Despite the election result, there are exciting times ahead for Wales

Neil McEvoy AM

 

Neil McEvoy AM

Now is not the time for those concerned with the national cause in Wales to lose faith.

Yes, Wales voted Labour again. And yes, predictably, Wales got nothing as a result – again.

But look at where we are. The outdated British state is crumbling around us. The Conservatives are clinging onto power through the help of just 10 MPs from a fundamentalist religious party in the north of Ireland.

A forgettable vicar’s daughter is now only able to govern through open bribery: a billion pound fee meaning the DUP MPs are the most expensive overseas signings in history.

Even Gareth Bale’s £85 million move to Real Madrid can’t match that.

Every vote now is on a knife-edge. The opportunities to take on this Tory government that has lost all credibility are endless.

Plaid increased its number of seats to four in the Westminster election. In this Parliament, four votes can make all the difference.

The Conservatives know this. They’re already reaching out to other parties. But if they think they’ll be getting any support from Plaid Cymru they are sadly mistaken.

We just cannot accept that austerity in the north of Ireland has been wiped out in an instant while our schools and hospitals have to go without.

Regardless, this is the time for building Welsh democracy. The British state has been shown for what it is.

The people of the British Isles will always have a strong bond. But the state that governs part of these Islands is now exposed as serving nothing more than the political needs of parties in London and those who are willing to prop them up.

It simply does not deliver for the people. Many in Wales are rightly angry about this and that means that now is the time to really start building Welsh democracy.

Pushing ahead

Plaid Cymru has always been a project to modernise Wales. Unlike the Conservatives and UKIP, who hark back to some mythical golden era of empire and appalling foreign policy that enslaved millions, Plaid is about a modern Wales.

Rather than the stuffy green benches of a tired Westminster, Plaid is building a new Welsh democracy in our own nation.

These are exciting times to be involved in politics. And these are especially exciting times for politics in Wales.

Yes, we want to keep the best bits of our history and culture. It really is thrilling to see one of the oldest languages in Europe adapt to the urban and multicultural streets of Welsh cities.

But getting stuck in our industrial past serves no one. Does anyone really want to work in a coal mine in 21st Century Wales? We can take pride in that past but now is the time to push ahead with developing a new Welsh economy.

The days of offering cash to foreign companies to have businesses here is also over. They had no loyalty to us and many left to pay cheaper wages elsewhere.

It’s the indigenous Welsh start-ups being created by confident Welsh entrepreneurs that I want to see supported. These are the companies that will grow and take Wales forward.

Opportunities

Anything can happen now over the next five years. One thing is clear, and that is that the UK state is never going to work for Wales. We can’t keep being the quiet, forgotten nation that is so easy to overlook.

We’ve got to be bold now and have the confidence to say that we can run our own affairs. If we’re not prepared to do that then we’re leaving it to the Conservatives and the religious fundamentalists in the north of Ireland to dictate our country’s future.

The only question we should have in Wales is how far can we go?

We run our own health service and we run our own education system. They don’t perform as well as they should but we’ve so far avoided the corporate privatisation of services that has taken place in England.

Can we now run our own economy to make it work for Welsh people? Can we join the world stage and take a Welsh seat at the UN General Assembly, to make the positive contribution to world affairs that the British Government has consistently failed to do?

There are many people ready to talk Wales down and point out our failings. But how much better our country would be if we focused on the many opportunities we have to build a modern Welsh democracy.

Times may seem difficult but we do have options in Wales. We owe it to ourselves to take them.

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14 Comments

  1. Your paper thin argument aka waffle would be more credible if it hadn’t come from a self-serving, bullying, serial litigator who was pushed out of Labour and will probably be booted out of Plaid. You have a brass neck to repeatedly foist yourself on Nation.Cymru after your involvement with Daily Wales. Do you have no morals? Try looking in the mirror and seeing what is really there – trust me it ain’t pretty.

  2. Well this post is certainly a much needed breath of fresh air. Great to hear from someone who is optimistic about Wales future.

  3. John Young

    You’re right, it is refreshing. But we need that message to be shouted more loudly and more often by people like Neil who are in a position to be heard.

