Saturday, 15 May 2010

The Druids Take on Plaid Cymru and the Election.

The Druid sets out his reasons why he thinks that Plaid Cymru 'flatlined' in the election and failed to make any gains. The Druid disagrees with Welsh Ramblings's assessment that it was down to the Leader's debates. The Druid argues that it was Plaid Cymru's policies that let them down, particularly the Pensions policy where Plaid Cymru intended to raise pensions by 30% which the Druid thought was a 'cynical' ploy and that the public wouldn't be taken in because it was unaffordable. The Druid also claimed that Plaid Cymru would never be in a position to deliver on its promises.

What has happened since proves the Druid wrong, Plaid Cymru's Pensions policy is no less affordable than Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems policy to increase personal tax allowance from £6,500 to £10,000, which would cost £26 billion to implement. Whilst Plaid Cymru flatlined the Lib Dems LOST 6 seats and still ended up with five cabinet seats and a real opportunity to implement their personal allowance tax plans albeit in stages.

Perhaps the Druid should ask himself why Plaid Cymru had a hard time over their pensions policy in the Western Mail when the Lib Dems went about their business unchallenged as regards the affordability of their tax plans!

It could quite as easy been Plaid Cymru and the SNP in the coalition had they both not 'flatlined', and they would then have stood a real chance of implementing this pension policy.

I believe that Plaid Cymru's problem in Westminster elections is convincing the electorate of our relevance and that a vote for us is not a wasted vote, especially because of the problem the electorate seem to have in distinguishing, policy wise between Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats.

It would have been interesting had we had Single Transferable Voting in this election and to see how many second preference votes Plaid Cymru would have had from Liberal Democrat AND Labour voters.

In concluding can I just suggest to the Druid that one can rely too much on statistics especially as 'correlation doesn't automatically imply causation.'

6 comments:

The Druid of Anglesey said...

1. You completely misrepresent my argument. In my post I never once mentioned the affordability or otherwise of Plaid's 30% pension pledge. I said that it was cynical because Plaid fully knew they would never be in a position to implement it (pensions is not a devolved matter, therefore to legislate this pledge, Plaid would need to win a majority in Parliament despite fielding only 40 candidates in 650 constituencies). Accordingly Plaid presented themselves not as a serious or responsible party but rather as one which would say anything to win votes.

2. "What has happened since proves the Druid wrong" - No it hasn't as the Druid didn't mention the affordability or otherwise of the pledge. Comparisons to the costs of the Lib Dem's policy to increase tax thresholds are therefore moot.

3. "Perhaps the Druid should ask himself why Plaid Cymru had a hard time over their pensions policy in the Western Mail when the Lib Dems went about their business unchallenged as regards the affordability of their tax plans!" - You need to read more than just the Western Mail.

4. "It could quite as easy been Plaid Cymru and the SNP in the coalition had they both not 'flatlined', and they would then have stood a real chance of implementing this pension policy. " - again we are back in the world of fantasy. Even if such a rainbow coalition were possible (which I don't believe and have argued against repeatedly), do you really believe that Plaid & the SNP could persuade the major coalition party to increase pensions by 30% at a time when our national finances are in the worst state since WW2?

5. "In concluding can I just suggest to the Druid that one can rely too much on statistics especially as 'correlation doesn't automatically imply causation.'" - And, similarly, wishing things were other than they are doesn't change anything.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

It shouldn't be anymore difficult for Plaid Cymru to negotiate with Labour in a Rainbow coalition than it was for the Lib Dems to negotiate with the Conservatives for the the £10,000 policy.

I shall be doing another blog soon on how Plaid Cymru SHOULD have sold the Pensions policy I welcome your contribution!!

Hwyl.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

I look forward to reading it then - and will let you know exactly what I think.

Anonymous said...

Druids says:

"You completely misrepresent my argument."

Your argument consists of saying that Plaid Cymru shouldn't comment on affairs discussed at Westminster because they won't have a majority there.

Your argument is not very good.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

No - my argument is that Plaid should avoid making itself look silly by making outlandish national pledges it knows it has no chance of ever implementing. Had they even pledged to campaign for a higher living pension then it wouldn't have been so bad - but to pledge a 30% increase just made them look both devious and stupid at the same time.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Druid,

You say:

"do you really believe that Plaid & the SNP could persuade the major coalition party to increase pensions by 30%"

A: "Yes a progressive centre left coalition could support this, the money for it which is only £6 billion is outlined in our manifesto."

If we take your argument to the endth degree Plaid Cymru shouldn't have policies for Westminster elections because we will never get enough MP's to implement them. Even you couldn't argue that Plaid/SNP didn't deliver on devolution, even Ron Davies will say it would never have happened without the Nats.