May 152014
 

Standing for election on May 22 to Wales’ four European Parliament seats are no fewer than eleven ‘parties’ (I use the term loosely), each putting up the ordained four candidates. Though lEuro Candidates 2014ooking at some of those candidates it becomes clear that their parties have not so much scraped the bottom of the barrel as gone through the barrel bottom and kept going. But that’s just the opinion of a cynical old bastard who long ago lost faith in politicians and political systems. Anyway, form your own opinions as I run through the parties and candidates in alphabetical order. The full list is on the right (click to enlarge). Each section heading contains a link to that party’s website.

BRITAIN FIRST

Despite the name, this crew is fielding candidates in Wales and Scotland only.

Britain First has already gained considerable notoriety by being allowed – by the Electoral Commission – to use ‘Remember Lee Rigby’ on the ballot papers. The party was founded in May 2011 by Jim Dowson, with lead candidate Paul Gosling as chairman. Though one mystery must be why another founder member, former BNP organiser for Wales and 2009 BNP Euro candidate, Kevin Edwards, is not on the list. Following the break-up of his marriage, and after quitting the BNP in February 2011, Edwards moved from Llandybie (near Ammanford) to Llansamlet in Swansea which, along with neighbouring Bonymaen, is where many of the city’s fascists can be found.

Britain First founder Jim Dowson is also ex-BNP and perhaps into fundamentalist Christianity and hostility to Islam more than direct and blatant racism. A former Scottish Calvinist minister who apparently believes in the death penalty for gays and is fanatically anti-abortion, Dowson has also been a busy boy in the Six Counties, founding Protestant Coalition. So it makes sense that Britain First should be standing in Scotland – targetting the Rangers / Orange Order vote – but why Wales, because as far as I can make out, none of them is Welsh.

BRITISH NATIONAL PARTYGary Tumulty

Next we have the (as yet) unsplintered BNP. Top of their list is a man many think should not be standing at all because, in a parallel dimension, Mike Whitby of Wrecsam is disqualified from becoming a member of a county council or similar authority, but this, it seems, does not extend to the European parliament. Number two on the list is Laurence Reid, an Ulster Protestant domiciled in Wales. Jean Griffin at number three is presumably party leader Nick Griffin’s wife or daughter (possibly his French cousin). While the one with the least chance of being elected is Gary Tumulty of Salford . . . unless he guns down all the other candidates. Again, it’s encouraging that none of these people are Welsh.

CONSERVATIVE AND UNIONIST PARTY

As if Britain First and the BNP weren’t enough, this is yet another bunch of anglo-centric, Unionist fanatics, whe believe that the Ninth Circle of Hell is located somewhere in the English Channel. Regarding our little patch of earth, the message may be more muted than that from the clown troupes mentioned earlier, and said with a smile rather than a snarl, but don’t be fooled, it’s the same message – ‘Wales and England are the same country, and that’s how we like it’.

Top of the Tory list is current MEP Dr. Kay Swinburne who, though Welsh, now lives in the tiroedd coll, which seems to agitate the bruvvers who have just selected young Kinnock. Number two is Councillor Aled Wyn Davies of Llanrhaeadr ym Mochnant & Llansilin (a home of Glyndŵr). Number three is Dr. Dan Boucher who lives in Morriston and does a nice line in self-promotion. Bringing up the Tory rear (and haven’t we all thought about a Tory rear at one time or another?) is Richard Hopkin, a lawyer, who may or may not be the same Richard Hopkin described by his employer as a “pugnacious litigator”. Grrrr! Here’s a link to the introductory video for the lot.

GREEN PARTY

There is a separate Scottish Green Party that has always backed independence, while we have to suffer the Green Party of Englandandwales, a bunch of English middle class colons no different to those in other parties who believe that we Welsh must be told what’s best for us, with our country a laboratory for the policies they’d never be allowed to implement in their homeland. Although standing as a party in these elections their real forte is as a pressure group, where they enjoy influence way beyond their political support by playing on the questionable assertion that people want green policies even if they aren’t prepared to vote Green. Clever, and worth studying. Though Plaid Cymru has mis-read the message and contemplates a formal alliance.

