The Most Productive Area on Earth

Plaid’s latest electoral leaflet has arrived, courtesy of the Plaid team. It’s a relatively simple leaflet, but that can be a benefit in politics. The three core messages are that, if elected, Luke will:

  • Fight for jobs and apprenticeships
  • Be a strong voice for Wales in London
  • Demand the best deal for you and your family

This all sounds a bit wishy-washy to me. There’s no substance to it. Granted, it’s a short document, to its huge credit bilingual, and nicely laid out with lots of ‘white space’, but it would be good to have a bit of policy oomph.

Over the page then we get urged to “send a real message to the Government in Westminster that they need to start listening to our community”. Do I recall a similar message being used by the Labour Party earlier this year? And if so, what message does a vote for Plaid or Labour represent?

It’s peculiar to hear from a Plaid candidate that “the only way” to get jobs in Penarth and Cardiff South (formerly “the most productive area on earth”) is through “having a strong voice from Wales in London”. Doesn’t that directly contradict the message that Wales should be generating jobs and investment through, for example, much more focus on local procurement?

Again, presumably because of a lack of space, we’re not treated to any substance in relation to the commitment to “securing the best deal for you”. But at least we get a nice picture of Luke and his party leader with some smiling campaigners – which is a much more down-to-earth way of showing your standing in the party than the traditional photo employed by others in this contest.

12 Sylw

Filed under Democracy, Elections, Labour, Plaid Cymru, Westminster

12 responses to “The Most Productive Area on Earth

  1. Cynon Davies

    I think you must have received a different Plaid publication from the one I’ve seen which promised to :-
    1. “Make it easier for businesses in Wales to win contracts here”. (Not a bad idea as the Assembly doesn’t allow firms with small turnovers to compete for contracts)
    2. Win jobs and apprenticeships
    3.Reinvest all profits from Welsh trains back into services – bringing down fares – which sounds a bit far-fetched..
    There is something here for immigrants as well. The leaflet says :-“No matter where you originally came from, Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales will represent you” .
    Meanwhile, in view of Penarth ar Byd’s trenchant observations on the lack of Welsh in campaign leaflets I have been making enquiries about the Welsh language capabilities of the candidates. I am told only Welsh-speaking candidate is Robert Griffiths (Communist). Two other candidates, Luke Nicholas and Stephen Doughty are said to be “learning”.

  2. I think Plaid have also sent me that one, which I’ll review if I get time!
    Interesting on the bilinguals. If Luke manages to get stuff translated, there’s no excuse for the other parties. I’ve said before that lots of people who don’t speak Welsh have a large degree of goodwill towards it. I daresay the only party with no Welsh competence at all amongst its ranks would be UKIP.

  3. And probably Socialist Labour too, now I come to think of it.

  4. Luke Nicholas

    Thanks for the review Pa’rB. Let me quickly take up some of the points you raised.

    “Do I recall a similar message being used by the Labour Party earlier this year? And if so, what message does a vote for Plaid or Labour represent?”

    Your memory is correct but remember they used an Assembly election to send a message to Westminster. My aim is to use a Westminster election to send a message to Westminster.

    “It’s peculiar to hear from a Plaid candidate that “the only way” to get jobs in Penarth and Cardiff South (formerly “the most productive area on earth”) is through “having a strong voice from Wales in London”. Doesn’t that directly contradict the message that Wales should be generating jobs and investment through, for example, much more focus on local procurement?”

    What I mean is it’s “the only way” in THIS election. I’ve put out a separate leaflet detailing the party’s support for local procurement, as Cynon mentions.

    Cynon further says i’m aiming to “Reinvest all profits from Welsh trains back into services – bringing down fares – which sounds a bit far-fetched..” . This really isn’t far-fetched. It is already the policy on the East Coast Main Line in England where Directly Operated Railways runs the franchise. We clearly need more Plaid Cymru MPs to explain that this is already going on in other parts of the state.

    Thanks for the coverage guys. Best wishes.

  5. Kevin Mahoney

    “I daresay the only party with no Welsh competence at all amongst its ranks would be UKIP.”

