Big fat amnesty event
Friday, June 22, 2007
Not another sausage roll and wine in a box gathering to keep Rhodri Glyn Thomas nourished and lubricated, I hear you cry.
Instead, it's my somewhat novel and absolutely not likely to happen suggestion to clear the air if or when the assembly gets full law-making powers and twenty extra members.
Over the last tortuous couple of months, one thing has become abundantly clear: some AMs are in the wrong political party.
Of course, they'd never own up to it, and there's something very British about that. It's like when we accidentally take the wrong turning in the car. The easiest thing to do is to turn around right away and double back. But something in us makes us persevere - 'If I just take this left and then follow that road it'll all be... ah, bollocks!'.
Some of our AMs, I fear, are lost in the Stevenage roundabout network. Their political compasses are way off track.
And so, when the assembly inevitably expands some time in the future, why not have an amnesty so that politicians can start again with a clean slate and stand on a different ticket?
We already know that Glyn Davies voted Plaid Cymru, Leighton Andrews was a Liberal and Alun Davies was a big fish in Plaid. As for Mohammad Ashgar, there's a story doing the rounds that he tried to join every other party (bar the BNP) before eventually stumbling into bed with Newport's hordes of Welsh nationalists.
More recently, it seems there are people in Labour who should be in Plaid and people in Plaid who should be with the Tories. There are people with the Tories who should be in UKIP and as for the Lib Dems, well, they could probably take their pick.
They know who they are. Perhaps we should send them the membership forms, just to give them something to think about?
posted by Blamerbell @ 1:29 pm,
- At 2:01 pm, said...
"Over the last tortuous couple of months, one thing has become abundantly clear: some AMs are in the wrong political party."
I would go as far as say that most of the valleys are Plaid but there is a habit of voting Labour. They get brain washed, even as far as believing Labour comes with the breast milk so they have to be loyal!
But to hear their wants and needs, they speak like Plaid. They are as proud of their hertiage as Plaid people.
Some AMs have gone 'very' quiet. Then Brown says he is willing to have a government of many talents, including people from 'other' parties. He changed from socialist to New Labour so he expects other MP have shifted too.
- At 2:04 pm, Glyn Davies said...
Blamerbell - that's 30 years ago! - when I was voting on instinct rather than with any nod to philosophy. I never deny my past aberations - but its no help at all if you remind your huge readership.
- At 2:09 pm, Christopher Glamorgan said...
... and to create a new party for those who are unable to make up their minds.
- At 2:15 pm, said...
Sorry Blamers, true mistake.
- At 2:18 pm, Carwyn Edwards said...
This issue occurs because all 4 political parties basically fighting for what's best for Wales allegedly!! Therefore they are all Nationalists just a matter how green they are!!!
We live in different times!!!
- At 2:41 pm, said...
"and to create a new party for those who are unable to make up their minds."
I think you'll find the Lib Dems already exist.
- At 2:43 pm, Ordovicius said...
and to create a new party for those who are unable to make up their minds.
The Lib Dems have already got that angle covered.
- At 2:52 pm, NewWelshRight said...
UKIP are a Tory pressure group. David Cameron was playing with fire when he called them "Closet racists", a lot of the Tory Party are sympathetic to UKIP and don't like ignorant sucking up to middle-class Guardianistas. Cameron redeemed himself this week with his big government speech but he wants to be careful so he isn't seen as pointlessly licking fashionable London arse.
- At 3:22 pm, Mac said...
Lets be honest. Party loyalty can be only skin deep. Only idealogues can be counted on to vote just for the same party.
I once knew a Labour councillor in Cardiff who was so respected in his community that even the most hardened Tory voted for him even though he was a socialist (was active in the Dic Penderyn society and the Solidarity for the Sandinistas) His good work transcended partisanship.
I don't know about the Valleys I put down their loyalty to Labour down to the fact that they are part of the furniture for so long.
- At 3:29 pm, Matt said...
>Lets be honest. Party loyalty can be only skin deep. Only idealogues can be counted on to vote just for the same party.
