Our out of touch Assembly won’t rebuild Wales through virtue signalling
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.
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Love you Neil!
“I’m not prepared to live in a country that is dependent on another and I hope you’re not either.”
We should be deeply ashamed of ourselves that we have done so for so long.
brilliant til near the end when some pretty wild schrapnel let loose.. RIGHT SPIRIT, trim the barbs. You keep growing
Wouldn’t it be great if we could get all elected Welsh Mps to refuse to sit I Westminster.
As far as I can see, only 3 groups of people could have a problem with this. 1) unionists for whom being part of the union is more important than anything or anyone. 2) people for whom the status quo is proving to be very rewarding either professionally or financially (or both) and 3) people who (not unfairly) immediately become preoccupied by the ‘how’: “how do we do this, we are too small, too poor, too lacking”. We may as well forget about the first 2 groups, they will NEVER be allies and never be convinced. The third group are… Read more »
There are two parts to the problem of Welsh political identity. Firstly there is no such thing as Welsh Labour. They are a branch office of their National Executive Council – where the ‘National’ refers to the UK – i.e. England dominated. Secondly Plaid’s interpretation of Labour as fellow socialists. Labour have a one-eyed version of international socialism that, conveniently, grinds to a halt at the white cliffs of Dover, but is committed to a we’re stronger together’ English dominance of Wales and Scotland. For example look at Carwyn’s visit to Scotland to speak against independence and Corbyn’s refusal to… Read more »
You raise a few very good points early on in this article about a lack of national confidence and our ability to thrive if given the opportunity. What follows however is slightly baffling. Genitals? The death of Carl Sargeant (you manage to shoe-horn that into many points I’ve noticed)? Your removal from the Plaid Cymru group? The authoritarian left? Identity quotas? Attacks on third sector organisations? Virtue signaling? It’s like you’ve set yourself the task of writing about national identity and the sovereignty of Wales, put potential points you want to make into a hat, lost that hat, and have… Read more »
I can see what you mean. But his points re genitals, identity quotas and other proposals affecting the soon-to-be Parliament made sense to me because I’d just completed the “A Parliament for Wales Survey”. I think the other things are listed as (convenient) symptoms of institutional problems currently standing in the way of progress?
The random lists of ‘things that annoy me’ is very Alt-right / Trump speak. As is ‘virtue signaling’
Its an extremely worrying sign for Welsh politics if people are going to start mixing this right wing misogynism with the Independence cause
You need to get over antiquated right-left discourse and move on. Stick to the issues of nationalism versus colonialism, economic stagnation versus prosperity, AMs taking orders from Westminster versus AMs trying to make a better Wales, and you won’t go far wrong.
Original article mentions the Left as well. When it is made part of the authoritarian-libertarian terrain, it cannot be avoided.
i will gloss over the genitalia part. otherwise a resounding CALL TO ARMS !!
One of the first thing I and my students noticed on our first first to the Senedd years ago was how much more balanced the gender ratios were than Westminster and how much less bad tempered shrieking at one another there was. Somewhere along the way since then both things appear to have got lost and the Siamber slides closer towards the behaviour and structure of the House of Commons every day. I’m not sure how we fix it but we need to. I’m puzzled by the notion that “equality of outcomes” as measured by gender ratios among the decision… Read more »
I’ll be honest, whilst I agree with “The assembly should be, to the best of our ability, made up of the same sort of ratios as the real world” I will admit that I think that’s best achieved by extensive changes at party level rather than formal gender quotas alone? But I’m open to all options that would produce a better reflection of society in the siambr.
Ideally, sure – but it’s getting parties to make those changes without they spur of a quota… If they were going to do it out of the goodness of their hearts with softlysoftly methods it would have happened already.
I won’t comment on the bulk of Neil’s article. It was largely hot air and posturing. There was one sentence however that stuck out to me: “Wales is competing with the rest of the UK for resources from the government in London..”. My first thought was – no it isn’t, Wales has its own resources aplenty. Then I realised that what he meant by ‘resources’ was money, or more specifically English pounds. Thinking of money as a resource is the problem. Money is not a resource. It is not even a thing. It is a measure of value and tokens… Read more »
I agree with most of that. The only thing is that we’re heavily restricted by what we can ‘do’ with our resources e.g. natural resources because they’re not devolved areas?
Good, Simon. I am profoundly ignorant about how money works, and hope you keep bashing away until it gets through the concrete.
Wales is energy rich yet suffers shortages. Why?
What is the point about people turning up and being allowed to vote? Who?