I can’t be bothered to make enquiries about Pippa Bartolotti, John Matthews, Chris Were or Rozz Cutler.

LABOUR PARTY

The usual uninspiring crew that brings home yet again how ‘stretched’ once-mighty Labour is to find candidates for Europe, Westminster, the Assembly, and 22 local authorities. Thank God we don’t have as many quangoes as in the past, and that civil servants have taken over the running of devolution.

Derek Vaughan tops the list as the current MEP, a former trade unionist and leader of Neath Port Talbot council and said to be a ‘tidy bloke’. Vaughan is certain to be elected so the interest is really on the second name on the Labour list, Jayne Bryant, born in Newport, who could also be elected if Plaid and the Tories do badly and the anticipated Ukip surge does not materialise. At number 3 we have Councillor Alex Thomas, who represents the Rhos ward, also in Neath Port Talbot. The no-hoper is Christina Rees, formerly Mrs Ron Davies; not wishing to be reminded of her husband’s behaviour she wrote a book about it, The Davies Diaries, though she did later apologise. Alec Dauncey

Worth noting that there is no Labour candidate from west of Neath or, indeed, from north of  Neath.

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Where to start (says he, wishing he didn’t have to)? Those who know me know that I reserve a special kind of contempt for Liberal Democrats and liberals of all kinds. I regard them as smug, wishy-washy wankers.

The Lib Dem quartet is headed up by Alec Dauncey who lives in Aberystwyth. Now Alec may enjoy a skinful of lager and a bag of chips of a Saturday night before throwing up the diced carrots on the way home . . . but I doubt it. To me, the picture shows a professional tree-hugger in a polo neck sweater more likely to be found listening to a cupped-ear folk singer while unwinding with a glass of organic cider. His bio is a gem, taking political prose to previously uncharted depths of vacuity. But it is so typically Liberal Democrat.

Number two is another Englishman, Robert Speht, living in Swansea. This one a wind turbine-hugger with a string of failed business ventures and an unpaid sandwich bill to his name. Speht lives in Mayals, one of Swansea’s poshest neighbourhoods which, because it lies within the fiercely defended borders of Mumbles community council, provided Speht with the chance to use the title ‘Councillor’ after losing his city council seat. Said – even by colleagues – to be unreliable he struck up a weird friendship with Richard ‘Tricky Dicky’ Lewis when Lewis, having tried all the rest, eventually fell in with the Lib Dems, mainly because they promised him his year in the Mansion House. To understand how unlikely a Liberal Democrat Richard Lewis is just try to imagine Ghengis Khan the pacifist. Lewis was sighted on April 30 entering the Liberty Stadium to hear Nigel Farage.

The other two candidates are Jackie Radford and Bruce Roberts, of whom I know nothing, and care even less.

NO2EU

Don’t be fooled by the name, for this is not another ‘Wogs begin at Dover’ party. It can’t be, for I see the name of Comrade Robert Griffiths topping their list, as he did in 2009. Robert Griffiths, stalwart of the long defunct Welsh Socialist Republican Movement (also, so some would have it, the Workers Army for a Welsh Republic). Robert Griffiths the current General Secretary of the Communist Party of Great Britain. (Marxist-Leninist, I believe.) So we’ve obviously arrived on the hard left.

Of the other NO2EU candidates I know nothing . . .

PLAID CYMRU

For Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales this is a very important election. Opinion polls suggest they might lose their MEP Jill Evans. If that happens, then I can see real soul-searching within a party that has lost its way.

