May 112015
 

What an incredible election it was, with the Scottish National Party winning 56 out of Scotland’s 59 seats! Without doubt the most amazing election I have watched unfold in some fifty years of following politics. Though partly because of that SNP landslide – plus the collapse of the Liberal Democrats and a swing to the Tories – we now have a Conservative and Unionist PPlaid Cymru 1arty government in London. But as the incoming government has only one MP in Scotland the SNP is already arguing it has no legitimacy to rule Scotland, so we appear to be heading for the constitutional crisis I predicted in my previous post.

Success for the national party was not replicated here in Wales, even with Plaid Cymru’s much more modest ambitions, for it hoped to hold on to its three seats (Arfon, Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Carmarthen East & Dinefwr) and gain anything up to three other seats (Llanelli, Ceredigion and Ynys Môn). In the event, everything stayed the same, and while Ynys Môn went to a recount the results in Llanelli and Ceredigion showed how unrealistic hopes in those areas were. This despite Plaid’s leader Leanne Wood getting more exposure on television, both in Wales and at UK level than any previous leader. But there’s nothing surprising in Plaid Cymru’s failure, for it’s a party that has worked itself into a position from which it just can’t win.

To begin with, Plaid Cymru has refused to challenge the strategy that is turning large parts of Wales into retirement and recreation areas for England – the strategy that (together with anti-Plaid tactical voting) has probably made Ceredigion now unwinnable at Westminster level – because to do so will bring down upon the party condemnation in the English (and ‘Welsh’) Plaid Cymru 2media. In the hope of justifying this wilful neglect of Welsh interests Plaid has to pretend that it can win the support of many of the immigrants, after all, they are now living in Wales so surely they want the best for Wales? No. They remain English, with some becoming more English after moving to Wales. And as Plaid’s candidate in Ceredigion told us, among them are out-and-out racists who see us Welsh as just another inferior people to be ridiculed and shouted at.

The corollary to this desperate desire to be liked (by people who are never going to like us anyway), is that Plaid Cymru has ignored the Welsh people in the areas being colonised. Plaid is now so concerned with avoiding any discussion of white flight, with not offending anyone except Ukip (work that out!), with getting pats on the head from Guardian readers, and with being courted by ‘progressive’ elements, within and without Wales, that it has abandoned it’s raison d’être of defending Welsh interests.

In our urban areas we see the managed decline of the Valleys and the region’s close-on one million people, now offered no better future than becoming dormitory communities for Cardiff. Yet despite a century of decline under Westminster rule, a century of Labour MPs, a century of Labour-controlled local authorities, and a Labour-controlled Notional Assembly for tPlaid Cymru 3he sixteen years of its existence, people in Blaenau Gwent still elected a Labour MP, and those who wanted an alternative to Labour found Ukip and the Tories more attractive than Plaid Cymru! It was the same in Merthyr Tydfil & Rhymney, where Ukip got twice the Plaid vote!

Can we explain this vote for Ukip by the presence of predatory hordes of Poles and Romanians in the Heads of the Valleys taking all the jobs? Or is it attributable to the retired English middle classes, sipping their whisky and sodas up at Dowlais golf club while ranting against Johnny Foreigner? Face it, if Plaid Cymru cannot appeal to voters in areas where just about everyone is Welsh-identifying then where, outside of the shrinking redoubts of the Welsh language, does it have any chance?

This is an incredible and self-destructive position for any political party to have worked itself into. To take for granted your rural heartlands, that are being overrun before your eyes (and in the process, destroying Welsh as a community language) yet, paradoxically, still manage to be rejected by most voters outside those heartlands because they view you as a party oPlaid Cymru 4nly concerned with the Welsh language! This is a party with no future.

Something else we learnt from this election (and the EU election last year) is that the myth of ‘Socialist Wales’ is dead. Wales may have been ‘socialist’ when most of us worked in heavy industry, but this should now be seen as the passing phase it was, with our fathers as victims of circumstance motivated by self-interest rather than ideological socialists. And now ‘Socialist Wales’ is gone. The only socialists left belong to 57 fringe groups . . . and Plaid Cymru. The Labour Party is no longer socialist, so why is Plaid Cymru still flogging this long-expired equine? The clarion call of socialism was rejected by those who voted Labour, and rejected even more emphatically by those who voted Tory and Ukip.

Let us look at one result from last Thursday in an area with which I am familiar. Admittedly the Gower constituency contains Mumbles and the eponymous peninsula, which are relatively affluent areas, but the bulk of the seat’s population is to be found in former industrial suburbs to the west and north of Swansea, towns and villages such as Waunarlwydd, Gowerton, Penclawdd, Gorseinon, Clydach, Pontarddulais. I’ve worked in Waunarlwydd, Gowerton and Clydach; I have sunk many a pint in Penclawdd, Gorseinon and ‘Y Bont’. That these thoroughly Welsh communities would be represented by a Tory MP would have been unthinkable thirty years ago. But it’s happened, because the world has moved on . . . but not Plaid Cymru.Plaid Cymru 5

How do we explain this self-destructive streak? I believe that at the core of Plaid Cymru there is an influential grouping that has beguiled others into rejecting what it chooses to term ‘narrow nationalism’, and persuaded the party to pursue a more ‘inclusive’ and ‘progressive’ agenda. Am I wrong? Just ask yourself, why was doing a deal with the Greens such a major issue in the run-up to the election? I read more about that than I did of any hopes and ambitions Plaid has for Wales. But a confident national party shouldn’t have to worry about the votes of a few thousand lifestyle migrants and hippies, very few of whom would vote for Plaid even if there was a joint candidate in their constituency. (An unsettling truth we first learnt from Mel Witherden, the Green-Plaid candidate for Monmouth back in 1992.)

