Despite the election result, there are exciting times ahead for Wales
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 The outdated British state is crumbling around us.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.
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.
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.