HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » International » United Kingdom (Group) » UK Parties: The SNP &...

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 02:58 AM

UK Parties: The SNP & Plaid Cymru

A thread about the parties campaigning for an Independent Scotland and an Independent Wales respectively.

The SNP, who have a majority in the Scottish Parliament

http://www.snp.org/

Plaid Cymru, the Welsh equivalent of the SNP, with a website that acts as an effective deterrent to anyone who doesn't speak fluent Welsh

https://www.plaid.cymru/

20 replies, 2972 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply UK Parties: The SNP & Plaid Cymru (Original post)
T_i_B Apr 2015 OP
Ghost Dog Apr 2015 #1
T_i_B Apr 2015 #2
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #3
T_i_B Apr 2015 #4
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #5
T_i_B Apr 2015 #11
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #13
LeftishBrit Apr 2015 #6
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2015 #7
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #8
LeftishBrit Apr 2015 #12
MisterP Apr 2015 #9
Denzil_DC Apr 2015 #10
T_i_B Apr 2017 #14
Denzil_DC Apr 2017 #15
T_i_B Apr 2017 #16
Denzil_DC Apr 2017 #17
T_i_B Apr 2017 #18
T_i_B Oct 2019 #19
Denzil_DC Nov 2019 #20

Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 05:23 AM

1. Thanks for these, T_i_B

Will you also have info on the Unionist part of the Conservative and Unionist Party, and of course on Sinn Fein, please?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Ghost Dog (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 07:06 AM

2. Some Northern Ireland links

Although of all the parties mentioned so far on this thread, the SNP are the ones expected to have a major impact at this election.

Democratic Unionists - http://www.mydup.com/

Ulster Unionists - http://www.uup.org/

SDLP - http://www.sdlp.ie/

Sinn Fein - http://www.sinnfein.ie/

Alliance Party - http://allianceparty.org/

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 08:21 AM

3. "a website that acts as an effective deterrent to anyone who doesn't speak fluent Welsh"

If you click on "English" next to the search box at page top, you'll get the English-language version.

Or just use this link instead: https://www.partyof.wales/?force=1

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 08:25 AM

4. That's even worse then the loaded questions on the front of Labour's website

I may not agree with the SNP, but their website is a whole lot better.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Reply #4)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 09:04 AM

5. You're seeing it from the perspective of someone who doesn't live in Wales.

Government policy in Wales is that publications must be available in both English and Welsh, so people in Wales are very much used to negotiating this sort of option online (written media are also presented bilingually).

Here's the Welsh Government home page, notice the same configuration for the placing of the language option: http://gov.wales/?lang=en

If you follow a link to the Welsh Government site that doesn't set the language, you're presented with this page, with the same option: http://gov.wales/splash?orig=/

Plaid could have presented its default home page in both English and Welsh, but that would potentially be more confusing and messy, and the options for translation would have had to be more complicated and less elegant.

They had to opt for one language as the default, and given their history and stance on the Welsh language, it's not a surprise that the default language is Welsh. One simple, clearly signposted click and it's in English. It's not a big deal.

Welsh Labour dealt with the issue like this: http://www.welshlabour.org.uk/ Links and Headings are in both Welsh and English, but I haven't been able to find any Welsh body text on the site, so it's confusing (and would be frustrating if you were expecting bilingual options, which the links/headings suggest would be available).

The Welsh Conservatives don't seem to deal with it at all: http://www.welshconservatives.com/ Click on "Croeso" or "Welcome" and nothing changes - English, like it or leave it.

The Wales Green Party also offers English as the default, with the language option less clearly placed: http://www.walesgreenparty.org.uk/ If you follow any links within the site with language set to Welsh, it's a bit of a mess, and a lottery as to what language you're presented with on any particular page.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, aside from the word "Cymru" alongside "Wales" in its title, UKIP Wales makes no reference to the Welsh language at all: http://www.ukipwales.org.uk/ (The site's also slow as hell here at the moment.)

(As an aside, Plaid Cymru's leader, Leanne Wood, isn't a native Welsh speaker, though she's learning the language.)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #5)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 03:02 AM

11. You are wrong

Something in the region of 73% of Welsh people don't speak Welsh, and many, if not most of those that do will inevitably prefer websites in English. That's how I'm approaching this one. Now you may consider those people to be "inpure" or even traitors but that says more about you then it does about them.

