Neil McEvoy AM
When people ask us about sovereignty we need to make it clear that it’s not sovereignty for its own sake.
It’s sovereignty because Wales has something to offer. We can be a force for good in this world.
We have a duty to take responsibility for ourselves. Being in the UK really has only one main advantage, so far as I can see, and that’s not having to take responsibility.
Kant knew this in the 18th Century. He recognised that there are always people willing to establish themselves as our ‘guardians’, who will carefully see to it that people regard taking the step to ‘maturity’ as ‘difficult’ and ‘dangerous’.
By not taking responsibility we leave it to others to be our guardians and we pay a heavy price for that.
That’s why we have the worst infrastructure, the worst education and the worst economy in the UK and much of Western Europe.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Wales that should lead to this. There are plenty of other smaller, mountainous places in the world that are thriving.
It’s just that we were conquered early on, our rebellions against a much larger, more dominant neighbour were unsuccessful and we’ve been relying on their charity ever since.
No wonder we lack confidence as a nation.
What we need to see from the Welsh Government is a much more assertive position. Wales is competing with the rest of the UK for resources from the government in London and we’ll get absolutely nowhere by being agreeable.
It’s unfortunate that’s the case, but that’s how it is and it’s not going to change.
When one of Wales’ top international economists and former advisor to the Welsh Government, Gerald Holtham, is telling us that ‘we are a dependent economy, a lean-to on the UK Government…’ then we should really take action.
And he’s not alone. Another of Wales’ top thinkers, Professor Richard Wyn Jones of the Wales Governance Centre, has written ‘the United Kingdom is not a “sharing union”’.
‘It is rather a realpolitik union. Those with the loudest voice and (oh, the irony) a credible threat of secession, get to have most influence on how resources are allocated.’
I know that listening to the views of clever people has become unfashionable in some quarters, but these people know what they’re talking about.
Carwyn Jones may spend his time screeching at me in the Assembly Chamber but I don’t believe for one second that when he’s in Westminster he’s got the toughness to get the best deal for us.
He personally doesn’t have what it takes and he’s got no leverage anyway.
So what does the Assembly do in this situation? Rather than get some leverage, we keep wasting our time with completely out of touch politics which come from the Authoritarian Left.
That’s a damaging distraction when the institution has undergone a series of major traumas over the past few years that have not been dealt with.
The Brexit vote has simply not been faced up to at all. This collection of people who thought they were in the vanguard of public opinion have got no answers to the fact that Wales voted by majority to leave the European Union.
And the sacking, and subsequent suicide, of Carl Sargeant has absolutely rocked the Assembly. Any ideas that this was a slightly boring, but ultimately friendly, parliament are gone.
Investigations into how toxic the culture in Welsh Government is, are now underway.
Plaid’s response to this has been to fail to even determine if there’s a case to answer to complaints made against me by lobbyists more than 11 months ago.
The group also voted to permanently expel me by a forwarded email, without telling me what I’d done wrong or giving me the chance to defend myself.
There seems no time for the ancient principles of natural justice and allegations needing to be proven, but there is all the time in the world for the privileged, Authoritarian Left.
Future Assembly Members won’t be measured by their merit and ability, but through a simple count of their genitalia.
Citizenship will no longer be what gives people the right to vote. Almost anyone will soon be able to turn up and immediately decide the future of our country.
Most sensible people recognise that removing institutional barriers to deliver equal opportunity is where our focus should be, which includes the barrier of corruption.
But that won’t stop the entitled few from trying to force equality of outcome, when there’s no evidence that it’s even desirable.
It took the European Renaissance to throw off this level of dogma. We should not return to it lightly.
Wales has got to get focused. We’re not going to build the New Welsh Economy and reindustrialise our nation with the technology of the future through identity quotas.
We can’t create a more self-sufficient country that stands on its own two feet through virtue signalling.
We won’t cut all the waste and bureaucracy by throwing money at swathes of third sector organisations with their chief executives’ fat cat salaries.
You won’t own you own home and live a sovereign life if we continue to be a ‘dependent economy’.
Nobody is going to just give this to us. If we want these things we have to get organised and take them.
It’s going to be a lot of work, but we have a responsibility to do it. I’m not prepared to live in a country that is dependent on another and I hope you’re not either.
Wales has something to offer and many people out there can see it too.
If you want to find out more then come to my fringe at Plaid Cymru conference at the Bridge End Hotel in Llangollen – lunchtime on Saturday the 24th of March.
It’s time to propel Wales forward. Let’s start talking about how.