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Opinion

New Wales launches not-for-profit volunteer-led research organisation

27 Jun 2024 6 minute read
New Wales is announcing its online launch.

New Wales research team

The Conservative Party has been in power in Westminster for 14 years. Welsh Labour have been in charge for 25 uninterrupted years in the Senedd.

But 3 in 10 children in Wales live in households with relative income poverty, nearly 769,000 people (a quarter of the population) are on Welsh NHS waiting lists, Wales has the highest level of economic inactivity (unemployment) of any region or country in the UK, public infrastructure is literally crumbling, including transport, schools, courts, and hospitals.

As a country, Wales is increasingly reliant on charities just to put food on the table. While this spirit of communal assistance is a blessing and saves lives, it never needed to be this way.

Over a hundred miles away from anyone in Wales, politicians, pundits and pollsters alike are expecting a seismic shift in the party politics of Westminster.

Electoral Calculus UK, with its poll of polls, is predicting Labour to have 472 seats of the total 650, a majority of 294. If the swing from blue to red is the same as the most recent Redfield & Wilton poll of ten-thousand people conducted from 7th to 10th June, Labour will have 528 seats and a majority of 406.

In the same scenario, the Conservatives would be the third-largest party overall, with just 27 seats, overtaken by the Liberal Democrats.

Expectations

The terms “once-in-a-generation” and “unprecedented” get used a lot more often these days than their definitions would suggest, but the swing from Conservatives to Labour, backed up by a fight on the right with Reform, could deliver the biggest election win for any single party in the history of General Elections in the United Kingdom.

470 is the current record for number of seats won by a single party, in 1931 for Stanley Baldwin’s Conservative Party. For a living memory comparison, Tony Blair’s two victories in 1997 and 2001 returned 418 and 412 seats respectively for Labour.

Expectations of an incoming Labour landslide government vary depending on personal preference of course – but we have some evidence of what a massive Starmer victory will mean for Wales.

Current and former Labour leaders, Keir Starmer and Ed Milliband, have backed the current Welsh Labour leader, Vaughan Gething, even though he lost a vote of confidence 78 days after taking over as First Minister.

Shadow (and likely, future) Attorney General for England & Wales, Emily Thornberry described the confidence vote as a “gimmick” and a “non-binding gesture”, and dismissed the idea of the First Minister standing down.

In the most recent Redfield & Wilton polling, Gething’s net approval rating is minus 23%, net agreement with a vote of confidence in the First Minister is +31% (+23% among Labour voters!), and 53% of respondents believed Gething should resign.

Wrongdoing

Beyond the no confidence vote, the First Minister has sacked a minister based on a suspicion of leaking messages to the press, deleted messages that Gething claimed, when questioned by the UK Covid Inquiry, he had not deleted – allegedly committing perjury by doing so.

Starmer has also shown he is happy to bend over backwards to ignore the clear evidence of wrongdoing, and dismiss Welsh democratic systems in the Senedd for his Labour party supporters, like Gething. Meanwhile, if you like a few tweets on Twitter, and your face doesn’t fit, you get automatically deselected.

With Labour having been in charge at the Senedd for 25 years, there is widespread pessimism about the likelihood of positive change in Wales regardless of any change in Westminster.

The current First Minister doesn’t have the support of the majority of Welsh people, but as long as he has the support of the soon-to-be UK Prime Minister, he may yet survive to lead the Labour party in Wales into the next Senedd elections in 2026.

Welsh citizens and voters are ripe for being taken for granted. Since 1922, Labour have won in Wales at every UK General Election. That’s 27 elections in a row and counting, over an entire century. And yet, poverty is still too high, investment still too low, opportunities scarce, preventable difficulties all too frequent.

Now, imagine a Wales where the over one hundred thousand people who needed emergency food parcels last year can access better paying jobs, housing, education and a welfare system that means they don’t need to worry where their child’s next meal is coming from.

Imagine a Wales where waiting lists for healthcare treatments are short enough that your illness or injury is treated before it gets worse. Imagine a Wales where safe, high-quality and affordable housing is available for all people who live and work in your community year-round.

In dozens of countries around the world, imagination isn’t required, because they are the reality. If it’s possible for other countries, it’s possible for Wales.

Facts

New Wales is a not-for-profit volunteer-led research organisation focussed on filtering out the rhetoric, the bluster, misinformation and disinformation, to provide the people of Wales with facts, evidence and ideas to discuss.

We want Wales to be a better country to live in. New Wales will highlight places from which Welsh policy-makers can learn, providing workable, economically sound, socially responsible, progressive and environmentally sustainable policies, which can be adapted and put into effect in Welsh communities nationwide. Communities that desperately need new thinking and new action.

New Wales is now announcing its online launch! The predictable outcome of the UK General Election looms large, but the people of Wales deserve to be provided with better ideas, better policies, better outcomes. It is the goal and privilege of New Wales to research and develop those ideas, and publicly question the policy-makers on their choices and actions.

Wales has so much potential. Let’s find better ways to tap into that potential for the benefit of Wales, its people, its future, and its world. A New Wales for a better, brighter future.

Find out more online at our website, new.wales, or on our growing social media channels across X (@aNewWales), Facebook, Instagram & Threads.


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For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

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Meg
Meg
17 days ago

If you can give apolitical non-ideological facts then you could be one of the greatest resources the Welsh people have had.
However, such NPOs in the past have proven to be funded and puppeted by shadowy ideological entities as the Heritage Foundation, or the Tories, or any number of One Nation far right millionaires, billionaires fraudsters and bigots.
I hope you are what you say you are. But we WILL be looking at your sponsors and your funding and your connections

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
17 days ago

Sounds good. Welsh politicians are failing us, we need change. No more Labour, Tory or Lib Dems. Plaid is the only way

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
17 days ago

All our social ills are Conservative & Labour made. Unionism has not only failed Wales but doesn’t even represent us. We need to think outside the box rather than be bound & gagged within. For Wales to change we as a people must too.

#PlaidCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 #YesCymru 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Ymlaen 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿. #Labour 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #Conservative 🇬🇧🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 #Welshnot ⛔

Garry Jones
Garry Jones
17 days ago

New.Wales has potential to complement news gathering and publishing resources such as Nation.Cymru, social media such as FB, and more sector-specific think-tanks and policy development groups across Cymru. Perhaps eventually becoming a curated and searchable resource for future policy makers. I look forward to reading, and perhaps occasionally engaging in actively moderated discussion here. New.Wales is an exciting project, and I support it. 

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