Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Welcome In The Hillsides?

The Tories are crowing about the recruitment of John Marek, for 18 years the Labour MP for Wrexham. Marek is fiercely anti-hunting, but, more to the point, is a close associate of Tommy Sheridan's, and founded and led Forward Wales as a counterpart to Sheridan's Scottish Socialist Party, the basis on which it secured funding from Bob Crow's RMT.

It was only wound up in January of this year. But Marek has clearly wasted no time in finding an alternative vehicle for a programme such as can warrant Trotskyist endorsement and cod-Stalinist, neo-Scargillite funding. Yes, I voted for No2EU - Yes To Democracy, but for the sake of Peter Shore's old agent and the leaders of the Visteon and the Lindsey oil refinery workers. I drew the line at applying to be a candidate, because, purely personally, I could not bring myself to line up in that way with many of the others involved. More than anything, it impressed on me the need to eschew such involvement, as well as abstentionism and silly names, at the next stage of our movement's re-emergence. But David Cameron clearly has no such scruples.

And the key proposals of Forward Wales specifically, rather than as part of any wider Sheridan or Crow movement, are now manifestly the policy of the Conservative Party: Wales to have at least the same level of devolution as Scotland currently enjoys, and drastic government action to be taken to enforce the public use of Welsh even in the most Anglophone of areas. After all, why else would Marek have signed on the dotted line?

Will Marek be joined as a New Tory by the other founders of Forward Wales? By Ron Davies, one of the very few former Cabinet Ministers without a seat in either House, and a noted campaigner both against shooting and for the abolition of the monarchy, recalling Marek's own parliamentary question to Tony Blair requesting that the Oath of Allegiance be replaced with something acceptable to anti-monarchists? By Graeme Beard (not the Australian cricketer), a former Plaid Cymru councillor in Caerphilly? Or by Klaus Armstrong-Braun, who in his time on Flintshire County Council was the only Green Party member ever elected at county level in Wales?


  1. As much as I dislike Trotskyists, I am not sure you are immediately suspect just for having been associated with Tommy Sheridan. Look at the Scottish party system of the early 2000s:

    -Tories (largely moderate and socially liberal, pro-war)
    -Labour (corrupt, effectively centre-right, pro-war)
    -Lib Dem (less socialist than the national party)
    -SNP (led at the time by Sweeney, lame, Third Way-ish)
    -Greens (decent chap as leader but libertine)
    -SSP (full of loud feminists and social libertarians, but most correct on the issues)

    Sheridan's politics and style were obviously influenced by his cultural Catholicism. Why is being formerly his ally worse than being formerly associated with Thatcher or Tatchell or the Liberals who brought you abortion?

  2. "Sheridan's politics and style were obviously influenced by his cultural Catholicism"? How, exactly?

    I am just saying that someone who moved in those sorts of circles at least until January of this year would once have made an odd recruit to the Tories. But not any more, apparently.