Saturday, 24 July 2010

A huge blow to Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru's John Dixon is not a household name in Wales (unless you live in Carmarthenshire where he has stood for election several times) but he is the Plaid politician the Druid respects most. In a party which seems to have increasing lost its way, Dixon has stood out during his eight years as Plaid Cymru's National Chair for his economic-literacy, intelligence and wonkishness. His blogposts (for he is also a blogger) are the very model of calm, fair-minded contemplation and a joy to read (even if I don't agree with everything he says). However, he has this week used his blog to announce the very bad news that he has decided to resign as Plaid's National Chair, writing:

"But it isn't as simple as just [personal reasons] and it would be dishonest of me to pretend that it is; there are some significant political reasons as well. There are a number of ways in which I feel that the party has moved, or is moving, in a direction which I cannot support, but being a national office-holder has fettered my freedom to say so."

To my mind this admission from Plaid's own Chairman that the party is moving in the wrong direction is quite a bombshell and one that needs to be heeded by both its senior figures and rank and file. Indeed Dixon's resignation caps what has been a fairly disastrous couple of weeks for Plaid Cymru, featuring Ieuan Wyn Jones's announcement of the much derided and anti-small business Economic Renewal Programme (which tellingly Dixon damns with very faint praise in his blog) along with the scrapping of International Business Wales, which it turns out had actually been doing a great job of bringing investment into Wales.

It is easy to say that John Dixon's resignation is a big loss to Plaid Cymru - indeed it is. However, I would go further than that and say it is also a loss to Wales as a whole. Like it or not Plaid Cymru is a government coalition partner in the Welsh Assembly and will be a part of our national political life for a long time to come - accordingly we need it to be staffed by clever intelligent people like Dixon or we will all suffer in the long term.


The Great Councillini said...

That is a shame. But it does once again highlight the inherent problems with political parties; you are either with them or against them. There is very little room for differences of opinion. It's one reason I've never joined a political party, because you just can't believe in everything that the party stands for. Or, you can, but not sincerely and honestly - and where's the point in that?

Anonymous said...

Eurika! The Great Councillini is truely a political alchemist!

The answer has been on Anglesey all along - do away with political parties and their basis in competing "values" and replace them with independent individuals and ever changing political groupings / flags of convenience.

Truely, the rest of Wales has so much to learn from the way you do things over there.

Thank you.

The Great Councillini said...

I didn't say the independent way of doing things is any better, although if you have integrity, honesty and put the people first, there is no reason why it could not be.

What we 'have over here' is none of these at the moment, so I think that, even accepting the sarcasm, you have little to learn from IoACC!

Anonymous said...

Sarcasm aside though Councillini, is it not the case that it is the very absence of coherent political groupings on IoACC that has led you to your current malaise?

Could it not be that the troubles eminate from the fact that the majority of your councillors don't believe in something (that is a coherent binding ideology / bigger picture) and that they therefore tend to believe in anything (conspiracies / hearsay / whispering campaigns etc) and cluster around whichever personalities they feel can best deliver votes for them as individuals (pork barrel politics) rather than a shared vision of what is best for your island?

In my view, the anti-politics views peddled on these comments pages drive you further down a very destructive path.

Phew, that's enough from the mainland, I'm off to the pub!

Adam Higgitt said...

I've never met John Dixon, but through his blog I believe him to be a figure of substance. He wrote a piece for that deserves to be read and which outlines an approach his party would, in my view, be advised to take if it is to move forward.

I do not know what specific areas he wants to speak out about, but I suspect his doing so will make his party a more credible electoral force. It may therefore be that this is not a loss for Plaid, but a move that will strengthen it, albeit over the medium rather than short term.

Prometheuswrites said...

So what are are differences between John Dixon and the 'current direction' of Plaid Cymru.

BBC quotes Mr Dixon on his blog as being:

"An unrepentant radical who believes strongly that we can reshape economics to serve humanity rather than adapt humanity to serve economics."

I somehow doubt he would consider moving to Ynys MOn, despite having put his finger on the root of our problems.

Anonymous said...

Why is Plaid supporting Anglesey County Council's abuses of the Human Rights Act's?

Preseli said...

I know John Dixon and I think 8 years is enough for anyone to sit on his hands as Chair - it is perfectly understandable why he wants the freedom to play a different role in Plaid. None of us know exactly what he has in mind, but its clearly building Plaid up that he wants to do, not pull Plaid down. His change of role is intriguing, and quite probably very positive. The only blow is to lose such an experienced Chair... but its time for someone else to have a go anyway!

Anonymous said...

Barrie Durkin the new Welsh super hero can now be elected to the chair of Plaid.

Anonymous said...

Plaid Cymru have conned us all, they led us all, to believe that we were a Nation that would be able to survive on our own, what a con.
Our assets have been stripped, our culture and heritage raped by the foreign invaders and the Parliament in Westminster, the Assembly is a joke, the only praise I have for Plaid Cymru is the state we are all in, our children being denied a future in their own country, a future of being homeless and workless.
These are the merits of Plaid Cymru, they have ignored the people, while families were facing poverty and starvation, they were singing about "Yma o Hyd", your right, we are still here, waiting for the promised delivery, of jobs and work, all empty dream and promises, their influence is everywhere, these are the enemies that live amongst us, who have taken over our lives and have destoyed us.
The whole country has fallen on hard times, it's not the people's fault, it's Plaid Cymru, this is their legacy and what they have done to the people of Wales

Is anyone listening? that's the problem nowadays, no one listens!, no one care!, no wonder we facing extinction!

Huw Terry

Anonymous said...

Huw Terry's a bit of a sage isn't he?

Anonymous said...

Yes I agree, his comments are truthful, painful and he's a thorn in the side of the politicians in Wales, he hates being lied to, and has vowed to clean up the mess in Anglesey.

I think it started when he was supported by a Leader of the Council, who then betrayed him and wouldn't help him. His idea of dispute resolution is to smoke them out! His idea of curing sick politicians is to get rid of them, he is the little voice that represents the angry and neglected people of Wales.He calls Anglesey County Council the Council of Betrayal. Albert Owen the MP hates Huw Terry's comments because they are the truth.

Ieuan Wyn Jones cannot understand why Huw Terry voices his resentment for Plaid Cymru, the answer is that Huw Terry believes that the Party Of Wales is for a select few and NOT for all of the people of Wales.

Huw Terry is just the voice of the little Welshman who has been IGNORED for too long.

Anonymous said...

Grrrr! He's like the Hulk isn't he - don't make Huw Terry angry, you wouldn't like him when he's angry!


Anonymous said...

Is there a mandate for Plaid Cymru to help defend the Human Rights for the Welsh People or are they only there to make sure that bills are written in Welsh?

As far as I have read trawling through all of the blogs here, not one person has mentioned that the Council and the Councillors must RESPECT the Human Rights of the Welsh people, this does not mean, that when they go to Asda or other available supermarkets that potatoes must be labelled tatws, as far as I can see, the language issue is all they are interested in. No wonder, people don't listen. people don't help, as long as problems don't involve them, they can sleep at night. It should be a legal requirement that any complaint about Human Rights ahould be immediately investigated and not brushed aside, with a note on the file, do not disclose to the complainant....