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Cymraeg

The ‘Fascist Party’ in Wales

08 August 2013

The book is published in the Welsh-language, Professor Richard Wyn Jones is available for English-language interviews and plans are already underway to publish an English-language version of the text. Professor Jones can be contacted via: Mobile: 07734679421 or e-mail: WynJonesR@cardiff.ac.uk

A new book sets out to weigh the charges levelled against Wales’s nationalist party, whose party members were for decades following the 1930s and World War 2, alleged by many to have held fascist sympathies.

Written by one of Wales’s leading political thinkers, ‘Y Blaid Ffasgaidd yng Nghymru: Plaid Cymru a’r cyhuddiad o ffasgaeth’ (‘The Fascist Party in Wales: Plaid Cymru and the accusation of fascism’) is authored by Professor Richard Wyn Jones of Cardiff University and published by the University of Wales Press.

This groundbreaking book will cast new light on Plaid Cymru and its leaders during this historical period in which they were confronted with a charge that would sully the name of any political foe.

Professor Richard Wyn Jones, director of Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre, said: "Ever since I’ve been politically conscious I’ve been aware of the accusations that there was something dark in the history of Plaid Cymru. Looking into them seriously, however, suggests to me that the accusations tell us more about Welsh political culture than they do about the actual history of Welsh nationalism.

"The fact of the matter is that Plaid Cymru had fewer illusions than most in the 1930s about the dangers of fascism and totalitarianism. It’s also apparent that leading members of the Welsh establishment worked together in the war for years to try and destroy the reputation of the party by linking it to Hitler and the fascists, with most of their arguments reflecting the deeply unpleasant anti-Catholicism that used to be such a feature of Welsh life.

"It is particularly ironic that one of the leading accusers, Thomas Jones, one of the key movers and shakers in mid-twentieth century Wales, had himself visited Hitler and lobbied consistently in favour of appeasement policies."

Helgard Krause, Director of the University of Wales Press, added: "This is an incredibly thought-provoking exploration of a particularly explosive subject which has divided opinion for over eight decades. For the first time ever, an entire book is devoted to confronting the allegation that pre-War Welsh nationalism was besmirched by elements of fascism. Richard has succeeded in writing a very measured and lucid deconstruction of this period and the political controversy it inspired."

Former Plaid Cymru MP and advisor to Leanne Wood, Adam Price added: "This is a masterpiece of a book which will forever bury one of the most ruinous lies of Welsh political discourse."

Guto Harri, Director of Communications for News International and former political correspondent for the BBC, said: "This is a penetrating and thorough interpretation written in a muscular and gripping style of text of a subject which has angered and agitated Welsh politics for decades."

Y Blaid Ffasgaidd yng Nghymru: Plaid Cymru a’r cyhuddiad o ffasgaeth’ (The Fascist Party in Wales: Plaid Cymru and the accusation of fascism) is launched at 1pm, Thursday, 8 August at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in Denbigh in Cardiff University’s pavilion.

The book is written in the Welsh-language but plans are already underway for the publication of an English-language version.

Richard Wyn Jones is a Professor of Welsh Politics at Cardiff University.

-Ends-


Useful links

Wales Governance Centre
University of Wales Press

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Professor Richard Wyn Jones
Mobile: 07734679421
E-mail: WynJonesR@cardiff.ac.uk

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities and is a member of the Russell Group of the UK’s most research intensive universities. Among its academic staff are two Nobel Laureates, including the winner of the 2007 Nobel Prize for Medicine, University Chancellor Professor Sir Martin Evans. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, today the University combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise encompasses: the College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the College of Biomedical and Life Sciences; and the College of Physical Sciences, along with a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff's three flagship Research Institutes are offering radical new approaches to neurosciences and mental health, cancer stem cells and sustainable places.