I always liked Plaid Cymru’s old ‘Triban’ symbol, not because as someone once suggested it represents their three MPs, but because it represents the party’s different factions. But I think that a better representation would be one of those ‘Venn’ diagrams, with three overlapping circles.
o One Green circle would represent Plaid’s traditional supporters – primarily driven by language and cultural issues.
o Another Red circle would represent Plaid’s radical supporters – driven by socialist and republican ideals.
o A White circle would represent the supporters of an Independent Wales
While there are those in Plaid who sit comfortably in all three circles, there are those who prefer to sit in only one or two of these circles. That is not a problem – in the absence of smaller parties focusing on specific agendas, like the SSP in Scotland for example, Plaid needs to remain as a representative coalition of nationalist sentiment.
But the needs and aspirations of all three groups must be met – this has not always been the case with the Independence cause, as Plaid’s leadership has tried to downplay this issue. But with support for independence growing, Plaid needs to become more receptive to the views of this group. The danger in not doing so is to encourage a party split, which would play into the hands of the unionists.
In a future independent Wales, Plaid will probably split into competing parties, but for the time being we need to maximize support and ensure that the views of the ‘White Circle’ are not overlooked.