Here’s the BBC on the four candidates in the Plaid Cymru leadership election. Hot off the press in Golwg comes the news that Adam Price is backing Leanne Wood in the contest. (The Google translate for that is here).
Today also sees the endorsement of Elin Jones by Arfon MP Hywel Williams. (Nice, sincere video)
There are four candidates:
Dafydd Elis Thomas, Simon Thomas, Ms Jones and Ms Wood.
It seems that Dafydd is viewed as yesterday’s man – although we must remember that the membership is skewed toward Gwynedd – his power base.
Simon is a regional AM for Mid ad West Wales. He still holds some political scars of losing the Westminster seat of Ceredigion to the Lib Dems, and as Ceredigion AM Elin Jones will surely sweep up the home base vote.
That leaves us the two favourites – both interesting characters:
Leanne’s from Penygraig in the Rhondda. Here’s her campaign website. (An interesting endorsement from ex Cymdeithas chair Menna Machreth).
Leanne on Independence:
It’s clear from discussions at the recent Plaid Cymru conference that developments in Scotland have spurred Plaid Cymru’s membership into thinking about the possibilities for Wales. What had seemed almost impossible before last May now seems possible, even tangible. The ‘what are we for?’ question that was asked following the successful ‘Yes’ vote last March has been answered: Plaid Cymru has never, and would never, accept a situation where we were deemed second rate to Scotland. The Welsh people know that our sense of national identity is equal to that of our Scottish and English sisters and brothers. Plaid Cymru is for Welsh independence.
However Wales is not Scotland. While there is much Plaid Cymru can learn from the SNP there are other parties within the European Free Alliance (EFA) group which whom we should learn and deepen links. The Bloque Nacionalista Galego (BNG) from Galicia or the PNC (Corsica) or UDB (Brittany) are more akin to Wales and to Plaid in terms of their socio-economic, linguistic and political statuses and ambitions as well as their economic outlook. All three are green and on the left end of the political spectrum – near to where Wales and Plaid are.
Elin’s site is here.
Wales is a Nation. It has a capital city, a Parliament and a Government. It has a border, an anthem and two official languages. It has national sports teams, a National Museum, Library, Opera and Poet.
And yet, it has no seat in the European Union or United Nations. Its Government can legislate only on a limited range of issues and can raise no taxes. It has no separate legal jurisdiction. In this quandary exists 21st century Wales. A nation in all, but power and status. A nation, but not a nation state.
In my view, this nation can be so much more. It can be a nation state in its own right. Its economic potential has remained stifled and untapped. As a people, we should not accept the inevitability of poverty, as promoted by our political opponents. Our economic weakness is as a direct consequence of 40 years of UK economic policy having paid no attention to the plight of the Welsh economy and basing economic growth on the financial sectors of south-east England. It is time for economic and fiscal levers to be vested with Welsh Government, and Welsh Government needs to promote an imaginative Economic Plan for Wales. By unleashing the talent of our small businesses and workers, the Welsh economy can flourish.
This could be a close run thing. Watch this space…