  4. Always enjoy Neil McEvoy’s “can do” attitude and assertive take on our future. It’s a shame that so many of his fellow Party leadership group give a passable imitation of being joined at the hip with Labour when there is so much ammunition out there for a sustained 4 year attack on Welsh Labour’s antics in office so far, with no doubt more to come over the next 4 years. There is no need to ever indicate any kind of relationship with Labour, just pan them for their huge list of failings.

    • Sibrydionmawr

      That’s fine as far as it goes, but isn’t the usual negative emphasis so predictable, and essentially a lazy response? Fair enough, Welsh Labour’s record warrants serious criticism, but what Plaid fails to do is to prove to the people of Wales just how they’d improve things. Mostly all we get are promises that if they were in government things would get better, but quite rightly the sceptical Welsh voting public knows that it’s heard that so many times before, and whilst Labour is bad, Plaid might be even worse, given they have no real track record, apart from as a somewhat junior partner in a coalition some years ago, which doesn’t really count for much.

      Okay, so there is a limit to what Plaid can do outside of power at a central, Welsh level, but what about at local level? Has Plaid really delivered something amazing at a local level? Not as far as I can see, though they have perhaps managed to upstage even Welsh Labour’s track record on local government corruption in a couple of instances, and that’s no mean feat, but it’s not something that’s going to endear them to the voting public.

      And, we must remember that it’s not a level playing field, but one that is hugely advantageous to the interests of England. Though there are committed individuals of all political parties in Wales, who do genuinely try their best to deliver what Wales needs, they are hamstrung all the way by a system that is fundamentally biased in favour of the English majority. This is not a criticism, as it can be no other way, as the English outnumber the peoples of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland put together, so there is going to be a huge democratic, and therefore also economic deficit. Even with the best will in the world, any political party that doesn’t have it’s heart and soul in Wales isn’t going to be able to deliver the fairness we so badly need.

      Plaid could become the party we need, but we need more people like Neil McEvoy. We need people who are prepared to be contraversial and rub people up the wrong way a bit. Okay, a few feathers get ruffled, but it certainly wakes people up! We need more people like Seimon Glyn who was sorely let down by Plaid’s leadership. What did he say that was so wrong? Oh, he gave Labour an opportunity to have a go, which scared Plaid a bit, so instead of backing Mr Glyn, they summarily stabbed him in the back. And then Labour had to retract the accusations some of their members had laid against Seimon Glyn.

      Go back even further, to the time when Wales was the scene to the occasional burning cottage. Allegedly those cottages were set alight as part of a protest against the colonisation of large areas of rural Wales and the lack of opportunity for local people. What did the Plaid leader, (Elis Thomas) do, only condemn them out of hand instead of remaining strictly neutral and explaining the causes behind that activity, and seeking a peaceful solution sympathetic to the needs of local people in those area.

      Quite simply we need a political party in Wales that puts the needs of Wales foremost. With exceptions, like Neil McEvoy, I don’t think Plaid is that party.

      • it’s not just “fine as far as it goes”. Criticism of the party in government is bound to be negative because we focus on the areas that lack merit ( and bloody hell, there’s stacks of those ! ). I have long pleaded that Plaid needs to have the bones of real policy that should be publicised in those periods between elections and with the passing of time these would be updated with attendant cost evaluations and how their funding would be generated. Some of that has been done.

        However they have been reluctant to engage in a sustained barrage of criticism setting out the huge defects and waste that occur frequently under the successive Labour regimes….. and how Plaid would do things if they were in power. The suspicion “ar lawr gwlad” is that Plaid would be no better than Labour, that they would succumb to the temptation to engage in pet projects and that their own version of the 3rd sector and begging bowl politics would come into being. Now that may be harsh judgement but it’s for the Party, leaders and rank and file, to dispel those concerns, set their stall out and show how they compare favourably with the dog that sits in the manger down the Bay.

  5. Refreshing and welcomed. Whether those Plaid joined at the hip to Llafur can or even want to break away, I for one don’t care!

    McEvoy has, as he always does, speak his mind and in doing so for all of us. Let us get behind those we can trust and stop worrying about the rest. The rest will disappear into oblivion and the sooner the better.

