Adam Price’s Blog

The Blog of Adam Price AS/MP, Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

Adam Price MP / AS - Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

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Archive for June 15th, 2009

15th June 2009

Mewn undeb mae nerth…..

During what has been a fairly dark and depressing phase for progressive politics, I was really reinvigorated at the weekend by this year’s Compass Conference at which I spoke. I’ll share more of my thoughts about what I heard later in the week, but one really interesting session was the one on devolution chaired by Mark Perryman, alongside Billy Bragg, the Left’s foremost thinker on questions of English identity, whose new book Breaking Up Britain, contains a chapter by our very own Leanne Wood. Two nationalist parties that topped the European polls in their respective constituencies (at least in the UK context)- the SNP by Richard Thomson, soon-to-be SNP MP for Gordon,and Sean Oliver, Sinn Fein’s Director of European Affairs - were represented, along with John Osmond on behalf of Plaid.  

As well as asking Sean about the timing of the first referendum on Irish unity as set out in the Belfast Agreement - adding the numbers up from the Euro elections shows how close the nationalist and unionist communities are in the North of Ireland now to parity - I asked him why SF continued to sit in the United European Left, which comprises mostly of Left parties from Europe’s bigger nation states in the European Parliament, and not with the European Free Alliance/Greens, which will now include not just Plaid and the SNP and the left-republican ERC from Catalunya, but also the newly-elected  Corsican nationalist Francois Alfonsi, the treasurer of EFA who will also represent UDB in Brittany.  Interestingly, Sean confirmed that an approach has already been made by EFA and that Sinn Fein are considering their options.  Personally, I think that having all the Celtic nationalist parties - that are, after all, parties of government now in their respective devolved institutions - together in one political group would be a great step forward.   Let’s hope it happens soon.