I'd say that idealogues will vote for different parties as their parties change.
People with consistent views *have* to jump ship.
I do not pretend to understand the internal political spectrum of the Lib Dems - apart from its guidance by a "local power" compass. A more recent, but pretty similar version of Alan Clarke's "Old Tory Whore".
- At 3:30 pm, said...
I've never understood why fascists are thought of necessarily as beingright wing, if you actually study fascism in Britain you'll find that it is full of ex-labour people starting with Mosley and heading on down.
I'm sure that there are plenty of Plaid people who if they were English might very well be Tories, but that's the point their not English. The only place for a Welsh patriot is in a Welsh party certainly not a London party.
Unfortunately Plaid Cymru has its fair share of left wingers who are not patriots. If they were English they would be in the Socialist Workers party or Respect ........ which brings us back to fascism again.
- At 3:48 pm, Mac said...
" UKIP are a Tory pressure group."
You mean a "Thatcherite" pressure group. They sound more like the remnants of the "dry" part of the Conservative Party. I am old enough to remember Sir John Nott saying "That Margaret Thatcher is not a Tory, she's a classical liberal" Or something like that.
- At 3:52 pm, Clear Red Water said...
I think this will always been the case since triangulation has been evident in all mainstream party's. It will be interesting how things develop over time particularly as the assembly becomes more autonomous from Westminster. England and Wales are different political landscapes so welsh wings of parties are more likely to work within that landscape.
It is naive to believe that your own party are the only ones with ideas that you agree with. Europe is an example of something that crosses 'party' lines- and i think 'terrorism' is becoming another issue where the 'left/right' divide is no more.
- At 4:04 pm, said...
But sometimes the party changes and previous supporters are left behind.Labour used to be very strongly anti Europe and the Tories vice versa as an obvious example.
- At 4:27 pm, said...
you missed out plenty of people whgo vote Labour are tories at heart - privatisation-randy, Trident-loving, war-slavering British Nationalists.Chris Bryant in fact was Tory wasn't he?
question about why people in the valleys vote for the likes of Bryant and Leighton Andrews. Or in Merthyr for Huw Lewis. etc etc.
1- they are economically traumatised and culturally neglected.
2 - Labour have shit loads of money from their union-bashing monetarist big business chums, and are ruthless on the ground.
3- force of habit, the pull of the tribe in a world with no certainties.
I give Labour less than a generation before they;'re finished even there.
- At 5:36 pm, Mac said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
- At 5:38 pm, Mac said...
"I'd say that idealogues will vote for different parties as their parties change.
People with consistent views *have* to jump ship."
There I go again making "sweeping statements"! what I should have said was die hard Labour etc supporters. However that's a good point on the subject of idealogue. people do and have. I note anon comment on Oswald Mosley a "left winger" founding the British Union of Fascists. The problem with him is that he entered Parliament as Tory MP. He crossed the floor over the issue of the "Black and Tans" (amongst other things).
His views on high tarriffs and state intervention would have been consistent with Mussolini's Italy. I would say that Mussolini would be a better example. Mainly because he was a left wing socialist (who Lenin spoke highly of). Mussolini's move from left (as a internationalist) to right (nationalist) can be answered by the disillusionment of many socialist with the Marxist concept of class solidarity which failed to materialize during WW!.What they did was transfer that socialist concept of the state and combine it with that right wing concept of nationalism (in its extreme manifestation)
Welsh nationalism under Saunders Lewis was not (and could never be) of that variety. As Saunders as a medievalist who did not share that absolute concept of the state. Those who have tried to accuse him of Fascist sympathies are way out!
- At 5:53 pm, Blamerbell said...
You never know, Glyn, the Plaid Cymru of ten years time might be a party you could vote for again:)
- At 8:16 pm, alanindyfed said...
Politics is a game, and all games are illusory. Games come and go and change their nature and their rules.
What lies beneath the illusion of games are facts - mundane realities.
Facts are very simple but games are often complex. Facts relate to things as they are. Politics relates to changing what is to what should be.
