I was asked to write a piece for the BRIGHT GREEN blog on my views on looking towards a Welsh Ecosocialist alliance with Plaid Cymru. I got a slap on the wrist for one particular word. I have substituted it here. Well done if you spot it.
Being a member of GPEW in Wales is more difficult than in any other region of the Party. Some of those difficulties could be considered self-inflicted, but I don’t want to dwell on those. The main and unavoidable issue is the fundamentally different political landscape to anywhere in England. The Plaid Cymru factor can be seen as a massive additional obstacle, or a massive opportunity.
First a little background. Plaid Cymru translates as ‘The Party of Wales’. It is understandably perceived as ‘nationalist’ party, with all the images that term tends to throw up. It has had a colourful and somewhat chequered history, but started to take shape as a distinctly left-wing, socialist party in the 1980s when it adopted “community socialism” as a constitutional aim. It has evolved into a much more palatable form of nationalism too. Former Green Party member, and my mentor when I joined the Green Party, Keith Ross, puts it thus:
“I don’t see Plaid as necessarily nationalist in the generally accepted sense of the word. For me the desire for greater (though perhaps not complete) independence for Wales (and Scotland, and the English Regions) is more about allowing people to take more responsibility for their own lives, so loosening the grip of multi-national corporations; and allowing people to have more of an influence over political decision making, so loosening the grip of the big party machines.“