The problem for Plaid Cymru is that Labour in Wales has cleverly painted Welsh politics as a simple picture of them defending Wales against ‘London’ – even when Labour is in power in London. This is what the ‘send a message to London’ (by voting Labour) is all about, even for European and Assembly elections!  Then, because Plaid does little more than promote itself as ‘Labour, but a bit more Welsh, like’, it is, effectively, marginalised. Plaid’s only hope is to get out of Labour’s shadow and re-position itself as a genuinely Welsh party, taking up the issues other parties ignore, and addressing the big issues from an aggressively Welsh standpoint. But it won’t.

In many ways this state of affairs is regrettable, for in Jill Evans, Marc Jones, Stephen Cornelius and Ioan Bellin the party has a strong team. That said, it might still be best for the long term if Plaid was to lose its seat.

Footnote: Plaid’s number 4 candidate in 2009 was the apple of her daddy’s eye, Natasha Asghar. Happy days!

SOCIALIST LABOUR PARTY

Formed in 1996 by Arthur Scargill – who is still ‘Leader’ – the SLP is perhaps the only hard left group that would need something bigger than a telephone booth for its meetings. It claims a direct line of ideological descent from James Connolly, and quotes him in its website header. But there were, in a sense, two James Connollys. One, the Edinburgh-born British socialist; the other, the man who returned to his ConwyIrish roots, formed the Citizen Army, and was executed (though wounded) in Kilmainham jail by the British army after the Dublin Easter Rising of 1916. The SLP reveres the former.

Despite being one of the larger minor parties the SLP’s candidates are hardly household names, even in their own households, but here they are anyway. At number one we have Andrew Jordan, who stood in the Cardiff South & Penarth by-election in 2012, a by-election caused by Alun Michael’s strange decision to stand for election as the local Police and Crime Commissioner. Second is Kathrine Jones, of whom I know naught. David Lloyd Jones, number 3 on the list, is probably the man who stood for Conwy in 2005 against the heavyweight trio of Betty Williams, Guto Bebb and Gareth Roberts. He got 1% of the vote, though he still managed to beat Ukip into 7th place. (Which ain’t gonna happen again any time soon.) If these three are relatively unknown, number 4 on the list, Liz Screen, has a slightly higher profile, if only because she stood in 2009, but it’s all relative.

SOCIALIST PARTY OF GREAT BRITAIN

Not being terribly au fait with the 57 varieties of socialism I’m not quite sure where the SPGB stands – are they Wobblies? Maybe someone can help me out. The SPGB has three branches; Swansea, Cardiff, and that hot-bed of revolutionary socialism . . . Llandudno. I tried to get more information but the SPGB website was down. The SPGB candidates can be found in the list at the top of the page. None of the names mean anything to me. Though if Richard Cheney is the real name of candidate number 2 it’s a strange quirk that he should share a name with Dick Cheney, vice president to George W. Bush and bête noire of the left. Anyway, seeing as Joe Hill was the most famous Wobbly of them all, let’s end this section with Joe Hill, sung by Joan Baez.

UKIP

The stars of the show! Certainly everybody is looking at Ukip, wondering how big an advance they’re going to make, for there’s no question it will be an advance. I did a recent post on Ukip which says most of what I want to say about them, so it only remains to look at their candidates.

Nathan Gill is an English grannyfarmer living on Ynys Môn who stood in the Seiriol ward in last year’s council elections, where he came eighth out of nine candidates. Though his wife(?) came eighth out out twelve in the Aethwy ward. (This being the ward where our old friend Jacques Protic came bottom of the poll.) Number two on the list is James Cole who, in the photograph I link to, is actually wearing a double-breasted blazer! It says he ‘relocated’ to Swansea, but not from where, though he is Welsh. This video by Cole is priceless; he predicts that ” . . . the native Welsh will be a minority in their own country within the next 15 to 20 years . . . “ yet he makes no mention of English colonisation, for he wants us to believe the influx will come from mainland Europe and elsewhere! Caroline Jones from Porthcawl is a former Tory parliamentary candidate who defected a year ago. The fourth candidate has concerns about “huge volumes of immigration”. David J. Rowlands lives in the Gwent valleys, where this is obviously a serious problem. Rowlands is the only survivor from the 2009 quartet.

