Today I was delighted to receive a reply from Leanne Wood with the answers to the questions I sent her. Leanne Wood is the leader of Plaid Cymru and appeared in two of the leaders debates at the recent general election. I was interested to see what Leanne thought about how her party’s policies could influence the whole of the UK, not just Wales. See the full interview below:
- How important is it that young people take an interest in politics?
“It is vital. At the moment, not enough young people vote when they reach 18 and this allows political parties to marginalise them and their interests. I’m sure with less apathy from young people, Government policy would be more tailored to their needs.”
- What can your party learn from the recent general election?
“Our policies have a broad appeal throughout Wales and beyond. The coverage introduced Plaid Cymru to many people who have not heard of us before. The feedback I received was encouraging and that tells me there is a wide appetite for a different politics. We cannot compete in financial terms with the mainstream establishment parties so we rely heavily on our activist base and the need to speak to as many people as possible.”
- Do you think you and your party benefited from participating in the live TV debates?
“The debates helped challenge many of the common misconceptions about the Party of Wales. They enabled us to lay solid foundations for next year’s elections to the National Assembly which is the most important set of elections for Plaid Cymru.”
- What are your proudest achievements from your time in politics?
“I was involved in the 1997 campaign to secure a National Assembly for Wales and in the 2011 campaign to secure proper law-making powers once the institution was well established. While there is much work to be done to give Wales and people here a strong voice and enhanced powers, these two crucial votes set us on the right path to determining our own future.”
- Do you think your policies can positively influence the whole of the UK, not just Wales?
“I would hope so. During the Westminster election campaign I received many messages from people outside of Wales who wanted the opportunity to vote for a party like Plaid Cymru. Many of these people had previously been Labour supporters but have since become disillusioned with their rightwards drift over the past few decades.”
- Are you flattered to have had a puppet made of you on the TV show ‘Newzoids’?
“I was more amused –I don’t think anyone from Plaid Cymru has featured on satirical programmes before. It helps to widen awareness in a good-natured and entertaining way.”