It has become clear to many of us that eighteen years of devolution have achieved nothing. For by any criterion one wishes to apply Wales is worse off today than she was twenty years ago.
Our country is poorer, our children are less well educated than those of other nations, our health service is at breaking point, and as if that wasn’t bad enough our very identity is under attack from many quarters.
Those of us wishing to both retain Wales’ distinctiveness and make her more prosperous realise that independence is the only way to achieve these ambitions.
But we have no political representation, therefore I believe the time has come to discuss the formation of a new political party.
Such a party should focus on Wales, defending and promoting what benefits Wales and Welsh people, and opposing that which does not. For example . . .
- Insist on our children being taught the history and traditions of their country in both languages; our young people being given the skills needed to work in the twenty-first century; restore our universities to being centres of the nation’s academic and cultural life rather than alien and grubby places concerned solely with making money.
- Support native business and enterprise rather than squander money on individuals and companies that turn up in Wales having heard there’s easy money available.
- Complement an innovative native business sector with an efficient public sector. This combination will largely remove the need for a third sector currently filled with political cronies doing the same work as other political cronies in competing organisations.
- Seek to end the pernicious influence on Welsh national life of cross-border organisations that treat Wales as a region of England. These must be replaced by Wales-only bodies serving the Welsh national interest.
- Support the Welsh language, defend individuals and communities using the language, and promote its widest possible use. All the while recognising that in the twenty-first century considerations of Welshness cannot be restricted to the Welsh language alone.
- Prioritise the needs and interests of Welsh people in employment, housing, education, funding and other areas.
The bullet points I’ve listed above are no more than suggestions from me, because all I’m doing is inviting people to come to a meeting, I plan no role for myself in any new party that might emerge.
The reason I’ve chosen those points should be self-evident, certainly to regular readers of this blog. But I’m also hoping that such a statement will deter people from making a wasted journey on November 4th, because anyone who thinks Wales needs another socialist party, or a bigger third sector, or more Englandandwales organisations, really has nothing to contribute.
I would like to see a party that can ruthlessly expose the shortcomings of the parties currently ruining Wales while coming up with constructive ideas for making Wales a better place for our people. All the while reminding them that only by taking control of their own destiny can they have a country that stands comparison with the rest of Europe and the wider world.
The meeting to discuss the formation of this new party will be held at the Marine Hotel, Aberystwyth on Saturday, November 4th, at 1pm. Anyone interested in discussing the formation of a new party, or simply learning more, is invited to attend.
The lower ground floor room I’ve booked will hold 50 – 60 people plus a table for 6 or 7 speakers facing the audience. (Possibly more at a squeeze.) This room is to the right of the reception desk.
It might be a good idea if people arrive around mid-day and gather in the bar before the meeting begins. Meeting informally beforehand will give us a chance to introduce ourselves and perhaps decide on the best way to run the meeting.
Of course I have no idea how many will turn up, so it would help if you could get in touch to let me know if you plan on coming. And also let me know if you want to speak. I think everyone wishing to speak should be given the opportunity in order to get as wide a range of views as possible, but to avoid the more wordy attendees taking over the meeting I suggest that each speaker be limited to 5 minutes.
Obviously, for a meeting of this nature, there can be no agenda, no minutes from previous meetings, it all starts from scratch. So the first job will perhaps be to choose someone to chair the meeting.
I am not inviting the media but if it is agreed to proceed with forming a new party then those present may wish to issue a statement.
Those attending will be asked to introduce themselves unless they are known to the organisers or someone known to the organisers can vouch for them.
Contributors may speak in Welsh or English as translation facilities will be available.
I look forward to seeing you in Aberystwyth on November 4th
P.S. If you wish to make a financial contribution then please use the PayPal widget on the sidebar or the foot of this post. Make it clear that the donation is for the meeting/new party rather than the blog/wine producers of Argentina.