Thursday, 19 June 2008

Wrong dilemma

Whilst disagreeing with the detail of what Peter Black said in response to yesterday's post, he's right to suggest that Plaid do face something of a dilemma. Actually, we face a number, but making tough decisions in government is just about the least of them. (And as an aside, I'm really not sure that I'd say deciding how many health committees there should be is about 'taking a tough decision' either).

Here are two for starters:

In Plaid, we draw up our policies through a democratic internal process, culminating in the decisions of our annual conference. There is much that needs to be done, and much that we would like to do for Wales and her people. But when it comes to preparing an election manifesto – and even more so, when it comes to preparing a coalition programme for government – we have to make compromises. We have no option but to recognise that not everything which we would wish to achieve is possible within a single term – and not everything which we wish to achieve will be acceptable to a coalition partner.

Making such compromises does not change our party policy one iota. Our first dilemma is always about how to present a long term vision of the future that we want for our nation, whilst being realistic in the promises we make for a single term of government. The other parties wouldn't recognise this dilemma, and don't suffer from it – because none of them really seems to me to be much troubled by the idea of a long term vision.

The second is this; in government, our ministers inevitably have to make decisions at a detailed level on a day to day basis. To what extent should I, or other candidates, be bound to support them? This is a complex area, but I do not believe that I serve either my party or the people of the constituency that I seek to represent if I become a clone in the style of New Labour politicians. I support the content of 'One Wales', but there's a lot of detail to be added to the bones when it comes to government decisions. And if I think that there's a better way of doing that than is being suggested by Ministers – of either party – then I shall say so, particularly if the issue is open for consultation anyway. The alternative – simply parroting ministerial statements – would make this blog a little boring, wouldn't it?

1 comment:

Normal Mouth said...

Yes, it would.

So I'm glad you don't do it.