Chanticleer has blogged about a story that touches on the Welsh independence blog post I did last week.
Plaid Cymru are launching a website promoting a discussion of independence and what form it could take for Wales. The last opinion poll showed 13% support for independence, not earth-shaking but as I argued, not insignificant considering it is not an idea being pushed or campaigned for at present. Certainly, enough of a mandate to start testing the waters with a debate that needs to last a few years. I feel that reiterating my previous points about independence would be useful. The Assembly is only ten years old (near enough), to have a 13% polling for independence (admittedly based on only one poll) is fairly credible for the national movement but also highlights how Welsh independence has not been expanded upon by any of its current adherents. Perhaps this new initiative from the party will allow a solid case for independence to be built on facts and ideas, and could also help the party retain its identity during a period in coalition government.
I also note that the top-up fees row appears to have reached some kind of resolution today. Plaid Assembly Members will get a free vote which allows them to choose between party and government policy. This is probably the only way that things can be resolved. The party membership and student wing might be asked to accept that the playing field is against them on this issue, although it still might be worth inviting Plaid AMs to vote against the top-up fees reintroduction- again, it would seem prudent to hold on to a non-Labour perspective on many policies, without necessarily bringing down an administration that has been progressive and fair-minded to date. I would argue, from a blinkered position as a recent student, that the best result for Plaid would be for all their Assembly Members apart from the Ministers to abstain from voting. By not voting for Jane Hutt's plans they would be honouring party policy, but by not voting against the government they would be ensuring that the government and their party leader isn't defeated. What's best for students is unfortunately something entirely different, but there you go!