Sunday, 27 March 2011


Plaid's spring conference was interesting, with a real air of ambition and aspiration for this nation, as opposed to party political self interest. I caught a number of key-note speakers including Nerys Evans, Helen Mary Jones, Leanne Wood and Ieuan Wyn Jones, but, it was Ron Davies, Plaid's Caerphilly Assembly candidate who, in my opinion hit the nail on the head, when he said:

"The limits to our ambitions should only be set by the people of Wales. This process of building our democracy and a better Wales which goes with it should both challenge us and reassure us. We in Plaid speak for an increasing majority who want a greater degree of self government. After all, we as a party have done so much to get us where we are today."

He rightly laid into Shadow Secretary of State Peter Hain.

"It was so kind and generous of Peter Hain to remind us right at the start of the campaign that we wouldn't be having a referendum at all if it were not for Plaid.

"I am not entirely convinced his intervention was intended to foster inter-party unity in the driver for a 'Yes' vote. In fact, I am not all convinced.

"If ever there was a case of getting your retaliation in first that was one. As far as the Labour Party is concerned when it is a choice between party interest or national interest there is only one winner.

"Peter Hain knew full well how de-stabilising his comments could have been but the calculation was 'so what, there's a party game to be played'. Ill-judged and mistimed maybe, but you were right, Peter. Without Plaid there would have been no referendum on 3rd March."

The former Welsh Secretary said that Labour had failed to stand up for Wales during its years in office.

"Pity they didn't stand up for Wales for the last 10 years and help rebuild our economy or get fair funding for public services. They couldn't even stand up to their own backbenchers and get us a proper Parliament. Now Labour is adrift. Values abandoned, no direction, no strategy, no plan. They won't even  acknowledge how deep our economic and social crisis is. Just spin and excuses."

Leanne Wood AM, was also spot on when she said that its time for Wales to control its own resources. One of the key themes of this weekend's Plaid Cymru conference was the economy. Our economy is in a poor state and not getting better despite billions of euro-cash being poured in.

We cannot allow or afford for the Welsh economy to continue to decline over the next five - this is not an acceptable option. We need fresh ideas and need to make best use of the new legislative powers (such as they are) to make sure that the next National Assembly punches well above its weight and begins to really deliver for all parts of Wales following the Welsh Election on May 5th.

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