I find it very disappointing that three of Ukip’s four candidates are Welsh. But then, this may be a ploy used in the hope of disguising the party’s fundamental Englishness.Euro election 2009

SUMMING UP

One unavoidable conclusion is that the European elections are not taken seriously by the electorate. It gives voters a chance to do something silly, which many of them will. The turnout in 2009 was just 30.4%, down 11% on 2004. (Click on panel to enlarge.) This year’s elections could see an even lower turnout. (Here’s the 2009 result by constituency.)

Six of the eleven parties standing can be said to belong to the extremes of left and right (three of each). Few of their 24 candidates have any relevance to Wales and even fewer have any intention of debating Welsh issues . . . even if they could. Some have been honest enough to admit they’re using the elections – and Wales – simply to gain publicity. In some regards the Greens could be added to this group. Leaving us with the four ‘mainstream’ parties, all running scared of Ukip. For this election is all about how well Ukip will do, how that will impact on the other parties, and if we’ll ever have European elections again.

My position is that I’m a European of the Gaullist persuasion, preferring a confederation of independent states – rather than a bureaucrat-led supranationalist entity – serving as a counter-balance to both Russia and the USA (to which we must now add China). The UK (or England) was never going to fit with either version for so many reasons, one being – as de Gaulle always understood – its ties with the USA. I have now reached the stage where I detest what the European Union has become but could never line up with any of those calling for withdrawal. Perversely, perhaps, the loony left and the loony right being on the same side only serves to make the bloated monster a little more attractive. With enemies like some of those I’ve looked at here, who needs friends?

  39 Responses to “Wales Euro Election 2014: Runners & Riders”

  1.  

    The elections are on the 22 of May, not the 22 of June.

  2.  

    The European elections are on the 22 May not the 22 June.

  3.  

    Excellent once again. It’s clear in this election that Plaid’s main rival will be the Tories for the fourth seat. I may vote Tory so Plaid lose their MEP ( which looks likely anyway ) and thus hopefully forcing Plaid to think about removing the idiot they currently have as leader.

    •  

      Think carefully. Would you prefer a UKIP MEP or a Plaid MEP?

      •  

        Which would you prefer?

        •  

          I asked because ‘Llantrisant’ may vote Tory. If others, who previously voted Plaid, vote Tory we will probably get a UKIP MEP – I don’t want UKIP in any position of government within Wales. UKIP MEPs have never voted for measures in the European Parliament that benefit Britain – They either abstain or go boozing.

    •  

      I think “idiot” is a bit harsh, but a major shake-up is definitely required. Not just in personnel but also in outlook and approach.

  4.  

    I know I shouldn’t laugh but reading this list I couldn’t help seeing the ‘People’s front of Judea’ sketch in my mind as both the hard left and hard right parties are bad parodies, but they can do still do damage to the other parties

    As for Plaid Cymru when their MEP for 15 years can’t answer the question of what does you job involve in a TV debate you know their in trouble, but maybe their job will be done for them as Lee Waters, IWA Director and senior labour figures in the Spectator raises the prospect of Welsh Independence http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/05/wales-sleepwalking-to-independence/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wales-sleepwalking-to-independence

    And why the BBC, ITV etc has to give Britain First a platform to peddle thier hate I don’t know, their members must be ones too extreme to be in the BNP.

    •  

      I saw that in the Spectator, made a few comments. Cracking comment from Protic – EVERYTHING is the fault of the Welsh language.

  5.  

    Llantrisant, Plaid’s main rival for the fourth seat will be Labour; the only party which has a realistic chance of gaining a seat (it was Labour who lost the seat to UKIP in the last election). The Tories are jockeying for positions 1, 2 or 3. It is inconceivable that they would drop from first to fourth place and the chance of the Tories losing their Welsh seat is nil.

