Ieuan Wyn Jones’s speech to his party’s conference will be starting any minute now. Freedom Central will be bringing the highlights and lowlights to you, together with our own unique – and hopefully humourous – analysis.
14:15 – Dafydd Elis Thomas looking forward to the speech. He wants Plaid to be the ‘European party’.
Hilarious. DET says it’s important that parties don’t make promises that they can’t deliver. Genius. I’ll put a link to the One Wales agreement here in a minute. Here you go.
14:19 – Elin Jones providing the warm-up entertainment.
14:20 – Bloody hell this is dull. She’s talking about All Wales transport strategies and young farmers’ entrant schemes. Isn’t this supposed to get the crowd all worked up? Oh to be a Plaid delegate.
14:21 – EJ – ‘Plaid could be in government for a generation.’ She says this is as exciting a prospect as ‘picking up her pension’. We can all look forward to that then.
14:23 – EJ – ‘We show nervousness and timidness in our politics.’ Agreed. No arguments there, Elin.
14:25 – Elin’s worried that Rhodri Morgan’s replacement will ignore Plaid.
14:26 – Plaid still don’t seem to have accepted that the referendum aint never gonna happen before 2011.
14:27 – EJ: ‘a sheep is a sheep, but the same isn’t true of a cow.’ No, I don’t know either.
(That could be really witty in Welsh, but I’m listening to the translation so I don’t know.)
14:29 – Current devolution settlement is ‘unsustainable’. Why not push for more powers then Elin?
14:31 – ‘I want an MP for Ceredigion again.’ You have one Elin. And he aint going nowhere! (I’m guessing she means a Plaid one.)
14:32 – She’s finished. Back to the BBC studio.
14:32 – BBC correspondent Vaughan Roderick providing the analysis.
14:35 – Vaughan – Ieuan Wyn Jones is warmly respected by the public. But he points out that we should treat this information with caution since it is from research commissioned and published by Plaid themselves.
14:37 – Back in to the hall. Steffan Lewis from Islwyn is on the stage. My colleague describes him as ‘a nice chap.’
14:38 – Steffan is playing the nostalgia card. ‘Remembering the failed referendum of 1979, which could possibly be from before he was born.
14:39 – Plaid disassociating themselves from the ‘Westminster parties’ – I wonder if they’ll be saying that at the next Westminster election….
14:40 – Christ, he’s talking some bollocks about political parties benefiting from bankers’ millions.
14:41 – ‘While Mandelson is sitting on a yacht sipping champagne with oligarchs and billionaires, Ieuan Wyn Jones is….’ sitting on a pedalo on the Taff?
14:42 – The main act is arriving to the tune of the Stereophonics.
14:43 – Ieuan Wyn Jones – Don’t ever say we’ll get anywhere by imitating Westminster politics.
We can tell people sincerely that we can offer people this difference.
The other three parties are consistently loyal to ‘their London Masters’
I’m surprised that he keeps going on about how the other parties are funded by millionaires. Seriously he should check out our published accounts – we can only dream of that.
14:45 – ‘We have councillors in some areas of Wales where we never have before.’ He was bigging up Newport earlier. They have one councillor I think. And lost another in the last election.
14:47 – ‘We are a party for everyone in Wales no matter their language or where they live.’
14:48 – ‘What a good buy electors get when they elect a member of Plaid Cymru.’ Like…. two broken promises for the price of one? Just a thought, though it’d be difficult to sell. The slogan could be ‘in principle but not in practice’ – nah, who’d be stupid enough to say that?
14:50 – Running through the checklist of things governments should be doing: affordable housing, climate change, disadvantaged communities, economy. You get the idea.
14:52 – Barnett Formula in Being Shit Shock. Three reports agree. Government does nothing.
14:54 – ‘We’ve been short changed for years’
14:55 – ‘Over the years we’ve lost billions of pounds and this injustice cannot continue.’
I wonder how he’d fix this? Oh yes, I know: independence. We’d sure be short-changed then, you can bank on that.
14:57 – ‘What would the difference be if we elected more Plaid MPs?’ The answer: ‘putting Wales first always.’
The problem for Plaid is that not everyone in Wales wants this. Especially not when talking about international terrorism, foreign affairs, climate change, international financial turmoil etc.
14:59 – on the subject of internation issues, they were the only party to oppose the war in Afghanistan.
15:00 – The constant references to the ‘Westminster parties’ and ‘London politics’ is bloody irritating. They make the place seem exciting, there seems to be so much going on there that all these other political parties are so obsessed with it. I might go there some time.
15:01 – ‘I was going to refer to myself as a charismatic country solicitor… but thought better of it.’ That was the joke, folks.
15:03 – He’s talking about why he got into politics: it’s because he loves Wales, don’t you know.
15:04 – ‘You need strength to continue when you’re failing.’ Is this a coded reference to the One Wales coalition?
15:07 – ‘We want every child to be equiped with a laptop, I mean, with the skills to…’ you get the idea.
15:08 – Time to talk about the economy. Is he going to mention his successes as Economy Minister?
15:10 – Yep there you go. He introduced ProAct and ReAct. I think they’re good, but they’re hardly going to save the economy.
15:11 – We think that someone in the party hierarchy has replaced the woman sitting behind IWJ with a younger, blonder version. Interesting.
15:12 – Oh he must have finished talking about his successes at the Department for the Economy and Transport now.
15:13 – ‘Random, insipid and meanigless’.
15:14 – Sorry I should point out that IWJ didn’t say that – that came from someone sitting behind me.
Also, I’m sitting with a former Plaid Cymru party member. She was a member when IWJ was elected leader. She voted for Helen Mary Jones. After watching this speech, I can see why.
15:16 – Oooh, there’s a bag of sweets on my desk.
The yellow ones are delicious.
The green ones are bland, tasteless, and although they once had their place… there is no need for them in the modern bag of sweets. If you see what I mean.
15:18 – ‘It’s time to put people at the forefront of politics’
15:19 – There was a final line, but I missed it. In any case, it was almost eclipsed by the Stereophonics, whose music came on over the PA embarrassingly early.
15:20 – apparently it was 12 minutes into the speech before he got his first applause.
Ouch. Not much of one on the way out either.
The BBC describes it as an ‘Iain Duncan Smith moment.’
I can’t really add anything to that.