DENOUNCING well known phrases as offensive or even threatening language has been a growing recent trend.
The debate has resurfaced following the Abolish Party’s tweet, featuring a grim looking Leanne Wood, with a ‘Ugly Face of Nationalism’ heading emblazoned above it.
Plaid have responded by branding Abolish as ‘far-right’ and calling for them to be banned from the Leaders TV Debate on April 29th.
As a party which is passionate about free speech and its importance for an open and thriving civic space, Gwlad are concerned at this increasing policing and censoring of language.
We may not like the phrase ‘Ugly face of nationalism’, but it’s been a well understood term in the English language for a long while, and there’s nothing wrong with making use of it per se. There’s no reason for it to be demonized in itself.
But in such charged times, perhaps people do need to be more mindful of context.
Using it just with a very unflattering picture of Leanne Wood alone with no context whatsoever, shows some bad judgement on behalf of the Abolish party as we enter the election period.
Abolish have now belatedly acknowledged this by deleting the tweet, and perhaps an apology to Ms Wood would not be out of order at this point either.
Having said that, we cannot support Plaid’s call to ban Abolish from the Leaders Debate on April 29th, in the wake of the incident.
‘We don’t particularly care for Abolish’s one hobby-horse approach, and the simplistic way they think that going back to Westminster rule is the answer for all of Wales’s problems’ said a spokesperson for Gwlad.
‘But, we believe that the best way to undermine these arguments is to expose them to the clear light of public debate.’
‘Rather than screaming about them being’ far-right’ – for which there is no real evidence at all – they need to be exposed and shown up as the one-trick ponies that they really are.’
The Leaders debate will be held on BBC Wales on April 29th.
The BBC has decided that only those parties with representation at the previous Senedd will be invited.