Friday, 8 January 2010

A look into the future...

by Luke James
Cymru X Vice-Chair

What better time to look into the future than the new year.

Plaid Cymru's chair John Dixon posted an interesting blog post today discussing a federal UK and how it should be financed which sparked an equally educational debate over the future of Wales and Plaid Cymru.

There was some discussion afterwards about whether Plaid was making the case for independence suffieciently and whether it should spend more time on it or whether its priorities lay in trying to control the here and now.

You have to love a bit of internal debate.

It got me thinking about what the future might look like for both when I remembered Laura McAllister, who wrote Plaid Cymru: The Emergence of a Political Party, had finished her book with a her vision of what things will look like in 2020 which she reckon's is "more than just amusing speculation."

McAllister's vision reads: "Plaid Cymru's new leader (the first women ever to head the party) has started to stamp her authority. She now leads a party that has fifty-one members (MWP's) of the one hundred seat Welsh Parliament, six MPs at Westminster (from Wales reduced total of thirty two) and MEP's in both chambers of the newly reformed European Parliament.

"Plaid's rescinding of its constitutional commitment to decentralist socialism in 2010 opened the way for the establishment of a new party, the Welsh Socialist Party, which campaigns on a socialist and nationalist agenda and which has recruited disafected members from both Plaid and Labour. It now has seven MWPs.

"The party is no longer associated exclusively with Welsh-speaking Wales (indeed, recent election results suggest that Labour has now taken on that mantle).

"Perhaps the key issue now is whether Plaid Cymru will be able to once again reinvent itself given its historic objective of Welsh self-government has been achieved."

Those are some choice cuts from McAllisters predictions, some seem more likely than others, but one thing is for sure as a party in power there will be plenty of internal debates and decisions taken which could lead the party to become less radical.

However I certainly disagree with McAllister on one point, Plaid Cymru's historic objective is not to see a Welsh Parliament within a federal UK.

As John Dixon said in the comments following his blog post sometimes Plaid is accused of looking too far into the future and concentrating too much on independence and all the decisions that would come with. Other times Plaid is accused of not making a case for independence and shying away from it.

The party has a tough balancing act trying to make a success of being a party in government and also trying to lead Wales to independence.

In Cymru X we call ourselves the independence generation, I think in year ahead we need to take some of the responsibility for making the case for indpendence.

2009 was a great year of renewel for us in Cymru X, in 2010 we need to up our game again and make our voice heard, in party debates and to the youth of Wales.

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