Sunday 13 December 2009

Rewriting history

During the days of the Soviet Union, one Russian historian was reported to have said, "In my country, only the future is certain. The past is always changing." It was a neat allusion to the way in which the history books were forever being rewritten, and photographs doctored, to play down or delete the influence of those out of favour whilst exaggerating the role of the current leader.

The allusion came to mind yesterday when I read these words "I argued against independence while a Plaid member. I was in a minority and my view was defeated." They are the words, of course, of an essay in the name of former Plaid AM, Mohammad Asghar, in yesterday's Western Mail.

I chair meetings of Plaid's NEC, National Council, and Conference (the clue is in the job title), and I can categorically state that his view on this issue was never 'defeated' in any meeting of any of those bodies. The main reason for that was that, on the few occasions where he was also present, he never raised the issue in any of those fora.

I can understand, of course, why the author of the piece would want to try and present the defection as being based on issues of policy and principle rather than personal advancement. But attempting to re-write history, even on a small scale, completely undermines the effort.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Mr Asghar have signed up to Plaid's aims and objectives in full and answered questions on supporting these aims at hustings? Plaid members wouldn't have voted for someone who didn't support these aims and objectives so the only conclusion is that this man will say anything to advance his own cause, or the cause of his family.

Why the Western mail printed this essay, which clearly wasn't written by Mr Asghar but rather a tory spin doctor also should be questioned.

With a story as controversial as this, surely an interview which could ask a lot of the questions that he needs to answer would have been best?

Anonymous said...

I do not know the bloke or why he left Plaid, but before that he was in New labour, but it does seem he has a Family business going on, so no loss let hope he can find a seat in the Tories, for all three of them.

I once asked Plaid if we had Independence, how would be get £15 billion, and they said Tax and the EU, but to get 15 billion from tax out of 3.5 million people thats not going to be easy, to get money out of the EU thats depends on what they give.

yesterday i was told that Darling has given Wales an Extra 500 million, yet today I hear we are to lose 500 million, I'm totally lost as the election gets closer I suspect more bull shit.

Anonymous said...

Anon, if you choose to believe the much-quoted Oxford Economics report, an independent Wales would be short of £9bn, not £15bn. It has been contested. The ongoing work of the Holtham Commission should be able to clarify things. I suspect it will still present pro-independence thinkers with a headache, but perhaps a smaller one than £9bn.

Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't Mr Asghar have signed up to Plaid's aims and objectives in full and answered questions on supporting these aims at hustings?"

I think you've dealt with this in your previous post, John. We all sign up to the aims and objectives when we join. I don't think that I've ever been to a hustings where a candidate is asked "Do you support the aims of the party?" It's a given on such a central issue as independence. The suggestion that someone would join Plaid Cymru in order to change its stance on independence is just bizarre. If you're not in favour of indepenence, you don't join in the first place, you just go somewhere else.

Unknown said...

Lets just say for sake of argument that there is a shortfall of 9 billion in the financing of an independent Wales.

I understand that the UK is currently 180 billion in the red!!!! Seeing as the population of Wales is 5% of the UK, then our share of 180 billion would be.....9 billion.

So there you have it - an independent Wales would be no worse off than an independent UK!