Full throttle Plaid

There were a few striking features of the Plaid manifesto launch.

One was the tone which was full-throttle nationalist.

Independence was up front on page one, rather than tucked away inside, and the party political broadcast described the Conservatives as "cruel, vicious, brutal and reckless" in a Wales that was "under attack."

The gear change needed for the party's accompanying call for a country not driven by "fear and hatred" and "intolerance" is vast but Leanne Wood did not seem bothered by this when I put it to her in Pontypridd market earlier for Wales Today.

Her line was that the Tories have introduced pernicious policies on welfare reform and she stuck by the message.

Norway

Another striking feature was the reference to opportunities in Brexit.

Those words have never have appeared in a Plaid sentence before and they mark a significant moment when the party has stopped debating the merits of the Norway model, or even a second referendum.

This is the point when Plaid has accepted that Brexit is going to happen, and so its policies will reflect the reality of the situation, and focus on areas like keeping industries tariff-free.

An insider told me they felt there were no votes to be gained by re-fighting last year's battle.

In terms of content, there was a huge list of commitments, from targeted tax discounts for new and existing businesses, £7.5bn for new infrastructure and scrapping the bedroom tax.

Plaid insists it is all fully costed but trying to assess that claim is not easy.

This document is made up of a combination of previous assembly manifesto fully-costed commitments and non-devolved proposals like using the financial benefits of not renewing Trident.

As we have seen already, the lines between the general and the assembly elections are being blurred.

Related Topics