Monday, 25 October 2010

Derided by the Druid.

Back in May of this year I blogged on Fair Pensions for All; it was in response to the flack and derision that Plaid Cymru's main election promise, that of a decent pension was receiving by opposition parties, the Western Mail and other political bloggers predominantly the Druid. The main criticism was that the policy was not costed out and unaffordable and that it was just a populist stunt.

Chief amongst our critics then were the Liberal Democrats and where are we today? Yes another u turn by Vince Cable plagiarising Plaid Cymru policy by announcing an increase of the Minimum Income Guarantee of State Retirement Pension of £140 a week for a single person. Isn't that damned close to what Plaid Cymru were proposing just 6 months ago. I wonder what the Druid has to say now? probably he'll be very supportive now its been proposed by the Con Dems.

6 comments:

The Druid of Anglesey said...

My criticism of Plaid's pension pledge during the Westminster election was very clear: as there was never any possibility of Plaid Cymru forming a government, their promise to raise pensions was pure cynicism -- an opportunity to promise the earth whilst knowing full well that they would never be in a position to deliver on such a pledge.

"Yes another u turn by Vince Cable plagiarising Plaid Cymru policy by announcing an increase of the Minimum Income Guarantee of State Retirement Pension of £140 a week"

Plagiarised? You're right -- no party had ever considered raising the national pension until Plaid Cymru suggested it six months ago. Also, its Iain Duncan Smith's proposal, not Vince Cable's.

If I recall correctly the Plaid Cymru scheme was to fund their fantasy pledge by scrapping ID cards and Trident. The problem of course is that you can only scrap ID cards and Trident once, whereas you have to continue funding increased pensions indefinitely. As I understand it, Iain Duncan Smith's proposal is fiscally neutral insomuch that it could be financed by a permanent reduction in the size of the state through sweeping away the current huge means-testing bureaucracy. Therefore making it sustainable, unlike the Plaid proposal to simply scrap a couple of one-off capital spending projects.

Plaid Whitegate said...

So Druid would effectively disqualify Plaid from having a position on the Iraq war, Trident, ID cards, world poverty, prisons or pensions because we can't form a government in Westminster. How bizarre.
He also knows that Plaid's pensions policy was funded by more than one-off cuts in ID cards and Trident.
I'm also interested to know whether the right-wing narrative is that Slasher Osborne is out for a "permanent reduction in the size of the state" (c) Druid above or whether the "Total government spending will increase every year - there are departmental cuts so as to protect health etc. but in total NO money is being taken out of the economy" (c) The Druid from a comment yesterday about the banking crisis.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

"So Druid would effectively disqualify Plaid from having a position on the Iraq war, Trident, ID cards, world poverty, prisons or pensions because we can't form a government in Westminster. How bizarre."

Plaid Cymru can of course legitimately have positions on all those subjects. They cross the line when they make their key election promise (which is what the pensions pledge was) something that they know they will never, ever be in a position to deliver.

"I'm also interested to know whether the right-wing narrative is that Slasher Osborne is out for a "permanent reduction in the size of the state" (c) Druid above or whether the "Total government spending will increase every year - there are departmental cuts so as to protect health etc. but in total NO money is being taken out of the economy" (c) The Druid from a comment yesterday about the banking crisis."

How is this at all incompatible with what I said? The money that is currently being spent on a gigantic means-testing bureaucracy will be reallocated to paying out a guaranteed pension instead -- the size of the state is decreased but total spending stays the same. You'll have to try better than that, Whitegate.

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

To take your argument to their logical conclusion then; there is no point in any political party that cannot win a majority of seats in the Commons having a majority then. That is an absurd position to have. You have backed yourself into a corner by your hatred of Plaid Cymru than a rational political argument.

The Druid of Anglesey said...

"there is no point in any political party that cannot win a majority of seats in the Commons having a majority then."

This sentence doesn't make any sense.

"That is an absurd position to have. You have backed yourself into a corner by your hatred of Plaid Cymru than a rational political argument."

I don't have a hatred of Plaid Cymru, but I have a severe dislike for cynical fantasy politics. At the election Plaid's 'Key Promise' to voters was to increase pensions by 30%. They could have said they would triple pensions for all it mattered because there was never any possibility of Plaid being in a position to deliver on it. Politics is called "the art of the possible" for a reason.

Welsh Ramblings said...

"Plaid Cymru can of course legitimately have positions on all those subjects. They cross the line when they make their key election promise (which is what the pensions pledge was) something that they know they will never, ever be in a position to deliver."

That's nit picking though. Plaid's central pledge from the election was clearly on the right track seeing as even a right-wing government committed to spending reductions is now proposing something very similar.

Plaid isn't obsessed with forming governments, it exists to wield influence and shape events.

Just as Plaid opposing the Iraq and Afghanistan wars placed them as part of a wider international anti-war movement- at Westminster for Plaid it isn't about forming governments, it is about campaigning, persuading and winning arguments. Any opinion otherwise is ignorant of the history of national minority parties.