Wednesday, 8 June 2011

What Plaid's Assembly opening boycott stunt really shows us.

The boycotting of yesterday's official opening of the Assembly by a rump of Plaid AMs has provoked a great deal of media comment. As far as I'm concerned the most interesting aspect of the whole affair is that it highlights the extraordinary disjoint between what Plaid Cymru claims it stands for – and what it actually does. Here is my contribution to the debate as per my letter in today's Daily Post:

On Tuesday four Plaid Cymru AMs boycotted the official opening of the Welsh Assembly on the grounds that their desire for an independent republic of Wales was incompatible with attending a ceremony presided over by the Queen. Strangely this idealism hasn't prevented any of the four from taking the oath of alleigence to the same Queen — a pre-requisite to taking up their positions (and, more importantly I suspect, their taxpayer-funded salaries); neither has it prevented Senior Plaid Cymru politicians such as Baron Wigley of Caernarfon or Lord Elis-Thomas from accepting life peerages from the Crown (in fact Dafydd Elis-Thomas is even a member of the Privy Council, a body which directly advises the Monarch herself). 
So is Plaid Cymru really, truly for an independent Wales or not? Their latest manifesto doesn't mention the 'I' word except in relation to the 'operational independence' of S4C. Furthermore many of the party's stated policies actually make Welsh Independence less rather than more attainable. A party which was serious about seeking further devolution from the UK (as exemplified by the SNP in Scotland) would surely seek to pragmatically boost the private sector whist at the same time creating a lean, mean Welsh public sector which could be adequately funded with taxation raised within Wales's borders alone. Instead Plaid Cymru advocates ever more regulation of the struggling Welsh private sector whilst at the same time building an ever larger Welsh public sector, all funded by ever larger block grants from Westminster.  
Isn't the truth that Plaid Cymru has become nothing more than a party well to the left of Labour which wraps itself in the Ddraig Goch for electoral advantage? The boycotting of the official Assembly opening is a publicity stunt designed to reassure activists and traditional supporters that Plaid Cymru really does believe in Welsh Independence, even though their every action makes it less rather than more likely. 

As to Ieuan Wyn Jones's no-show on the grounds that he was "on holiday", it reminds me greatly of the contortions Gordon Brown wrapped himself in when he decided not to attend the official signing ceremony of the EU Lisbon treaty (because he didn't want to be seen to be too pro-Europe) but then did so several hours later by himself. IWJ seems to want the nationalist kudos for not attending, whilst at the same time avoiding the jeers.

UPDATE: Betsan Powys has some more on IWJ's French holiday here.


Anonymous said...

That's very cheap Paul. All members of Plaid Cymru SHOULD be pro-independence. This does not, however go hand in hand with pro-monarchy:

- The SNP is pro independence, yet time and time again Salmond has said that he would keep the Queen as head of state.

- Even in the Irish Free State (at the time) people like Michael Collins wanted full 100% independence. However in the short term, agreed to be Ministers of the Crown etc

-personally I don't want a monarchy, I believe in democracy. However if I was an AM would I refuse to sit in the Senedd, or not turn up to the opening? No. You just suck it up.

Just like Dennis Skinner (Lab), who is anti-monarchy yet does take the oath of allegiance.

Therefore this issue is something odd, I mean do you really think Army Servicemen really fight for the Queen?

I think the real issue is why was IWJ on holiday? Then again I support him on this issue as it seems NOTHING is being done in the Assembly atm. No committees, no bills being proposed- why?

Anonymous said...

"...A party which was serious about seeking further devolution from the UK (as exemplified by the SNP in Scotland) would surely seek to pragmatically boost the private sector whist at the same time creating a lean, mean Welsh public sector which could be adequately funded with taxation raised within Wales's borders alone. "
Agree 100%. If you are in favour of Independence, vote Tory (in the short term)!!

Anonymous said...

Dennis Skinner quite blatantly keeps his fingers corssed when he takes the Oath and turns round and winks. He doesn't attend Lords for the State opening of Parliament. He stays in Commons.

"He often tells of turning up for work at his colliery after he had been elected as an MP, refusing to see this as his new occupation. This is the reason Skinner gives for refusing to miss any sitting in the House of Commons, saying that "if you missed a shift at the pit, you would get the sack". He also refuses to adopt the pairing system in which he can agree a mutual abstention with a Conservative MP, saying he won't cover for them whilst they "go swanning off to Ascot or to their boardrooms". In the 2004-2005 sitting of the House he claimed the least expenses for an MP who served the full year. He has never been a member of an All-Party Parliamentary Group; does not eat alongside parliamentary colleagues in the Commons dining room; does not take trips or holidays 'paid for' by others; never drinks in the Commons Bar; and stays in the House of Commons during the Queen's Speech at the State Opening of Parliament, as he advocates outright abolition of the House of Lords."

