We’ve learnt a lot this week about Plaid Cymru’s lack of ambition for Wales. We now know, if we didn’t already, that they have given up all hope on their election chances – before a vote has even been cast.
Their plans for an electoral deal with the Liberals and Greens have collapsed, and rightly so. In fact, it is an absolute disgrace that such talks ever took place.
I cannot conceive of any circumstance whatsoever in which I would entertain, for a second, the idea of asking my party to stand down candidates in parts of Wales where people are crying out for proper representation. Even in the areas where it is hardest to win seats, it is my firm believe that voters demand and deserve representation – that they deserve a Welsh Conservative alternative to Labour incumbents who have taken the country for granted, and have let their communities down over 17 years of government.
I will be going into the upcoming election with a full team of hardworking candidates who will be totally dedicated to offering the people of Wales an alternative to the failed status quo.
What voters do not deserve is an attempt by politicians – who have given up all hope of winning – to stitch up the vote. And that is what the Plaid leadership has done in these talks with the Liberals and the Greens.
For the nationalists to have approached other minor parties to attempt a pre-election ‘pact’ is deeply, deeply embarrassing for their leader Leanne Wood. Worse still, that her overtures were rejected.
Just this week Plaid Assembly Members were claiming that it wasn’t appropriate to talk coalitions before polling day – and yet we now find that their leader was desperately courting the help of the Lib Dems and the Greens; and that she was willing to forge a grubby deal which would have deprived the electorate of a full range of candidates in certain seats.
Leanne Wood should apologise to the people of Wales for giving up on them.
If I’m honest, I’m also a little disappointed by the way in which this matter has been reported by the Welsh media – as though these talks were entirely unremarkable, save for the fact that they broke down.
Can you imagine the furore that would ensue if Labour were to ‘stand aside’ in parts of Scotland and leave it to the SNP?
Let’s be clear, Plaid are effectively admitting that a) they cannot win without the help of a party which has never held a single Assembly seat, and that b) they do not represent the whole of Wales; given that they were preparing to tie up an electoral pact in which they would not field candidates in some seats.
Instead of taking them to task, it has been reported as though it were just another event; as though such talks were the norm. Well, I’m here to tell you that you’ve no business calling yourselves the ‘Party of Wales’ if you’re willing to stand aside and admit you’ve failed before you’ve even started.
In May, voters have an opportunity to cast their votes in the most important Welsh General Election in a generation. After 17 years of Labour rule, it’s clear that there is an appetite for change.
Wales has been let down by Labour, but they’ve also been let down by Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats; forming a cosy consensus which has led to declining education standards, devastating Welsh NHS cuts, and an economic engine which stutters – rather than fires.
It’s time for a change, and I can assure you that my party – the real ‘Party of Wales’ will not let you down.