Clearly, what ‘narrow nationalism’ means is focusing on Welsh issues, something that gives Plaid Cymru nightmares after the kicking given to Ieuan Wyn Jones by Glenys Kinnock on Question Time some years ago over l’affaire Seimon Glyn, Gwilym ab Ioan et al. But Plaid Cymru only operates in Wales, so not to focus on specifically Welsh issues is perverse. Attempts then have to be made to disguise this bizarre strategy by desperately trying to put a ‘Welsh interpretation’ on issues or concerns that emanate from outside of Wales. Hugging Nicola Sturgeon and the Green woman is great television, being ‘anti-austerity’ is a good slogan, but at the end of the day it’s just idle posturing. Being ‘anti-austerity’ is attractive to Plaid because it’s a cross-border issue allowing it to line up with other ‘progressives’ while avoiding Welsh issues. (I hate that fucking word, and the smug, self-satisfied superiority it conveys. ‘Ooo, look at me, Plaid Question markI’m “progressive”, but you’re not’. Maybe those who find the word so attractive should be reminded that it was much-loved by Joe Stalin.)

If I’m wrong about these machinations then someone needs to explain how a political party whose raison d’être is Wales and Welshness consistently refuses to defend Welsh interests. I ask because it doesn’t matter how many Mike Parkers the party attracts the vast majority of English people in Wales – ‘progressive’ or not – are never, ever going to vote for Plaid Cymru. The party’s votes will only ever come from Welsh people, and until the party acknowledges this inescapable truth, and becomes brave enough to speak out for Welsh people, and to take the flak that an anti-colonialist programme will draw, then Plaid Cymru will remain as popular as a pork butcher in Jerusalem.

  63 Responses to “Election 2015: Plaid Cymru Fails, Again”

  1.  

    Failure to connect can be attributable to several factors but 4 big flaws stand out in my mind

    1. The absence of a genuinely Welsh policy identity. As you correctly point out the “urge” to align with left of centre “thought”, however that is determined, leads to an inevitable morphing with UK orientated left leaning movements, thus lack of definition. While austerity is a real challenge, the persistent repetition of same old, same old mantras did nothing to project an image of capability and conviction. More focus should have been placed on the recovery, with alternative pathways defined if such things exist and are validated. I would have thought that all those suits with umpteem degrees etc in Economics would have got some articulate alternative in place by now.

    2. Reluctance to comment, indeed absence of comment, on the prevalent trend of AngloBrit colonisation, and its attendant features such as complicity in creation and maintenance of dependency culture, lack of defined recovery through indigenous ventures employing local skills base, devolved assembly employing “initiativitis” as a technique to keep locals “onside” while doing nothing to really drive a recovery etc etc.

    3. Embarrassing willingness to sit on coat tails of SNP as if their slipstream would drag us ( Plaid ) along to some glorious victory. Did anyone think the unthinkable ? Was there any common ground with UKIP in terms of dealing with migration ? The answer to that one is NO !, but by asking it would expose sharply the duplicity and double standards of the English Nats on issues relating to migrants and would have highlighted that we too have a view on the social problems that unplanned migrations bring. At the same time capital could have been made of the selection of M Parker, L Sav- Roberts and any others who have “embraced the cause” after coming here.

    4. On a different strand of identity, I repeat my earlier comment, and that of Brychan, criticising candidate selection in that ……… …….” posh metro-centric Pontcanna party staffer, who gets sent on a Plaid day school to Corwen, told what not to say, and has little connection with the valleys concerned. Plaid might as well stand a tailors dummy.” , and ……” I think most people would be hard pressed to recall more than 5 or 6 names of Plaid candidates, plus the 3 defending seats. A colourless boring bunch who fitted in nicely with the rest of the Anglo Brit assortment on offer.”

    Now identity, especially for the relatively small party, is especially important and not enough attention was paid to “flair”or “character” or whatever you like to call it and too much was paid to compliance with some unknown party template

    Much of these and other various ailments have been written about by Jac and various correspondents and while I may not have agreed with everything written most people have written better stuff than that seen from Plaid in pursuit of votes !

  2.  

    It should be noted that the Plaid vote in Rhondda went from 8.9% to 27% and is now this seat is as ‘marginal’ for Plaid as Ceredigion in Westminster contests. You have to admit that the valley girls in this neck of the woods (pun intended) is doing something right. You are right to question what’s going on elsewhere, but one characteristic of the Rhondda campaign is it went hammer and tongs AGAINST Labour, no snuggle up to them, no lentils in the cawl, no hippies in teepees. This has to indicate a future direction for Plaid. Leanne should announce a no coalition or back room deals with Labour guarantee in the run up to the Senedd election and also expose Ukip and Greens as foreign imports. Plaid need to go out for a win next year, even a minority Plaid administration will put Wales onto the same road as Scotland.

  3.  

    Waunarlwydd is part of Swansea West Constituency. I wonder how many electors in Gower did not vote Labour this time because Liz Evans was selected from an All Women Shortlist?

    •  

      I stand corrected, but it doesn’t detract from the point I was making. You know more about the internal workings of the local Labour Party than I do, so I’ll accept your suggestion

  4.  

    UKIP are popular because they’ve had 5 years of constant publicity from the UK (aka English|) media.
    A few weeks of limited exposure for Plaid in the run up to the election is not going to make a lot of difference – despite their claims to the contrary.

    As you say however Plaid seem to revel in their own delusional view of the world – recently well illustrated by Adam Price (ex Plaid MP) who claimed Labour may not be able to win in Westminster again following the result in Scotland – apparently totally oblivious to the fact that Labour has almost always formed a Government when they succeeded in England. Combined Welsh and Scottish votes have almost never had any influence on the final result in any election in recent times – we are effectively disenfranchised by the size of the English electorate.
    This is set to get even worse as Cameron is now revisiting the plan to change electoral boundaries. Under his previous plan Wales would lose 10 seats and Scotland would lose 7 seats.

    Plaid’s constant peddling of their ‘socialist’ manifesto simply hands votes to the Labour Party. In Wales, rightly or wrongly, socialist means Labour to the electorate.