This is a mere distraction. It is of no importance whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Well here we go the first official opening of the Welsh Assembly meeting and our own IWJ does not attend. He say's he is on holiday, because he is the wimp he is and wants to be seen to not upset his plaid supporters and and also not upsetting royalist who are also his supporters. He would have known the date for this months ahead. Does any body know were he is ???
The Queen has been excellent head of state and has served us all well. What do they want a republic style president who would have all the trimmings of a head of state and the power to with it. We would end up in the state that all these banana republics are in !!
We all know here on Anglesey that its thanks to William and Kate we are now on the world map, long live the Monarchy !

Un o Fon

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:15.

You say
" The Queen has been excellent head of state and has served us all well. "

Please can you list 5 things that she has done that makes her an "excellent head of state" just five.

Anonymous said...

Well Anon, what about you list five things that IWJ has done for good of Anglesey. As I said previously you could write on a stamp what IWJ done to better Anglese but you write a novel on the harm he and his lost mountain sheep party has done !

Un o Fon

kp said...

And so what are your plans now Druid?

Run again, run for something else or run as something else?

I think you might have a good chance of winning ... at whatever. Just don't spend too long worrying over what has passed.

Move on young man, move on. And learn from what has gone by.

Anonymous said...

Another devastating critique of Plaid by the Druid. Spot on.

No wonder he won the election.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

in fact Dafydd Elis-Thomas is even a member of the Privy Council, a body which directly advises the Monarch herself.

Keep up to date Druid. Dafydd Wigley and Elfyn Llwyd are also members of the Privy Council. Many functions of The National Assembly accrue through Orders in Council; whilst this absurdity remains part of the way in which we are governed, it is it not right that Plaid Cymru should try to influence the Council through membership?

Anonymous said...

I think that Plaid AMs who boycott the opening because of the queens presence show integrity...whether you agree with them or not. IWJ is on extended holiday at his second home in the south of France (according to the Western Mail). His fellow Plaid AMs say he deserves a rest because it's not been easy leading Plaid to the most disastrous defeat experienced by the party since devolution and who can argue with that?

But, tell me, do affluent Welsh politicians buying up holiday properties in the South of France price locals out of the housing market?

Have IWJ and family become fluent French speakers or, if they are in the South West of France, Catalan speakers?

kp said...

Hahaha, delightful, absolutely delightful.

Well done Anon 17:27!

Anonymous said...

Un o Fon,
can't think of anything good about the queen, so you must deflect the issue.

I'm no supporter of IWJ, but at least he has maintained the air link on RAF.

Richard Sletzer said...

Many of the cogent points about IWJ and the widening disconnect between him and the people of Anglesey were made in the "Auto Suggesting WAG" debate prior to this current discussion....The key point is what happens now?

Clearly IWJ is a beaten man. He can't face his constituents, he can't face the Assembly, he can't even stand up to silly Welsh Nationalists like the previous poster "Anon June 8 22.33".

(I have to wonder, by the way, whether this brave poster, hiding under the brave nom-de-plume of "Anonymous" would have - at the age of 85 - the guts to walk into the target-sights of every psychopathic terrorist in Ireland in the interests of future generations? - I think we know the answer to that)

As for IWJ - it won't take much to dislodge him now. We must keep the pressure on him. We must make su11re that Anglesey's sensible and reasonable people are properly represented in the Assembly and in Westminster - and the island's discredited Neo-fascist Nationalists are sent packing once and for all.

The Red Flag said...

Richard, IWJ is stepping down as leader of Plaid so you won't be dislodging him from there. He will be an AM until the next Assembly Election so you won't be dislodging him from there before then and will only be dislodged by Labour - by then the tories will be despised and will have just lost the UK General Election so it's unilkely Plaid will lose the seat. Apart from which, it is entorely irrelevant who has the seat on Anglesey unless they are part of power in Cardiff as a coalition as beofre or as straight Labour run administration as now. No matter how powerless you think IWJ was before, at least he was part of the government. Now - because he isn't, Anglesey is irrelevant and would have ended up that way no matter who won bar Labour which is now big enough to run on it's own and is doing. It will use the next 5 years to bestow grace and favour to cement it's recent conquests and a few crumbs to areas it thinks it may conquer next time out. If serious Assembly money ends up here over th next few years you can take it as read that next time out Labour intend to take the seat for themselves. You will not break Labour's grip on the Assembly without breaking into the southern urban areas and the valleys and that is simply not going to happen.