  6.  

    Alwyn’s prediction seems spot-on to me. That last seat is going either to Labour’s second candidate or to Plaid. It will depend who gets their vote out on the day. If Plaid lose it then Ms Wood is deservedly in deep trouble. Incidentally the good Dr Boucher knocked the front door canvassing (well he does live around here). Never known a Euro candidate do that before. I give him credit for trying.

  7.  

    I’m not bitter but I hope Plaid Cymru get a good kicking at this election. For a Welsh nationalist party to standby and ignore vital Welsh issues such as colonisation is shameful and cowardly. They deserve a good thrashing at the ballot box, it could be the wakeup call they so desperately need.

    •  

      That’s the big question with Plaid Cymru – do they need to be woken up, or put to sleep?

  8.  

    Good point about Jill Evans waffling away and unable to give any coherent answer to the questioner as to what she actually does as an MEP.

    Buggins Vaughn also was unable to come up with what he does as an MEP other than to bizarrely say that he drives round Wales visiting organisations on a Sunday.

    The two of them were also highly embarrassing on the Jason Mohammed show today refusing to say how much they earned as MEPS, claiming that they weren’t sure.

    Kay Swinburne eventually after much delay reluctantly came out with a figure of ” around £80,000″ and as soon as the mic’s were turned off at the end of the show exploded at UKIP’s Nathan Gill ranting and raving that she was a Dr in economics and it was awkward to work out how much an MEP earns because of currency fluctuations clearly forgetting that it was a member of the public who had rung in asking the question not Gill who was sat alongside her in the studio.

    She also clearly ‘forgot’ to mention the 300 Euro a day signing in payment each MEP collects in addition to their £80,000 until Gill reminded her, which perhaps prompted her little rant.

    Vaughn, Evans and Swinburne presumably must be the only 3 employees in Wales who don’t know to the penny how much they earn…….. or more to the point don’t wish to publicise the figure to the Welsh public.

    Swinburne then stormed off in a rage after the programme making a complete and utter fool of herself

  9.  

    just to clarify if that all the polling evidence is to be believed then its the tories not labour or ukip that plaid are vying with for a european seat from wales, with the seemingly fiscally challenged ms swinburne currently favourite to take wales 4th european seat…..tho one recent poll from comres actually gives the seat to plaid.

    but to any welsh patriots like llantrisant and d morris who would appear to welcome the prospect of a plaid wipeout next thursday i would respectfully point out that a wales that fails to elect a single euro mp from the only party committed to welsh self government is a wales that is hardly more likely to be able to resist ‘colonisation’. its not about jill or leanne its about making sure there’ll be at least one voice in the european parliament representing the interests of wales and not those of the british state.

    •  

      I sense that many people are thinking along the lines of, ‘short-term pain for long-term gain’. Plaid in its present form, with the ‘hoping to be confused with Labour’ approach it has adopted for over thirty years, has come to the end of the road because that strategy has failed.

      The key to winning control of the Assembly – which should be Plaid’s ambition – is to appeal to those who currently vote Labour, and those in the south who don’t vote at all. Say what you like about these people – and I have – there is at least a spark of Welshness there that cannot be found among the colons Plaid has deluded itself can be won over.

      That being so, Plaid needs to reposition itself as a truly Welsh party appealling to voters on patriotic grounds. Labour will attack it, but Labour will only be able to go so far before it comes across as unpatriotic, and pays the electoral price. This is the only hope for Plaid and, possibly, Wales.

      But if Plaid cannot re-invent itself then it should be obvious to everyone that it has come to the end of the road. Once that is accepted, then the priority becomes a new movement to save what remains of this nation.

  10.  

