Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quote of the Day

"For some time now I have felt out of tune with the views and policies of Plaid Cymru.

"My politics are very much in line with wanting a stronger Wales within a successful United Kingdom.

"I believe that the Welsh Conservative Party in the National Assembly, led by Nick Bourne, reflects my beliefs.

“I am also attracted by the caring Conservatism and policies for change put forward by David Cameron and the Conservative Party at Westminster.

"I very much look forward to playing an important role in the shadow team in the National Assembly and to helping to shape the policies for the Assembly elections in 2011."
Plaid Cymru AM Mohammad Asghar, who has now defected to the Conservatives, the first Member of the Welsh Assembly to switch "sides" since the start of devolution.


tony said...

Rats always seek higher ground don't they? it's not so much as Plaid sinking but the Tories rising. I'm sure the likes of this guy will jump ship again when it suits.

As a list AM he was not voted for personally but benefited from party votes. So a dishonourable rat at that for abusing his position so!

Hen Ferchetan said...

The two current stories from the Bay are that he was likely to be deselected before the next election to make way for Plaid heavyweight Adam Price and that he was cheesed off that Plaid's rules prevents an AM from employing family and he really wants to have his daughter working for him.

Whichever is true, make note of the fact that it was announced today, on a day where the news will be buried behind Rhodri's departure. Why would the Tories want to bury such good news? While it will hurt Plaid to lose an AM, the Tory AM's will know that they may well have inherited more of a problem than a diamond!

The law allows him to keep his seat even though he's a list AM and therefore got the seat through being on the Plaid list - people can moan about that as much as they want but that's what the law is and there's no legal reason for Oscar to resign. I do find it disgusting that he did not inform his staff though - all of whom, as Plaid members, now find themselves facing unemployment two weeks before Christmas.

Now there's a thought mind - technically they're employees of the Assembly not Plaid - if they don't resign then Oscar can't actually fire them can he! Plaid members working for a Tory AM? Now that would be interesting!

One last comment - he left Plaid because he's an Unionist who loves the Queen? DId he even read his old party's manifesto before joining!

O'Neill said...

It's an unusual one in that I can't recall, in any part of the Uk an elected nationalist defecting to a pro-Union party.

The Conservatives are having a revival in wales but even so if it is purely a careerist chocie it's a risky one, have to wait and see.

Hen Ferchetan said...

Oscar is no usual politician. He has been a member of Labour, the Tories and, I think, the Lib Dems in the past and has tried to be selected as a candidate for all three. He failed in all attempts and therefore switched to Plaid, along with his daughter.

I think the only honest response is that he used Plaid and Plaid used him, a bit of a devil's pact.

He told a few porkies in his hustings to be selected as candidate (Plaid don't parachute people in, every candidate is chosen by the local party) so he could finally get himself and family on the political ladder. Now that his daughter's career has stalled due to Plaid rules and his own is threatened due to Adam Price quitting Westminster he's gone looking for someone who can keep him in the business.

On Plaid's part they got the kudos of having the first non-white AM - an important milestone for a nationalist party because ethnic minorities in Britain tend to be unionists. There's many (many) better qualified minorities in Plaid but none of them happened to be in the right position at the right time like Oscar did.

Nobody comes out of it looking good - Plaid have lost an AM (a numerical loss more than an effectiveness one to be honest), Oscar is still unlikely to be in the Assembly post 2011 and the Tories ruined their own big day, got very bad press and put their hopes of a Rainbow coalition in 2011 in big jeopardy by not informing Plaid or Oscar's own staff.

The biggest irony of all of course is that Tory AM's have spent two and a half years trying to ridicule Oscar, mocking him at every opportunity for his apparent ineffectiveness and cracking jokes about the fact that he was a Tory "cast off" who couldn't even be selected as their candidate, let alone in a winnable seat.

O'Neill said...


By the way, welcome back!