WALES' two biggest political parties got into a fight about hoodies at the National Eisteddfod yesterday.
Labour Party officials were outraged by posters on the maes encouraging young Plaid Cymru supporters to wear hoodies at a protest against Labour.
The posters show Rhodri Morgan and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain dressed in hoodies. Plaid says Labour has ignored the youth by failing to tackle social problems, a lack of jobs and house prices. It advertises the protest at Plaid's Eisteddfod stand, saying "wear a hoodie". Labour said the posters, put up by the Plaid Cymru Youth Movement, proved Plaid is "soft on crime".
About 50 posters were plastered around the maes and members of the movement insisted they would put up more, despite Labour's fury. Labour members spent the morning tearing the posters down.
Plaid said Labour's anti-social behaviour policies demonise young people for their dress sense, instead of tackling crime effectively.
Dafydd Iwan, the Plaid president, refused to condemn the posters and said he was intending to speak at the protest on Friday. Protesters will issue the First Minister with their own Asbo - a petition against Labour policies.
The Government in Westminster has supported moves to ban hoodies - seen as the uniform of yobs - in some areas.
Karen Sinclair, Labour AM, said, "Crime isn't a laughing matter, and in Westminster and at the Assembly we have seen time and time again how naively soft the nationalists are on anti-social behaviour. How can they joke about the fear and misery young thugs cause to people across the country?"
The Labour Party also challenged Plaid to distance itself from Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, which hounded the First Minister in a demonstration at the Eisteddfod on Tuesday.
He branded members of the pressure group "bullies" after they followed him around the maes with a megaphone. At the Urdd Eisteddfod earlier this year the First Minister told the Western Mail he disapproved of moves to ban hoodies.
Ms Sinclair said Plaid was "out of touch with modern Wales".
She said, "They have ignored the lessons of successive elections where the Welsh people have consistently rejected their narrow, inward nationalism. Instead, the official opposition spend their time bickering among themselves and associating themselves with dubious campaigns.
"Until they start to act like a serious political party, they will hardly be fit to serve, let alone govern."
Asked if he thought the posters were irresponsible, Mr Iwan said, "This is a new youth movement. It's important that the youth connect with the political parties and feel they have a part to play in what they are doing.
"The point they are making is we need to realise what undermines our communities.
"We need a positive response instead of just blaming children, especially for something superficial like what they wear."
He said Labour had failed to focus on the root causes of crime in Wales.
Bethan Jenkins, a Plaid youth co-ordinator, said, "We want to look at the issues beyond this, where young people get demonised.
"Just because they wear hoodies doesn't mean that they are yobs."
The young people's branch of Plaid is going to be officially relaunched at the party's conference in Aberystwyth in September.