    The only way to do this is by supporting those Cymreig politicians, like McEvoy, that speak for Cymru and all Cymry. Perhaps with more support we can all shout it out load and proud instead of sitting back an whinging or bickering as many do.

    As more Cymry help build a wave of change more will join and it will grow. Even if there are some that do not bother, they will be carried on the crest of that wave anyway and so be it. Many will be riding that wave and if you need any practise get down to Rhossili lol!

    Excellent piece from someone who cares!

  6. Keith Parry

    What worries me is the total lack of vision of some, of the leadership of Plaid Cymru. They see Plaid as some sort of pressure group to push Labour in a “Welsh” direction. They are happy to be seen in pacts with Labour, they see a Corbyn as some sort of dream politician who is going to deliver a socialist society. What Corbyn will deliver is what he delivered on 8th June. NOTHING!.
    On the doorstep people mention pacts with Labour and see Plaid supporting Labour so will not vote Plaid they will support the real thing as they did. Plaid must have clear water between itself and Labour. The one item we have that Labour dont have is independence. Independence will get rid of the Tories for good or until such time as people in Wales want a Tory government. Plaid is too close to the corrupt, rotten, jobs for the boys Labour Party. PLAID SHOULD CAMPAIGN FOR INDEPENDENCE AND TO GET RID OF LABOUR! If we carry on in our current half baked manner we will go they way of the LIb. Dems. Far from forming a government in 2021. Plaid had better start taking on and winning against Labour. It is Labour we must replace The Tories dont really matter in Wales.

    • As an ex member of the Labour party I awakened over many years then became enlightened to what was happening as soon as Blair came on the scene. Sadly for may of us awakening has been a slow process due to familiarty with the enemy and of course that breeds contempt. What I saw growing up from a very young age as my Dad was a Labour councillor and NUR rep, was a party transforming into something akin to what Kier Hardie and the founders were actually fightening against over a hundred years ago. And boy hasn’t it!

      To beat Lalfur we must take on Llafur and Llafur alone. To bang on about the Labour Party and Corbyn is like banging on about Emmanuel Macron and REM (that’s the party not the band man!). Look, we have to accept Labour it is a foreign party in a foreign country who’s leader, Corbyn, is of that country, England. Llafur is a party that shows its allegiance to that foreign party and the state that continues to oppress us.

      The emphasis has to be on dividing Llafur from Labour and fighting them in isolation based on what they have done and not done for Cymru. Both of which are predominately negative as most of us here are aware. We have to use British tactics on a British party. and those are to divide, isolate and destroy!

      Many Labour, Tory and Lib Dem Party members within Cymru need to be encouraged to wake up out of the coma they’re in and smell the daffs. The more we, that are enlightened, beat on about their British leaders the more they hide behind their self imposed barricades of desperation and outdated doctrines. With little self confidence, bugger all self determination forever living under a barrage of bickering, name calling and utter lies, as they are fed to believe by the British press, is just the way the British like it and have played it for centuries.

      I have no doubt Corbyn is the best thing for England in these dark days that the English could even begin to pray for, but please let us leave the English to their own mire or salvation. Whether they sink or float I don’t really care. All I care about is Independence that we have been waiting for, waiting for nearly 2,000 years! The first Englilsh/British colony will not be the last to be free because, if it is, it will not be distinguishable from England itself.

      One thing I am sure about is, that once Corbyn accepts the realisation of an Independent Cymru he would be a far better neighbour than anything on the right – which at the moment is most of the British political system including half his own party.

      Let us first divide Llafur from Labour, isolate and call to account their policies and then destroy them along with all the other British based political parties that stalk our country like vultures for far too long. Llafur in the south, Tories in the north, Lib Dems in the west and UKIP in the south east. Okay this is a generalisation and the first two we have known for far too long however, the other two has helped split our country even further into what to all intense and pupose is the downward spiral toward oblivion.

      Stand up for Cymru not further division.

  7. John Young

    The question of investment by Labour in the South East while ignoring the rest of Wales is often referred to by Plaid but so quietly no one hears. Take the latest plan which will almost inevitably see the Major Trauma Centre sited in Cardiff.

    Plaid should be shouting from the rooftops about this. They should be saying this is where we’re different, this is what we would do and it should be headlines in every paper. Even the Cardiff Mail couldn’t avoid headlining it if Leanne/Adam/Rhun plus others like Neil McEvoy all shout about it.

    But it’s all so careful. I don’t understand why. What are they afraid of ?

  8. John Young

    I should have included Independence there as well Keith.

  9. CambroUiDunlainge

    I’ve not lost faith in my nationalist belief. I don’t see it as being mutually exclusive with the trials and tribulations of Plaid Cymru. I’m going to tell you why… I am a Socialist… but I do not think that is part of my identity as a Welsh individual. I was born Welsh… I chose to be Socialist. Two very different things. Plaid is first and foremost a Socialist party… therefor cannot truly be a voice for Wales. Singling out Labour as Plaid’s target is just silly… the fact is the Tories and Labour represent the same thing: Unionism. A Welsh nationalist party advocating Independence in the long game should not be differentiating between the two. Plaid currently seems to have little to vague understanding of what that actually is and more importantly seems to fail at tackling it. It was convenient for the Tories to see Labour fail in Scotland… now to keep the SNP out they’re likely going strategically stay out of each others way and target the SNP more than each other. Thats what Plaid has to look forward too.

    Now… “keeping the best bits of our history and culture”… who chooses what those are? Are they only the elements that compliment a Socialist Party? Because that doesn’t sound much better than what you accuse the Tories and UKIP of. Its either all that history and culture or none of it. Why paint half a picture and expect it to inspire people? Our history and culture is as important as our language… and all represent our defiant identity. Plaid policy wise are not offering much different from Labour… its as if you’re waiting for people to wake up and realise what a terrible mistake they’ve made and vote Plaid… rather than exploiting what sets the party apart: Welsh identity.

    I’ll bring this full circle and back to my comment on Plaid not understanding Unionism… what is its basis? Shared history, values and the monarchy. The root of Welsh nationalism is the resistance of our leaders/monarchs. We have our own separate history… from battlefields to the blue books which unites us as the Welsh people in much the same way as modern Unionist history currently unites much of Britain. Why is Plaid not exploiting this? In a 190 page Assembly manifesto there was one line saying that Plaid wanted to increase the knowledge of history… and that was it… no elaboration or deeper explanation – what it felt should be taught and why… found space to reinforce its identity as the “Welsh speaking party” though. Our shared history bridges the linguistic grand canyon that Plaid seems to be stuck at. Then the GE manifesto… I’ve got to say i advocate much the same approach as Sinn Fein… but at the end of the day the manifesto said how Plaid “defends Welsh identity” then doesn’t mention it again within.

    First time I voted it was for Labour… before I realised they were using my political belief as a Valleys inhabitant and exploiting it for their own gain rather than representing the Welsh people. I feel Plaid now exploit my identity in much the same way – as our past fades so does a major part of that identity which binds both North, South and West. Left and Right. Socialist, Conservative and Liberal. Plaid should be screaming this from the roof tops… because people learning that the Welsh language is part of their identity that was taken from them through the Treachery can only be good for Welsh nationalism. It can only be good for Plaid Cymru.

    You are one of the prominent and successful faces of Plaid, Neil. Don’t be a voice to the stupidity behind the scenes which is stifling all Plaid was born to represent and protect. Those elections gone by were a test for Plaid which it failed… its an important few years now and many discontent nationalist watch to see if Plaid falls or grows wings and soars. Welsh nationalism will reestablish this nation as on voice some day I have no doubt… whether Plaid is part of that or not is really up to you guys.

  10. Neil McEvoy

    Voice to the stupidity behind the scenes? Not sure what you mean? Mail me and expand ? (neilmcevoy2004@yahoo.co.uk) I just tend to try to shine light on what others prefer to be kept in the dark. I tend to speak my mind, through our own mediums and getting interviews ourselves. I can’t actually recall the last time I was put forward for interview by Plaid centrally without any input from me or the team! Not long after May 2016 I think.

  11. “the UK state is never going to work for Wales. We can’t keep being the quiet, forgotten nation that is so easy to overlook.” Yes! Scotland and N Ireland are both prominent – and challenging the UK state. Yet McEvoy like the Plaid leadership is reluctant to see the opportunities and express solidarity with their causes.

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