How Plaid Cymru Works - 19

This is the nineteenth 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 correspondence on this page, which I will keep updating as further emails are published.

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As I noted a few days ago when I published the previous tranche, Nerys Evans was stubbornly refusing to answer any of the questions I had put to her, in just the same way as Chris Franks, Dafydd Trystan, Leanne Wood and Alun Cox had each done before her. Throughout this matter, the openness, transparency and accountability that any member has a right to expect from Plaid Cymru's leadership have been thrown out of the window.

Even though there are no constitutional grounds for "re-starting" disciplinary proceedings against me, I had said I would be willing for there to be a proper, independent investigation to get to the truth of the matter provided that it was conducted by a person of standing from outside the party, but they refused to do this. This shows that the leadership of Plaid are no more interested in truth now than they were when they rode roughshod over the rules in order to try and stitch me up first time round. The only way they can control the outcome is by choosing people who they can rely on to made the decision they want.

I don't think I've ever met Eli Jones, Sian Powell or Peter Fenner (the three new members co-opted onto the Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel) before; but my suspicions about why they had been appointed were confirmed by their choice of Ian Titherington as "investigating officer".

They could hardly have chosen a less suitable person. For not only is he a Plaid insider, but he has already made his views on the matter perfectly clear. This is what he wrote in a comment on one of my posts last August:

Ian Titherington said ...

MH. To claim that your attacks on Rhun have not been personal but are just based on policy differences, is frankly a joke. It has clearly been personal from as soon as he was considered.

As for your attack on the NEC, you once again are completely out of line. The NEC has the clear right to allow an individual who has been a member for less than 12 months to stand. This was included specifically for individuals who could not stand due to their politically restricted jobs. This rule is not treated lightly, but is there to enable individuals to stand for Plaid from such roles as journalists. Do you really expect people to resign, live on nothing for 12 months then put their names forward? Get real.

You have every right to raise the nuclear issue, but your very personal attacks on Rhun have gone well beyond this. Whatever your personal grudge, it clearly runs deep.

Comment on Repairing the Damage, 15 August 2013 00:21

Ian is of course free to hold any opinion he wishes, but it is absolutely impossible for someone who holds such views to even pretend to act as an impartial, even-handed "investigation officer". Ian clearly pre-judged the issue, and in any reputable organization such prejudice would automatically disqualify him from such a role.

So why was he, of all people, chosen? There is only one explanation: that the three new appointees wanted the matter to be investigated by someone who would could be relied on to go through the motions of asking a few standard questions, while carefully steering clear of the issues the Plaid Cymru leadership are so anxious to sweep under the carpet.

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And why did I bother to answer him? Because I have always said that I am prepared to answer questions about what I write on Syniadau from anyone at any time. As I extend that courtesy even to people who make anonymous comments on this blog, I certainly won't shy away from answering questions from people who give their names. Besides that, I could hardly criticize Chris, Rhun, Dafydd, Leanne, Alun and Nerys for refusing to answer the questions I put to them if I refused to answer the questions put to me.

The two emails below are, as things currently stand, the sum total of the correspondence between us.

From: Ian Titherington
Sent: Thursday, 24 April 2014, 5:00pm
To: Michael Haggett
Subject: Investigation into Elin Jones’ complaint

I am writing to you having been appointed investigating officer by the Hearing Panel of Plaid Cymru’s Membership, Disciplinary and Standards Panel. Please find below the documentation relating to this complaint, together with a covering letter. You will have received a hard copy of this documentation in the post.

regards

Ian Titherington

PC Complaint letter to MH

From: Michael Haggett
Sent: Monday, 28 April 2014, 11:50am
To: Ian Titherington
Subject: Investigation into Elin Jones’ complaint

Dear Ian

Thank you for your email. I have not received a paper copy of what you sent, but it is better to handle things by email anyway. Why kill trees and waste money on postage?

As I'm sure you will know (and if not, you can read all the details here) the matter of Elin's complaint against me has already been dealt with and, despite several requests, no-one within Plaid Cymru has been able to show any constitutional grounds for "re-starting" the process against me. For this reason your appointment as "investigating officer" is meaningless.

