Saturday, 11 April 2015

A fair cop

An anonymous Plaid Cymru supporter twitted me in a comment on Thursday about the Liberal Democrats abandoning our 2010 manifesto commitment to reject new nuclear power generation. I suggest he should accept that, in a coalition, there are some issues in which the minority has to yield ground. However, the coalition agreement went a long way to accommodating the LibDem party position:

• We will implement a process allowing the Liberal Democrats to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the Government to bring forward the National Planning Statement for ratification by Parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible. This process will involve:
 – the Government completing the drafting of a national planning statement and putting it before Parliament;
– specific agreement that a Liberal Democrat spokesperson will speak against the Planning Statement, but that Liberal Democrat MPs will abstain; and
– clarity that this will not be regarded as an issue of confidence.

But we did achieve the other - and from the environmental point of view, more important - part of our policy:

• We will establish an emissions performance standard that will prevent coal-fired power stations being built unless they are equipped with sufficient carbon capture and storage to meet the emissions performance standard.

But what of Plaid Cymru's own record in coalition? Peter Black has already pointed out its own division between the leadership and the rank-and-file over tuition fees in 2007. I also seem to recall the abrupt softening of Plaid's support for Local Income Tax and for Fair Votes when it joined Labour. And what of the commitment to a national newspaper in the Welsh language? Clearly the north-south air link was more important.

Plaid Cymru was also complicit in the cut in the NHS budget in Wales for which Labour is taking all the flak. The party is keeping its head down over that one.


Anonymous said...

"An anonymous Plaid Cymru supporter twitted me in a comment on Thursday..."
I'm not a Plaid Cymru supporter. I voted Lib Dem in 2010 and will probably do so again next month. This does not mean I have not been appalled by the duplicity of the Lib Dem leadership and the behavior of some of its representatives including Peter Black joining in with the disgusting smear against Mike Parker.

Frank H Little said...

That's the trouble with anonymous comments. I assumed from the occasional turn of phrase that you were a PC member I know.

I am not sure what Peter said that you took exception to, but I am sure that you applaud Mark Williams and his team in not joining the other parties in Ceredigion in the gutter. I thought his line that the slanging-match between Labour and Plaid was a distraction from the substance of the election was just right.

Anonymous said...

Mark Williams behaved admirably, as I would hope. I do recall, however, being canvassed in 2010 by Lib Dem students in Aber and being told that Plaid were like the Welsh BNP. Well, as my wife has been a member for some years that came as rather a surprise.
Regarding Mike Parker, I remember reading the original article and there is absolutely nothing offensive in it whatsoever. He is criticizing a "sprinkling" of people who by their own admission have come to live in west Wales to get away from black or brown people. I, personally, have encountered this on numerous occasions.
Peter Black called on Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood to "show some leadership" and demand a "full public apology" from Mr Parker.

"Either he withdraws these remarks or else she needs to explain whether he is representing Plaid Cymru policy," said Mr Black.

"His offensive views shouldn't just be swept under the carpet."

Very disappointing.
Best Wishes.