And if you approach the Plaid Cymru website from the perspective of somebody who doesn't speak Welsh, then it's a total ballache and a massive turnoff.

Compare and contrast with the SNP website. Their website tells you clearly why they exist, what they stand for, and regardless of my own opinions on Scottish Nationalism, you can clearly see from their website why they are so attractive to so many people at the moment.

Another perspective I have here is how good or how rubbish the parties websites are. If you were setting up a website to promote your own business or organisation, would you want it to be anything like any of the political party websites?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Reply #11)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 08:34 AM

13. "Now you may consider those people to be 'inpure' or even traitors

but that says more about you then"

You know, I believe this is the second interaction I've had with you on this forum where you've erected a straw man out your suppositions about what I think, then proceeded to berate me for it. It's getting a bit tired.

Where in my post did I say anything, anything at all, that could be construed as my considering non-Welsh speakers to be "impure" or "traitors." Good grief, it's pure projection on your part, and borders on trolling. It says more about one of us, but I don't think it's me in this case.

I even pointed out that the very leader of Plaid Cymru isn't a Welsh speaker. I think none the worse of her for it. My forebears came from the same Valleys where she lives, and it's never been a Welsh-language stronghold. My mother learned Welsh relatively late in life, my father was always bilingual. Both Welsh and English were spoken in our household, which is far from unusual. I had both bilingual and non-bilingual friends at school, was streamed in English-language teaching classes in primary and secondary education, and the bulk of my closer schoolfriends were actually from English families, because we had a military base nearby and quite a number of them passed though our school when their parents were posted there.

You baldly state I'm "wrong." I was born and brought up bilingual in Wales. I'm familiar with how the language issue plays out there. Whereas you, from a distant perch, presume to pass judgement on not only your projections of my attitudes to people, but how people in Wales might react to a website. They're not after your vote. You don't live in a constituency where you can vote for them.

I've taken the time to explain to you how the interplay between Welsh and English in official documents works in Wales. If you're not interested in that, then you'll be none the wiser. There is no party in Wales which is standing on a platform of changing how Welsh is treated in that country. It's not a partisan issue. But you can speak for "many, if not most of those" who don't speak Welsh? Alrighty, then.

Comparing the Plaid Cymru website with the SNP's, when the SNP doesn't have the same imperative to address the issue because Gaelic is even more of a minority language than Welsh, is a false comparison. Compare Plaid's site with those of the other parties standing in Wales and you'll see that the solution they've come up with is more in keeping with how the Welsh Government deals with it, and a lot more consistent than the fudges the other parties have come up with, which in some cases come across as pure lip service. That's a much more relevant comparison.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 10:35 AM

6. I actually like the leaders of these parties better than any of the mainstream Westminster ones

Far more genuinely progressive than Labour, let alone the other ones.

Of course, depending on what happens on May 7th, Nicola Sturgeon at any rate may end up as a mainstream Westminster leader, and let me down just like Blair and Clegg did. (Cynical? moi?) But at the moment these parties seem like a breath of fresh air compared to the others.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LeftishBrit (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 12:35 PM

7. Though, technically, she'll stay a Holyrood leader, since she's not standing for Westminster

The dynamics, if there is any agreement between the SNP and Labour, will be interesting - how much will it be the Westminster MPs talking to Labour, and how much Sturgeon, the party leader? Will Salmond emerge as de facto leader of the MPs, or will it be someone else?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 12:50 PM

8. Sturgeon's indicated clearly that she would be negotiating for the SNP after the election.

See here: http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/sturgeon-ill-lead-snps-negotiating-team-in-coalition-government-discussio.1422458429

The SNP in the House of Commons already has a leader: Angus Robertson MP, who's held the post since 2007. Whether that situation will remain after the election, we'll have to wait and see.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #7)

Tue Apr 14, 2015, 03:46 AM

12. Yes - it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 04:00 PM

9. I think the SNP's strength is that it can look like the LDP, but without the massive baggage

of the foolish Cameron alliance: so it's moving ahead by fighting for the "real left" with Scots Labour: they both have Blairite/Thatcherite and social-democratic economic tendencies, making things confusing (like how the Canadian Liberals and NDP spiraled to the right even under Chretien)

but Salmond's cynical bankster ties and his flight in the night may bite the SNP next election, 2017/8--and if the Canadian analogy still holds, anything that smells like a "Charter of Scottish Values" can tank them (or their right wing)

but there's another factor: the English and Scots (and transatlantic Canadians) I know are a wee bit uncomfortable with "it's OUR oil" (well, Shetland's) and the general odor of "identity politics": it's too *American* for the phlegmatic go-along-get-along types: the SNP is certainly voted as "Scotland's party" but it suffers from the same divisions, contradictions, and vaguenesses as the other three