    Neither does their allegiance to ‘Green’ policies do them any favours. Green is no longer ‘cool’. As the results of the Green Party across the UK show.

    Plaid need local policies for Wales – and stop aspiring to ‘international socialism’ and ‘saving the planet’.

    •  

      I can’t entirely agree about media coverage of Ukip. There was a point, up until a month or 6 weeks before May 7th, where Farage was on everything and Ukip was getting free publicity of the kind it couldn’t have dreamt of. This coincided with the belief, or hope, that the Scottish polls were wrong. As we drew nearer to election day, and the Scottish polls actually started giving the SNP even more seats, Ukip’s coverage fell away.

      My interpretation is as follows. Ukip was originally promoted in the hope of taking enough Labour votes to ensure a Tory victory, but once it became clear that the SNP was going to get 50 or more seats, then the stick with which to beat Labour became a Lab-SNP coalition, and this worked with many English voters, maybe quite a few Welsh voters as well. This kind of attack makes Ukip superfluous.

      You may argue that I’m an old cynic confusing the BBC and other media with the strategists of the Conservative party. Yes.

  5.  

    If the analysis shows things going well in any one constituency ( or better still several ) then Plaid “strategists” should be going through that to identify how much of that performance is repeatable elsewhere and how much is down to local factors. Then they can start to tune into what works where, but that factor mentioned by Brychan – not getting cosy with rivals, focussing on distinct positive attributes – is probably a “must do” in most places. I’m still convinced that an assertive, positive tone – “we can do better on our own, and we’re big enough to do it, ( so stick your beggin’ bowl up your jacksie ! )” – delivered by colourful local characters ( not the neutered metropolitan Pontcana set ) can give firmer foundations for the long road to recovery. By all means cherry pick and modify the wisest, most sensible and relevant of other folks’ policies. Most probably they were not invented by those parties in the first place anyway !

  6.  

    Anti-austerity is “idle posturing” ? Really ? Austerity is actually hurting many people in Wales. Their lives and their communities are deeply affected by these economically pointless cuts imposed on an economic and cultural basket case of a country by a small wealthy, utterly corrupt clique based in – and caring only- for a small part of another country. Despite 73% of the Welsh electorate voting otherwise, the English electorate have determined that is what Wales gets for another five years.
    The point that Plaid should be hammering home is that this is not going to change after five years regardless of whether in GE20 its the Tories back in power or a power hungry Labour Party who increasingly try to out tory the Tories in order to win over middle England.
    Plaid needs to convince the electorate that the only way out of this eternal nightmare is independence not by voting for the Red Tories or bloody UKIP. You are right that the way to get the message across is on the doorstep from sound candidates but also by fully embracing social media as an antidote to the increasingly strident unionist narrative. Plaid needs to detail how an independent Wales could do things differently not only for our communities at home but also in our dealings with the wider world i.e. an independent Wales would hopefully never endorse an illegal war which killed a million innocent people. These concerns are not mutually exclusive.

    •  

      I may have sounded unduly callous with my anti-austerity jibe, but as for your other point, I guarantee that within Plaid Cymru at this very moment plans are being laid for a coalition deal with Labour next year. Plaid Cymru can not think beyond Labour, or around Labour, and too many within the party – as we saw in 2007 – regard Labour as a sister-party.

    •  

      Agree with the general thrust of Daniel’s post but would add a rider to his statement “Despite 73% of the Welsh electorate voting otherwise, the English electorate have determined that is what Wales gets for another five years”.

      It may surprise many but 84.2 % of the people that voted in Wales cast their vote for Parties that would have continued a policy of austerity in one form or another. That was the total percentage who voted Tory, Labour, Lib Dem and UKIP. So you could argue that Wales voted convincingly (overwhelmingly?) for a pro-austerity agenda, unlike Scotland. We get what we deserve in that case. And with a turnout in Wales of 65.7% one could even argue that the overall Welsh electorate were only anti-austerity to the tune of 10.4% (65.7% of the 15.8% who voted anti-austerity parties).

      You may find that when you look into the reasons people did not turn to Plaid, one of them might well be that many of the electorate buy in to the belief that the deficit and debt of the UK are a very important matter to deal with, a future millstone around the necks of our young, and recognise that all of us have to pay a price to reduce or eliminate it. The arguments about how the pain is spread throughout our society are for another place.

  7.  

    I hope you are wrong Jac but if you are right, Plaid Cymru will have blown their last ever opportunity to be relevant.

    •  

      Plaid’s last chance to be relevant is already in the past.

      •  

        Jac, i love reading your blog but my god you love to focus on the negative. Of course Plaids chance to be relevant is not in the past. For the first time in living memory anything is possible.

        With the SNP in opposition, a divisive EU referendum on the way, a huge Tory induced recession within touching distance, the Tories with an unworkable majority and no one else to blame, and Carwyn now having to chose between supporting horrendous right wing policies from London or backing away from the union, things are just getting exciting.

        I agree wholeheartedly with many of your comments such as too cosy with Labour (not in gwynedd we werent) and id like to see more of a welsh agenda. But ive read other blogs that complain that plaid are never going to win if leanne continues to bang on about wales. Which one is it?

        All the gains the SNP made were, until Thursday, made in Holyrood. 8 weeks before the Holyrood elections in 2006 the SNP were a threat to no one. Next years Assembly elections will be Leannes first. Give her a chance because she has a plan. If it doesnt work out next year itll be time for a change perhaps. But its a year away, and its going to be year which damages every unionist party. A years not long to hold off the doom mongering.

        •  

          Your second paragraph is taken up with things that can only be beneficial to Wales if Plaid reacts properly. But, again, it’s Plaid reacting to events over which it has no control rather than setting the agenda. Will it ever set the agenda?