Indeed it would be difficult to imagine anyone less suited than you for such a role, not only because you are a member of the party, but because your previous comment on Syniadau clearly shows that you have prejudged the issue. I have no doubt that this is exactly why you were chosen.

A credible investigation would need to be conducted by an impartial person of standing from outside the party, and include my complaints against Rhun, Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd. But truth is clearly something that terrifies those in positions of power within Plaid Cymru ... which is, of course, why they refuse to do hold one.

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However I have always said that I will answer any questions that anyone wishes to raise about what I write on Syniadau at any time. So on that basis I am happy to answer yours.

1. Are you responsible for all blog posts which appeared on the Syniadau blog during June and July 2013? If your answer is ‘no’, please could you state who was responsible for these posts.

I am responsible for all posts and comments on Syniadau under the initials MH.

2. If your answer to question 1 is ‘yes’, what is your response to the allegation that you brought the party into disrepute through your comments?

Assuming that by "comments" you mean both the posts and the comments, you would first need to identify what particular statements you are referring to. I wrote 28 posts in June and July 2013 (as well as some in August, which for some reason you haven't asked about) and made many comments in the discussion threads of those posts.

In general terms it is very hard to see how anything I wrote could have "brought the party into disrepute". However I would say that by telling a blatant lie about our policy on nuclear power, Rhun ap Iorwerth misled the public about our policy and damaged the public reputation of the party when he did so. It is a matter of shame for Plaid Cymru that neither Rhun himself nor anyone in the leadership of Plaid has made any effort to correct the lie he told. Because of this, any reputation we might once have had as a party of honesty is in tatters.

3. Do you accept that the blog posts were damaging or potentially damaging to the public reputation of the party?

Of course they weren't. With regard to Rhun's dishonesty, what I wrote was intended to correct the lie he told and and therefore restore the public reputation of the party which he had damaged. That was also my motivation when I criticized Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd for telling similar lies about our nuclear policy.

4. If you were responsible for these blog posts, did you raise the concerns which you published online within the party beforehand? (If you did so please outline the steps you took.)

You will need to be specific about "the concerns" you are referring to. However I am rather amused by the suggestion that what I write on Syniadau needs to be raised "within the party" beforehand. From what you say, it seems that people in positions of power in the party have embarked on a crusade of control freakery ... which only goes to show how far the rottenness at the top of the party has set in, and why things need to be put right.

5. Do you have any further points you would like to make as part of this investigation?

As I said before, there is no constitutional basis for the "investigation" you are purporting to conduct. However, if you want to know my views about what has happened, I suggest you start by reading How Plaid Cymru Works. I will be happy to answer any further questions that you or anyone else cares to ask.

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Of course a proper investigation would not only ask questions of me, but ask questions of other parties. I would be interested to know what questions you have asked Rhun. Among the questions that should be asked are:

• Does he now accept that what he said about Plaid's nuclear policy is untrue and, if so, what efforts has he made to correct it?

• From where did he get the idea that Plaid has a policy of building new nuclear power stations on existing nuclear sites (this would almost certainly implicate Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd, who had all told essentially the same lie before he did; therefore they would need to be asked the same question)?

• What in fact are his views on nuclear power, and how does he reconcile the fact that what he said in public is the complete opposite of what he said at the previous investigation (see here)?

Similarly, I would expect a proper investigation to ask Elin about her allegations. Among the questions that should be asked are:

• Does she still dispute the fact that Rhun was dishonest, and that we do not need dishonest politicians in Plaid Cymru?

• Does she now accept that Rhun mislead the public about our position on nuclear power by telling a blatant lie?

• Does she accept that it is in fact a tragedy for Plaid Cymru, Ynys Môn and Wales to now be lumbered with a politician who resorts to telling lies ... for he has now shown that he was not only lying about Plaid's policy on nuclear power, but also lied about his previous membership of the party (see here), and has in fact told two completely different versions about his own views on nuclear power, being for it on public, but against it in private (see here). This two-faced behaviour would strongly suggest that he misled people within the party in order to be selected.

• Does she accept that it is two-faced and hypocritical of her to point out in public that Dafydd was not telling the truth about Plaid's policy on nuclear power when she wanted to be elected as party leader, but thinks it acceptable for to try and get me thrown out of the party for pointing out that Rhun was telling essentially the same lie?