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MisterP (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 13, 2015, 11:02 PM

10. The fight for the "real left" with Scottish Labour is something Labour has long abandoned.

Labour lost me before Blair took office (I was a CLP member), and confirmed me in my decision through its embrace of Thatcherism, its turnabout on nuclear weapons, its conduct over Iraq, and its abandonment of a commitment to social values I hold dear, among a number of other things.

The SNP moved leftward under Salmond over the years (he held the leadership twice), and Sturgeon's politics are to the left of his. She's been in leadership now approaching just 200 days. She has a wider and more enthusiastic following in Scotland than Salmond ever did (his appeal among women in the electorate was never that strong), though he's rightly regarded as a political phenomenon of his generation. The transition in power between the two couldn't have been smoother, or in retrospect, better timed.

Old loyalties die hard, and few harder than the old tribal loyalty to the Labour Party in its Scottish heartlands. But since the referendum last year, many Labour members and voters have deserted the party, not just for the SNP, but primarily so. They just took longer to jump ship than I did. Labour's membership in Scotland is now reputedly in the low thousands (I say reputedly because they refuse to make the number public), while the SNP's has swollen to 105,000 and counting. The effects of that influx have yet to be fully felt, but it's likely to see a cementing of the leftward trend. It may also see healthy intra-party conflict, and it'll be a test of the SNP leadership how well it harnesses that energy.

I've no idea what you mean by "identity politics." The whole thrust of the SNP's modern incarnation is civic nationalism, not ethnic nationalism. If you're settled in Scotland, you're as much a part of the polity as anyone else, no matter your background.

Labour took its voters for granted. For too many years, especially after the advent of New Labour, issues that Scottish constituency parties wanted prioritized in the party platform had to be sidelined because "the South East of England won't wear it." It's gotten worse as Labour's tacked right with the Tories to appease UKIP on certain issues such as immigration, and it's hard to see how they can cede any more ground on "austerity" and privatization. I'd obviously prefer to see Labour in power than the Tories, but it's not a particularly stark choice nowadays, despite Miliband being, on paper at least, more leftish than recent Labour leaders.

Scotland provided Labour with a reliable supply of lobby fodder for the best part of a century, and often got little to show for it in return. The setting up of the Scottish Assembly was intended to bring about the demise of the SNP, and its PR voting system was structured specifically to prevent one party (particularly the SNP) gaining an outright majority. This was confounded when the SNP did just that in the last Holyrood elections.

The old joke about a dog with a Labour rosette being able to win a seat in many constituencies wasn't too far from the truth when I was active in the party. This has come to bite them in the ass.

In the 2010 general election, the SNP suffered from being squeezed by a massive tactical vote by people desperate to stop the Tories taking power (I tactically voted Lib Dem for my sins, as the second-placed candidate in our constituency was a Tory - never with an inkling that would fuel an alliance with the Conservatives, of course). For too long, Labour barely had to work for votes in its heartlands, and now, with the massive swing to the SNP in the polls, it doesn't have reliable data from the previous campaign to base its canvassing on, and has so few activists left that in places it's reduced to shipping them up from England to chap on doors.

And now today we see Jim Murphy, the (Henry Jackson Society member, Blairite) leader of the Scottish Labour Party, having spent the months since his election as the "safe" right-wing candidate for that post declaring how independent Scottish Labour was from Labour in the rest of the UK, and just the other day in a leaders' debate boldly declaring that there would be no funding cuts in Scotland if Labour took power, being publicly contradicted and humiliated by Labour's Chuka Umunna in an interview with Andrew Neil, pointing out that Murphy can promise whatever he wants, but he won't be drawing up any Labour goverment's budget.

It's taken me a long time. I've voted SNP in the past - over the years since I abandoned Labour, I've voted Green, SNP, Scottish Socialist Party, and Lib Dem in various elections (one of the benefits of our Holyrood electoral system is you get two bites of the cherry - a direct candidate vote and a regional list vote, so you can mix and match depending on the appeal of an individual candidate and what representation you'd like to see in the Scottish Parliament). But this election, we've a very good SNP candidate in my constituency whom I'll have no qualms in voting for.