          If anyone thinks that Plaid, or its leader, “bang on about Wales” too much then they’re in the wrong party. Do they want a Plaid Cymru that talks about Wales even less than it does now! Direct me to these blogs.

          “Give her a chance because she has a plan” you say. You make your leader sound like Baldrick!

  8.  

    The number of English colonists moving into Welsh speaking rural areas is a great concern for all those living there. They see their language and their culture continually being eroded and yet they have no voice. The don’t protest in fear of being called racists. No politician will dare stand up for their interests. They must surely feel helpless and abandoned and Plaid Cymru, the only party who could and should be standing up for them, has totally deserted them. They refuse even to debate the matter. Welsh history will not be kind to PC!

  9.  

    It’s time for those who still believe (not me unfortunately as I’ve already stated) that Wales can be independent to move on from Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood on twitter today is talking to representatives of female genital (FGM), a horrific criminal act and terrifying for victims which needs to be eradicated, but if that’s still where Leanne’s thinking is after the Election Plaid is screwed.

    Over the weekend, Adam Price the former MP and advisor to Leanne called for another All Wales Convention, a very welsh answer to disappointment and a great displacement activity, set up another bloody committee. It’s not more talking that’s needed, it actions that Welsh communities need know, actions that might start turning the tide in the party’s favour as Plaid’s representatives are visible and seen a genuinely standing up for local people.

    But to be honest I’m bored of the endless debate and political chat about Plaid Cymru, does anyone who’s not part of Leanne Wood’s fan club genuinely think big political change is on the card in Wales in the next 12 months?

  10.  

    How about an end to pratling on about austerity and “Neoliberalism” from PC for a start. Austerity is absolutely necessesary when the UK is in trillions of debt and the public sector makes up 2/3 of the Welsh economy! Public spending does not lead to economic growth if it did we would be much richer than we are. Plaid seem to want us to live off handouts from Westminster to piss away on the public sector instead of developing our own industry and there for making ourselves more independent. The record of “Neoliberalism” of the last thirty years is the improvement in the stards of living of billions of people across South America, Africa and Asia look at the stats. Many in the Welsh electorate are stupid but they aren’t that stupid they know that Wales is a poor country that get subsidised by the Westminster until we change that fact nothing will improve. Ranting about “Austerity” get you nowhere looks at Hollande look at Syriza.

    •  

      May I state the bleedin obvious. Austerity affects Wales, Scotland and some parts of northern England. Austerity, by and large, hasn’t happened in London, the SE and the home counties of England. That’s why the map of southern England is blue and the Tories have a majority in the Westminster House. It’s also a reason why Ukip did so badly in the south of England because well off people are only to invite a Polish plumber to fix the tap or get their fruit and veg plucked for Waitrose by a Lithuanian. If you have a good, well paid job, you don’t stung with a benefits cut, aren’t too fussed about the minimum wage, and if you got a nice employment package you probably don’t need a GP appointment as the private scheme does your check-up on works time. Get real. Austerity is an imposition on the peripheral provinces like Wales, have a few quid to ease your poverty and don’t let the natives get above their station. Opposing austerity in the British state must mean that you strive for independence from the state which imposes it. This was the SNPs message. That’s why they won seats off Labour in Scotland who were still bleating ‘better together’. Better for whom? The Scots saw through this modern version of spooning out Trevellions corn. If Plaid are to progress they must link the issue of ‘austerity’ with national self determination. The two are linked, and that’s the message gets nationalist votes into ballot boxes.

  11.  

    This might help put a different slant on the great austerity con for you Llantrisant:
    http://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion

    •  

      Oh please! Paul Krugman? He may have got the nobel prize but he is politically blind economist. There are far more who disagree with him then do I used to be on the left like him until I did a bit of reading around.

      •  

        Nobel prize – tick.
        Politically blind economist ( as opposed to using false economics to promote a warped political ideology)- tick.
        So the problem with Krugman is.. er.. what exactly ?

  12.  

    Disagree with Jac about the BBC. Their main concern is the license fee and the fact they’re get a better deal from Labour. Hence all the coverage of Farage who was expected to take votes from the Tories. A few months ago even the metropolitans realised that out in the sticks UKIP was picking up Labour votes hence the change.

    The Plaid vote in Rhondda didn’t rise from 8.9 to 27% (earlier comment). There was an 8.9% rise – different thing.

    Seimon Brooks made a good comment when he said Plaid’s British Leftism was the problem, not Leftism itself. I agree although Wales needs a national movement not a national party, one that can encompass Welsh Tories like Jac and anti-EU types like me.

    Can’t agree with Llantrisant, LatinAmerica hasn’t been improved by neo-liberalism, it’s been improved by governments who put the national interest above those of the American/EU corporations.

  13.  

    Less than a week since the GE passed and already the colonizing faction is back in full swing ( if it ever took a break ! ) with the Chair of some Tourism body having a moan that “Welsh gets in the way of tourism”. Well I suggest he pisses off back over Clawdd Offa cos there’s plenty of places in England that will welcome his jingoistic bullshit. Perhaps he can team up with that slag Katie ……?? who has a daily rant about non conforming minorities and set up a moaners’ tea room in Eastbourne or wherever such scum congregate these days.

  14.  

    Llantrisant

    While you are right to bring this article to our attention it too contrives to divert our focus away from some real issues in government and big business ( particularly global finance ). There is no escaping the truth that the bubble burst mainly because financial institutions went on a massive growth spree ultimately flogging paper to each other on an escalating “value” when in reality there was no underpinning assets. So everybody got maxed out and as soon as one part of the edifice cracked the entire thing fell down.

    Governments were complicit in that they failed in their duties to supervise, control and prevent abuse of markets, and our Labour regime were among those most culpable in embracing the bullshit that what was taking place was “good” for our economy. When the collapse threatened to wreck the entire sector, governments in UK and elsewhere were conned into shoring up the entire crock of shit, when they should have let 1 or 2 big names go down the pan and pull all the rest into line for a fraction of the cost of intervention. Of course that actual response was inevitable because no one was sufficiently detached ( or uncorrupted ! ) to take an objective view and bring those institutions to heel when the opportunity presented itself. Blair & others had already sold out to the financial/ industrial/ military complex and Brown, Osborne, Cameron, Balls, etc were all hooked on the same view of how markets and society in general was structured. By bailing out to such a degree they locked us into an austerity solution and they have continued to maintain that narrow path by never taking power over the banks despite having a massive stake in the bloody things. The obscenity of earnings in some of these organisations is justified by “competitive market forces” – well let some of these deviants go off to Hong Kong or Moscow or New York because they weren’t much good to us when in London !

    No doubt the debt/deficit is still a huge problem for many economies. Much of that deficit could be reduced by repossessing money “gifted” to institutions and individual bankers in 2008 and later. In other countries their own failure to collect tax from the highest earners is a scandal and the UK has much ground to make up in this aspect of governance and reparation. There is too much scope for avoidance/mitigation as well as downright evasion and those holes are visible and could have been addressed long ago. For decades the very rich were given access to fiddles on a grand scale while at the bottom end there was unrestrained growth in benefits culture. In the middle successive governments spent money like water on pet projects which added little or no value other than creating umpteen thousands of middle management & executive jobs for all those useless graduates churned out by 3rd rate universities who felt entitled to a job with a nice title and good salary. In the meantime the real workers of this country were subjected to a highly organised mass cull of jobs on a scale unequalled in collective memory.

    Undoing this mess is not about reintroducing public spending along the same old pathways. First we have to “repossess” – our economy and our government. Then we can start rebuilding, not administrations and bureaucratic controlling entities, but real value adding products and services ( including health and education ) with much leaner administrations. Private and public sector solutions have to be found. Over reliance on public sector is just as harmful as unfettered markets often because it’s dim witted execs in the public sector that get conned by smart alecs in the private sector, thus continuing the cycle of fraud and mismanagement !!

    If we don’t self correct we will inevitably end up under the control of a global network of corporations interacting with a network of major governments and power blocs. Indeed it seems at times like we are well on our way to that situation already. To those globalists the choice of solutions to the economic crisis is almost academic , be it austerity or some alternative, more like running a set of controlled experiments to find out which makes us rats run faster longer.

    •  

      Superb and thought-provoking analysis. I shall just focus on your final paragraph to suggest that recent governmental attitudes to banking, etc will not result in a “global network” because it could be that that network has been in place for some years, and this might in fact explain the response to the recent crisis.

    •  

      Are you referring to Daniel Gwyn’s post of 12 May 2015 at 09:05?
      The USA bank and insurance crisis been analysed by many but this is my favourite: –
      The Crises of Capitalism. Full lecture from David Harvey, professor, Graduate Center, City University of New York: https://www.thersa.org/discover/videos/event-videos/2010/04/the-crises-of-capitalism/ 31mins, 13secs on 26 April 2010
      OR
      A short version with animation: https://www.thersa.org/discover/videos/rsa-animate/2010/06/rsa-animate—crisis-of-capitalism/ 11mins, 11secs

      Go back further and read about when the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold ended and what took the place of the Bretton Woods system of international financial exchange.

      Nothing that I’ve posted above explains the Tory’s austerity measures – You’ll need to find a sewer and ask a rat.

      •  

        DG – You are correct it was Daniel G’s link that set me off although I felt that Llantrisant’s observations needed a response.

        Jac – you may indeed be right, but my view is that at present that Global network remains a work in progress, that they will not rest until they have tucked everybody up neatly with a further shift of assets into the coffers of global corporates and seriously wealthy individuals ( typically running those corporates or as key investors ) and political systems aligned to those goals. While the 2008 debacle was a shock to their system they were eminently successful in palming off the costs of regaining some sort of stability onto the “ordinary joes” across the world. This is not some kind of new Communist/Socialist manifesto, indeed those ideals, like fascism/nazism, were tried as part of the great experiment and have been deemed as not up to the standard required, so large scale global Corporate Capitalism is now the vogue template for the acquisition of power. How that deals long term with alternative ideals like militant Islam is a matter of real concern, but for sure they won’t think twice about our predicament here in Wales, so it will be up to us to dig ourselves out of any holes we find ourselves in.

        To go off on a tangent – As for our “allies” in the SNP, their response to the TTIP negotiations will show whether they are really minded to be independent, or already in somebody’s pocket !

  15.  

    Thanks for the ‘mentsh’ & the link Jac!

    I’m as disheartened now as I was in 2002. Plaid have not moved an inch nearer to reality. As a result they have not moved an inch nearer power, in fact they’re on their backside & STILL can’t see the wood for the trees!

    Spineless AND clueless, not to mention two faced – they should be reported to someone for false representation – Party of Wales? My arse. They certainly don’t represent the ‘natives’ in my country. The rot set in after Gwynfor Evans took over his presidency – that’s when they lurched to the left. Instead of being a nationalist party with socialist tendencies, they are now a socialist party with mild nationalistic tendency – which they try to hide as best they can.

    What they need is a return to the midset of Saunders Lewis. He may have had his weaknesses (which can mostly be put down to the era he came from – he was born in the Victorian period, and was an officer in the first world war), but at least he loved his culture, his language and his country, and wasn’t afraid to say so. What followed him was a left wing mush of pacifists and Labour party mimics – led by Gwynfor Evans and his ‘Triban Coch’ legacy of worshipers.

    Compare their ridiculous behaviour over the ‘I’ word (as the media christened it) to the SNP who shouted loud and clear from the start that what they wanted was independence. That was at a time in the seventies when Plaid and the SNP were neck & neck when it came to support. Compare the two parties in 2015 – it should tell us something.

