Wyn Jones ..What happened to the party of Lewis, Valentine and Williams?

Sue Fortune Member no 77615 Ruabon Branch, Clwyd South

Dear Mr Wyn Jones

Twice now I have written to you, both in Caerdydd and at your own address, about the grave concern Plaid’s public welcome to the St Athan military training centre has caused me and many others. You have not bothered to reply. Perhaps you have more important correspondents than rank-and-file party members, who are only good for shoving leaflets through doors on rainy weekends just before elections, and putting tenners in the hat at conference after the rousing feel-good session on Friday afternoon.

Perhaps letters from people whose family have been English-speakers for three generations are at the bottom of the in-tray – although I notice no words of Cymraeg on cheques and banknotes, and they seem to move quickly enough. Perhaps someone whose membership of the Party is based purely on political conviction, and not family, chapel or business connections is simply too naïve to be worth a reply.

But naïve or not, I have a few points I’d like you to address, and as you don’t choose to do so, perhaps they’d form the basis of a diverting discussion in public.

Plaid has joined with Labour in welcoming the plans for a military training establishment (please don’t let’s dignify it with the misnomer “academy”; we are talking here about training hired killers, not philosophers) at St Athan. For a while it displayed this welcome on its website, as if it was something to be proud of.

It will cost £14,000,000,000 of public money. Taxpayers’ money.

It will be run in conjunction with Metrix, a consortium of arms manufacturers including the notorious Raytheon, a company famed for its cluster bombs (condemned by the UN and the EU), “bunker-busters (like the ones responsible for the massacres of civilians at Qana and Baghdad), the “Silent Guardian” heat ray weapon (whose potential for use in torture has alarmed Amnesty International and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture) and depleted uranium missiles (have you seen the child victims dying of leukaemia years after such bombs explode? They are pitiful).

And among the indispensible public services it will offer are training for the crews of Trident and its replacement, as well as armed forces from around the world, many with appalling human rights records.

So much for Plaid’s environmental, human rights and anti-nuclear commitments.

But what about all the jobs, I hear you reply. Well, I haven’t got a job, and, as I’m expected to live on £20 a week, naturally I’d like one. But you propose to spend £14,000,000,000 to “create” (and we’ll come to that in a minute) 5,000 jobs, at most. That’s £2,800,000 per job. Well, you give me a tenth of that, and even if I put it in the bank and do nothing but buy new shoes and good wine, I’ll generate plenty of economic growth, without going to the trouble of mass murder and nuclear aggression.

But “create” jobs? We’re told (loudly) that all sorts of skilled technicians will be working at St Athan for meatily high wages (rejoice!) – and then (more quietly) that actually these peole are already doing these jobs, for these wages, in England. They’ll move to St Athan, handsomely kitted out with generous relocation allowances which they’ll spend on local properties, thus inflating house prices ever further beyond the reach of local people. Is lining the pockets of a few Caerdydd estate agents really such a priority for a responsible and principled party? Meanwhile the jobs paradise will consist of the chance to fry chips, clean toilets and serve pints to hordes of squaddies, for the minimum wage. Rather a contrast to the £270,792.67 in expenses alone claimed by a certain AM!

And why are we arguing the toss about the “jobs bonanza” anyway? I’m sure building Auschwitz created many jobs, but surely that didn’t make it right?

I joined Plaid because I wanted to be a member of a principled organisation that was committed to making a change for the better and was unafraid to speak up for what was right. A party that wouldn’t have its head turned by a taste of power in the Assembly; that would be mature and responsible enough to resist the snouts-in-trough blandishments of vested interests. Naïve indeed to think so, I fear. Sure, there was a flutter of embarrassment last autumn, when Jill Evans tried to discuss what was wrong about St Athan. But although a placatory form of words was found, it seemed to make as much difference as Clare Short MP’s opposition to the Iraq war.

What happened to the Party of Lewis, Valentine and Williams?

Many a young lady has had to open her legs from dire necessity, and it’s understandable if deplorable that this in certain cases becomes a habit of rather less than last resort. I’ve no illusions about the whorish propensities of the country I love. I can forgive without condoning.

But never, never, never will I join in with those who pimp for her. And that, Mr Wyn Jones, is what Plaid and its adherents will become, if they lack the guts to to stick to their principles and oppose the disgrace of St Athan..

I won’t be out in the rain pushing Plaid leaflets through voters’ doors this time. Nor will I be voting. And my membership card will be returning to you in the post.

Yours in shame and sorrow

Sue Fortune
Member no 77615
Ruabon Branch, Clwyd South

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