How it all pans out if a sizable bloc of SNP MPs hits Westminster, I've no idea. None of the other parties in contention have left me any alternative (the Greens have a way to go in our area before they're contenders, but I hope they'll do as well as can be expected under first past the post).

I've said it before, but I think it's almost impossible to gauge what's been going on politically in Scotland recently without living here. The media's portrayal is so warped that it's unbelievable (at least a few of the Guardian's columnists have recently stopped being so damn stupid about events up here, but their editorial line still stinks), and in Scotland that largely translates to being Labour mouthpieces.

In the referendum, no broadcast media and only one newspaper, The Sunday Herald, supported the Yes campaign (we've since had a new independence-supporting newspaper, The National, emerge, which has a way to go, but is a healthy antidote to the tired older media). Those allegiances have been transferred to the current election, the split being focused on Labour/SNP, with some of the right-leaning papers offering lukewarm support for the Tories up here, but generally being skewed that way in their coverage anyhow.

It's remarkable that such a political transformation has taken place with so little backing, or even honest reporting in a lot of cases, from the MSM.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 02:13 AM

14. 2017 General election kick

Denzil will know more about the situation in Scotland than me, but I cannot see the SNP's dominance in Scotland being challenged much.

It does however remain to be seen if Plaid Cymru can make an impact at this election.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 21, 2017, 07:25 AM

15. I think you'll know me well enough by now to know that I shy away from making electoral predictions!

The key question on all pundits' lips is whether the SNP can match the 56 out of 59 MPs it won in the last election, or even surpass it. Talk about a high bar, and possibly a hiding to nothing! Given the massive swings to the SNP in the last Westminster election, we could see some wacky stats on election night. The chances are that any result will be portrayed by the media as "a blow to Sturgeon/the SNP".

The election here's shaping up to be framed as independence versus (UK) unionism, complicated to some extent by the dynamics of Brexit.

The Tories under Ruth Davidson, Labour and the Lib Dems have been hammering this even during the run-up to the local government elections. As for Davidson herself - for a while a media darling, with the hype extending to seeing a prominent party role for her at UK level - the shine has been coming off quickly among all but hardline unionists. She made a national name for herself as an eloquent Remainer (and a racy speaker who often titillated old Tories) in the Brexit referendum. Now she's a firm backer of May's agenda, down to the revolting "rape clause", for which she was pilloried from all quarters at Holyrood the other day. So much for principle.

Labour are continuing to maunder on under Kezia Dugdale, with weak, unclear and vacillating policy positions beyond the usual "SNP bad" and pro-Unionism. It's to be hoped this will be Dugdale's last election, as it's just getting embarrassing now, even for her political opponents.

One interesting development is that the Scottish Greens' co-convenor, Patrick Harvey, has announced that they won't be standing a candidate in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, the constituency narrowly held in the last election by Scotland's sole Tory MP David Mundell, who was appointed Secretary of State for Scotland by default, and has proven a Mayite lackey to the extreme. This will give the SNP a clearer run at the seat, and Mundell's an obvious main target for them.

Pro-Union/anti-SNP tactical voting will make the results very difficult to poll and predict, but there are very few constituencies where there's a clear runner-up to the SNP to serve as a focus for such votes. The Tories were strongly flattered by the D'Hondt PR system in the last Scottish parliamentary elections, surpassing Labour as the second largest party at Holyrood. They won't have that advantage this time.

It's even more a crunch election here than in the rest of the UK. Not only does the likely course to a second indyref hinge on it, with Brexit a key focus, but so does the raft of powers devolved to Holyrood - the Great Repeal Bill and its aftermath would, if things go as planned, allow the Tories to rewrite the UK's whole constitutional settlement with little or no parliamentary scrutiny, including the devolved assemblies and the Scottish Parliament. It's easy to imagine that they'd use the opportunity to strip away Holyrood's influence and power. Whether they'd go so far as to abolish Holyrood is up for question. I guess it depends how big a fight they're willing to pick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #15)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 06:09 AM

16. Well, if you live in Scotland...

...then you will automatically know a lot more on the subject than me, and there are many occasions when I will need to defer to somebody who actually has local knowledge!

One thing that has taken me aback somewhat since the election was called is that I have heard 2 seperate conversations about politics on the train since then. Both of which were people ranting about how much they dislike the SNP, including one woman compaining bitterly about what a "conniving bitch" Theresa May is but then saying that she will still vote Tory becuase of her dislike of Sturgeon!