• If, in the light of these questions, she still stands by her allegations, what evidence can she produce to refute the accuracy of what I said?

Will you please inform me of the answers you receive to these questions (and any others you ask) because follow up questions might well be appropriate, depending on the answers given.

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It is clear to me that those in positions of power in Plaid Cymru are, having made such fools of themselves first time round, now just going through the motions in order to try to reach the same pre-determined conclusion. If they want to continue to demonstrate just how rotten the leadership in Plaid Cymru has become, I won't stop them. It will only make ordinary members more determined to put things right by replacing them with people who aren't afraid of the truth.

Best regards

Michael Haggett

Ian did not respond to my e-mail, and I'm not surprised by that. This is because there is a fundamental flaw in what the leadership of Plaid Cymru is trying to do. They keep wanting to pursue disciplinary action against me for exposing Rhun as a liar while, at the same time, deliberately turning a blind eye to the fact that Rhun lied. It is Rhun who brought the party into disrepute by resorting to lies in order to mislead the public about our nuclear policy ... just as Elfyn Llwyd, Bob Parry and Dafydd Elis-Thomas had done before him. I was therefore perfectly justified in exposing these lies.

The questions that I listed are simply too awkward and embarrassing for them to answer.

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38 comments:

Anonymous said...

IAN TITHERINGTON FFS! Now Plaid have really lost the plot. Why don't they just drop the pretence, stop the long running farce and admit that they just going to expel you.

We are going to give you a fair trial then execute you.

Anonymous said...

Andray Vyshinsky was obviously "unavailable" then!

Anonymous said...

Ian would be better spending far more of his time learning the language of this country.

Quite why he is Labour I really don't know.

Anonymous said...

Political party caught fixing outcome of inquiry shock!

This is what ALL political parties do. Politicians are all corupt, Plaid politicians are just not as clever at hiding it than the others.

JRG said...

Plaid Cymru have always been a petty, small-minded party that is only concerned about its heartlands rather than the rest of Wales where people who (horror) don't speak welsh live.

Now we know that they're petty, small-minded and vindictive little sods.

I don't know why you're bothering with them, MH. Join a better party.and let them crash the car by themselves.

Anonymous said...

There is only, at present ONE nationalist party in Cymru, covering the whole country. - JRG

Anonymous said...

Why can't they hurry up and throw you out of the party, just like any other party would do with a treacherous member hell bent on electoral sabbotage.

It's a farce that this has gone on for over a year. Any other party would have got rid of you immediately you started on your campaign to dissuade people from voting for Plaid.

Anonymous said...

@15.23 - One nationalist party, maybe. But the only constituencies where enough voters vote for it with any hope of getting an AM or MP elected are confined in a few sparsely populated areas. What about the vast majority of people EVERYWHERE ELSE in Wales, sorry, Cymru? Don't they count?

Plaid ONCE showed some signs of scaring Labour, back in 1999 when they didn't have a track record. But at the next election the voters could see they weren't capable of being a party for all of Wales and went back to Labour and stayed with them. They're not going to be kicked by the same horse twice.

A nationalist party worthy of the name would be getting a share of the vote everywhere, therefore Labour have a much better claim to be "the party of Wales" than Plaid.

I'm not saying that Labour are great, but they're a damn sight more capable of delivering than Plaid's bunch of ill-disciplined, squabbling incompetents are. It's hard to think of anyone in Plaid who'd be capable of being a minister.

Anonymous said...

You must be thrown out of the party. Rhun is NOT a liar, you are the one who is lying about him.

Anonymous said...

Plaid are a party in trouble that doesn't know when to stop digging. I dread to think what the next revelations will show, but they can't be good for the party. Why, oh why do they shoot themselves in the foot every time? Haven't they had enough bad publicity over their two faced attitude to nuclear power with Iuean Wyn Jones and Lord Ellis Thomas continually undermining the rest of the party?

Anonymous said...

There is a core "bubble" mentality now in all political parties. If you read the Lib Dem Voice blog they still think they can avoid oblivion if they only "ditch Nick"in time. Plaid polled behind UKIP in Wales for God's sake but still think they are "The Party Of Wales"...roll drums. It's this element of bubble unreality that forces leaderships to clamp down on dissent. They have no clothes. other than ambition and career, but God help anyone who points to the figleaf ideology.

