When I was at school, my group of friends and I used to share a VHS between us. It was a tape of the Scottish comedian, Jerry Sadowitz.

He’s always been considered controversial, almost applying a Surrealist or Situationist approach to ideas on freedom of speech in his willingness to say the absolute worst possible things one could say in public.

Despite this, the joke that sticks in my memory from that grainy tape is one that he most likely didn’t write, and was probably already as old as the hills when the performance was filmed in the 1980s.

To paraphrase: A young couple is walking in the Highlands when they walk into a pub. An old man is sat at the end of the bar, muttering into his pint. Concerned, they ask him what’s wrong.

He tells them, “Do you see all those fences out there? I built them all, but they don’t call me ‘Hamish the fence-builder’. That beautiful church? I built that, too, but I’m not called ‘Hamish the church-builder’. I built all the roads in the village, but they don’t call me ‘Hamish the road-builder’."

The younger man asks him, cautiously, “So what do they call you?”

“I shag ONE sheep…”

This joke was the first thing that came to my mind this week upon reading the statement from Jonathan Edwards saying that he would not be re-joining Plaid Cymru as an MP at Westminster. This of course came a few days after it was revealed that he would be re-joining them.

READ MORE: Jonathan Edwards not re-joining Plaid Cymru in Westminster

Edwards’ words were Sadowtiz’s punchline ran through a PR person: “I am concerned that there has been no distinction in any of the discussions about the difference between an incident and a pattern of behaviour.”

Of course, the problem here is that there aren’t any “discussions” in this instance. Interview requests are declined, and instead journalists are sent statements to repeat. We are not permitted to have a “discussion”.

There are some who have said that Edwards has been treated badly by the police and the press, simply because he is an MP.

Good. He should be.

MPs are elected to represent us, they are chosen to make decisions on our behalf because they should be the best of us. It stands to reason that they are held to a higher standard of accountability than the rest of us.

READ MORE: Estranged wife 'appalled' by MP Jonathan Edwards' return to Plaid

As an MP, Edwards has lost any moral authority relating to his work. As a person, there is always room for growth, and I give him the benefit of the doubt in his journey as he learns and I hope that he finds happiness.

The irony of Edwards releasing his statement only three hours before Sadowitz himself announced that his show at Edinburgh that night had been cancelled is too uncanny.

Sandwiched between those two Facebook posts came a statement from Plaid leader Adam Price, who said that Edwards should resign not just from the party, but as an MP.

Price has been praised for his strong words, and it does seem like there’s no way back for Edwards as a politician after this intervention. But why has it taken so long for Price to have a public opinion on this issue?

Edwards is beloved by his local party members, who have been more than happy to indulge in conspiracy theories regarding Edwards’ treatment - could it be that Price is afraid of those local party members? He represents the same constituency, after all.

If Price argues that Edwards needs to leave Plaid Cymru because “his actions do not represent our values”, it’s worth noting that those actions did not take place this week - they took place more than two years ago.

Why did it take a statement from Edwards’ estranged wife to force the leader of Plaid Cymru to show any semblance of leadership on the matter of domestic violence?

In an interview with S4C’s Newyddion, Price asks the question "Why didn't we give the central voice in our disciplinary processes to the victim?”

He says “I can't answer that because I don't know the details".

Plaid Cymru is so beholden to its own bureaucracy that it has stopped its leader from being able to lead. It cares more about processes and rules than it does about doing the right thing.

Price has said that the disciplinary processes within Plaid Cymru need to change, but does that actually mean anything?

In 2019 Price expressed his “horror” at the abuse aimed at women in his party and ordered an investigation into the experiences of women and other under-represented groups in his party.

I’ve spoken to people who contributed to that investigation and they tell me that they’ve never seen the finished report.

Will the same thing happen with the proposed review of disciplinary processes?

For a political party with radical ideology at its core, Plaid Cymru’s organisation is incredibly conservative.

Jonathan Edwards’ words 'were an old Jerry Sadowtiz joke ran through a PR person' according to Leigh Jones.Can Plaid Cymru expect to ever be more than a moderating force on a Labour majority in the Senedd under Adam Price's leadership? (Image: Huw Evans Picture Agency)

At the last Senedd elections Plaid Cymru failed to make major gains. Luckily for Price he was able to avoid any scrutiny by taking parental leave for four months.

Where was the introspection, the review, the difficult questions? It seems that Plaid Cymru is too happy to tread-water under Adam Price.

Price says the right things, and by and large says them at the right time. But how long can Plaid continue to dawdle? Is being a moderating force on a Labour majority all they can hope to achieve in the Senedd, or could a new leader inspire more?

Adam Price’s hitherto inertia on domestic violence has to leave questions about his leadership. It’s worth remembering that one MP’s actions caused these questions to arise, and until the bravery of his victim speaking out, he was on the verge of returning as an MP for Plaid Cymru as if nothing had happened.

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