And based on genitalia?
I think that is referring to the proposal to allow any person that is here legally, regardless of whether they hold legal citizenship, to be allowed to vote in Assembly elections? The bit about genitalia is about the proposals to create gender quotas for selecting AMs?
I suspect the real message – which Neil McEvoy himself must appreciate after so many years in Plaid Cymru – is not that we are denied more control over our country by England or Unionists but that our political parties have reached the destination of their ambitions. They have an Assembly wherein they may strut and posture, virtue signal to their hearts’ content, while funding an unsustainable third sector made up of political colleagues, friends and relatives and pretend it’s an economy (into which they themselves can slip when rejected by the electors) . Why exchange this responsibility-free heaven in… Read more »
Spot on Royston, spoken like a true Jac ! That community of cachwrs in the Bay have slipped into irrelevance and redundancy in record time. Sadly they still have the powers to make a mess of people’s lives. There is a residue of good people there but the vast majority now held by careerists and political goodlifers exceeds anything a genuine political party could ever hope for. Rule by a smug self satisfied elitist cluster.
Neil’s obviously got plenty to be aggrieved about in the way he’s been treated by Plaid, but sometimes he can fall himself into this victim mentality which is the bane of our current society. However he is absolutely on the money with his description of the Authoritarian Left, which has infiltrated his party to such a degree. It seems to be a toxic blend of woolly romanticising about socialism, Guardian-pleasing progressivism, feminist identity dogma with a sprinkling of Momentum-like moral absolutism. What on earth has that go to do with Welshness or Wales’s current plight? Talk about fiddling while Rome… Read more »
Welsh Nationalism needs to be redefined but I suspect many will be disinclined to accept their ideologies are at this juncture irrelevant. Down the road people can be Socialists, Republicans and whatever else. But really… I’d consider anyone who is unable to put their ideology aside is either ignorant of the challenges and situation Wales faces or is simply happy enough being British. Ideology before nation is self before others.
Starts off with some unarguable generalities about the place of Wales in the Union and the need for independence, then turns into a bizarre, barely comprehensible scatter-gun rant at practically everyone and everything. Weird.
does the Assembly need to adopt a Recall procedure
Since independence seems to be currently off the to-do list in Bubbletown, then to achieve the Wales that Neil McEvoy proposes, we need first of all a proper use of this large amount of pocket-money that Westminster grants to the Senedd. Royston Jones has explained in many a post how this handout is squandered and misused to promote poverty, nepotism, population transfer, and financial benefits to individuals/groups outside Wales, as well as the dependency culture referred to by Neil. The present devolved powers should be enough to ensure that this money is used for Wales’s benefit, and to promote the… Read more »
Well the temperature may rise, and together with the weight of opinion, the ice might break when it thaws, so be ready.
To be pedantic, men and women have the same number of genitals, so the genital counting comment was a bit daft. But the gender balance thing also has it’s problems. I have a female Tory AM, am I supposed to be glad that I have a Tory AM, because she beat a male Plaid candidate?
I’m generally content to let a lot of things go, but I will reply to Steve Colling and his cheap attack. Plaid Cymru should be about defending diversity, including diversity of opinion. The Plaid I joined, championed the particular, over the uniform. I don’t like having to be uniform, neither do voters. I don’t ever recall Steve Colling and his ilk shouting about quotas for people who aren’t white, but I wouldn’t stoop to call him a racist. Why would I? Moreover, if you walk around the Assembly, you will only see black or brown faces working in security or… Read more »
I don’t think that being opposed to quotas makes you a misogynist. I myself am in favour of them, across all divides: male, female, ethnicity, and class. But I don’t insult people who disagree because they feel that, as happens to be the case in Plaid, quotas are what stopped, for instance, Dafydd Wigley, from getting elected though he was desperate to return to politics after his party screwed him over and kicked him out. Quotas in Plaid in the last 2 decades have stopped experienced and passionate politicians with high national visibility from returning to politics, and allowed technocrats… Read more »
Whatever or whomsoever the catalyst there is now a growing presence of the word independence in our lexicon. It sometime take a heavy shoulder to move the rock. But where will it roll. The debate needs a wide audience and oxygen. It’s still far too narrow. It’s needs moving away from bashing the current administrations pro or anti. The Union is unfair in sharing. We are a half Nation. We are a ‘lean to’ people with a systemic failure of self confidence and belief, reliant on handouts. The description is Dickensian. I have a feather quill pen still. Honestly, with… Read more »