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WOMENS WORDS

Were Plaid Cymru paying ANY attention to the SNP’s car crash?

By Cathy Larkman


What is it with devolved administrations, nationalist parties and absolute ideological lunacy? Why do they seemingly feel the need to prove that they are ‘progressive’ and different from Westminster by adopting crazy policies? The second of my recent ‘on the doorstep’ visits by hopeful general election candidates was by the Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru. This particular Welsh dragon was not happy at all.


For those who don’t know much about them, they had an internal bin fire of a report on sexual harassment and misogyny recently (Plaid Cymru: Probe finds bullying and misogyny culture in party - BBC News) leading to the resignation of their previous leader.


Those with longer memories will remember the hounding of party member Helen Mary Jones and her submission to ‘re-education’ (Trans-row Plaid Cymru politician closes Twitter account - BBC News, Plaid MS denies transphobia after candidate Owen Hurcum quits - BBC News). That is still a VERY sore point with sensible Plaid members (yes, they do exist and Owen Hurcum is obviously not one of them).


Plaid now have a new leader, Rhun Ap Iorwerth, a member of the Senedd (Welsh parliament) who has been appearing on your TV screens talking about the need for Wales to have an effective voice in Westminster in order to secure Welsh votes in the general election. He’s been very noisy on this, but strangely rather quiet on the party’s manifesto position to seek devolved powers to  inflict the horrors of self-ID onto Welsh women.


Step forward Liz Saville Roberts, Plaid’s representative in Westminster. When asked about her party’s position on men being able to self-ID into women’s prisons, hospital wards, changing rooms and sports on a Welsh leadership debate recently, she declared any mention of this as ‘hatred’ and proudly owned the manifesto self ID position.


What is it with nationalist parties and self ID?  Did Plaid Cymru look at the GRR debacle as it played out in Scotland with the spectacle of Isla Bryson/Adam Graham in his penis-hugging leggings, and Nicola Sturgeon tying herself up in ideological knots, and think ‘hold my beer, we’re having some of that too?’


Anyhow, back to my Welsh doorstep. THE ACTUAL CANDIDATE was there. With an air of hopeful anticipation, he asked me how I was feeling about the forthcoming general election. I told him I had some questions. He was keen to hear my questions. So who was I to disappoint him?


I wanted to know why I should vote for a party that didn’t respect my rights as a woman, that I had listened to Liz holding forth with her crazed bug-eyed nonsense, and I rattled off my concerns for women in sport, women in prison, women in, well, everywhere where sex mattered.


Did he attempt to defend or deflect? Did he tell me it was ‘complicated’? Nope, he told me he ‘didn’t hold with any of that’, agreed with everything I said and thought the whole attack on women’s rights and single-sex spaces was despicable. He had now been joined by two other men from his team, who listened in, nodded along and strongly agreed too. I admit to not having anticipated complete surrender. The following conversation then went something like this;


Me: But it’s in your party’s manifesto? You’ve committed to obtaining powers to bring in self-ID in Wales?


Them: Oh, but we don’t agree with that. These things get passed by motions presented to the party.


Me: So what did you have to say about that motion then? Did you oppose it?


Them: Oh no, we couldn’t possibly do that. If we were to oppose any of these things, we’d get called transphobic. It’s terrible, but we can’t get called that.


Me: So why would I give my vote to anyone who tells me that they strongly disagree with something, but will do nothing whatsoever to oppose it, or even speak against it?


Them: (looks other way, hands in pockets, whistling)


OK they didn’t look away and whistle, but they did look completely bemused at any suggestion that they might speak up to oppose something that they were in fact, opposed to.


Sigh.


There followed a discussion in which I told them that Plaid had lost many long-standing members, and that many women (and men) in the party were tearing their hair out at the ideological capture of the party.


We parted ways with me leaving them with this reminder. Women are facing abuse and intimidation for speaking up against this attack on our rights. You are representing a party that would ensure the rights of women and girls and future generations of females to come would be destroyed. How do you face your mothers, your sisters, your daughters and your granddaughters? How will you explain your cowardice to them? And why should I vote for you, when you won’t stand up against what you know is wrong?


Dim diolch Plaid. This Welsh dragon’s vote will not be for you.


 


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