The Problem for Plaid is local government

Ifan Morgan Jones has made an interesting post on his blog on why he thinks  Plaid Cymru should move to the centre-ground, I have left a comment there on why I think he's wrong.

I do however, agree with one of his comments :
"They think: Which of these parties is run by people who are politically and culturally like me? Can I trust them to run the economy - do they understand my aspirations?"

But i don't agree with his attempt at resolution of the problem.

Changing where the party's political rhetoric stands on a left/right spectrum is not how to achieve the goal, the way to achieve it is by electing people "who are politically and culturally like me" at those levels of government that are lower than Europe, Westminster and the Assembly.

In the last round of local elections hundreds of county councillors were elected unopposed, including Labour, Lib Dem & Independent councillors in places like Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthenshire. There were some counties where the BNP had more candidates than Plaid and counties where not a single Plaid candidate stood; many thousands of community councillors were elected unopposed.

This is an area that the party needs to look at with urgency, and should contact all members with details of what standing / being elected involves before the next round of local elections in May 2017.

Getting members elected at the lowest level will also help with the other perennial Plaid problem, press coverage. Most Welsh people read London daily papers, but they also read local weekly papers. My local weekly is unlikely to report on what Leanne said in Cardiff, but it will report on how John Jones, the Plaid councillor for Llanbethma ward agreed with her call for "yyy policy".

Every ward with at least one Plaid Candidate at community and county level, would be a huge boost to the party, especially if the party could agree to one strap-line slogan that all candidates had to use on all publicity such as "Wales needs independence" (example only better slogans may be available) .


Nationalist Internet Incest

One of the fallacies of the internet is that social media is able to beat main stream media at its own game. The Western Mail, the Daily Post, the Daily Mail, the Daily Mirror etc can publish shit, but we have this free on-line  media that can counteract their lies, but this is a very partial truth.

The fact is that Social Media gives us a rose tinted glass that we see our own world through. I follow people I agree with on Twitter I friend people I agree with on Facebook. I block and unfriend people, and create my own little bubble of social media followers who agree 100% with me!

The racists have also created their own little internet spaces that convince them that they are the voice of the people.

My social media profile tells me that there are lots and lots of people that agree with me that the best answer to Brexit is Welsh Independence, they are correct. But to make that point on Social media we have to un block and re friend our opponents in order to persuade them to support our cause, because nationalist internet incest isn't going to move the cause forward at all!

We have to confront the trolls, not ignore them, we have to make the case for independence to those who currently oppose it, not just revel in those who support it! 


Vote Labour List = Vote UKIP

As we have seen, during the last three Assembly Elections, it is almost impossible for the Labour Party to gain a List AM. Voting Labour on the list has been a wasted vote for the past 17 years.

With the fascist party UKIP standing on the list in this year's elections, wasting a list vote on Labour could make a difference, it could let the fascists into our National Assembly by default.

I understand party loyalty, I know why you want to give both votes to Labour, but you must consider the consequences of doing so. By lending your second vote to Plaid Cymru, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party even the Monster Raving Loony Party you reduce the value of the UKIP list vote, you make it less likely that the fascists can gain a foothold in Our Assembly.

A wasted list vote for Labour is a defacto vote for UKIP!


Nevada or Nan Conwy, BBC?

I'm sure that few will be shocked at the revelation that I am not a great fan of the Labour Party, but having said that the Welsh branch of the Labour Party held its pre Assembly Election Conference in Llandudno this weekend. If Labour win the next Assembly Election (of course I hope they don't, but IF) a lot of aspects of my life will be influenced by Welsh Labour.

I am forced to buy a BBC TV licence in order to view BBC broadcast news, so I know what's occurring, I don't think I got my money's worth this weekend as a Welsh viewer. 100% of the sparse coverage of the Welsh Labour Conference was about the EU referendum 0% was about the Welsh General Election.

I saw more coverage of the US Democrat / Republican elections on the BBC than I saw of coverage of the National Assembly Elections; I saw more coverage of the US Caucuses than I saw of the Welsh Labour Conference.

The BBC has a legal remit to Educate and Inform; it is failing in that duty when it ignores Wales in favour of a foreign election!

I know what Trump, Clinton, Saunders, Cruze etc had to say in Nevada, but I don't know what Carwyn said in Llandudno – that isn't Welsh News that isn't coverage of Welsh Democracy it is an unequivical fail by the BBC to respect Welsh politics!


Yes Cymru

One of the bugbears that I have had with Plaid Cymru is that its main aim is winning votes rather than making the case for Welsh Nationalism, the formation of The Welsh Language Society in the 1960s helped Plaid because it took campaigning for the language out of Plaid's main remit. I have noted in many posts on this bolg that I believe that there is a need for a "campaign for Welsh independence" outwith the party political sphere; it appears that my wish might be granted in the formation of a new organisation YES WALES which is launching it's campaign on Saturday.

I am unable to attend Saturday's event, but I wish it every success. If a local branch is formed in the Conwy Valley after the National launch - I will do all I can to support it!


Wales in Europe

A message from Plaid Cymru supporting a vote for the UK to remain in the European Union

Wales benefits from being part of the EU, economically, socially and culturally.

The EU helped to establish peace and keeps the peace in Europe: a role that should never be underestimated and which we value.

Nearly 200,000 jobs in Wales are linked to our access to the Single Market and its half a billion people. Thousands of students and young people benefit from EU programmes enabling them to
study and work in other countries and learn new languages.

These are just some of the advantages to Wales.
And thanks to the EU we have laws on equality, on the environment, on workers' and consumers' rights, on farming and food quality, to tackle climate change and much more.

The United Kingdom already opts out of the Schengen travel area, which is why we still have passport control at the UK's external borders. And of course we never joined the single currency.

There is a lot we would like to change about the EU, but we can only do that from within. There's no point shouting from the sidelines. We choose instead to work with our sister parties in the
European Free Alliance and progressive colleagues across the EU. That is how we will get a more open, democratic and effective Europe within which Wales will play its full part.


The Third Sector!

There is something that smells about the omnipresent "third sector" in Wales, they seem to be consulted on every issue, receive huge amounts of public money, but who they actually represent is clouded in mystery!

I have lived with Epilepsy since 1982, epilepsy is a familial condition so lots of my cousins also live with epilepsy, but as far as I know none of us are members of Epilepsy Wales, we have never been approached to join Epilepsy Wales, it is not a body that represents us. I am not criticising Epilepsy Wales, I'm sure that it does great work, I'm just saying that it isn't an organisation that I am associated with so it doesn't represent my epilepsy!

One of the things that has peeved me about S4C, since its creation, is that it's subtitling service hasn't been aimed at Welsh speaking people who are hard of hearing but at non Welsh speakers. I have complained many times to S4C about this and the response has always been that this was the recommendation of the "Welsh Council of the Deaf" – again an organisation that claims to speak for me but has never bothered to ask my opinion!

The Welsh Assembly Government LOVES these "third sector" organisations, as representatives of public opinion, but never ever questions their actual mandate! As a Deaf Epileptic Welsh Speaker I am not represented by the so-called third sector in Wales, or a Labour Government which claims that these unrepresentative organisation's opinions are sacrosanct!