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Opinion

Better things are coming: 2022 will bring a new and exciting chapter for Wales

31 Dec 2021 4 minute read
First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford and leader of Plaid Cymru Adam Price sign the Co-operation Agreement at the Welsh Government Building at Cathays Park on December 01, 2021 in Cardiff, Wales.

Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru

What a year 2021 has been.

If 2020 was a year like no other, then certainly 2021 was the sequel no-one asked for.

Another year of loss, longing, and loneliness. Where we once again realised what was truly important to us: Friends and family, key workers and our communities.

And yet in forcing us apart, the pandemic has brought us closer together in so many ways. We’ve once again shopped local, supported our homegrown businesses, and cherished those moments we have together in ways we may have previously taken for granted.

Many of us would have had high hopes for 2021, riding high on the vaccination programme being rolled out across the UK. Then, at the end of 2021 we were told we’d face a ‘tidal wave’ of cases from a new variant – Omicron – and it was all too easy to feel overwhelmed all over again.

But it’s important to remember how many were saved during the first two waves – many thousands simply from having the vaccine. We must once again place our trust in our wonderful NHS who tell us that the key to keeping us safe is by getting our booster jab.

I’m thankful for all our health and care staff, our key workers and volunteers the length and breadth of Wales for their tireless work in keeping us all safe.

If 2021 was marked by loss, longing, and loneliness for too many of us, then it’s important we talk about the reasons to be hopeful for 2022.

As a country, Wales begins the new year with many challenges ahead: If not the pandemic, then the climate emergency, and the challenges that come from a hostile Westminster government.

Radical

But in our Senedd, a new, nation-building Programme for Government was agreed which will bring real and tangible benefits for the people of Wales.

It’s going to give our children a better start in life. While our children already benefit from free primary and secondary education, child hunger means that not all children enter school equal. A hungry child cannot learn. A hungry child is far more likely to suffer from anxiety and severe stress. A hungry child is on the back foot on their educational journey from the moment they set foot in a school.

Through Plaid Cymru’s negotiation with the Welsh Government, the existing free school meal programme will be expanded to all primary school pupils. No longer will our children be separated at lunch time between those that have and those that have not. No longer will the quality of food be a factor in our childrens’ ability to learn.

The Co-operation Agreement between Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government will also benefit families, through the radical action to be taken on second homes and unaffordable housing. It will benefit the Welsh family farm through stability payments. And it will benefit our NHS through a national care service, free at the point of need, which will do so much to support it.

After such a difficult and dark time for everyone – a time of isolation, fear and grief – better things are coming: a new exciting chapter for Wales.

In the meantime, let us do our bit to keep each other safe and to protect our NHS. This means getting vaccinated and boosted, taking frequent Lateral Flow Tests, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distancing in indoor public settings.

If coronavirus is to be marked in years, then let’s hope 2022 is the final part – the trilogy, if you will – which marks the end to this period in our lives.


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Richard
Richard
11 months ago

I guess I’m one of the 70per cent in Wales who hopes this all goes well. On paper 📄 it looks fine and nothing to silly or off the wall. The measure of its success will be the measure of its success – nothing more and nothing less. The 70 per cent needs to monitor progress , embrace comment and not be too defensive of thoughts from those who wish things well. They should also not be seen as deaf to any sensible comments of constructive interventions from the party outside their agreement…..a real hope there will be some. They… Read more »

Geoffrey ap.
Geoffrey ap.
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard

In reply to Richard, I agree with your general approach,although somewhat cautious in this time when we should be at our most optimistic. Your final statement leaves me unsure what you are really mean to say. Nation Building is the prime reason for the existance of Plaid. The struggle for freedom is our prime objective, not just Plaid but almost all small nations. The start of a new year even though we can all see difficulty ahead with an extreme Tory government in London, is a time to restate what we all wish to see as the ultimate and just… Read more »

Richard
Richard
11 months ago
Reply to  Geoffrey ap.

We are and always have been a nation defined by our history and shared experiences expressed through our continued existence and forward pathway to better things. ‘ Nation Building’ slogans by politicians tends unfortunately to be.a term used in recent world 🌍 history to justify autocratic and dictatorship regimes……where the individual citizen is expected to sacrifice his or her views for the benefit of the ‘ nation ‘ The new chance we have in Wales is for an inclusive and engaged governance structure that will listen, respect , work for and deliver real outcomes for the communities that are the… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard

I tend to share your view. “Nation building” is something that we should engage in as a matter of course rather than utter those words as part of the politicians’ stock of ammo for rhetoric loaded speeches.

defaid
defaid
11 months ago
Reply to  Richard

To be honest, I think ‘nation building’ is a fair description for this:

https://gov.wales/programme-for-government-2021-to-2026-html

Surely it’s not new geographical territory but if the above goes well then it may change Wales quite radically and, assuming the retrograde views in Westminster persist, it’s likely to create a distinction that can’t be ignored inside or outside our border.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
11 months ago

We will never have a prosperous socially just inclusive country under a Welsh Conservative Government. They would destroy our nation and return us to Whitehall direct rule to use and abuse. Again, it’s taken Adam Price & Plaid Cymru to point Welsh Labour in the right direction, as done in 2007 when in coalition they secured the 2011 Legislative powers referendum that gave Wales back it’s dignity and led us to where we are today. Our Senedd Cymru. But this is not enough. We deserve more. Imagine what he & they could achieve as First Minister & Welsh Government? The… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by Y Cymro
Paul
Paul
11 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

“ as done in 2007 when in coalition they secured the 2011 Legislative powers referendum”

That was approved by a Tory Secetary of State in 2010. Labour’s Peter Hain refused it. It just squeaked in before the 2011 election, but not really due to Plaid or the Labour-Plaid coalition.

Sorry if you didn’t enjoy reading that. Go ahead and red arrow me down.

Last edited 11 months ago by Paul
j humphrys
j humphrys
11 months ago

No! Do not relax. 2022 will be a year of struggle.
Yes Cymru more important than before. Join and take part, finance what you can afford.
Write to your local and post sensibly. Good luck, because the struggle continues………

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