PLAID BRACED FOR DIFFICULT RYDER
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Plaid Cymru activists are plotting to remove the party's only list representative in North Wales to pave the way for Dafydd Wigley to return to the assembly. Despite polling over 50,000 votes on the regional list and taking four of the 13 seats available in the region, many were dissappointed by the way the campaign was conducted.
A former Plaid Cymru candidate who stood for election in a North Wales constituency on May 3rd has told this blog that Ms Ryder "will be asked by senior party members in North Wales to stand aside in favour of Wigley." The candidate, who did not wish to be named said: "If she chooses not to she may face an internal party investigation into her conduct in the period before the election and afterwards. It will be made clear to her she does not command the support of the party membership or of the senior activists she needs to be able to do her job properly."
The controversy centers upon what Ms Ryder is alleged to have told activists in Rhuthun, part of the marginal Clwyd West constituency. According to today's edition of Golwg, Plaid's candidate, Phil Edwards, said: "Four or five members of the Rhuthun branch have spoken to me since the election. They claim that Janet Ryder led them to believe that it would be more difficult to get Dafydd Wigley elected if they voted for me in Clwyd West."
Plaid's official line during the election campaign was to urge people to 'Vote Plaid Twice', but a number of people in North Wales have voiced concerns that Ms Ryder was only interested in protecting her own seat. Ms Ryder was the principal beneficiary of what is being called the 'Wigley effect', a swing to Plaid in North Wales attributed to the candidacy of Dafydd Wigley. Ironically, this secured Ms Ryder's return to the assembly, but it fell far short of the number of votes required to bring about the election of the former Plaid leader.
In a further twist, it appears that members of the Wigley camp are central to the plot to oust Ms Ryder, though there is no suggestion that he is implicated. If Ms Ryder were to stand down, however, as the second list candidate Mr Wigley would be set for a sensational return to frontline politics.
Ms Ryder declined to comment when Golwg contacted her before going to press.
Read more on this story along with the first of my columns in today's edition of GOLWG.
UPDATE: Tony Blair has announced that he is standing down as Prime Minister. Thank God Desperate Housewives was squeezed in last night before the inevitable colonisation of the airwaves.
posted by Blamerbell @ 9:55 am,
- At 11:15 am, said...
I bet Labour can't believe their luck, Plaid ripping themselves apart and the new term is only a week old.
- At 11:38 am, Aled G J said...
Byddai'n adlewyrchu'n wael iawn ar PC pe bai raid i Janet Ryder ildio ei sedd. Nhw ddyfeisiodd y polisi yma- rhaid byw gyda'r canlyniadau. Pwy fyddai'n gredu mewn unrhyw bolisi a basir ganddynt yn y dyfodol?
Very bad reflection on PC if Janet Ryder has to step aside. They devised the policy- they have to live with the consequences. Who would believe any policy they pass in future?
- At 11:58 am, Penddu said...
Plaid need to do this to get DW back (if he wants it??) but it should be done quietly behind closed doors. I am sure that an alternative paid position can be found for Janet in a Council or somewhere..
- At 12:06 pm, said...
Agree aled g....I am the biggest of critics of this woman on top of the list crap....but it would be dishonourable to turf Ryder out just because they want Wigley in.
- At 1:22 pm, Cymro said...
The story is absolute rubbish. Dafydd Wigley asked to be second on the list at the hustings. Dafydd knew he might not be elected and by standing he was just doing his bit for the campaign. Dafydd recognises the good job that Janet has done and supports her fully.
- At 1:29 pm, Blamerbell said...
Cymro, with respect, the story isn't rubbish.
The story is corroborated by a number of different sources.
I presume you think the protagonists in this story are 'rubbish', which is something completely different.
- At 1:53 pm, said...
I bet Wigley is regretting he didn't stand for a constituency now - he could have won if he'd stood in Clwyd W, Clwyd S or the Vale of Clwyd.
- At 2:27 pm, said...
Janet Ryder is best left alone - she has been a good am and loyal to PC She is not an arse licker to IWJ may be thats why they want her out
Why shoudl Wigley just get back because of who hes is He could have found another way back if he had been so keen This is manipulation of democracy ,if its true and no party should be involved in that.
- At 2:40 pm, Mike Cridland said...
Is this the gal that stood for PC in Brecon and Radnorshire when Richard Livsey became its MP?
I have something memory that Wigley supported Livsey (if memory serves me right) rather than her
- At 3:15 pm, Cymro said...
