Thursday 18 October 2007

Plaid Repwblic?

Plaid are still struggling to come to terms with their commitment to Independence – part of the problem is that when Wales achieves independence then there would be little point to Plaid as a separate political force – a bit like turkeys voting for Christmas. Plaid also have a problem with their commitment to ‘Community Based Socialism’ – a term which means different things to different people within the party and almost nothing to the voters.

Maybe it is time to dust off the party’s Republican commitment - I have previously suggested that an Independent Wales should be a republic based on the values

Rhyddid – Tegwch – Cymuned.
I suggest that if Plaid adopted these republican values, it could square its circular commitments to independence and socialism much more easily, and give itself a much stronger ‘raison d’etre’.

Rhyddid – while standing for Freedom in the form of Welsh Independence, this also stands for Liberty or personal freedom. Plaid should campaign for a Bill of Rights which would give individuals a set of inalienable rights – rights which can not be taken away by others. An example to put this in context could be that individuals would have the right to communicate in Welsh – a right that could not be voted away by a majority English speaking electorate. It would also give the Welsh electorate the sovereign right to determine the best form of government for itself.

Tegwch – In the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson (a proud Welshman) stated that ‘all men are created equal’, and equality is one of the guiding values of the French Republic, and most modern democracies. But being born equal and being treated equally in life is not the same thing, and I suggest that a better principle to follow would be Fairness. Everyone in Wales, regardless of gender, nationality, language or religion, should have the right to be treated fairly.

Cymuned – The Welsh people are all citizens of the Community of Wales. We will not agree to be subjects of the monarchy or aristocracy or any other form of inherited political power, including from the military, churches, trade unions, etc. All political power should be democratically vested in the people, who are expected to actively use this power and to participate in civic duties. Maybe this is what Plaid had in mind with its ‘community socialism’, but I think that it is time to drop the S word and concentrate on the C.

And yes – Republican means anti-monarchy and Plaid should not be afraid of standing up and announcing this loudly and clearly. There is nothing to fear from alienating the dwindling band of royalists in Wales, and much to gain by giving Plaid another clear USP which will find a lot of willing support particularly among the young.

Ymlaen Y Repwblic


Unknown said...

We also need to bring democracy into politics. Democracy means "rule by the people" but the people are alienated from politicians and feel powerless to object, even at a community level, where projects are steamrollered through despite popular opposition to them. Labour has failed by not consulting the electorate, or by consulting them and not taking any notice of their wishes.
We need "people politics", not "party politics", and a new approach to democratic values.

Anonymous said...

I look forward to the day that Plaid adopt this ideology. Their support would drop off over night.

The values are of course righteous and good but to say that the number of royalists in Wales is dwindling just conveys the world of fantasy that you venture to live in every day.

Although in theory this idea would work, to say that Churches and Military are separate from communities is just irresponsible. Churches for instance are made up of communities of people all over the country and as a result the central body of churches represent the views of their communities far better than any elected politician ever could.

Alan is right to say that the people should have all the power but this should be gained from devolving more power to local authorities and community councils rather than abandoning the party political system.

I admire the level of sensible and intelligent discussion this blog creates but this post has too much 'nationalist' spin and just fails to consider the negative consequences.

Anonymous said...

One of the benefits of blogs like this is the opportunity to float ideas for people to think about.

You dont have to agree - hell you dont have to even read them - but it give everyone a chance to have their say.