[This article may also be read on our Facebook page]
FIRSTLY, one must congratulate Labour for arguably their greatest electoral win in Wales to date.
Despite being in power for 22 years here (a time where 5 different PM’s have been in 10 Downing Street), it seems that Labour is still a vote winning machine in Wales, even if the non-voter still holds the majority vote.
I use the word ‘arguably’ as they have avoided several potential banana skins to win this time around – Covid lockdowns, Brexit referendum fall-out and a surge in support for Welsh Independence despite being open about their unionist position (through advocacy of federalism).
How they did this so successfully is anybody’s guess, as I just can’t work it out. Any ideas?
Curiously, the Brexit vote (52.5% in Wales) and the UKIP vote (worth 7 seats in 2016) seems to have evaporated completely since the last Senedd Election. One can only assume that the absolute supremacy of Covid and Westminster (and even American!) politics have fully consigned Brexit to the history books once and for all.
The once strongly held views of people on Brexit must have been more superficial than I thought, given the way the Labour Party had dismissed the democratic wishes of Brexit voters.
I for one was very disappointed to see Labour rewarded with another controlling share of seats at the Senedd. And not mainly on the basis of their personnel or policies. My biggest grievance with them is the way they fail to deliver repeatedly on their manifesto pledges and other promises, and keep winning elections anyway.
There is no incentive for them to actually deliver any projects, such as the infamous M4 relief road and the Circuit of Wales, as voters in Wales keep voting them back in anyway.
Why bother working if you are rewarded for not working? And if that sound a lot like socialism, then it probably is!
Additionally, Labour had absolutely no democratic mandate to deliver some of the more nonsensical policies they came up with during the Covid era. There were too many of these to list but my least favourite were: stopping mothers buying baby clothes at Tesco, cutting communities in Cwm Tawe in two along county Council lines, closing essential services like gyms and swimming pools, and a series of eloquently worded but unenforceable rules such as ‘firebreak’, ‘Bubble’ and ‘radius’ in which the Welsh public were left to interpret as they wanted.
Worryingly, they now have the democratic mandate to do what they want!
On the other side of the coin, things couldn’t have gone worse for Plaid Cymru, the party of Wales. With a significant cohort of the Indy movement seemingly voting for unionist parties over Plaid, and the unexpected electoral defeat of their most recognisable politician in Leanne Wood.
Plaid’s leadership and ideology seems to be in tatters. This is evidently clear in the way that two new pro-Indy parties have been created in recent years due to Plaid’s recalcitrance towards providing a broad consensus of support for Indy, a problem that has a long history within the party.
Perhaps a less dogmatic and ideological approach could have united these parties and given the unionists a better run for their money.
Nearly 31,000 (about 1 in every 100 Welsh people) have signed a YES Cymru pledge in support of Independence, yet Plaid’s share in seats only went up one (12 to 13, now reverting back to 12 with Elin Jones securing a further term as Llywydd).
For me, there seems to be a unionist menace within the Indy movement at present, which uses a vocal anti-Tory pitch to sway people to vote for the Labour Party. It is entirely self-defeating if the true goal is Independence!
I am not a betting man, but If I was, I would have money on Adam Price not being leader at the time of the next Senedd Election. Where can Plaid go from here?
Gwlad, competing in its first ever Senedd Election exceeded the expectations of many in winning over 10,000 votes. Getting Gwlad’s measured yet ambitious message out was very difficult, given the mainstream Media’s insistence on only providing coverage for those parties holding a Westminster seat.
And the state media’s apparatus also seemed to have doubled down on its efforts this time to silence the voices of Welsh and Scottish voices for Independence.
A Gwlad Spokesperson added: ‘Considering we did not stand in 2016 and did not have the resources nor coverage of the other parties, we are enthused by the result, and we are not going away’.
‘A pro-Indy alternative to Plaid and the SNP was long overdue and now they are here in the form of Gwlad and Alba.’
‘Next Stop: Independence with a multi-party democracy already in place.’
5 thoughts on “More To Come For Sure”
About half of my circle of friends are Yes Cymru members (myself included) , Many are politically savvy and can understand the issues well enough to debate them.
A thing to note , and this is purely anecdotal but I assume its the same for many people, those that have no interest in politics and don’t really understand how the world works, are mostly Plaid Cymru and Gwlad supporters; while the ‘politically literate’ Yes Cymru members,are from Labour/Greens/Libs.
Not a single friend that I would consider “Centre-Right” is politically literate. This is not meant to be be a derogatory view on the right, as those friends would be the first to admit they don’t know the first think about politics, or how the country works.
So, your core voter in my experience are the ideologically driven nationalist, rather than the those that want independence on a fact-based, pragmatic ecological plan.
The flag waving will attract the former, but to convince the latter you will need to do far more work and show what your vision of Wales looks like.
What will be the currency?
Will the Fiat currency or state bank be tied to another currency?
Will you allow the abused of fractional lending to enter Wales into the currency slavery we see with other nations?
These are huge questions and you need to show that you have at least given them consideration. Gwlad’s manifesto was a start, but in terms of starting a new country it was woefully inadequate.
Welsh Labour have done something that I never thought i would see, they are going to write a Welsh ‘Constitution’ and I urge all parties to lobby the minister responsible for its creation, to get all Welsh views included in the conversation.
Your friends are probably part of what I’d call the Troglodyte right. The sorts of people who still believe WW2 is on and Britannia still rules the waves, often found in the wild on the Daily Mail comment board. How many of these people have a clue about economics, history, or who Adam Smith was? I’ll give anyone of a reasoned right wing stance a fair hearing, but thickoes of any stripe I have less and less time for these days. To me, a thicko is someone who isn’t too bright, but is utterly convinced of their non-existent prowess and with this conviction comes ignorance. People who may not be the brightest or most educated, but are willing to close their mouths and open their ears I have far more time for.
Why are you censoring comments?
Your comments are not being censored, but it is true that after the election the webmaster here has been spending more time on his day-job, and so hadn’t logged in to this site since the last post was made.
Anyway, thank you for your comment. The only part of it I’d take significant issue with is the assertion that the ‘politically literate’ (Labour/Greens/Libs) are the ones who “understand how the world works”, while those on the centre-right are somehow politically illiterate or lacking in understanding more generally.
We’d argue the opposite. On the left of the political spectrum there often seems to be a feeling – it’s hard not to call it smugness – that they have all the answers and if only they were given the levers of power then everything would work out well. In fact, though, one of the hallmarks of the centre-right is a certain amount of scepticism about the ability of government to deliver the sort of society we want to live in. I’ve blogged about that here:
Very often centre-right people appear disengaged from politics because we’re running our businesses, raising our families, getting on with things and engaging with the way that the world really works: and realising in the process that micro-management by the government isn’t, more often than not, the way to make things better.
It’s true, though, that there are things that only governments can do and it’s important that those things are done well. The article cited above acknowledges that, and currency is doubtless one such thing. Again, this topic has been covered in great detail on this site, with this four-part series running to the best part of 10,000 words:
We are building a new grass-roots party here, and it’s not the work of a year or two (we’ve been running for just shy of three years) nor even a single election cycle. Do not underestimate us.
I’ll listen to what an intelligent person of a reasoned right wing stance has to say, but the chap above has a point about the less intelligent ‘believers’. Sun-reading, chest thumping, immigrant-bashing and tribalistic. Ruled by id and base instincts of ‘mine’ and ‘other’. Of course there’s plenty of silliness to be found in the daft left too and in their propensity to seize upon fringe and intractable issues.