The story of a Plaid Cymru sacking

 

Leanne Wood didn't actually use the term "un-Welsh" in relation to UKIP in her conference speech last week.

Instead she said: "Your values are not the values of Wales. A vote for UKIP is a vote against Wales, a vote against the Welsh national interest. We cannot and will not let their ugly politics divide us in May."

However, a press release did use the term "un-Welsh" and it came at the same time as the controversy surrounding the tweet by the Plaid MP Jonathan Edwards, questioning whether Sam Warburton should be the Welsh rugby captain if he considered himself British.

UKIP, unsurprisingly, objected strongly to the patriotic nature of the attack from Leanne Wood.

The day after it became apparent that UKIP weren't the only ones unhappy with the rhetoric when I spoke with the former party leader Lord Elis-Thomas.

He said: "It is facile and assumes a kind of superiority that we decide who is Welsh and who is not Welsh.

"A party which gets votes from ordinary citizens in Wales has to be taken seriously.

"It clearly represents a point of view in Wales."

Party unity

His words were shrugged off at the time.

There was a feeling among some that a Plaid conference wouldn't be a Plaid conference without something controversial being said by their former leader.

Lord Elis-Thomas has been outspoken in the past and two years ago came close to facing official disciplinary action after he failed to turn up to a vote on health policy.

But clearly his reaction at the weekend was considered too serious to shrug off, as the latest events have shown.

His sacking is obviously a result of criticising his political leader after one of her biggest speeches of the year, but it's also a reflection of the need for party unity for Plaid at a critical time when all efforts are being put into retaining their seat at the European Parliament.

During the spring conference, I was told time and time again that it was going to be tight and everyone within the party had to pitch in to ensure Jill Evans is re-elected.

So in that context, you can imagine how badly the comments by Lord Elis-Thomas would have gone down with the leadership.

 
Nick Servini Article written by Nick Servini Nick Servini Political editor, Wales

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 40.

    No.37. You rather gave the gane away with your comment "we arent going anywhere". Too true because you are too busy being contemplating your navel.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 38.

    Nobody has attacked English or English speakers here, it is all about bullying and hating Welsh an unique language, culture and identity - no better or worse than any other - yet is it real, alive, and hundreds of thousands of people feel part or it. Why hate it? Why is the life experience of a Welsh speaker so inferior or worth less than a non-Welsh speaker? How? Why?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 37.

    And as a parting remark to the aforementioned people, after my regretful visit to these bilious comment sections: many, many of us young people, students, in Wales live our lives through the medium of Welsh. Completely, of our own accord. We aren't going anywhere. Welsh is the language we use naturally, and we are immensenly proud of that. Hir parhao'r heniaith (long live the old language!)

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 36.

    Just browsing through here, though I don't know why, as it's a complete waste of time. Same old nonsense from the same people. As usual, the Welsh language is dragged into the discussion, and not even by some tenuous link; it is brought up anyway, by default. So much anti-Welsh sentiment, and so poorly defended is that sentiment! Hardly surprising the most here of these views support UKIP!

 

Comments 5 of 40

 

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