Is a defection on the cards in Wales?

A senior Plaid Cymru AM, seemingly closer to Labour than to his own leader on the issue of Wales’ constitutional future. I’m no conspiracy theorist but it does make you wonder.

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas

In a Welsh Assembly in which Labour has exactly half of the seats, is the prospect of them gain the one extra seat needed to gain an outright majority edging closer?

The answer is quite possibly, following comments made by the Assembly’s former presiding officer and one-time leadership candidate, Plaid Cymru AM, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas.

He has already faced disciplinary action over derogatory remarks about the party’s leader, Leanne Wood, whilst last year he firmly distanced himself from a no confidence motion in the then health minister, Lesley Griffiths, tabled by all opposition parties in Cardiff.

Opting instead to attend graduation duties in his capacity as chancellor of Bangor University, he declared:

“I think Plaid has put itself in a position of being the supporting cast to a play which is produced by the Welsh Conservatives and that gets under my skin.”

First minister and Welsh Labour leader, Carwyn Jones, has previously said that he would welcome Elis-Thomas’ defection and now, on the issue of constitutional reform, this prospect seems to be edging further.

Speaking this week in a speech delivered in Speaker’s Housing in Westminster, Elis Thomas declared:

“I’m an out and out UK federalist… There was never a project for Welsh independence, anyway.

“Revisionist nationalists always seem to imagine Wales as always having been a people’s republic… But the principality of Wales is not a creation of Norman military ascendancy.

“It is the creation of Welsh leaders themselves and that project was always federal in nature.”

One wonders, however, how such sentiments from a senior party member fit with Leanne Wood’s belief and indeed hope that Wales will become independent within a generation.

Elis Thomas then went on in his speech to declare:

“I’m a strong supporter of Carwyn Jones’s proposal there should be a constitutional convention at this stage to look at where we go.”

A senior Plaid Cymru AM, seemingly closer to Labour than to his own leader on the issue of Wales’ constitutional future. I’m no conspiracy theorist but it does make you wonder.

One Response to “Is a defection on the cards in Wales?”

  1. The Judge

    Speaking as a Nationalist of over 35 years standing, it would be an immense relief if this supercilious, tuft-hunting bore toddled off to Labour as his retirement home. He seems never able to open his mouth in public without undermining the party, and of course the Unionist media (i.e., all of them) hang on his every word when he does this.

    But then, from his mercifully brief time as party leader in the mid-80s (when he sought to turn Plaid into an extra-mural division of the SWP at a time when a mainstream-left position would have boosted the party’s electoral position), he has shown that his prime concern has always been to cosy up to the Brit-left Establishment.

    Not so much a ‘loose cannon’ as a low-calibre gun on a swivel mount.

    Let him go; it’ll be the end of his political career because the people of Meirionydd will not re-elect him if he does.

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