    The SNP – having a backbone – have not been embarassed to set out their stall and argue their case relentlessly in a truthful and compelling fashion (much the same as the Irish nationalists have over the decades) – it’s now paid off. Plaid on the other hand are half asleep tickling the ears of the oppressors, in the hope they’ll miraculously be ‘liked’ by one and all one day. Pathetic! It’s now probably too late, because the oppressor has overrun us, and will always have the majority voice representing the English parties from the other side of Offa’s Dyke.

    That’s what happens when you shut your mouth and make your country inviting to the colonisers. It’s very comfortable moving to Cymru and making yourself at home, not so comfy north of the border is it? Most Englishmen who have tasted life in Scotland and Cymru will tell you that. Being tagged as being hosbitable is not the same as lying down to allow others to wipe their feet on you as they walk over you – without as much as a whimper of protest from the door mat. Thanks Plaid (NOT) the party of the Welsh anymore!

    •  

      Your reference to the ‘I’ question put me in mind of something that happened to me recently. You may recall that I was being attacked by Phil Parry at Wales Eye and his mate Shipton at Llais y Sais. After I put up on my blog photos of the FWA they thought they had me. Shipton tweeted, Parry posted, the thinking was they had me because I’d gone too far and I’d have to retract. My response was along the lines of ‘Proud to have known them all . . . great blokes . . . great times . . . don’t regret a thing’. This threw them, I was supposed to squirm.

      It’s the same with independence. When you have different people saying different things at different times your political opponents, and the media, know they’ve got you by the short and curlies. But if you’re consistent about it then they’ll lose interest because there’s no mileage in getting you to repeat what you said last month, and last year. And even if they disagree with you, the electorate will give you a lot more respect too.

  16.  

    Can’t disagree much with David Harvey’s analysis or Dafis’ comments. However the central points of Krugmans article are that the current austerity measures being inflicted on the poorest people in the poorest areas by the british establishment is actually bad for the economy and completely mis-timed.

    Wales (together with Scotland and the north of England) and its people is being targetted with this pointless austerity crap by a corrupt, venal elite from London for no economic reason AT ALL. Why? Are they determined to finish the war that Thatcher declared on those places that still have some sort of soceity?

    The mindset behind this is not going to change. Not now. Not in five years. Not ever. Not if its the red or blue or amber tories in power. They are all part of the same self serving, immoral establishment that sanctions the rip off of the public by energy companies, that is complicit in covering up Hillsbrough and high level systemic child sex abuse, that steals from pension funds and that actually rewards the criminals in the banks whilst getting us to pay for plastic ducks in politicians’ moats.

    At the moment the press are refusing even to report on the latest alleged £1bn rip off perpetrated by HSBC bank on its ordinary customers.
    There’s a bloody big party going on down there and we’re not invited to it even though we’re paying for the canapés.

    And if they can do all this to their own citizens think how utterly evil is their foreign policy dictated as it is by neo con American fruit loops.

    Escape from the eternal depravity of this dysfunctional state is only possible for Wales by becoming independent.
    That’s the urgent message that pro independence campaigners now need to hammer home whilst at the same time inspiring our people to imagine how an independent Wales, which really empowers people in their communities, could be so much better.

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man or woman.

    •  

      I’m not going to get involved in ‘heavy’ economic discussions because much of it is beyond my ken, and therefore beyond the understanding of most people. But for a long time I’ve thought that the best way to make people comprehend the evil around them is to expose how corrupt and dysfunctional the UK is.

    •  

      Daniel G – You say that ….”central points of Krugmans article are that the current austerity measures being inflicted on the poorest people in the poorest areas by the british establishment is actually bad for the economy and completely mis-timed.” That conclusion may be true, spot on but to the lofty power brokers who only want to see things in terms of their collective self interest the effects on poorer people is just an unfortunate bi-product (at best) or a deliberate act of aggression (at worst).

  17.  

    All i heard from SNP was “Scotland First,” and “SNP can do it better!” (than Labour and Conservatives). Plaid Cymru’s voice was much more mutted, less engaging, great article. I thoroughly believe that the Welsh electoate is far more diverse ane in transition, that Wales is all socialist i have always believed is Shortsigted and nieve.

    •  

      Apart from a few ideologues, Welsh ‘socialists’ were always acting out of self-interest, for a shorter working week, higher wages, better working conditions, etc., making them no different in motivation to those they were engaged in ‘ the ‘class struggle’ with. To delude yourself, as Plaid Cymru does, that the Welsh electorate wants more socialism in 2015 is self-defeating twaddle.

  18.  

    on the matter of global conspiracy which we touched on earlier in the context of austerity, I read today of a weeping sore created by that arch conspirator Blair when he was in his formative meddling years in the Balkans. He was a prime mover in the creation of Kosovo, a predominantly Islamic bandit territory which he ( waving UN flag ) carved out of the southern end of Serbia. By the time he was finished a whole raft of Kosovan Bandits were operating their rackets – people trafficing, drugs, prostitution, gun running etc – in London and most major Western European cities. A small residual number stayed behind to “manage the business” in independent Kosovo, with UN protection !

    Now these bastards are digging into neighbouring Macedonia causing mayhem and will no doubt extend their reach as they exploit the soft West’s initial reluctance to whack anything that smells of Islamic militancy. No doubt in due course this instability can be used to deploy “peace keepers” in the Balkans which conveniently borders on – Greece !. Now Greece happens to be a troubled country with its own “issues” vis a vis EU ( a key global conspiracy power grouping ! ) and stationing EU/NATO troops in Greece would be a “natural” progression in such a crisis.

    Plotters every where and our lot have the brass neck to condemn Putin for protecting ethnic Russians in Ukraine. Got nothing on pots and kettles !

    •  

      Albanians are not so much a nation as a criminal conspiracy. We should have let the Serbs deal with the bastards in Kosovo, where most of the ‘ethnic cleansing’ was done by the gangsters of the so-called ‘Kosovo Liberation Army’. But it wasn’t just Blair who was beguiled.

