Friday, October 16, 2009

Degrees of extremism

A strange one from the leader of Plaid Cymru, Ieuan Wyn Jones:
Jones was speaking at Plaid Cymru’s conference, which was held in Llandudno. He said that each party member had to work hard to ensure the people understand that Plaid Cymru supports all of the people in Wales, regardless of the language they speak. Studies conducted by the party show that many people do not believe Plaid Cymru has any relevance on a national level and that it is extreme.

Jones said Plaid Cymru’s “only loyalty is to the people of Wales.” With a general election only months away, the party is working hard to improve the negative image that some voters have associated with it.

Strategists for Plaid have long worried that voters might think the party is more concerned with Welsh independence than with mundane day-to-day matters. There is also a fear that voters who do not speak Welsh feel out of place supporting Plaid Cymru.
Strange because you very rarely get nationalists in the United Kingdom even admiting to the possibility that they might be perceived of as *extreme*. Strange as well because apart from one or two minor anglophobic nutters occasionally raising their heads, there's nothing I can presently perceive in the Welsh nationalist movement as being extreme- no one in the party is commemorating the members of an organisation which planted no-warning bombs in restaurants or pubs in the name of Welsh "freedom"; no one in Plaid Cymru is referring to Welsh Unionists as the "traitors within the gate" only "claiming" to be Welsh.

It's also interesting the fear expressed at the end of the piece I quoted; a nationalist party's commitment to what may be defined as an integral part of the "national culture" may be damaging that party at the ballot box?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ah, but you are unfamiliar with the bloody (figurative sense) nature of language politics in Wales.