Plaid Cymru conference is almost upon us and I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be holding a fringe event at the Celtic Royal Hotel at 12:30 on Friday.
Nigel Copner, who very nearly won Blaenau Gwent in the last Assembly elections, will join me at the event.
It will be chaired by Heledd Gwyndaf, the national Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, who’ll be acting in a personal capacity. Lunch will be provided, courtesy of sponsors.
That’s the information for the event out the way, but why Vision 20:20? The point of Vision 20:20 is to achieve four things:
To be really clear about Plaid’s election aims and strategy.
If you are committed to ending Labour rule in Wales, by robustly challenging them, then Vision 20:20 is the place for you.
Plaid needs to be the biggest party in the Assembly. We need to take Labour on and stop cooperating with them.
To have a clear Vision for Wales.
But, for me, it really boils down to the choice between a Wales where people are dependent on the state and a Wales where the state empowers people to be free.
I think when people lead independent lives they’ll want to live in an independent country.
Vision 20:20 is about Wales getting the things we do want, rather than having the things other people don’t want being dumped on us.
But more than that it’s about being really confident in saying we want Wales to be a sovereign nation.
Avoiding the independence question hasn’t benefited Plaid. It’s always made us seem like we have something to hide and taken away that really audacious goal that we can all unite around.
Wanting a fully sovereign Wales is something to be proud of. It’s saying that we believe in our country so much that we think it can and should make decisions for itself.
We are surrounded by really talented people that deserve Wales to be centre stage.
To win big in the PCC elections.
2020 is the year the next major elections are scheduled to take place; that’s the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
I remember being one of only a handful of people calling for Plaid to stand candidates in the first PCC elections at Plaid conference in 2012. The Plaid top brass were resolutely opposed.
When we finally did decide to stand candidates we won half the seats in Wales and Dafydd Llywelyn and Arfon Jones have since become two of the best known Police and Crime Commissioners in the UK.
Policing and crime are not two areas you immediately associate with Plaid but Dafydd and Arfon have really made these roles their own and shown how innovative Plaid can be.
We need to follow this up now with a big push in 2020 to win at least 3 of the 4 seats.
To win big in the Assembly elections and become the Welsh Government.
2020 is also the year when we need to launch the biggest Assembly campaign we’ve ever run.
We need to start putting that plan in place in our constituencies now so that, come 2020, everything is ready for us to blitz Wales for the 12 months leading up to the elections in 2021.
There are thousands of civil servants in Wales and virtually all they’ve ever known is working for Labour.
We need to take over the machinery of government in our country and get those civil servants working for us. Being in the Assembly is good but being in government is so much better.
I and Nigel Copner have the experience of turning Cardiff West and Blaenau Gwent, two formerly rock solid Labour seats, into marginals that Plaid Cymru can win.
We did that by taking Labour on and putting effective campaign teams around us. If you want to hear more about how we did it then please come along.
But the focus of Vision 20:20 is the future. That’s a future where Plaid wins and where Wales wins. We’ve got to build our party up if we’re going to build Wales up.
We have a great country. What we need now is a great government. Let’s start working towards it.