      One of the ugliest sights I recall from that period was watching Madeleine Albright, US Secretary of State, coming over all girly in the presence of the Bandit King of Kosovo Hashim Thaci. Like some bloated American matron off on holiday for a bit of third world rogering.

      null

      And all this was done to break up Russia’s last ally in the region, even if it meant reviving the fascists of the Croatian Ustashe and unleashing on Europe the gangsters that are the Albanian people. The KLA may even have been formed and funded by the Germans. Maybe Germany paying back the Serbs for the trouble they caused the German army in two world wars. The West got away with it because Yelstin was in the Kremlin.

      I remember when Russian paratroopers landed at the airport in Pristina and took control, ready to fly in other Russian troops to Kosovo’s capital. But the West persuaded Yelstin to pull them out. Putin should have been in charge then. The West would have got the kick in the plums it deserved.

      •  

        Good morning Jac

        nice to know there’s more than one of us who thinks the Serbs got a shitty deal from the USA, & EU/ NATO ( UK & German led ). The Serbs were guilty of some pretty savage incidents but that was common currency for all 3 main ethnic groups, Croats a particularly nasty bunch, and with the emergence of KLA ( Blair first attempt at organising Islamic thugs !) things moved up a few gears. However western politicians were unbelieveably naive in their conduct and much of that gullibility led on to today’s situation with Islamic extremism. It is plausible to attribute the mess to the global conspiracy, but I think at that time it was so ham fisted that it most likely derived from sheer stupidity, lack of real understanding of what had held that region together and its fragility, combined with Germans settling old scores.

      •  

        Kosova first declared independence in July 1990, long before Blair became leader of the British Labour Party.

        The UN and Nato intervention in Kosova arose because they were excluded from the Dayton Agreement in 1995 that led to the independence and integrity of Bosnia. Because of this the KLA, was established as a military force and an intervention was made by UNMIK. Blair’s interest in Kosova was nothing to do with the struggle for maintaining independence in Kosova but more to do with is promotion of the ‘special relationship’ with the United States, an attempt to project the ‘British’ as a resurgent world power. It was the investigation by the EU mission (Finnish) into the Račak massacre that prompted Nato intervention. It had little to do with Blair who was just trying to ‘big up’ the United Kingdom as a world power. It was actually UNMIK that deployed KFOR as a military intervention in 1999.

        After a long civil war the seconded declaration of independence was made in 2008. All states in the EU recognise this independence, including the Scottish government under the SNP. The exceptions being Greece, who have issues with Macedonia, Spain, who have issues with Catalonia, and Cyprus, who have issues with the Turkish occupation. Perhaps if Plaid Cymru were to formally appoint Jill Evans MEP as international spokesperson, a role now played by Alex Salmond MP for Scotland, instead of silly internal roles in Plaid, Plaid Cymru would have a better international profile and some commentators to this blog would have a greater understanding of national self determination struggles in the rest of Europe.

        I don’t do ‘global conspiracy’ nor do I see the world through the lens of the British or Russian foreign policy. It’s a Rhondda tradition, from experience of both.

        •  

          Well said, Brychan. But wrong. The Albanians of Kosovo were encouraged by the West from the outset, partly to break up what many in the West saw as the last outpost of Russian influence (leading of course to the spread of Western influence and business), and partly to pander to Muslim opinion.

          Kosovo is sacred to the Serbs as the birthplace of the nation, the site of the Battle of Kosovo. The Albanians only became a majority there in the 20th century, thanks to irresponsible breeding, forcing out Serbs, and the generosity of the Yugoslav state.

          By your reasoning, certainly vis-a-vis Kosovo, if the English settlers of Powys became a majority, and wished to declare independence from Wales, then they should be supported!

          •  

            Until 1912 all of Kosova was under the Ottoman Empire. It was ‘handed’ to Serbia in the Treaty of London in 1913 after WW1. To use you analogy, Monmouthshire is not part of England, in the same way as Kosova is not part of Serbia, despite modern imperial powers carving up dukedoms of previous medieval influence. The ‘Battle of Kosova” in 1389 was between Islam (Turks) and Christians (Serbian), they met in Kosova to do battle; it does not mean that either have automatic claim on the peoples and territory concerned.

            •  

              “To use your analogy, Monmouthshire is not part of England”. Did you mean to say Wales?

              If so, then it’s an imperfect analogy. ‘Monmouthshire’ (by which I assume you mean Gwent) has always had a Welsh majority population. Irrespective of which country may have claimed it no one ever questioned that the people living there were Welsh and, until relatively recently, the language spoken there was Welsh. The language may have changed, but the nation with which the bulk of the population identifies has not changed in a thousand years.

              •  

                No. I mean exactly what I said. Sir Fynwy (or Gwent or Monmouthshire) is Welsh, despite claims that local government administration and common laws of distant marcher lordships have claimed as technically in England. In the same way it’s not true to say that Kosova is part of Serbia on the basis that some Duke from Serbia laid claim to the area in 1389 while on a crusade, and once built an abbey and castle there.

                •  

                  I’m basing it on the fact that I believe until relatively recent times Kosovo had a majority-Serbian population.

              •  

                The second Laws in Wales Act of 1542 enumerated the counties of Wales and omitted Monmouthshire – This led to ambiguity as to whether the county was part of Wales or England. Since local government changes in April 1974 the area has been placed definitively in Wales.

                ‘Old and Middle Welsh’ would have been spoken naturally by over 95% of the inhabitants of Sir Fynwy (Monmouthshire) about a thousand years ago. It now averages a tad over 9% of those designated as having the “ability” to speak Welsh – which often amounts to little more than bore da, prynhawn da, nos da & diolch!

                •  

                  I understood that Monmouthshire’s exclusion was the result of the Welsh Courts of Great Session being organised as four circuits of three counties each. Monmouthshire was the thirteenth county and incorporated into an English circuit. It was never “less Welsh” or its nation in doubt. Ironically the Courts of Great Session were one of the few Welsh institutions.

