Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Leanne has been a naughty girl...

… or so the WesternMail would have us believe.  And they’re not alone; Leanne’s political opponents (and possibly even some in her own party) seem to have been quick to heap on the opprobrium.  For my part, I’m having some difficulty working out what exactly is the heinous sin which she is supposed to have committed.

It surely has to be more than the mere fact of her holding republican views.  After all, there are many republicans in all parties, even if many of them are afraid to admit it.  It’s a much more mainstream viewpoint that any reader of the press would imagine.
‘Avowed republican meets with other republicans’ doesn’t strike me as being a particularly shocking thing to have done.
‘Politician attends meeting at which other attendees hold some rather different viewpoints to her own’ also doesn’t strike me as a particularly serious crime.  And if it were, there wouldn’t be many politicians left.  There have been many occasions over the years when I have inwardly cringed at some of the things said in meetings I've attended - and I do not think for one moment that that makes me untypical.
Perhaps it’s the oath of allegiance to republicanism which she took.  The Western Mail described it as bizarre – I can only assume that they’ve edited out the most egregious parts of it, because nothing in the words quote struck me as being particularly bizarre.  It's not even as if she took the oath with one trouser leg rolled up and a dagger held to the chest.  Now that would be bizarre, although I understand that many middle-aged males might consider it entirely normal.  What is normal and what is bizarre all depends on perspective.
The timing and provenance of the story is actually odder than the oath itself, as Gareth Hughes points out. At heart, it seems to be little more than an attempt to avoid debating substance and resort to smear by association.  It’s a sad reflection on what politics has become.

4 comments:

Siônnyn said...

This is yet another step down in journalistic standards from the WM. Their editorial policy has recently taken a very partisan turn, attacking Plaid with negative headlines even when the story doesn't support the headline.

Their comments section is infested with Welsh hating trolls, but they block pro-Plaid posters - even ones that stick to the rules - like me. They allow comments that make outrageous claims about Plaid to stand. I and not going to bother to read it except for the rugby in future.

Anonymous said...

in the 'oath' she was recorded making at a republican event leanne spoke of peace, justice, truth and 'freedom for all nations'...who..accept for some wales hating hack at the 'washed up mail' could have a problem with those laudible sentiments?...

indeed im sure most people in wales would heartily agree with the ideals leanne expressed...also as you correctly point out john there is nothing remotely reprehensible in being a republican and being opposed to the institution of the british monarchy...it is a view shared right across the welsh political spectrum and throughout the general population in wales......

also have to say i felt there was no need for a 'spokesperson' from plaid to seek to disassociate leanne from the event as she said nothing wrong in the first place...plaid has nothing to gain by pandering to the likes of martin shipton and the terminally ill rag he writes for...for, as sion states in his comment, the levels of vitriol and downright hatred for wales and seemingly all things welsh Wol permits anonymous posters to make in its comments section is nothing short of astonishing...

Leigh Richards
Swansea

Anonymous said...

Peace, justice and freedom are my values. If Leanne promoted those values when she was a backbencher I have no complaint. She is clearly not affiliated with any of the other views espoused at that event. I disagree with Leigh and think it is right to disassociate Leanne and the party from any hardline nationalist organisations. They should be allowed to say whatever they want but talking about the FWA etc isn't relevant to Plaid Cymru. It's part of Welsh history but it isn't anything to do with Plaid Cymru.

You mean there's more??? said...

Hmmm let me see, so not swearing an oath of loyalty to the Queen is a problem.

But, swearing at Police Officers and telling "plebs" to know their place is entirely excusable....

I see, welcome to modern Wales.