On more important issues, read the last two stories on this. If this becomes 'standard practice' by councils then blogs such as the Druid's will be under threat.

Paul Williams said...

With great apologies to 'Gruntfuttocks' I have reproduced his/her comment below with one section removed:

"Gruntfuttocks said...

I must say that I am surprisesd that there are people posting in defence of IWJ. However, the Druid is to be praised for publishing posts that challenge his views on what is after all, his own blog; an excellent example of democracy in action which is more that can be said for [cut].

Back to IWJ, his failure to attend the royal opening of the Senedd is an absolute disgrace and his actions, I suggest, do not reflect the feelings of the majority of his constituents. He has shown, once again, his contempt for the peoople of this island by his actions and Carwyn Joners did well to highlight his failures in the Senedd yesterday. If these recent actions do not go a long way to show that Angelsey chose the wrong man to represent them in Cardiff then nothing will. "

228FPA said...

Quote ..."powerless you think IWJ was before, at least he was part of the government..." unquote.

The tragedy for Anglesey is that with IWJ in government he did nothing for his own electorate/county. Even when it was rumoured that "Anglesonians" would have to travel to Cardiff / Swansea for neurological surgery or even visiting those who had received such treatment - total silence - with those in Amlwch (Anglesey town - AM ummmm????) possibly having the furthest to travel - result from IWJ - TOTAL SILENCE. Nuff said.

Strapworld said...

Red Flag

If you think that the Carmarthen woman was arrested because she is a blogger then you are a bigger fool than I thought.

She was dealt with/arrested for public order type offences.

The Red Flag said...

It's a longer game of cat and mouse than that.

Richard Sletzer said...

STRAPWORLD: Many local authorities have rules or by-laws which prohibit anyone filming or recording their proceedings . However as this particular council has no such rules it would appear that no offence was committed.

IWJ: When an elected public official like IWJ is installed as an AM he has a legal obligation to discharge the duties of that office. IWJ has failed to carry out those obligations. It followes that he should therefore either be disciplined or dismissed. It would be interesting to know if he Assembly has any procedures in place for the impeachment of an AM. If it does not have any, it damn well better put some in place - pronto.

Alwyn ap Huw said...

Richard Sletzer; at the moment only a member of the House of Commons has the right to impeach a holder of public office. An Assembly member could be impeached in the Commons, but Mr Jones missing one day of Assembly proceedings would be shaky grounds for a vote to impeach him. His record of attendance in the Assembly is much higher than that of many of his critics amongst AMs – and every single AM has a much higher record of attendance in the chamber of the Assembly than any MP's record of attendance in the chamber of the HoC.

However I agree that the process of impeachment should be given to the Assembly "pronto"; such a move would involve devolving judicial process to the Assembly, a move which I would wholeheartedly support.

Strapworld said...

Red Flag (and Richard Sletzer)

Red Flag especially, given his much proclaimed law enforcment background.

It's a common occurence for Council people to phone up for two policewomen to drag away a nuisance blogger- for blogging? There's a contact Senior Officer in the cops ready and waiting for the secret phone call to pounce on this nuisance? She was sat there quietly just filming or was she in some other ways distrupting a public meeting which is covered by laws, rules or by laws other than just filming/recording said meeting? On the face of it you seem to be wanting to make a martyr and a big conspiracy theory merely out of what the woman herself reports.

Unbelievable naivety.And that from normally level headed contributors as well! Dear me.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if the cat has time for the mouse given that Strapworld has place it firmly in amongst the pigeons!!

I can just visualise the coffee spluttering over the keyboard/monitor and just about hear the explosive thunder of the righteous indignation. Oh , happy days.

The Red Flag said...

Your knowledge of the history of this (which goes back further than this incident) is somewhat scant.

Strapworld said...

Red Flag
It probably involves Lizard People etc so I don't really want to know. All I see are molehills where others see mountains.

The Red Flag said...

This is the story of the incident in the South Wales Press - (note the last paragraph in particular) and also in the southern editions of the national press. And yes the Police can arrest you if they think your continued presence or actions may lead to a Breach Of The Peace - you don’t actually have to be breaching it, just behaving in a manner that leads them to think your continued presence or actions might if you are allowed to continue.

