THEY say that imitation is the best form of flattery in life and no doubt that’s true in politics as well.
Since the official arrival of new party Propel last week, its leader Neil McEvoy has been asserting that his party has been the only one questioning lockdowns in Wales.
What Neil in his enthusiasm forgets to mention is that Gwlad have actually been asking these hard questions about aspects of lockdowns for months on end.
But we’ll put it to one side as this latest imitation is further evidence of our ideas finding traction in the Welsh political landscape.
‘We have been sceptical about lockdowns, and the rather random policies for closing businesses, venues and restricting trade’ said Gwlad Chair Siân Caiach, who is a medical doctor.
She said that the lack of consultation and real engagement with the public was a big part of the problem.
‘More notice and showing scientific workings in detail would have been better. A chat with a doctor and scientist and then giving orders from a podium is not enough to keep the public on board’.
She added that a smarter approach had to be adopted, especially if new possible variants of the virus meant that parts of Wales needed to be closed down again in future.
One of Gwlad’s big issues with lockdowns is the fact that they have been imposed without any impact assessment studies made by the Welsh Government.
The anodyne ‘Prif Weinidog Mewn Pandemig’ programme on S4C last night also failed to ask any questions about this clear failing on the part of Mark Drakeford’s Government.
It was the elephant in the room that everybody somehow managed not to see or bump into it at any stage in the hour long programme.
It proved to be almost a free political broadcast for the First Minister and Welsh Labour, such were the lack of any searching questions posed.
Although they must be rubbing their hands in glee about the good publicity garnered, their delight might yet prove to be misleading.
We agree with Propel’s instincts that lockdowns and their effects in Wales, and the lack of public consultations about them, will be a big factor when the electors go to the polls in May.
The big parties are already telling us who they will not work with under any circumstances, as if that somehow is going to impress the public. Not.
On the other hand, we are willing to co-operate with other parties on general principles, and there may well be common ground with Propel on this crucial issue.