Anonymous said...

In fairness though (as a real member) Rhun is extremely popular with the membership, and considered a good guy. There is more to this than meets the eye and the tone MH used and the way he called for a vote against Plaid wasn't fair IMO.

Anonymous said...

You don't like Plaid & Plaid doesn't like you.

Perhaps it would save everybody trouble if you resigned.

Anonymous said...

And why, pray, anon 00.13 is it up to MH to "save everybody trouble"? He's an independent blogger in a free country who expressed an opinion with some well grounded factual backing. You don't have to agree. You can come on here and state your case against him. Plaid were annoyed; so what?

Ultimately they could have got on the phone and had a heart to heart and forgotten about it. Is there any political nous in Plaid? Has Elin Jones a clue about engagement with the country and what gives a bad impression?

Everyone is aware of MH's tenacity; why didn't Plaid have the sense to walk away?

Hogyn o Rachub said...

Frankly you're lucky that you haven't already been expelled. Whilst debate within a party is always healthy you've done nothing but undermine the party since the Ynys Môn by-election, and you have the cheek to accuse other members of the party of doing that!

Being a member of a political party requires an amount of discipline which you seem totally lacking in. You've used this blog consistently over the past year to attack individuals - particulary Rhun ap Iorwerth who is considerably more in line with the thinking of both the membership and Plai Cymru's traditional supporters than you.

I'm not a member of Plaid Cymru by the way. I'm astounded they've tolerated your nonsense for so long - all you've really showed is the mettle they lack.

MH said...

Thanks for the comments.

Many things will become clearer as I publish the next exchanges, but the central question relating to Elin's accusation against me is whether or not I was justified in saying that Rhun mislead the public by lying about Plaid's policy on nuclear energy.

It is absolutely clear that Rhun did lie, as set out in this post at the time. So far as I am concerned, all I ever wanted from the party leadership was for it to make clear to the public what our policy on nuclear power is. At first, I was happy for this not to include any reference to Rhun (or to Elfyn, Bob and Dafydd) having lied, in order to save them and the party any embarrassment. That is clear from this email exchange with Leanne.

But one of the things that has become apparent over the last few months is that Plaid's leadership have no intention whatsoever of correcting these lies. They are happy to let the misinformation put out by Rhun, Elfyn Bob and Dafydd stand. This shows contempt for the membership of the party who have consistently voted for a policy of being totally opposed to construction of any new nuclear power station in Wales.

So what we have is in fact a battle over who has the right to decide policy. Plaid's constitution makes it clear that conference decides policy (and as any member can vote at conference, this means the membership). This, I believe, is the real reason behind the leadership's attempt to get me thrown out.

This answers a number of points that have been raised in the comments. I am not going to resign from the party, because I am standing up for what members have decided at conference. On this matter, I am in the right and the leadership is in the wrong.

HoR talks about undermining the party and discipline. I would simply repeat that the discipline required in a political party is to abide by the rules of the party and accept the decisions of the party made in accordance with those rules. Therefore who is failing to do this, Rhun or myself? I am standing up for party policy, as determined by conference in accordance with our rules. Rhun refuses to accept this, has instead maintained that we have a different policy, and says that he will vote against his colleagues in the party on this issue. So who is undermining the party and ill-disciplined?

Throughout this matter I have scrupulously abided by our party rules. In contrast, the leadership has, and continues to, either ignore or break our rules in their attempts to get rid of me.

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I also need to correct onerather glaring piece of misinformation in the comments. I have never "called for a vote against Plaid" (22:21). This is what I actually said:

If I lived in Môn I couldn't bring myself to vote for Rhun, but I wouldn't vote for any other candidate either. Like, I suspect, many other Plaid supporters who resent being manipulated or having their allegiance to the party taken for granted, I would stay at home.

Anonymous said...

You said that a victory for your party's candidate would be a tragedy. An open & shut case of treason I would have thought. I can't believe it's taken this long to throw you out for life.

Anonymous said...