    No matter how strong the arguments for having an alternative national party or reforming Plaid may be, the fact is that the only party on next Thursday’s ballot paper that claims to represent the national cause is Plaid in its current form. To vote against Plaid or to choose not to vote won’t be giving Plaid a “well deserved kicking”, but kicking the national movement in the only form that it appears on the ballot paper in this election. If you believe that Plaid needs reforming make the case for reform between elections, if you believe that we need an alternative national party stand for that party in the next election; but next Thursday there is only one way to give support to the Welsh National cause – voting for Plaid. Any alternative action, no matter how well meant, will be in opposition to the national cause.

    •  

      Fifteen or twenty years ago that argument may have been valid, Alwyn, but there comes a point when enough is enough. Voting Plaid will simply encourage those running the party to carry on in the same old way. Stop voting Plaid and something has to change, either way.

      I have always voted Plaid partly because there was no alternative and partly because I believed that a strong vote for Plaid would be interpreted – primarily in England – as a vote for nationalism, and would result in some respect being shown us, and concessions being made.

      This no longer holds, Everyone, on both sides of the border – and further afield – can see that Plaid Cymru is a spent force, unwilling to challenge the forces destroying our country and our identity. What is the point of a self-emasculated ‘national’ party in a country that needs so much more?

      For the first time ever, I shall not vote for Plaid Cymru next week. There’s no other party to vote for so I shall probably spoil my paper.

      •  

        Make sure no 2 lines intersect, as where they cross is somtimes taken as the vote (retuning officer decides).

  11.  

    Hmm. Jac says Plaid needs to appeal to those who currently vote Labour, are patriotic, and non voters. Alot of people in Plaid agree with that to be honest and its what Plaid has been trying to do, albeit
    not that consistently. The most pro-Wales vote in this election is for Jill Evans, simple as that. Spoiling your vote because you don’t like Plaid, Leanne, or Jill is like voting No in Scotland because you don’t like Salmond.

    As for “Llantrisant”. Anonymously calling Leanne Wood an “idiot” on the internet is easily done, but
    if you ever vote Tory in any election, please don’t ever come on here again claiming to be loyal to Wales. I hope you enjoy selling out your country to the Conservative and Unionist party. You won’t be the first or last traitor to Wales, but you are joining an exclusive club which I can happily say i will never ever be a member of. Maybe instead of someone else being an “idiot”, the problem is in fact closer to home?

    •  

      I can’t agree with your analogy. These are Euro elections, ‘throwaway’ elections, where people often vote in ways they wouldn’t do at ‘serious’ elections. That said, my decision not to vote for Plaid is on other grounds. But to compare what I and others will do on Thursday with voting No in the Indyref is absurd, that is a vote on the future of the nation, and transcends party loyalties and other considerations. People who don’t like Salmond will still be voting Yes – for Scotland.

      Not only is the analogy absurd, it’s also insulting. You – and others – cannot continue blackmailing people like me with the ‘vote Plaid or you’re a traitor’ tactic. I cannot speak for everyone, but in my case I have reached the stage where I can see clearly that voting for a party I do not support, only because there isn’t a more attractive alternative, merely delays the emergence of a more attractive alternative and / or the necessary re-evaluation of its position needed by Plaid Cymru.

      Thinking beyond my personal position I’m beginning to subscribe to a view I heard outlined many years ago that says it might have been better for Wales if Plaid had never been born. For after nearly 90 years it is now clear that Plaid Cymru has seen its high-water mark and is ebbing fast. Consequently, it might have been better if Labour had filled the role of ‘the Welsh Party’, which could have happened, given that England usually votes Tory. But simply by its existence Plaid has pushed Labour (and other parties) into the position where being patriotic, doing what is best for Wales, is rejected lest it be interpreted as ‘a concession to nationalism’.

      The best support a colonialist system can receive is not from its obvious supporters but from an impotent ‘national’ party that fails to deliver, again and again. Yet a party that, by its very existence, makes it difficult for a more dynamic and determined national movement to emerge. Plaid Cymru is now in that position: it has outlived whatever usefulness it might once have had and is becoming an obstacle to the advance of our nation. Perhaps even to the nation’s survival.

