I sometimes find that comments found on blogs can be more amusing than the actual posts. I particularly like the ones left on Glyn Davies’ blog at the moment, especially those from people who are encouraging him to challenge me about some of Plaid’s positions on certain issues, such as top up fees and nuclear power. Up to now, Glyn, being the gentleman that he is, hasn’t asked me any of those tough questions but I’m really looking forward to when he does. I love a challenge…
Though, maybe Glyn is wise enough to know that every political party has splits on certain issues (Devolution being a major one for the Conservative and Unionist Party!). Indeed, I’d be worried if every member of every party agreed with all policies. How boring would life be if that was the case? The leadership would never be challenged, issues could never be debated, journalists would be made redundant… And worse of all, nothing would ever change. A politician always has to put his or her constituency and principles first, and if that means occasionally disagreeing with the party line, then so be it.
I’ve always been clear that I don’t believe in everything that Plaid Cymru believes in. But I believe in the main principles and ethos, and I’m happy to compromise on the rest as I know, deep down, that this is the right party for me to be a member of. Will I challenge the leadership when I disagree? Certainly. Will I sulk if I don’t get my own way and be a force of disruption? Certainly not. The leadership will always have my full support as they have to do what’s best for the party as a whole, and not pander to every individual’s viewpoint. I understand that, and respect how difficult their role is.
You can’t win every argument in a democratic party, and you have to accept defeat gracefully should others disagree with you and put them to one side. Sure, we could pretend to agree on everything but no one would believe us. And I’d be an extremely dull candidate if all I said was what I’d been told to say, rather than saying what I actually thought. No political party is perfect. But Plaid is close enough to perfection as far as I’m concerned, hence why I’m a member. I’m sure Glyn would say the same about the Conservative party, and Lembit about the Lib Dems!