Cymru, Lloegr a'r Llwchwr

Cymru, Lloegr, a'r Llwchwr...

Helo! Croeso i’m blog newydd sy'n cymryd lle Yma byddaf yn rhoi'r byd yn ei le o safbwynt y De Orllewin. Bydd rhai sylwadau yn fwy cyffredinol na’i gilydd ond canolbwyntio ar wleidyddiaeth cig a gwaed sydd yn effeithio yn uniongyrchol ar bobl o’m cwmpas i yw'r bwriad. Gwyntyllu fy marn personol y byddaf i fan hyn wrth gwrs!

Hi! Welcome to my new blog which has replaced I'll be setting the world to right from the perspective of the South West. Some comments may be more general than others but my aim is to talk about everyday issues that directly affect people around me. Needless to say, the views expressed here will be purely mine.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Why South Wales West?

When you stand for election you become everyone’s business. Since May a lot of good people have offered me advice on what to do next. I’m really impressed, although just a little spooked, by the ability of some of our members to envisage seats won and regional list places gained in much the same way as moving chess pieces! But in reality it’s not that simple, particularly when if like me you have your feet firmly planted in our unique region of Wales and at the same time a strong urge and commitment to seek change soon and to serve the people now.

Within our lifetimes we will see Wales take a proper place among the nations of the world. I joined Plaid to be part of that great effort; to make sure that the nation we create is a just place with fairness, equality and prosperity at its heart. But without a strong enough sense of local accountability there is a danger that our government may give us the form of freedom without its substance

With the major Welsh parties backing a ‘Yes’ vote at the referendum, and even the Tories promising not to stand in the way, it is crucial that we in Plaid take the opportunity at the Welsh General Election to put our stamp on the next four years. Only by ensuring we have the strongest possible team at the Senedd can we ensure that the Wales being built in Cardiff Bay is the Wales that our people need and deserve. On local health services, on care homes and on the best education for our children, we must have strong new Plaid voices adding to those we already have there. The other parties headquartered in London aimlessly play the Welsh political game. We in Plaid have the vision for our country, the vision to ensure that equality, localism and community action is welded into the body of the new Wales. For Plaid, the next five years is about making sure that the extraordinary process of creating a new nation reflects and addresses the experiences and problems of our communities.

The current system of election is not the one we would choose. But it does enable sudden leaps forward when we win constituency seats, whilst we are also able to maintain a broad presence throughout Wales and grow more gradually. List members can have a crucial role in reality-proofing what we plan and do, so making sure that all our efforts are directly useful to our communities. At the same time, with a brief throughout the region, they can be the shock troops of change.

So, after a lot of thought I have decided what to do next. I’ll be putting my name forward for the South Wales West list for our Welsh general election in May 2011.

I know and understand South Wales West communities. I’m from Llanelli and stood as our candidate in the last UK general election. We did not win the seat. But in a difficult election for us throughout Wales, in Llanelli, significantly, we achieved a huge swing to Plaid and slashed Labour’s majority. I want to carry through that momentum, that appetite for change amongst our people, that growing support for Plaid.

I want a place in the Senedd to join in the serious job of creating Welsh law from the experiences of our communities and from the principles we share as a party. I want to help build the Plaid team, to ensure as a list member that the focus is on our policies and their practical application. There is too much to be done in the hard times ahead to be chasing headlines.

And there is also work to do in supporting the nationally-important campaign in the Neath constituency. The party needs to strengthen links between individual members and elected representatives across the region, draw members into activities and understand the perspectives of all its constituency parties.

In despair at the goings on in the one party East German state, the playwright Berthold Brecht once remarked wryly:

‘The Central Committee has lost confidence in the People. The People must be replaced!’

For decades government in Wales was like that too. But as part of the One Wales Government Plaid has already started opening windows and doors in Cardiff.

Yes we can sack individual politicians. And we certainly can’t afford or allow the development of a detached political class in Wales. But there is much more to be done, within Plaid and by Plaid. Our Government after the Election must be more for and more about people throughout Wales. For and about the people of Gwaun Cae Gurwen, Dyfnant and Pyle as well as those in Cardiff Bay.

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