With Westminster in meltdown, the time has come for Adam Price

Adam Price. Picture by Plaid Cymru

Jonathan Edwards, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr

When it comes to declarations of support in the Plaid Cymru leadership election, the MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr backing the constituency’s former MP is probably as surprising as the former AM for Ynys Môn backing the constituency’s current AM.

These aren’t shocking interventions, and most Plaid Cymru members will have expected them at some stage.

However, I write this short piece in the wake of Theresa May marching the UK ever closer to an economic cliff-edge having failed to negotiate anything meaningful with the EU.

And Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour copy and pasting the Spanish playbook in Catalonia by threatening to block another Scottish independence vote in the party’s next General Election manifesto, despite the electoral mandate the current Scottish Government has at its disposal.

This sort of politics quickly leads to tyranny as we have seen in Catalonia.  Labour would do well to remember that in Wales, as in Scotland, the people are sovereign.

To legislate specifically to undermine that principle would have far reaching consequences as well as breaking basic human rights on self-determination.

The British State is in deep crisis, desperately trying to reassert its dominance and power.  Like a cornered rat the response of its establishment parties will be ferocious.

We are living in the political age of anger brought about by the Great Recession of a decade ago and the self-defeating austerity policies pursued subsequently.

Fight of our lives

Led by political lightweights, Brexit is too big a challenge for Labour and the Tories.

The Tory response has been to encourage populist urges; witness the pathetic response of the PM to her Salzburg humiliation which was supposed to appear Churchillian but instead looked like a sketch out of the League of Gentlemen. Labour’s strategy has been to appease the populist uprising instead of challenging.

No matter how bad the international humiliation for the British State, it would be naive to think that Brexit would lead to some progressive reconfiguration of the British State along a genuine partnership of equals model.

All attempts by Plaid Cymru to push measures which would enhance co-decision making within the British State have been met with equal derision by Labour and the Conservatives.

All we are likely to get is the right to be consulted whilst the British Government sells off our public services and further decimates our manufacturing base when they bargain future trade deals with the only priority of opening up markets for the banks of London.

Indeed devolution as we have known it has already been weakened with responsibilities given back to London willingly by Wales’ Labour Government.

The bolstering of British nationalism is the unionists answer to the post-Brexit landscape and it doesn’t take a genius to work out where next they will be channelling their hyper-fuelled political anger.

The old certainties of the post-devolution age are gone, we are in for the fight of our lives if we are to protect our democracy and indeed our very nationhood.

Conviction

In adversity, there is always opportunity.  With the Westminster establishment in meltdown, I have a feeling that the Welsh dragon is finally awakening from its slumber.

Essentially, this election is about who Plaid Cymru members think and/or who they believe can lead our party and country at this time of national crisis and opportunity.

Adam Price has presented a comprehensive national economic plan to lead Wales to a more prosperous future. To thwart Westminster’s imperial attitude, he proposes a Welsh Independence Referendum Act to give Wales the critical lever to vote on our own future at a time of our own choosing.

With our very identity under threat, Adam has published a package of ideas to safeguard and strengthen our national language.

Another key point for me has been who our political opponents fear the most. He is the most experienced parliamentarian in this election and, if elected leader, would have the longest period of elected public service of any 2021 candidate for First Minister.

He has the remarkable ability to tell a story and galvanise the country with his transformational vision. He has the ability to persuade with the power and conviction of his argument.

These skills will be vital over the coming years as we will have to transform people’s anger into something positive. Only a comprehensive message of hope can do that.

At this pivotal moment in our history as a nation, the times has come for Adam Price.

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