              •  

                So, it was given to the Serbs in 1913, after the war of 1914-18, by the Treaty of London and that’s why Plaid Cymru failed to gain seats?

                •  

                  Precisely! Give that man a coconut!

                •  

                  Mr Telegraph – Yes. Like all ‘carve up’ treaties during hostilities, it comes into force after the imperial powers have finished. Partition of Ireland, partition of arabia, throwing Armenia to the Turks, and in WW2, establishing the UN. My dates are correct as is the effect.

                  •  

                    It was a secret Treaty that Russia made public in 1917. No one at the time knew about the far-reaching effects it would have on Plaid Cymru in 2015.

  19.  

    alarm bells ringing today – more talk of “devolved powers” to city regions in Englandandwales subject to certain rules, conditions etc to be confirmed. One gets the feeling that there will be a big sham devolution of power on a “you run it, you fund it ” basis as a smoke screen for cutting cost burden on Treasury of public sector services & admin. However it will mosy likely mean more “austerity” as each city/region will have to engage its quota of “big cheeses” running all these non services with less dough trickling down to the delivery end of service, especially if there are constraints on local taxes & other forms of levy ! Only truly independent minded people will be prepared to ask for more than that, indeed many in England will probably shun the offer if they see through it.

    Lots of 2 faced bullshit building up in the pipeline, so stand back.

    P.S Liked that tweet about some oik in an Audi R8 getting whacked for speeding by Flint magistrates. Teach him to go to Abersoch in a hurry .

  20.  

    Gosh, there’s a lot to comment on here, but I’ll leave Kosovo and Macedonia to another day.

    Sorry, Jac. I don’t see a constitutional crisis. The SNP and the Tory government will rub along nicely – as we’ve seen today. We will hear a lot about the Barnett formula and the West Lothian question for decades to come, and no doubt Scotland will gain increased powers over the decades to come. No sign of a crisis – just politics as usual.

    You are wrong to suggest in your third paragraph, that English people in Wales will not favour Plaid Cymru. Many do, but are outnumberred by the indigenous Welsh who chose Conservatives and UKIP on 7 May. Incidentally, a very good proportion of the active campaigners for Plaid Cymru in Aberconwy constituency were English-born.

    •  

      As for the SNP and the Tories “rubbing along nicely”, it’s very early days, let’s wait and see. Especially as neither party wants the constitutional status quo, then there’s Europe . . .

      In your second paragraph you’ve managed to touch on a curious phenomenon I should perhaps have mentioned. Which is that it seems to be easier for English people to support Plaid Cymru in areas where the party is not so strong. Why is that do you think? That said, I am still prepared to bet that the bulk of the Plaid vote in Aberconwy came from Welsh people. Though I’m not denying that more Welsh voted Tory and Labour, or that the vast majority of English voted for other parties.

      Which upholds my central contention that Plaid’s only hope of success is to be more attractive to Welsh voters. The flip side being that a wishy-washy party – such as Plaid is today – can appeal to English residents of Aberconwy partly because it has nothing to say to the Welsh. And because it has nothing to say to Welsh people Plaid comes fourth behind Labour, Tories, and Ukip in seats like Merthyr and Blaenau Gwent where the population is almost entirely Welsh.

    •  

      “You are wrong to suggest in your third paragraph, that English people in Wales will not favour Plaid Cymru.”

      The English as a whole will never support Welsh nationalism. The goal of Welsh nationalism is to knock them off their perch and to destroy English hegemony in Wales. We want to gain control of our institutions, to run the country in our interest. The English will be more than welcome here, providing they integrate on our terms and speak our languages (Cymraeg or Welsh English). We don’t have to put up with colonial attitudes. This is our land.

      Sadly Plaid Cymru would rather be praised by a few English hippies than stand up for the Welsh nation!

  21.  

    Best to consider all of Bill’s comments with the proverbial pinch o’ salt. For example, how about this winner our Labour hack came out with recently:
    This was the post on National Left:

    Bill Chapman26 April 2015 at 09:28
    “I don’t see a referendum on Scottish independence on the cards for a generation or two. There is simply no enthusiasm for it. Don’t forget that the Yes vote did not even reach 45% last time. There are new members in the SNP, it is true, before they drift back to Labour. Indeed the SNP might very well serve as the training ground for the Labour MPs and MSPs of the future.”

    Chapman is a Labour activist from England resident in north Wales.

    On a far, far more relevant note, what the hell has happened to the comments moderators on Daily Wales?

  22.  

    You’re right about Plaid, they just haven’t moved on. You’d expect Leanne to have got more votes with her television exposure but it didn’t… if she mentions that bloody word “Austerity” again…..

    Anyway, I stood in Islwyn for UKIP and came second, a great result for me personally and UKIP.

  23.  

    How’s that ?

  24.  

    Rev. Eli Jenkins (I assume it is you) quoted my prose (I’m almost flattered), but does not seem to disagree, There is simply no enthusiasm for independence for Scotland. It is not on the agenda, as numerous SMP MPs have told us. No doubt Scotland will ask for and receive extra powers, but independence is not being sought. Things could change in the future, but not in the foreseeable future.

  25.  

    This was the cobblers I was referring to:
    “Indeed the SNP might very well serve as the training ground for the Labour MPs and MSPs of the future.”
    You personify the hubris of the Labour Party.
    “There is simply no enthusiasm for independence for Scotland.”
    Well, just last year 45% voted for it. Since when does 45% constitute 0% ?
    “Not in the foreseeable future”
    I will be amazed if Scotland is not independent within 10 years.
    My first name is Elwyn. It’s a Welsh name Bill.

    •  

      To argue that many current SNP members will in future years be Labour politicians should be enough to have the police round your house to see what you’re on, Billy boy.

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?