Sorry Blamerbell, but the story is a bit of a crock. It is true that a few people at Plaid are none too happy, but 'the Wigley camp' has nothing to do with that. It was a shame that Dafydd didn't get in and he told me he was sad to miss out on the fun.
But he didn't get in and he accepts that. He asked us that he be placed second on the list at hustings meetings - and this was the result. Some people might want Dafydd there - as I do. But nobody is threatening Janet's hard-earned seat in Cardiff
- At 3:16 pm, Matt Wardman said...
I have the audio posted. Link on my name.
- At 3:25 pm, said...
Hopefully, if this is true, the Welsh Media will report on it, and not go down their usually anti-Labour, pro-Plaid path that the BBC and Western Mail seemed to have taken over the past year or so.
- At 3:30 pm, Blamerbell said...
"It is true that a few people at Plaid are none too happy, but 'the Wigley camp' has nothing to do with that."
That is not my understanding. The key point is that there is no suggestion at all that Dafydd Wigley was or is involved.
- At 3:51 pm, Marcusian said...
I agree, lets see if the Western Mail will drop their pro-plaid guard a bit. although i dont think it is as bad as some people believe
The wigley issue- no matter what people think of Mr. Wigley (i think he would be a credit to any parliament) this is anti democratic by Plaid. Voters voted for what was on the ballot papers in front of them, not a for Plaid to change their AM when it suits.
Is says alot that the only Plaid politician who has the ability to govern wales wasnt given a winnable seat. One wonders this is because Iueann Whinge was sweating on his position as leader...
I dont think it is as clear cut as being for or against all women shortlists. I think ultimately that each candidate must meet the criteria and have the ability to stand regardless of sex, but where possible ample opportunities must be given to help increase representation from all sections of the community. All-women shortlists at least guarantee this...its a fine balancing act though.
I trust Blamies sources, and i know he wouldnt post this without good reason and traceable sources.
I mean i am sure the tories would love Glyn Davies to get back in, but they can hardly say 'Darren Millar- step aside because we want glyn'...well actually i am all for that!! haha
- At 3:52 pm, Cymro said...
Apologies for misreading you Blamerbell. I accept that some Wigley supporters may be agitating. I didn't spot your qualification that there was no suggestion of Dafydd's involvement. Sorry about that.
I was just saying that Dafydd has nothing to do with this, and the people around him who I have spoken too seem quite philosophical on the issue of Dafydd withdrawing from frontline politics.
- At 4:17 pm, said...
Aled G J said...
"Byddai'n adlewyrchu'n wael iawn ar PC pe bai raid i Janet Ryder ildio ei sedd. Nhw ddyfeisiodd y polisi yma- rhaid byw gyda'r canlyniadau. Pwy fyddai'n gredu mewn unrhyw bolisi a basir ganddynt yn y dyfodol?"
Cytuno gyda chi. Peth dwl iawn i neud hyn nawr. R oedd e'n gambl a weithodd yn y de gorllewin.
"The candidate, who did not wish to be named said: "If she chooses not to she may face an internal party investigation into her conduct in the period before the election and afterwards." Gwynt cas mynna. Swno fel bitsian?
- At 4:20 pm, said...
"The story is absolute rubbish. Dafydd Wigley asked to be second on the list at the hustings. Dafydd knew he might not be elected and by standing he was just doing his bit for the campaign. Dafydd recognises the good job that Janet has done and supports her fully. "
That is what I heard during the election campaign.
Maybe someone is hoping to spread mischief through the blogs.
- At 5:27 pm, said...
Don't see the problem with that, except tthat it makes Plaid look like they can't live with their own policies and shows them infighting already. *That* is stupid - manoeuvering Wigley in isn't per se stupid.
After all, Labour have been gerrymandering devolution to suit its own ends right from the start, in radical and far-reaching ways.
- At 7:11 pm, said...
Bethan Jenkins could be in a spot of bother in South Wales West too...having posted a photo of her taken inside a polling station on election day - which is against the law.
- At 8:19 pm, said...
It's not in our interest to destabilise the leadership with such a move.
Imagine the waves it would create in the media, and it would hardly be helpful to Ieuan to have Wigley around looking for his leadership back (which is no dount what some of the usual plotters like HMJ would pressurise him to do).
Let's capitalise on a good election result by keeping Ieaun's long term strategy in play - we need to follow the SNP path but a bit more sneakily here in Wales!
Any distractions would set the plans back again.
- At 8:38 pm, hedd said...
"Voters voted for what was on the ballot papers in front of them, not a for Plaid to change their AM when it suits."
Erm... With the regional vote, you vote for a party NOT an individual. It is up to the party who they nominate to be elected.
