Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Just a pawn on the chess board?

It was inevitable once Adam announced his intention to stand down as MP that there would be speculation about both where he would stand for a seat in the Assembly, and about who would succeed him as the party's candidate for Westminster.

Reading some of the speculation, it seems that some people might be labouring under the delusion that the party is playing a gigantic game of chess, in which individual candidates are mere pawns who can simply be moved around at will. That would be to misunderstand the party and the way we work.

There are three points which people would do well to bear in mind.

The first is that it might well be New Labour's style to stitch things up in posh restaurants behind the backs of the party members, but Granita-type discussions are simply not Plaid's style. Our decisions on candidate selection – both in terms of choosing a successor candidate to Adam and in any constituency or region where Adam decides to submit his name as a candidate for the Assembly - will be made democratically by the members; and if there's one thing that Plaid members don't like, it's being taken for granted.

The second is that no-one should regard the constituency as being a safe seat for whoever is chosen as the Plaid candidate. I can understand how anyone looking at Adam's majority in 2005 might think that, but it would be a mistake to take the voters for granted either. The result in 2001 was a great deal closer - I was Adam's agent in that election, and never for one moment did I feel that there was any certainty about the result - and nothing stays still in politics.

And the third is that, whilst there are a number of additional winnable constituencies for the party in 2011, it's hard to see how any of them could be won without a long and hard campaign on the ground. Switching candidates in or out at the last minute is hardly the best way to set about that.

7 comments:

Valleys Mam said...

Common sense at last - iawn

Adam Higgitt said...

"The first is that it might well be New Labour's style to stitch things up in posh restaurants behind the backs of the party members, but Granita-type discussions are simply not Plaid's style".

Perhaps not, although I seem to recall a certain penchant for curry rather than Italian cuisine when discussing proposed stitch-ups :-)

Best.

Adam

John Dixon said...

Adam,

Strictly speaking, wasn't it a take-away? And, if, purely for the sake of argument, we assume that it was indeed an attempted stitch-up (and, to keep the lawyers happy, I should make it clear that all involved have always vehemently denied that to be the case), then wasn't it a spectacular failure? I rest my case - simply not Plaid's style!

Adam Higgitt said...

Personally, I attribute said failure to the choice of cuisine. Spicy foods increase the metabolism, which militates against the clinical thought processes needed to see a (purely hypothetical) stitch-up through.

Imagine how different history might have been* if the conversation had gone:

"anyone fancy a curry?"

"Nah, let's go out instead. Stefano's?"

* hypothetically, of course

John Dixon said...

If, purely hypothetically, I ever come to the conclusion that we ought to do a bit more stitching up, I'll bear the choice of cuisine in mind.

And credit you with the idea, to boot.

Valleys Mam said...

Hey have a banquet if it gets Wales moving -theres a few good chippies around as well

alanindyfed said...

Hmmmmm.....Adam for First Minister?