However that incident aside, the contents of a blog itself can now be viewed as Breach Of The Peace and the blog owners can be (and indeed in some instances have already been) arrested and prosecuted or been the target of Civil Litigation. The Druid removes some posts precisely to stay out of trouble in a lot of instances. Indeed one major political website – LabourHome (run by Labour activists Jay Singh and former Parliamentary Candidate Alec Hilton)– was sued over a couple of anonymous comments on it’s site. Although the action was mostly unsuccessful, the judges rulings have virtually paralysed the site and it is now only used by Robo-Spam.

You could say that this is a Freedom Of Speech issue but there is no such thing as full freedom of speech in the UK and never has been. Currently the MOD is pursuing a case against both a blog owner for publishing and also Google to release the IP of the person that leaked information regarding budgetary embarrassments. These are more examples and there’s plenty more in the UK besides these examples:

Sadly for you, I can find no evidence of the involvement of any reptilian-related shenanigans.

Strapworld said...

Thank you for the informative and lecture on Police powers. Possibly my previous posts did not give the impression that I'm aware of the intricacies of such things. Also, thanks for the link which I won't bother to follow seeing as it's probably a load of guff by some journo just outlining what they have ben told by the (alleged) peoples' warrior.

Your smoke screen with all the other material needs a bit more fuel for it to completely cover the idea there are wholesale concerted moves afoot to shut down the likes of the Druid and that the arrest of the Carmarthen One was somehow symbolic of it. There is no huge conspiracy involving the councils and cops to silence her or the Druid and other suchlike. An infinitely small amount of bloggers are subject to legal scrutiny from various, indepently aggrieved people. Nothing else to see here. Moving along now people.

The Red Flag said...

I said earlier your knowledge of this is somewhat scant. You prove the point.

Strapworld said...

Hmm, if you erswhile career depended on such 'evidence' to prove points I can't see there would have been all that many succesful prosecutions. Never mind, pensions good eh.

The Red Flag said...

Everyone on here bar you knows the Police don't prosecute anyone. The CPS via a Crown Prosecutor prosecutes, on behalf of the Crown after recommending which charge should be issued after reviewing evidential and public interest matters. The only difference to this is private prosecutions which aren't dealt with by the CPS and Scotland where they have their opwn legal system.

The Police investigate alleged offences.

Come on, this is kiddie stuff. You can do better. They discuss serious things on here.

Anyway, I knock-off in 15 minutes and I don't waste my personal time arguing with people who don't even understand basic stuff.

Anonymous said...

As soon as IWJ returns from his holiday I will be making an appointment with him. I will be taking him up on his offer that he would assist me in reporting IoACC for Fraud if it was discovered they engineered false invoices and I can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they have.

Unfortunately, the local Police ignore the likes of me, so hopefully they will listen to him.

Our Objective One Grant's have been abused by those paid to deliver. It's a hard pill to swallow for the likes of Albert and IWJ because it was going on right under their noses.


The Red Flag said...

Lug, I don't doubt you actually have the hard proof so may I wish you good luck,

in the know said...

News from the Kremlin.

Lug, there are moves about to be taken to try and get the Council to call for a Public Inquire in to the Grant corruption allegations and the Councils refusal to investigate properly.

Until now the whole affair has been covered up, with he that has gone being the main culprit but there are now higher powers involved and cover up is no longer an option.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that IWJ has a second home in France ? if so is this case of do as I say but not as I do ?

Anonymous said...

What a mugs game cant you all see that your being taken for fools somthing worthwhile .

Gruntfuttocks said...

IWJ in a statement to the BBC stated that he put his family first which is why he did not attend the royal openeing of the Senedd and went on holdiday.
The Ynys Mon AM said when people looked at his record representing his constituency they would see "I've never let the people of Anglesey down and I never will do so".

Is this guy for real?

Anonymous said...

I find that claim to be absolutely unbelievable in all senses and interpretations!

Anonymous said...

No Earthquake required to shut this plant down!

Anonymous said...

Reading some of the comments on the "Druids" I think they should have a word with their leader and get him to go do something worth while for Anglesey ????

not only but also said...

