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Phil Parry is a former BBC news and current affairs reporter. He is winner of the BT Wales award for journalist of the year, BT Wales TV reporter of the year and radio reporter of the year.
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No lessons should be taken from Oswald Mosley’s ‘New Party’

The news that Adam Price has now been elected the new leader of Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru may bring further questions about his use of words.

In his campaign he called for a ‘New Wales Party‘ perhaps unaware that a very similar name has unfortunate extreme right wing connotations.

In 1931 Oswald Mosley resigned from the Labour Party to set up his own ‘New Party’ the following day.

It received £50,000 in funding from Lord Nuffield and launched a magazine called Action.

A candidate for Mosley’s New Party stood against Labour in the 1931 General Election in Merthyr Tydfil where he (and it) attracted 10,834 votes, as well as securing a sizeable share at 30.6 per cent.

Will there be a new paper for Adam Price’s party?

The aim of Mr Price’s new party would be to attract votes too, also, in all likelihood, in the South Wales valleys.

This and a ‘radical Welsh populism’ are key for Mr Price.

He said: “We need to create a radical Welsh populism which turns the old Welsh story – a country mistreated, a people let down – into a new Welsh story of optimism and hope”, adding that the proposed name would signal Plaid Cymru “is the party of Wales’ future”.

Yet the future for the New Party was not golden.

Gradually, it became more authoritarian, with parts of it (notably its youth movement) adopting overtly fascist thinking.

Adam Price addresses the faithful of the New Wales Party?

In 1932 Mosley united most of the various fascist organisations in the UK, forming the British Union of Fascists, into which the New Party subsumed itself.

Mr Price said Plaid Cymru (or as he wanted to call it the New Wales Party) needed to learn from “popular outsider movements” ranging from Labour under Jeremy Corbyn to Donald Trump’s election as US President, in order to capture the imagination of people outside the party’s core support of “Welsh-identifying, left-of-centre voters”.

The imagination of voters will certainly be caught by a name change for Plaid Cymru which may link it with Oswald Mosley.


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