A stupid system? Yes! One created by the Labour Party.
- At 11:00 pm, said...
I agree it is a stupid system, let have First Past The Post instead....
- At 11:31 pm, said...
"Bethan Jenkins could be in a spot of bother in South Wales West too...having posted a photo of her taken inside a polling station on election day - which is against the law.
I see Bethan has now removed the photo from her blog....
- At 11:48 pm, said...
Shame, people have probably gotten it saved somewhere as evidence tho, we might see criminal charges yet.....
- At 8:07 am, Pads said...
Well said, golwg y llyn (but leave HMJ alone).
Hedd - the ballot papers had Janet Ryder's name at the top of the list (in small writing). It would be disonest of Plaid to shove her aside after the election.
- At 8:32 am, Marcusian said...
"Erm... With the regional vote, you vote for a party NOT an individual. It is up to the party who they nominate to be elected.
A stupid system? Yes! One created by the Labour Party."
My point is that people were aware of Plaid's policy of women on the top of the list...
Also 300,000 votes for the Labour Party in 2003 on the regional vote...How many seats for that many votes?? NIL!
I think if we had first past the post we would wouldnt be talking coalitions at all would we?
- At 9:03 am, Pads said...
"I think if we had first past the post we would wouldnt be talking coalitions at all would we?"
A majority of seats on 31% of the vote? Hardly democratic.
- At 9:39 am, ianjamesjohnson said...
People are aware of Plaid's policy to promote women to be top of the list - it is a policy that was voted for by the party membership, rather than forced upon them.
Personally, though, I think that the policy has now served its purpose and that Plaid should return to a meritocratic form of candidate selection.
Prior to the formation of the Assembly, Welsh politics was very much male-dominated and this provided a solution, especially as the majority of the expected Plaid constituency AMs would be male. Eight years on, a number of very effective female AMs have become prominent within the party (HMJ, Elin Jones, Leanne Wood etc.), proving that the female of the species is equally capable of being good AMs and winning elections. As if anyone didn't believe that before.
Under these circumstances, I don't think that there is any longer a need for the positive discrimination in this way in the future - the best person gets the job. After all, isn't that what we're all looking to have in the Assembly?
- At 9:46 am, ianjamesjohnson said...
Marcusian - you are taking the mick aren't you?
The Labour Party have consistently gerrymandered the system to suit their needs - the Additional Member System AMs only makes up half the number of the constituency AMs meaning that there is no real proportionality in the electoral system, thereby skewing the results in the favour of the largest party (one wonders how Labour would react if that wasn't them in 2011?).
Why Labour got no additional seats is answered in the phrase Additional Member System - it's a top up system so that the majority of people who otherwise wouldn't get a representative of their political hue do have someone to argue their case. It's not the best form of PR but at least it means that my views count - under FPTP they wouldn't. FPTP just doesn't work when you have more than two parties - it leaves the majority of electors unrepresented and their votes 'wasted'.
Then, when Labour were in doubt about winning the election they moved the goalposts again when stopping candidates standing in both the constituency and the list, undermining the whole purpose of the Additional Members System. We can only wonder how many more seats they might have lost if their real opposition had been allowed to stand in the election, rather than forcing parties to choose between constituency and list.
It still stinks.
- At 9:56 am, said...
"Shame, people have probably gotten it saved somewhere as evidence tho, we might see criminal charges yet....."
Yes - it has been saved and printed as evidence...
- At 9:57 am, said...
Fel aelod o'r Blaid yn Rhuthun dyma'r gynta i fi glywed am y peth. Stori geilliau gan pobl hefo agenda yn erbyn y Blaid dim mwy dim llai.
- At 3:26 pm, Valleys Mam said...
Shiptons picked it up in the WM to day - think he took generously from you Ciaran
- At 11:05 am, said...
This is where blogging goes dangerous. Misinformation supplied as facts to cause mischief.
- At 11:09 am, Blamerbell said...
The tone of this entry is much the same as the Western Mail article which followed a day later.
Insiders have been talking to newspapers for ages. Now they are talking to blogs too.
Big deal. Get over it.
- At 9:33 pm, said...
Insiders have indeed been talking to people. These insiders don't always tell the truth though. I have spoken to people who are closely linked to the story (not Ryder or Phil) and have been assured this never happened. In fact one of those responsible for the story has since acknowledged he was incorrect.
Funny that eh?
- At 2:52 pm, said...
well wigley's letter in the WM has squelched this piece of nonsense. Tells us all we need to know about Blammers source, whoever that was.