      If Plaid Cymru cannot change it will have to be abandoned – in the best interests of Wales.

      •  

        Is it regarded as a ‘throwaway’ because nearly all of the newspapers having been saying that for decades?
        The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is on the agenda for the next European Parliament and heaven help us if the USA multinationals get what they want out of it.
        Bear that in mind when, due to apathy amongst the electorate, you see ultra-libertarians and those out to get the worst deal for Britain (because of their anti-EU ideology) supposedly representing Wales.

  12.  

    Party politics won’t change anything. Welsh independence will never be accepted by the English population in Wales, so we have to make life difficult for them. We need to take our country back. Raise more Welsh children, start more Welsh businesses, occupy the land and refuse to yield to their unreasonable demands.

    •  

      That’s what other peoples do. But don’t expect Plaid to be involved in any way shape or form.

  13.  

    while i strongly disagree with the position jac and others like him seem intent upon taking next thursday i can sort of understand where such people are coming from. that said i would simply say to them how do they think a failure by welsh electors to return a single plaid mep next thursday will be received by the upper echelons of the british ruling class and its hired minions in wales?

    im pretty sure it would be of some comfort to the patrons of buck house and whitehall to know that while the latest opinion polls are now predicting the imminent departure of bonnie scotland from the ‘union’ the welsh can apparently still be relied upon to stick with dear old decrepit and disintegrating blighty, and that they remain steadfastly loyal and faithful subjects of her majesty.

    if all the polling evidence is to be believed turn out will be the major factor in determining who wales elects next thursday, therefore its vital that everyone who shares the long cherished dream of a self governing welsh nation turns out to vote next thursday and votes for the only party on the ballot who’s stated aim is a self governing wales – plaid cymru. indeed in the circumstances it can be argued that a vote for jill evans next thursday is not so much a vote for plaid cymru as a vote for wales.

    •  

      Leigh, read what you’ve written and be brutally honest with yourself: do you really believe that Buck House and Whitehall will be quaking in their expensive footwear if Wales elects a Plaid MEP next Thursday? Or will say, ‘Let’s put the boot into the Taffs’ if we don’t? We’ve got a Plaid MEP now, remember, and what difference does it make?

      For there to be change in how Wales is treated by England there must first be change within Wales, within US. England’s treatment of Wales is dictated solely by Wales’ reaction to English rule. The current Plaid Cymru is acknowledged to be no threat to the constitutional status quo, even if it was the biggest party in Wales. Consequently, something else is needed.

  14.  

    I agree with many of the points you’re making Royston. Yes the national cause needs a kick in the backside to reinvigorate it; but that isn’t going to happen between now and next Thursday. If Plaid loses its Euro seat next Thursday will that lead to an invigorated Welsh national cause? I doubt it very much; it is more likely to lead us to adulterate our beer with even more tears whilst doing nothing to raise our game.

    Of the 11 parties mentioned above 3 are ultra British Nationalists who are unlikely to win 5% of the vote between them; if they can stand why are there no alternative national parties on the ballot paper? Where is Plaid Glyndwr? What happened to Independent Wales, the Welsh Socialist Republicans and Y Gweriniaethwyr? It’s not Plaid’s fault that they are the only Welsh National choice on the ballot slip, but the fault of those of us who are willing to snipe on twitter, but don’t have as much faith in our national cause as “Britain First” has in theirs to put up even a “no hope” candidate for election.

    It is not blackmail nor an accusation of treachery to say that the only choices nationalists have, because WE are complicit in making them the only choices, are to vote FOR Wales by voting Plaid Cymru, to vote against Wales by voting for another party or to ignore Wales by not voting at all on Thursday.

    •  

      I won’t repeat what I’ve already said, but you do have a point about an alternative nationalist voice. Obviously it’s too late for these elections but it might be feasible for the 2016 Assembly elections.

  15.  

    I was not blackmailing you Jac. Spoiling or abstaining is principled. There is no particular reason you would have to vote for Plaid as a nationalist.