According to today's W.Mail, Rhun is now in Japan with a top local delegation, meeting reps from Hitachi/Horizon Nuclear to drum up "billions" of nuke related business back in the homeland! Soon every family will have its own reactor in the shed, a "MiniRhun 1" keeping the lights on and Rhun glowing orange. "I have seen the future" etc....

Anonymous said...

@14:49

Treason. Yes, but who's the traitor and who have they betrayed?

Rhun is opposing Plaid's policies. MH is standing up for them.

Rhun betrayed the party members who approved the policies at conference. MH is standing up for them.

I wish others in Plaid had as much backbone and determination as him. If Plaid throw him out, it will be another tragedy for an accident prone party.

Anonymous said...

I like this blog, and I also like anyone who helps Plaid win in a shitty Labour one-party system like Wales's. I'm not sure where I'd go on taking sides, but I'd say that there are 2 issues here:
1 - Plaid's own policy and consistency, which is problematic, to say no more
and
2 - pragmatics, based on jobs of course but also on the sense that many of us who used to oppose nuclear are having second thoughts about its viability and desirability, and generally feeling nuclear is one legitimate power source among many, though ideally - and our Welsh reality is far from ideal - we'd phase them out, etc.
I don't like to see the party making itself look so inept by attacking MH, because he is a source of good ideas. But then again, I want Plaid to win, and no candidate on Mon right now would win if they were against Wylfa.
I think we work with the system we have, and personally, as a long-term member of Plaid, I'd be keen on supporting nuclear provided it's a medium term solution and run within Wales by the Assembly. What I don't want to see is a Wales run by a stagnant Labour party that uses anti-Tory/UKIP fear to keep its control over a fearful but divided electorate.
All means are allowed as far as I'm concerned. If one is going to be pragmatic, one needs to succeed. Failed pragmatists get hammered by electorates, witness Nick Clegg.
I hope you give Plaid hell, but then again I also hope they expel you. I hoep you both come out stronger, because you both want the same thing. If neither of you can be pragmatic, then it's a pity.

Anonymous said...

1803 - I think you're a bit confused. The party membership were in Ynys Mom campaigning when MH was trying to undermine their efforts from London.

He has no support among the membership - most of whom are disgusted by his egotistic hysterics.

Anonymous said...

May I ask you a question, MH - its asked in order to make my mind up (I live in Ceredigion and I campaign for Elin Jones every now and again, but I'm Anglesey born) I emphasise that I'm a right-leaning nationalist who distributes leaflets, but never canvasses as it would mean my peddling views I disagree with.
Did you ever have any doings with any of the people who seemingly persecute you prior to this affair ? I find your blog and views interesting, but I've only read them regularly in the past year. You've been severely criticised by Cai Larsen, a blogger whose views I also follow. What I'm asking is what exactly your back story is ?

Anonymous said...

"Failed pragmatists get hammered by
electorates, witness Nick Clegg."

Clegg and the Lib Dems are not "pragmatists" (sic). They are, and always have been a bunch of unprincipled chanchers with a concocted and often opposed policy message for each constituency. Good to see Plaid emulating the strategy of the "Master". (Lord Rennard). I'd be very careful about calling Labour "shitty" when your holding that stick.

Welsh not British said...

Just when you think it cannot get any more farcical...

Anonymous said...

...."Non nuclear Plaid" chase after billions of pounds of Nuclear orders in Japan! Principles, we lost em down the back Leanne"s Habitat sofa!

Anonymous said...

Billions of pounds spent building it..............hundreds of billions of pounds that future generations will have to spend to decommission it and clean up the radioactive waste.

Plaid's grasp of economics is as non-existent as their principles.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:48 You do realise that the decision whether or not to build Wylfa B will be made in Westminster by Tory ministers?

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:48, you are right in one sense but wrong in another. Decisions regarding nuclear power will be made in Westminster. But, local communities have the absolute right to decide if they want to be a part of the new nuclear re-build.

In this regard, Wylfa B is, and always has been, a matter for the local community (a poor and even more poorly educated local community that thinks it cannot send its young people to work anywhere other than in a nuclear power station).

As for eventual decommissioning my understanding is that it is a matter solely for the local community in conjunction with the Welsh government. There is no planned funding for such from Westminster and certainly no responsibility or liability.

