us in Wales today. Scotland is going forward, while (the masquerade of devolution aside), Wales is going backward.

James Michael Dunckley,
Gower Branch, Plaid Cymru.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Mr Dunckley.

The 'wreckers' are hard at work in Plaid Cymru. as they are in so many areas of Welsh life. The little bit of 'power' that Plaid Cymru had in Cardiff seems to have gone to the heads of the Assembly members and the administration of the party. They always know best, and never listen to the membership. Large swathes of Gwynedd have turned against Plaid Cymru as the last local authority elections showed.



Anonymous said...

I think plaid members, people commenting on this website and MH himself all need to take a step back here and look at the big picture.

I am a member of PC because I believe in changing things for the better for my country. I suspect that most of us are members for the same reason. So with that in mind, let's think about what's best for Wales.

Yes party policy states that we are against nuclear power, so regardless of personal opinions, our party policy is clear. However, decisions on whether or not wylfa will go ahead will be made in Westminster, not the Assembly and therefore, whether the Ynys Mon AM supports or not will have no impact on the decision.

Consider also that while there are question marks over the future of Wylfa, Ynys Mon will not be won by any candidate opposing it. So had Rhun stuck to party policy, it's clear that we would have lost that seat to Labour, therefore handing Labour a majority in the Assembly, and as a result, we would have lost two members of resarch staff due to the size of our group reducing.

Do you all think that a Labour majority and a big reduction in our research capacity as a party is good for Wales or good for Plaid Cymru? No of course not. But you think "we have principles, we are against nuclear" etc.

The fact is, Westminster will decide on nuclear, we'll have no say in it. Once that happens, the issue will be dealt with. There won't be question marks around Wylfa's future, and we can finally stick to our policy of opposing new stations.

These blog posts are simply damaging to our shared cause. I can understand why MH would do it since he's clearly fed up of PC's double standards but you all need to just take a step back and look at the big picture, accept that PC has made political decisions for the good of Wales.

Because of Rhun's position and PC's blind eye, we have maintained our research capacity and Labour don't have a majority to run riot with our country. And what about nucelar? It has made no difference whatsoever to the decision on Wylfa.

Out of the two possible outcomes before the by-election, I am very thankful indeed that we ended up with this one.

Anonymous said...

Anon 09:38, wrong on so many counts.

Westminster agrees to allowing new nuclear, but only in those communities that want new nuclear. Oppose it and you don't have to have it.

Anonymous said...

This is not a comment on MH but to James Dunckley comment 20:37. On the issue with the SNP it is very easy for people to draw whatever conclusion they want. The SNP has always been consistent about independence, but to call a referendum they had to be in government. To be in government they had to first win minority government, then a majority. Their majority does not come from supporting independence but comes from their record of competence. Once you have proven competence you can hold an independence referendum, but it's not "chicken and egg", independence always comes after competence. You have to earn the trust of the people first and show an ability to run the country. Even though the referendum is not a vote for Salmond, it is his success that got the referendum on the table (after a term without having a referendum).

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 14:26

This argument looks good on paper, but ignores the reality. So here it is. If competence is the rock on which electorates build their trust, why is Labour still in power in Cardiff Bay after 15 years of misrule?

Anonymous said...

The comment at 23:29 was posted by me, by the way. Awaiting the response with great interest...(but not much hope).

James Michael Dunckley,
Gower Plaid Cymru.

Anonymous said...

Because James people vote in relation to UK media and who is in power at Westminster. However this is changing. It will change with the UK media starting to take massive (and unflattering) interest in Welsh public services ahead of next UK GE.

But there is a problem. Because there is no viable alternative to Labour (for running Wales) that doesn't involve the Tories, people might turn against self-rule as a whole rather than Labour. What can be maybe predicted is that people will accept and agree with alot of what Cameron is going to say in the next few months about the Welsh NHS, but they think the Tories are even worse/don't want the Tories running it, and will turn away from politics altogether. Then again they might turn to Plaid. Too early to tell.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 11;04

"Because James people vote in relation to UK media and who is in power at Westminster. However this is changing. It will change with the UK media starting to take massive (and unflattering) interest in Welsh public services ahead of next UK GE."

You mean like in Scotland? And yes they have three national papers, but none of them are Scottish-owned, and two of them are firmly anti-Independence. It's not just about the media, as in Scotland the SNP have taken power through sticking to a consistent narrative over a period of over three decades: Independence.

Plaid do not have a consistent narrative on a whole range of issues, from Nuclear Power to Independence. And this is partly because senior figures who are key to Plaid's public profile consistently flout policy. The media have painted a consistent narrative over many years of Plaid being "untrustworthy" and "flip-floppers", and Plaid have fed those narratives through poor discipline. It's got less to do with the media and more to do with Plaid's lack of discipline.

"But there is a problem. Because there is no viable alternative to Labour (for running Wales) that doesn't involve the Tories, people might turn against self-rule as a whole rather than Labour. What can be maybe predicted is that people will accept and agree with a lot of what Cameron is going to say in the next few months about the Welsh NHS, but they think the Tories are even worse/don't want the Tories running it, and will turn away from politics altogether. Then again they might turn to Plaid. Too early to tell."

If people accept what Cameron says about the NHS, it's because Labour have totally mismanaged it. It's devolved and Labour have had responsibility for it for 15 years. They have been given a mandate to mismanage by the electorate of south wales in particular. Not just in health but education, the economy. Even their climate change targets are a meaningless dog's dinner, but that's another matter.

James Michael Dunckley,
Gower Branch, Plaid Cymru.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is just how many leading Plaid figures are actually fifth columnists. It's not enough that The Badger Butcher launched an ill judged complaint against MH....now we have a leading MP and an AM vilifying Sam Warburton.

What a joke Plaid is becoming!

Anonymous said...

No, it isn't a joke. And, in truth, it has little to do with Plaid Cymru other than proof positive that there always a couple of rotten apples in a pack.

If Plaid took decisive and serious action to rid itself of such rotten apples it might well find itself moving up rather than down in the polls.

Gareth said...

"The only positive thing about this whole saga, is that the whole issue of PC's position on nuclear energy must surely now be reconsidered. Why don't Plaid Cymru commission a research company to investigate all aspects of a Wylfa B development, so that a definitive policy position, agreed by all party candidates and representatives- based on the independent findings- can be put in place in time for the run-up to the 2015 general election? This could be sold to the general public as providing essential information for the people of Ynys Mon and the people of Wales as a whole, free from the biased positions of both Horizon on one side and PAWB on the other hand. Surely a development which has so many implications for Wales's economy and society( and future prospects for independence) deserves this level of scrutiny?"

Aled GJ has the best suggestion of anyone. A commission not to push this issue into the long grass, but to come up with the definitive arguments in favour and against new nuclear build, specifically at Wylfa. A clean slate for the party to be able to consider and - if necessary - vote on at the autumn conference.

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