    What I do stand by is that voting for the Conservative and unionist party is a betrayal of Wales. I am not saying to vote for Labour or Greens or anyone else either. But if someone claimed to be a Welsh nationalist and voted for the Tories, I would say to their face that they are
    not loyal to Wales. Maybe part of the problem with Wales is Welsh people selling out to the unionist parties, rather than Plaid? It seems to me, and this is my personal view, that there is a tendency for people on the internet to moan about Plaid (usually anonymously) but then go on about voting for anti-Wales parties, or not do any activity of their own. Finally, I think Plaid Cymru’s message in this campaign is correct. Wales should remain in Europe, and Jill Evans would be a distinct voice compared to the other MEPs. I will stand by that but i don’t doubt for a minute, if Plaid loses its seat it will somehow be my fault, rather than the fault of those who voted for the London based party.

    Once someone has convinced themselves in their head that the London based parties are somehow better than the only Wales based party, then they are serving the UK state.

    •  

      I know you weren’t trying to blackmail me, and I didn’t mean to suggest that.

      In a nutshell . . . I don’t believe that Jill Evans, or any single MEP, makes a blind bit of difference in the EU. Only countries have real voices, and Wales will not get that voice through Plaid Cymru. Or, rather, that’s what I might say if I was in favour of the EU, but I’m not. The EU is something else that needs to be broken up and started again.

      •  

        … and what are countries other than a multitude of voices?
        I find this break up and rebuild too fanciful. Will there be ‘Plaid Cymru Newydd’ with a charismatic leader who, armed with a dodgy dossier, will wage war on the eastern philistines? Will the EU crumble and revert back to pan-European conflict over the weird fundamental religion called neo-liberal economics?

        Jac: After 22 May, are you going to get a metal nose like Tycho Brahe or will you leave the space as a tooth-gnarled stump?

        •  

          I don’t always understand what you are trying to say and so I think, ‘Shall I persevere and decipher this, for surely there is great wisdom therein’ . . . but I invariably decide, ‘Nah, fuck it!’

  16.  

    Haha interesting to see the venom my comment has inspired on this thread! I’m more likely to vote Tory than ever now, Plaid Cymru is a spent force that needs to be put down much like the old Irish parliamentary party. No one will notice in London if Wales fails to elect a nationalist MEP and it won’t be the end of the Welsh nation either but it might just jolt Plaid into seeing how things really are and making some radical changes. The reason I called Wood an idiot is her an entire economic world view is bonkers she has no plan on how to correct the imbalance between public and private sectors in Wales indeed she seems to not think it is a problem also she is of the type of leftist thought that is obsessed with Hugo Chavez and the Palestinians which ain’t my cup of tea. The Tories are not the most anti-Wales party anyway the worst that can be said of them is they are ignorant of Wales and don’t about Wales where as it is Labour who are actively anti-Welsh and have strived to hold Wales back for the last century.

  17.  

    It’s weird but I haven’t seen Leanne Wood be obsessed with Hugo Chavez or Palestinians since being leader, but see a few people mention them on the internet. Last time I checked she was campaigning for Plaid at a private business in Carmarthenshire, not the west Bank. But whatever its your prejudice about her.

    I think using Labour to try and excuse the Tories’ unionism is poor, but if you seriously want to vote for David Jones’ party, you have problems that I am not going to be able to rid you of, sadly.So feel free to keep complaining about what Labour has done for a century, whilst voting in a way that helps Labour. Good one.

  18.  

    Ah, Natasha Asghar! I have memories of the Plaid hustings for the 2009 Euro Elections. Natasha stated that she was in favour of St Athan being turned into a murder academy for the HM Armed forces as it would provide ‘valuable transferable skills’ for Wales. She was not challenged by the audience – and got on the list! Plaid need to snap out of its current malaise – there is space in the political spectrum for an unapologetic and aggressive advocate for Wales and it can only be Plaid.

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