This surprises me as I live in England, quite a distance from Scotland and also because if anything, the SNP being a bit too smug for some is far from the most pressing issue facing us right now. Regardless of my own opinions of the SNP, they can look after themselves. It's the Unionist side I worry about.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 06:59 AM

17. Linton Crosbie demonized Sturgeon and the SNP in the last UK election.

He's in charge of the Tory campaign again.

The heinous continuous drumbeat in the media, from the likes of the Mail and the Express at the batshit end to the Guardian at the doucer end, sticks with xenophobes.

If they dislike her so much, maybe it's time to let her have her own country, then they can just lump her together with all the other foreigners without having to pretend any more that hardline UK Unionism is anything more than Little Englandism.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #17)

Sat Apr 22, 2017, 09:39 AM

18. In the aftermath of the 2015 election....

....I initially thought that Tory scaremongering about the possibility of the SNP in coalition had a big effect on English voters. Over time I moved away from this view and became convinced that the failings of the other parties in England were what swung the English vote.

I cannot speak for others, but right now I am less concerned with the speck in the SNP's eye than the log in the Tories eye.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Thu Oct 31, 2019, 10:46 AM

19. 2019 General election kick


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Fri Nov 1, 2019, 04:20 AM

20. Like everywhere else in the UK, it's tough to call what may happen in this election.

The SNP are riding high in the Scottish national polls, but given the dynamics, it's hard to predict how that will pan out in terms of seats.

The Tories are missing their figurehead, Ruth Davidson, and have yet to elect a permanent leader in her place. It would have been a very difficult election for her to fight anyway, given her one-time opposition to Brexit and antipathy towards Johnson, and later capitulation on both. Johnson is due to visit some time soon. Some of the party's strategists might prefer him to stay away. He's obviously gunning hard for the SNP, his arch-enemies over Brexit, and pretty rabid on the issue of independence. What may not play so well among the broader electorate are the noises he's made in parliament about stripping Holyrood of certain powers, including taking over the Scottish NHS, which has historically been an independent entity and consistently outperforms the NHS in the rest of the UK.

Labour show no signs of revival. Their MPs at Westminster have been unimpressive, and their Scottish branch leader, Richard Leonard, is a charisma vacuum with no power over policy. Corbyn is likely to visit a few times to rally the troops, but he'd better hope that his nasty habit of misstating (from ignorance or calculation) what issues the SNP government has control over, as opposed to those reserved to Westminster, isn't called out by the media. The Labour manifesto pledges numerous measures the Scottish Government has already enacted. The party's also strapped for cash and activists, to the extent that its Shadow Scottish Secretary recently had to enlist friends and relatives to sort out and deliver leaflets in her own constituency.

The Lib Dems have ambitious plans to "win back their heartland". One target is SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford's seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber (once held by Charles Kennedy), and there are signs of an informal electoral pact with the Tories and Labour to bring about a decapitation strike similar to those that saw off both Salmond and Westminster leader Angus Robertson in the last election. Similar moves are no doubt afoot in other constituencies. Jo Swinson's seat of East Dunbartonshire is an obvious SNP target, and she'll need to show her face in her constituency more than she has in recent times if she's to hold it, unless she's going to rely on Tory tactical anti-SNP votes again. Here's one of the mystifying leaflets the Lib Dems are currently putting out in various constituencies:



The Greens are being selective about which seats they're running in. They're effectively in coalition with the SNP in Holyrood, though often fractious partners. There's no seat where they have any prospect of winning, and they're short of funds.

The Brexit Party have no prominent presence, so it's hard to predict where they'll stand, though they're unlikely to make a significant impact anywhere.

The fracture lines in Scotland are pro-/anti-independence (the latest polls show about even support for each) and pro-/anti-leaving the EU (Scotland voted 60+% Remain). The latter doesn't split neatly along party lines. Unionists are likely to vote tactically on independence, but their choices are complicated by Brexit. The Lib Dems, for instance, are staunchly unionist but strongly anti-Leave, which may present some Tory switchers with a difficult choice.

All this makes the results even harder to call than the previous election. The SNP are polling well ahead of the other parties in Scotland, but how that translates to seats is anybody's guess. Rash predictions of a Tory wipeout or a repeat of the SNP's unheard-of 56 out of 59 seats in the 2015 election are unlikely to pan out, and there's no complacency in the SNP's ranks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread