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Former Labour MP gives passionate speech at Carmarthen independence march

24 Jun 2024 4 minute read
Beth Winter speaking at the YesCymru March

Emily Price

A former Labour MP has made a passionate speech to thousands of people who gathered to march in support of Welsh independence.

The event saw marchers join with locals to make their way through the streets of Carmarthen clad in Welsh flags and YesCymru banners to show their support for an independent Wales.

In a bilingual speech, “proud socialist” Beth Winter demanded a fair funding settlement for Wales from Westminster, £4 billion in owed HS2 consequentials and the devolution of the Crown Estate.

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Wealth

Ms Winter was the Member of Parliament for the Cynon Valley constituency in Westminster between 2019 and 2024.

Last year she lost in a candidate selection contest to represent Labour in the general election after her constituency was enlarged to merge with Merthyr Tydfil.

Speaking to the crowd at Carmarthen Park, she said: “The prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy that has dominated our political and economic thinking for decades in the UK has failed Cymru. It puts profits before people and has resulted in an unprecedented re-centralisation of power and wealth in Westminster and London.

“I firmly believe that another way is possible. But it means us uniting and working
together. Unity is strength! Stop tribal politics. Reach out across parties and engage with a diverse range of political, civic and progressive organisations to develop a new radical agenda.”

Division

Ms Winter listed off a number of demands from the UK Government including providing a fairer, needs-based funding settlement for Cymru, the £500m needed to make dangerous coal tips safe, the £1.1 billion owed since leaving the EU, £4 billion in HS2 consequentials, the devolution of the Crown Estate and the introduction of a wealth tax.

She said: “We must campaign on the issues that matter, that will secure the redistribution of wealth and power and improves the lives of the people of Cymru.”

“We also need a redistribution of political power – the two go hand in hand. The excellent proposals contained in the final report of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future for Wales offer an opportunity for a much-needed overhaul of political and economic power for Cymru.

“It provides the opportunity for a future Cymru where we not only generate our
wealth but retain and reinvest that wealth into our communities for the benefit
of all and in a way that tackles the climate crisis.

“The report provides 3 options which are: entrenched devolution; a federal structure across the UK and independence. All three options must be on the table. But none of this is possible unless we gain the involvement and confidence of the people of Cymru.”

The former Labour politician also warned of a “dangerous resurgence” of the far-right across the Western world which “promotes politics of division, hatred, racism, intolerance, and blames migrants and minority groups for the problems caused by neoliberalism.”

She said: “Now is the time for progressive forces in Cymru to work together to develop
socialist policies and actions that give people hope and a vision for a kinder, more equal, greener and tolerant society.

“Build a society that puts people before profits, that is for the many not the few – here in Cymru but also, as an internationalist, worldwide. I have that hope and unity– gobaith ac undod!”

Ms Winter was joined at the event by fellow Labour politician Gwynoro Jones, Plaid Cymru MS Cefin Campbel, social media star Bethany Davies and authors Mererid Hopwood and Hefin Wyn.

Mr Wyn launched the rally with a speech about the Rebecca Riots – a serious of protests against conditions in rural Wales between 1839 and 1843.

Singer Dafydd Iwan was also present to treat the crowd to a stirring rendition of his iconic song ‘Yma o Hyd’.

It follows similar marches organised by YesCymru and All Under One Banner Cymru held in and Merthyr Tydfil, Caernarfon, Wrexham, Bangor, Swansea and Cardiff since 2019.

Speaking after the event, Ms Winter said: “Wonderful to speak at the YesCymru Carmarthen rally on Saturday alongside such inspirational speakers, with Dafydd Iwan ending with ‘Yma o Hyd.’ An excellent turnout with people of all ages and backgrounds from across Cymru.

“My key message was to encourage progressive forces to work together on issues that matter to the people of Cymru – that puts people before profit, that is for the many not the few – here in Cymru but also, as an internationalist, worldwide.”

You can watch all the speeches at the march here.


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Algie
Algie
20 days ago

Yeah but princess anne fell over and bumped her head !

Alan Jones
Alan Jones
19 days ago
Reply to  Algie

Yes, the bbc Wales news on Saturday evening lead with the pride Cymru event in Cardiff. No problem with that as it’s an important, peaceful & happy day while highlighting the push for equal rights & freedom from abuse & discrimination. The item was on air for several minutes which included street interviews. As for the march for independence in Swansea, well, it was at least mentioned but was done & dusted in about 5 seconds. Seems as though independence is a naughty word on the bbc.

Riki
Riki
19 days ago
Reply to  Alan Jones

You mean EnglishBC, smoke screening as British! Just like the BAFTAs do, the cheek to call anything British while actively ignoring thee British!!!!

Last edited 19 days ago by Riki
Alan Jones
Alan Jones
19 days ago
Reply to  Alan Jones

Oops, sorry, meant Camarthen not Swansea.

Nia James
Nia James
20 days ago

I chatted with a man from the Basque Country who attended the march and was impressed by everything he saw and heard. Shortly afterwards I was standing in the centre of town as two Carmarthen men strolled by. One loudly said “There’s no bull**** with Farage. He’s the only one who tells the truth”. The other one nodded his approval. This is is our national dilemma.

Annibendod
Annibendod
20 days ago
Reply to  Nia James

Farage spouts total nonsense and people think it’s truth. Been well prepped haven’t they. Well done Daily Heil, Sun & Express … slow clap incoming.

Annibendod
Annibendod
20 days ago

I find a great deal of common ground with Beth Winter. I will repeat myself once more however as it’s worth saying … anyone who thinks that the Labour Party can be an effective vehicle to deliver a Democratic Welsh State will be very disappointed. Lab4IndyWales claimed that nearly half of Labours support in Wales favoured independence. Other polling puts support for independence at around 20% of the electorate as an absolute figure. If each and every one of those people voted for Plaid Cymru at the next GE and Senedd election, Plaid would have more MP’s and we would… Read more »

Gwyn Hopkins
Gwyn Hopkins
20 days ago

In response to Welsh Patriot, 13 opinion polls since June 2023 show that approaching a third of the people of Wales now favour independence (the average percentage is 29.7%). The percentage appears to be increasing, especially among the young. People in Wales are becoming fed up of playing second fiddle to England (fourth fiddle if one includes Scotland and N I) and being governed by the diabolical set of Westminster politicians for the last 14 years.

Riki
Riki
19 days ago

It’s never a good idea for a person (or Country) to ask thieves if they can have back that which was stolen. You need to demand it back! And if they refuse, do everything you can to highlight the injustice suffered, whenever and wherever possible. Make it such a headache that they willingly give it back!

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
10 days ago

Clearly a government committed to socialism, to the rights and needs of all people is needed. Unfortunately we wont get any of that after Thursday when the red tories take control.

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