In this regard, Mr Rhun ap Iorwerth has put paid to any plans for an independent Wales for at least two generations. And he likes to tell us he is a 'nationalist'. Who does he think he's kidding?

Anonymous said...

I am a member of Plaid. It's the only party we have which represents the people of Wales & only the people of Wales.

However, what I dislike most about the party is the tiny handful of mavericks in senior positions, in the Assembly or at Westminster, past & present. They, more than anyone, have done more damage & undermined the party's electoral prospects post-1999 by their public pronouncements in the media which have been at variance with party policy decided by conference. It has made me despair on several occasions. It's demotivating.

I agree with party policy on nuclear power stations. I don't want any more of them built in Wales. I want Plaid's elected members to toe the line, and not act out of self-interest, to the party's detriment.

These prominent members of Plaid have done far more to damage the party's prospects than has a single blogger, who is virtually unknown.

I think MH has been correct in pointing out the inconsistencies between public utterances & party policy, but his use of language, in my humble opinion, has been blunt, to say the least, if not tactless.

The party's disciplinary process has been an utter shambles & I'm grateful to MH for exposing it. I suspect that there's an element of a witch-hunt going on.

Elin's complaint is one-sided, completely ignoring the basis for MH's comments. I find that deeply worrying in a democratic party. I didn't vote for her as leader, and her insistence on driving the complaint thus far, confirms to me that I was right. She has made herself look vindictive and petty-minded.

Plaid needs a strong leader, willing to face up to the mavericks. Wales needs Plaid especially now as Scotland faces its momentous decision. The party needs to be seen to be united, especially in the media.

My advice to Leanne, today, is to insist that this disciplinary fiasco is ended immediately. If that happens then MH should cease to use & repeat what I consider to be intemperate & inflammatory language & let the matter drop.

If this continues, people like myself are likely to drift away. I don't want to hear ANY more about it. It's childish.

Anonymous said...

Plaid's leadership should urgently consider a night at the theatre. Ibsen's, 'An Enemy of The People", would be an excellent starting point.

MH said...

Thanks for the new comments.

I said that if Rhun were elected, it would be a tragedy, 14:49. But, if you look at the context, you will see that the sentence before was, "Supporting Wylfa B is a betrayal of what Plaid Cymru stands for." The tragedy is that Plaid's candidate was openly opposing Plaid's policies, and I find it hard to see how anyone,whether pro- or anti-nuclear, could object to me using the word.

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To 20:29. If the majority of people in Plaid were to agree with you that nuclear really isn't so bad, then the right course of action would be to put a new motion before conference in order to change our policy. I think it would be wrong to change policy, but I would accept that the change has been made in the right way.

This is exactly how the LibDems handled the issue, and exactly how the SNP handled the equally trickly issue of changing their policy on membership of NATO. Plaid's leadership, in contrast, are not playing it straight. They allow people like Elfyn, Bob, Dafydd and now Rhun to tell the public that we have agreed a completely different nuclear policy, without doing anything to tell the public what it is we actually did decide. This spinelessness on the part of the leadership is at the root of this affair.

It is for this reason, the fact that I am standing up for what the membership of the party has decided, that I am not going to give in to what the leadership are trying to do.

On the subject of Labour, Wales does not have a one-party system. Labour are in power in Wales because Labour win more votes. It's called democracy. The only problem with the electoral system is that is isn't as proportional as it should be, so Labour get more seats than their share of the vote.

If we want to get rid of Labour, then it's up to the other parties to get their act together and persuade people in Wales that they offer a better alternative. To my mind, this episode epitomizes why Plaid have failed to become this alternative. Instead of having policies for the whole of Wales, we present different, contradictory policies to different sets of people in different parts of Wales. We're two-faced (or three- of four-faced), and therefore people feel we can't be trusted.

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I find it hard to understand how knowing my "back story" will help you make up your mind, 22:23.

I think I have always been on good terms with most people in the party, the most notable exception being Dafydd Elis-Thomas. Certainly I've had many more compliments than criticism for Syniadau. I've met Cai a few times and he said the same. I still respect him, irrespective of what he might now think about me.