    What a totally ridiculous,unfounded and bizarre comment to make.

    Apart from the fact that there are a number of Welsh speakers that I personally know of within the ranks of UKIP I think that the sentiment expressed here smacks heavily of the old Plaid Cymru standard ‘we’re more Welsh than other Welsh people’ bigotry displayed so often by those who should know better!

  6. I based my assumption on the total number of councillors in the party in Wales = 2 being a reflection of very low membership, and therefore slim chances of bilinguals being amongst them. But I’m glad to be corrected Kevin. Perhaps you’ll now go on to explain now why Welsh doesn’t feature on the UKIP leaflet (a review will be posted before too long).
    For the record, I don’t consider bilinguals to be ‘more Welsh’ than monolinguals. But I do consider that they are more likely to be favourably disposed towards having bilingual material available. Which is why I wouldn’t have been surprised for your party to be monolingual, but why it baffles me that Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems – stuffed full of resources as well as bilinguals – continue to operate in a manner reminiscent of the 1950s.

  7. Cynon Davies

    The inclusion of Welsh in party leaflets and the ability of candidates to speak it should not be allowed to become an issue in itself in this election. Its presence or absence is interesting, but it is not important.
    It takes years to learn to speak Welsh fluently. English peopie in particular have a real problem pronouncing unfamiliar Welsh names. BBC announcers often mis-pronounced “Machynlleth” during the search for April Jones, but we Welsh-speaking Welsh who tut-tut at this often forget just how difficult our language is Is it really fair to expect someone like Bablin Molik or Stephen Doughty, (allegedly from Cardiff and Llantwit Major, but actually from Barrow in Furness) to suddenly wax eloquent in Welsh either in print or in voice?.
    I also do not like the paying of lip-service to Welsh and Welsh tokenism. Either use it properly or better not at all. We should think no worse of people who don’t communicate in Welsh unless Welsh itself is an election issue, which it is not in this election. Indeed there may be as many Farsi or Hindu speakers as there are Welsh in this constituency.

  8. Bablin Molik and Stephen Doughty have huge party machines behind them that could have bilingual resources at the flick of a little finger. They choose not to because they consider the Welsh language irrelevant in this part of Wales. That’s the choice they and their parties have made. I consider the Welsh language an important part of a plural society and I have highlighted political parties’ deficiencies in this regard.
    The ability to speak Welsh is a skill that enhances someone’s capacity to do any job in Wales.
    Just for information, apparently the census report on 11 December will tell us the numbers of people speaking different languages in Wales.

  9. Kevin Mahoney

    Far from bashing the Welsh language I am extremely supportive of measures to protect and indeed encourage it’s growth. as long as these measures are fair and do not promote discrimination against the majority English only speaking native Welsh population.

    As regards any campaign literature from UKIP in this election then I would suggest that you take it up any queries with the candidate.

    I passed on the details of your blog along with the offer of coverage to the candidate as I promised you I would, the rest as I mentioned at the time is up to him.

    One thing to note here of course has already been mentioned by others in comments in previous articles that the language used in this blog is English not Welsh.

    The reason of course is because you realise that there would be a massive drop in your readership if you were publishing your articles in Welsh.

    So whilst I personallywould welcome certainly at least a limited amount of Welsh on Candidates leaflets I would expect that they wish to make use of every inch of limited space on their leaflets in the language that they know will be understood by just about everyone.

    Just as your blog does.

  10. It’s a fair riposte, Kevin. The principal difference is that I’ve yet to see a campaign leaflet that couldn’t be redesigned to look smarter and more hard-hitting and at the same time be bilingual. And I’m no expert in graphic design or marketing, so why the big parties fail to achieve this is beyond me.
    It seems as if both of us have tried to contact the candidate – myself through the UKIP national office. He doesn’t appear to want to take up the offer of an election address, which is a shame but there we go.

  11. Hysbysiad cyfeirio: Kick ‘Em In | penartharbyd

  12. Hysbysiad cyfeirio: They Need to Start Listening | penartharbyd

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