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Thread: The relative failure of Plaid Cymru

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    Default The relative failure of Plaid Cymru

    Even if the forthcoming Scottish independence referendum is resoundingly defeated, Alex Salmond and the SNP have succeeded in redrawing the country's political map and giving nationalist issues an impetus in London to an extent rarely seen since 1918. In contrast to the Caledonian situation, however, Plaid Cymru has failed to make any significant breakthrough since devolution, its support still largely confined to Welsh-speaking districts, falling behind in support levels not merely to Labour, but also the Welsh Conservatives. So, why has the party failed to convince English-speaking Welsh about the merits of parity of political and fiscal autonomy with Scotland, which could then be leveraged for ever-increasing status. Even Northern Irish parties are all agreed on seeking increased legislative powers to improve the Assembly's status, so are Plaid woes down to poor leadership or a lack of real national consciousness among the Welsh?
    My political compass:
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    Wales is full of West Brit types. A defeated nation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levellers View Post
    Wales is full of West Brit types. A defeated nation.
    Your premise may or may not be correct. Your choice of language is however ill informed.

    The Welsh ARE the original British, as opposed to the Anglo Saxon English, or the Caledonian and Pictish Scots.

    Of course they are Brits. It is the English who are not.


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    I think the question why there is no desire for independence.

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    Politics.ie Member diaspora-mick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Levellers View Post
    I think the question why there is no desire for independence.
    History it seems is to blame ...

    Wales has been subjugated far longer and more thoroughly than Scotland.
    It was welded to the English hip back sometime around 1284 and its legal system was aligned to that of England.
    From that time on, it was a mere "principality" of England.

    Scotland remained a separate kingdom with its own parliament until around 1707 or thereabouts and even after political "union" with England & Wales it still retained its own legal system and some vestiges of "autonomy" which the Welsh had long since lost.

    So it's not really surprising that the movement for dissolving the union is stronger in Scotland than in Wales.

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    Politics.ie Member SilverSpurs's Avatar
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    North Wales in particular was used to rehouse the English poor post WW2 which has diluted the Welsh identity and created a large pool of people who depend on state handouts and as such are Labour voters, that is one strong reason.
    The second strong reason is that Wales is simply not economically viable since the decline of coalmining and manufacturing. An independent Wales would have to fundamentally restructure its society with the people in 'the valleys' abandoned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diaspora-mick View Post
    History it seems is to blame ...

    Wales has been subjugated far longer and more thoroughly than Scotland.
    It was welded to the English hip back sometime around 1284 and its legal system was aligned to that of England.
    From that time on, it was a mere "principality" of England.

    Scotland remained a separate kingdom with its own parliament until around 1707 or thereabouts and even after political "union" with England & Wales it still retained its own legal system and some vestiges of "autonomy" which the Welsh had long since lost.

    So it's not really surprising that the movement for dissolving the union is stronger in Scotland than in Wales.

    Very true.

    I wonder however, if for example, there were no separate Welsh teams in soccer and rugby (or in any sport in fact) - but a combined team with Britain/England instead - would this result in a spike in the fortunes of Plaid Cymru ?

    Perfidious Albion.

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    Ireland was in bondage for hundreds of years; it never tamed our desire for freedom.
    The Welsh are a conquered and defeated people; without their language, they're little more than English.

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    Much of the emotive language here is covering up the main source of Plaid's failures, I believe. The source is that they were run very poorly by leaders who simply didn't have the strength to combat Labour and target their strong support base among the Welsh working classes. I believe fully that if we Scots became independent, the Welsh in the South would fight to gain as much autonomy as they can.

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    Politics.ie Member Northsideman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glaucon View Post
    Ireland was in bondage for hundreds of years; it never tamed our desire for freedom.
    The Welsh are a conquered and defeated people; without their language, they're little more than English.
    Here's their celebrated Prince maybe he will save them

    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.
    George Orwell

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