@Anon 14:26

Um…"A fire in an electrical switch room on Tuesday briefly knocked out cooling for a pool holding spent nuclear fuel at the Fort Calhoun nuclear plant outside Omaha, Neb., plant officials said….
Officials at Fort Calhoun said the situation at their plant came nowhere near to Fukushima's. They said it would have taken 88 hours for the heat produced by the fuel to boil away the cooling water.
Workers restored cooling in about 90 minutes, and plant officials said the temperature in the pool only increased by two degrees.
Mike Jones, a spokesman for the plant's owner, the Omaha Public Power District, said Fort Calhoun has a backup pump to provide water to the spent fuel in case the main system is lost.
Fort Calhoun's single reactor has been shut down since April for refuelling. The plant had already been operating under a heightened level of alert because of nearby flooding on the Missouri River, the NRC said. “

Not much danger there then, so in reply to your comment “No Earthquake required to shut this plant down!” – it was already shut down.

Anonymous said...

Shut down or not their statement " They said it would have taken 88 hours for the heat produced by the fuel to boil away the cooling water."

means that it could still have melted down if they hadn't have got it under control. And in less than 4 days.

Anonymous said...

not only but also - you will have noticed on the news today that there is a problem with the clean-up operation at Fukushima and it has been temporarily suspended while they work out what to do. Before you read this next bit, just remember - nothing serious happened (in comparison to what could have) - they managed to get it under control in time.

Arnold Gundersen a licensed operator of Nuclear Plants with 39 years nuclear engineering experience and a senior industry VP:-

“Fukushima is the biggest industrial catastrophe in the history of mankind. Units one through three have nuclear waste on the floor, the melted core, that has plutonium in it, and that has to be removed from the environment for hundreds of thousands of years. Somehow, robotically, they will have to go in there and manage to put it in a container. Nobody knows how to pick up the molten core from the floor, there is no solution available now for picking that up from the floor. We have 20 nuclear cores exposed, the fuel pools have several cores each, that is 20 times the potential to be released than Chernobyl. So ten to 15 years from now maybe we can say the reactors have been dismantled, and in the meantime you wind up contaminating the water. We are already seeing Strontium [at] 250 times the allowable limits in the water table at Fukushima. Contaminated water tables are incredibly difficult to clean. So I think we will have a contaminated aquifer in the area of the Fukushima site for a long, long time to come.”

Dr Shoji Sawada, a theoretical particle physicist and Professor Emeritus at Nagoya University in Japan says that the creation of nuclear fission generates radioactive materials for which there is simply no knowledge informing us how to dispose of the radioactive waste safely.
Until we know how to safely dispose of the radioactive materials generated by nuclear plants, we should postpone these activities so as not to cause further harm to future generations,” he explained. To do otherwise is simply an immoral act.”

Anonymous said...

I think we have forgotten one important part of the Nuclear Energy Programme, even the experts were caught out in Fukushima,and their planning policies in the event of a Nuclear Disaster have had to be rewritten, they might be experts, but after Fukushima,they have had the shock of their lives.

Anonymous said...

"Anyway, I knock-off in 15 minutes and I don't waste my time arguing with people who don't even understand basic stuff."

What a pathetic comment .Must be a high power occupation your in ? when you are able to input at work ..........

The Red Flag said...

The internet is part of my work. Brill innit.

You pay to go on it, I get paid to.

Marvellous suff.

Richard Sletzer said...

I guess Paul is away on a well-deserved holiday ... and I think we can probably take it as read that he is not staying in IWJ's French villa.

Anonymous said...

Even shut down plants can still go bang!

Anonymous said...

The pro-nuclear bloggers should count the number of nuclear reactors Worldwide including Nuclear Submarines and then compare this against accidents and meltdowns.

The statistics will speak volumes and the pro-Nuclear bloggers who claim the industry is safer than safe will not have a leg to stand on.

Don't forget the scandal when Sellafield failed to individually check the safety of reprocessed nuclear fuel pellets before returning them to Japan. The Japanese were not impressed and it nearly cost BNFL the lucrative reprocessing contract.

Prometheuswrites said...

Anon 10.57:
Who knows what to believe?
On the other side of the coin:

Richard Sletzer said...

IWJ is back in the Assembly being as laughably antagonistic as he can to his former partner in Government, First Minister Carwyn Jones.(He's the guy with the double chins who can never answer a single question in First Minister's Questions.)

However the summer has transformed them both. Jones (Carwyn) has sprouted an extra chin - making three in all whilst Jones (Ieuan) has sprouted enough long hair to make him a shoo-in for the part of Ben Gunn in the next Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

The curtain is now raised on another five years of side-splitting comedy.

Anonymous said...

Looks like we now back to were we where before the election ! absolutely no change for us in North Wales !!
Come on Druid tell us whats going on !!