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Form an orderly queue

Betsan Powys | 14:10 UK time, Friday, 18 September 2009

When I was handed a copy of Adam Price's speech at the Plaid conference I put a big, red cross next to the passage that included these words:

"I do want to come home. I'm tired of beating my head and my hands against the dumb cold walls of Westminster. I will never feel that I belong in that Parliament, thought I have to breathe its dust-laden air".

I say 'included these words' because the original copy we were given went on to say rather more than was actually delivered to conference. On paper it read to me like an announcement that the Director of Elections was not only standing down from that post but was about to leave parliament too. Listen out for the applause, I said on Conference Live. He's about to tell them he's off now.

Except that wasn't how it was delivered and that's not the version that appeared on Adam Price's blog. I don't have to hand the copy I brought home with me but I know I crossed out at least a few lines, as though the message was being toned down. His delivery was more 'I have a dream' than 'They have found an Assembly seat for me'.

I already had him down to fight Neath in 2011 if you remember. I think I'll stick to that as we learn that it is indeed 'I'm off at the General Election' to the States for a year where he's to take up a Fulbright scholarship.

So who gets their hands on his predicted 46.39% of the vote in Carmarthen East and Dinefwr at the General Election - and Plaid's safest seat? Get in line now boys. I can think of a few local candidates who've done the usual rounds of hopeless seats. And isn't Jonathan Edwards, Plaid's former Head of Strategy an Amman Valley boy? What about John Dixon - doesn't he deserve a shift to a safe-as-houses seat? Could Dafydd Wigley be tempted to find an old Aunt tucked away in the constituency somewhere?

Ok, I'll stop the speculation.

But hang on - then there's the Director of Elections post. Less get in line boys than here come the girls. That job has gone to Helen Mary Jones ... so who gets to be Director Communications?

The response from the party leader? Ieuan Wyn Jones is 100% behind Adam Price's decision. He wants him back as soon as the year out is over to be a part of the team. And this, you suppose, is as neat a way as any to make the transition from the "dumb, cold walls" of Westminster to the transparent - but still pretty sheer walls - facing the Plaid Assembly team.

Monday 0700

The orderly queue, so far, is of Plaid's young guard ruling themselves out. Llyr Huws Gruffydd says he's sticking to his patch in Clwyd West and Mabon ap Gwynfor, Plaid's Co-ordinator for Dwyfor Meirionnydd and Ceredigion, reckons he has a job to do behind the scenes. There are, he suggests, big(ger) guns who are interested in the chance to represent the people of Carmarthen East. They may not be familiar names to you. Let's see if more familiar names join the no thanks queue ... or stay silent .


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