Facts are: housing, health, jobs, food, water, power supplies, education - the essentials of daily life. Dealing with these issues in the best possible way is consensus politics. To wean people away from habitual thinking and voting patterns is to address the issues of today, as they are, and work with the facts, not the images of what they are or could be, according to a poltical formula.
- At 8:49 pm, Ordovicius said...
What they did was transfer that socialist concept of the state and combine it with that right wing concept of nationalism
That's if you consider nationalism to be a right wing concept in the first place. On the Authoritarian vs Libertarian spectrum Fascism never departed from the extreme left.
- At 10:20 pm, said...
Not sure - there's plenty of radical left nationalism. as someone said, Mussolini started as a socialist.
But what about Ceausescu, radical stalinist nationalist? Stalin himself? Mao and Pol Pot? In the first 2 you will also see a left-wing anti-semitism and racism that owes very little to traditional fascist anti-semitism (based around racial purity) and everything to the extreme left equation of of jews = money = capitalism.
I'd say that one of the biggest lies perpetrated by the 20th century left has been to occlude its own complicity in the racist mind-set that has led to atrocties everywhere from Stalin's anti-jewish campaigns to Serbian (left, socialist) nationalism's ethnic cleansing.
As a lefty myself, I don;t think we're in a position to imply that our own values make nationalism impossible, nor that the intelligent right (assuming it exists) is per se nationalist, racist etc.
- At 11:04 pm, said...
Blamers, is it true you are closing the blog?
- At 11:19 pm, Blamerbell said...
Put it this way, the orginator of the rumour is the same champion Wales on Sunday journalist who predicted a Lib-Lab pact would happen within days of the election and that Dafydd-El would step down as Presiding Officer to be replaced by Peter Black!
- At 11:33 pm, Mac said...
I did say a definite concept of nationalism (Which I realize can cross the spectrum) but "That" a concept of nationalism that one could find in “pan Slavism" in 19th century Russia which was certainly conservative. Alternatively, even contemporary American nationalism that would be associated with the likes of Pat Buchanan, also a conservative.
- At 12:03 am, Mac said...
About Pol Potts, Stalins and them. Socialists of the Trotskyite tendency would not regard the above characters as "true" socialist on the basis of their "national" style socialism. which contradicts Marx's view of The "Workers have no fatherland" (or was that Lenin).
But back to Plaid. I do remember Dafydd El denying that he was a nationalist. would that be accurate of those in Plaid that are on the left.
Bethan! Over to you!!
- At 12:44 am, said...
"Put it this way, the orginator of the rumour is the same champion Wales on Sunday journalist who predicted a Lib-Lab pact would happen within days of the election and that Dafydd-El would step down as Presiding Officer to be replaced by Peter Black! "
And he mentioned he might like to take your place here! You can't trust anyone these days.
Matt Whithers, shame on you.
No one can stand in the same boots and Blamers :D
- At 12:57 am, Blamerbell said...
Deeply cynical, I told him.
Still, what do you expect from a tabloid journalist (scoff).
- At 9:36 am, alanindyfed said...
Nationalism can be of the left or of the right. Extreme right and left wing politics leads to totalitarianism, which communism (left) and fascism (right)
were, in Russia and Germany. The effect is a centrist state bureaucracy which denies dissent of any kind.
Nationalism in Wales, which happens to be progressively socialist and liberal, while left leaning and radical, is expressed in love of country and culture, which is unique and distinctive. Wales seeks its its place as a nation among nations with no imperialist pretensions, but as part of an international milieu, in this case a grouping of European nations. This was Gwynfor's vision for Wales.
- At 3:47 pm, said...
"Nationalism in Wales, which happens to be progressively socialist and liberal, while left leaning and radical, is expressed in love of country and culture, which is unique and distinctive. Wales seeks its its place as a nation among nations with no imperialist pretensions, but as part of an international milieu, in this case a grouping of European nations. This was Gwynfor's vision for Wales. "
Back in Gwynfor's day it was a dream. Now it looks like it should be a reality. This is modern politics and it just needs that step of faith to move on.