And the fourth person on my prediction list has announced they will be standing for Plaid Cymru’s leadership. This evening Leanne Wood has announced she will be standing for the leadership of the Party.
If elected Leanne will certainly navigate the party to the left.
And soon I shall have a full house! The third person on my predicted candidates for Plaid Cymru leadership list, which I complied a while ago, has announced that he will be standing. Former Ceredigion MP, WAG SpAd and current Mid and West Wales regional AM, Simon Thomas has thrown his headwear into the ring.
This has now made things a bit more interesting, two of the candidates are either current of former representatives of one of Wales’ most marginal seats.
In his statement, Simon made it clear (like other candidates) how in touch he is with all of Wales, not just Welsh speaking areas. Of course, being from Aberdare originally, Simon is the first candidate in this race to have a connection with the Valleys (I believe).
Simon is a left of centre candidate, very much like Elin Jones, and so I must question how will these two individuals win support from a shared pool of natural supporters?
Lets see whether anyone else from my list will step up to the mark?
Well, it has been a quiet summer in politics and on this blog (I was busy getting married, so sorry for no posts). However, things are beginning to look interesting within Plaid Cymru. A while ago I blogged about the Plaid leadership race, or non race at the time. I set a prediction of who might go for the top job after Ieuan Wyn Jones announced that he will be stepping down. Back then I gave a list of five possibilities, and within days one of the names I listed had thrown their hat into the ring. However, today comes a new announcement that a second person on my list has made her intentions known. Today Elin Jones published on her website a statement, clearly indicating that she will run for party leader.
The statement reads very much like a letter of application, however there are some hints of the kind of leader she will be. She is keen to point out her Socialist and Republican values, as well as her west Wales roots. How long will we have to wait before we hear who else will officially go for the job? Not long i would guess.
I’m glad to hear that there are some movement out there on the issue of filming at council meetings. It would seem that Plaid Cymru councillors in Wrexham will seek to scrap Standing Order 45 (page 4-18), which prohibits council meetings without the chair’s permission.
Here’s what the standing order says,
“45 *PHOTOGRAPHS AND RECORDING AT MEETINGS
Proceedings at meetings may not be photographed, videoed, sound recorded or transmitted in any way outside the meeting without prior permission of the Chair. Failure to comply with this Standing Order may invoke Standing Orders 14 and 15 relating to Disorderly Conduct and Disturbance by members of the public.”
This is something Rhondda Cynon Taff should consider doing also.
So Plaid Cymru were ridiculed for their plans called Build4Wales where bonds would be issued to pay for investment in Welsh infrastructure etc. However it would seem that the UK government have agreed that this is a great idea, and offered it to Scotland. So what about Wales? When will Wales get its “Calman like” commission that was promised, and when will we be getting borrowing powers so we can pay our own way.
Incidentally, it would seem that Labour have decided that a few months after the election campaign that this is now a good idea. As Mabon ap Gwynfor succinctly puts it:
“Who is it that called it Pie in the sky? Lib Dems.
Who called in “ineffective”? Conservatives
Who said it was “to good to be true”? Labour”
So, Ieuan Wyn Jones has announced that he will go in the first half of this Assembly term. I doubt I’m the first one to raise the question, “who will be in the running?”
First of all I should consider whether this is a good thing for the Party. I was intending to wait until Carwyn Jones had announced his government before blogging about why Ieuan should go. Yes, Ieuan led the party into a coalition government for the first time, and had served as Deputy First Minister from 2007 to 2011. And yes it was Plaid with him at the helm who secured a referendum on ‘more powers to Wales’ – all of which, achievements and milestones.
However, between 2000 and 2011, Plaid has slipped from a strong second Party in Welsh politics, to a weak third. 1999 was a strong showing, maybe a swell of support for due to the creation of the new Assembly, and a sense of pride in our new fledgling democracy. However the following 3 election weren’t to live up to the success of the first. It is certainly time for Plaid
Eleven years is a very long time to lead a party, and it certainly time for Ieuan to step aside. Plaid needs to identify its purpose, what will its role be in this decade? What is the next step in the national project? So, who then could possibly take over from Ieuan?
Here are, who I think could be contenders (in no particular preference):
Rhodri Glyn Thomas: This would not be a step forward for the Party. I believe this would be much of the same, it would be a continuation of what we’ve had over the last decade. However, he could be a possible stop-gap untill 2016, when Adam Price might return to Welsh politics.
Simon Thomas: Although he is a newbie to the Assembly, a novice he is not. Former MP and special advisor to the previous Welsh government, Simon certainly could be what Plaid needs to take it forward.
Leanne Wood: Could Leanne, who is on the left-wing of the Party, win enough support to lead the Party. A few have already suggested that she could be what the Party needs to win in the Valleys and North East Wales. I for one don’t think that it’ll be as easy as that.
Dafydd Elis Thomas: Of course lets not forget the former Presiding officer. Never one to shy away, could Dafydd be tempted to take the leadership once again? He’s already said how Plaid worked well with Labour, could Plaid under him find itself in perpetual coalition with Labour?
Elin Jones: One of the Plaid ministers in the previous Government, I think Elin would be a popular leader with both left and right in the party.
Or could there be a surprise contender? Interesting times.