The question is which is more important: Plaid Cymru or telling the truth? For me, the truth is more important; for others, truth seems to be less important than maintaining a show of unity. Most people I've spoken to know that what Rhun said was untrue. I think the matter could have been solved very easily if Rhun had admitted this (perhaps saying he was mistaken, and never intended to mislead anyone) and if the Plaid leadership had confirmed Plaid's opposition to nuclear power.

MH said...

I broadly agree with 00:30. The way I'd put it is that people in Môn might well welcome the investment, not particularly caring where the money is coming from. As things stand, the money will come from electricity consumers across the whole UK and from UK government subsidies. Let's say the UK builds four new nuclear power stations: Wales then gets 25% of the investment, even though we only have 5% of the population. We get five times what we pay for.

But in the future, who will pay for the much, much larger costs of decommissioning and dealing with the toxic waste? It's fine if the UK pays for it (whether through consumer bills or UK taxation) but if Wales has to pay for it, we would need to pay five times more than our pro-rata share ... and we would have to do this for generations to come. The RUK would say to a newly-independent Wales, "Tough, you wanted more than your share of the jobs, now you have to pay more than your share for the consequences." It means that Wales would pay a crippling price to become independent.

Where I disagree with 00:30 is that it should not be a matter for Môn to decide. If Wylfa B were a local power station producing electricity mainly for Môn, then I would have no objection whatsoever to them deciding the matter locally. But it is going to produce enough electricity for most of Wales, therefore it should be a matter for Wales as a whole to decide. It's a matter of scale, and a matter of who pays for it.

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Thanks, 01:13. I hope these emails show that I tried very hard to persuade Plaid's leadership to let the matter drop after the first failed attempt. But they haven't.

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Yes, 06:10 ;-)

MH said...

I remembered An Enemy of the People from some years ago, but I downloaded the 1978 movie version of the Arthur Miller adaptation, starring Steve McQueen, and watched it again last night to remind myself of the details I'd forgotten.

I don't think Plaid Cymru's leadership are going to arrange a showing any time soon, but it might make a good fringe event at conference.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Plaid Cymru member, but for how long I know not. This whole affair is depressing because it's so revealing. The case against MH is not the issue here any more - it's the arrogance and incompetence of the PC leadership. It's astonishing. And now Nerys Evans is involved, which means things can only get a whole lot worse.

It's depressing because, with proper leadership, PC could offer a genuine alternative where none of the other parties really could, but PC is dying. IWJ started the rot, Leanne Wood is not stopping it. PC needs a mutiny. A clearout, fresh faces, fresh start. But that seems unachievable because of the 'closed shop' that PC has become at the top. Only 'yes men' are allowed in.

Anonymous said...

Views should always be aired including anonymously but i'm concerned about the stuff that is being discussed outside of MH's case. I too am a Plaid member. But it needs to be known by readers that many members do not think there is a "rot" or that there needs to be a "mutiny". When Rhun won - and perhaps even more importantly we won the Caerffili by election on the same day- that was not a rot. We took another council seat off Labour in Pontardawe last week- admittedly for community council, but a 21 year old girl won for us. There are positives going on and it is not representative to only talk on here about the negatives. Ultimately I feel positive about the vast majority of our politicians. I will not name the few which I am less keen on, but members of other parties no doubt have a view about their politicians too.

I personally do not think MH as a member should have written what he did. But i won't pretend to understand the process that followed after or to know how that works. On a much broader level, people need to work together and not undermine each other. I agree with the point that only Plaid can provide a genuine alternative to labour but I am completely convinced the vast majority of Plaid members, including NEC and leadership, mean well. This side of the story must be aired alongside any criticism.

Anonymous said...

Above should say "21 year old woman" not girl.

Anonymous said...

@ anon 11:32
I'm afraid I just have to disagree. Plaid Cymru is achieving very little and has not achieved very much since 1999. There is a frustration that runs deep, and MH's case illustrates why that is - PC is, at the top, an arrogant, closed shop.

Anonymous said...

I disagree. They have achieved alot since 99 in difficult circumstances but can achieve much more if people unite behind our politicians like leanne wood, jonathan edwards and adam price- people who sincerely and genuinely believe in our nation, yes and Rhun too. They are not arrogant and if you ever speak to them personally you would realise that. Way too easy to only talk negative online.

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