In which The Author reads a letter from a friend
I’ve mentioned Dr Dafydd Trystan Davies several times already in this blog. He’s the son of Rowland Davies, the former Aberdare Leader editor and they’re both very good friends of mine. In addition, they’re both extremely active members of Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales); Rowland currently edits the party newspaper, Welsh Nation, and Dafydd is the chairperson. Right across Wales, and not just in its Welsh-speaking rural heartlands, the party has been experiencing a surge of popularity under its new leader, Leanne Wood.
Leanne’s dynamic, youthful and engaging approach has attracted many former Labour voters (as well as those of other political sympathies and none.) I’ve read her Greenprint for the Valleys
, and it’s clear that we agree on a great number of issues.
Plaid Cymru recently formed an alliance with the Scottish National Party and the Green Party. If the May elections result in the expected hung parliament, the three leaders could be in a powerful position to shape policies at Westminster. When we were out on Xmas Day, Rowland asked me (once again) to join the party.
Now, I’ve refused to join any political party since I saw Crass, Flux of Pink Indians and Annie Anxiety in Trecynon Coliseum, at the height of the Miners’ Strike in July 1984. As my regular readers will know, I’ve described myself as an anarchist ever since that evening.
I’ve recently re-engaged with the electoral process again, not least because of my friendship with Rowland and Dafydd. I’ve been broadly sympathetic to Plaid Cymru’s aims and policies for a long time. As I told you in Nooks and Crannies
I did some leafleting around Trecynon for Dafydd when he stood for Westminster a few years ago.
I told you about the general political situation in the Valleys in No Future
. I’ve been increasingly drawn to Plaid Cymru and their forward-looking policies, especially when so many people locally are stuck in the 1970s – or even earlier!
When there was a council by-election in Aberaman North last year, I joined Rowland, Dafydd and Cerith Griffiths, our Plaid Cymru candidate for the forthcoming UK elections, and did some leafleting with them. Cerith is a firefighter, and a strong supporter of trades unions – a far cry from the modern Labour Party.
[A digression: I once met a chap named Ian from the Rhondda Cynon Taff Anarchists group for a pint in Pontypridd. I was shocked when he told me that he was Leanne’s partner. Elections in the Rhondda Valleys, where they live, must be fun. Leanne goes down the street dropping leaflets through the doors; half an hour later, Ian must follow in her wake with flyers saying ‘Don’t vote for anyone, they’re all a bunch of bastards!’]
I think (always assuming I get my benefits reinstated after Monday’s visit to the Jobcentre, of course) I’ll be joining Plaid Cymru some time before the next election. Where I’ve been wavering, a letter from Dafydd in today’s Western Mail has finally tipped the balance. I thought I’d share it with you, so that you can see how the Labour Party has treated the people of Wales (and, by extension, the people of Scotland.)
Sir – I was appalled by the vote in Westminster this week on the Conservatives’ public spending cuts programme. Some 517 MPs voted in favour, while 20 MPs voted against. Those against were led by Plaid, the SNP and the Greens – along with a few Left-wing Labour MPs from England. Not one Labour MP from Wales voted against the Tory cuts agenda.
What a sorry state of affairs for Labour – a once great party reduced to supporting Conservative plans to cut public sector spending. The hardworking communities of Wales are being ignored again – just as Tony Blair did, as he sought to reassure wealthy voters in the south-east of England that Labour was on their side.
I have little doubt that Aneurin Bevan would be spinning in his grave at the sight of this Labour-Conservative cuts coalition. He would understand the devastating impact of public sector cuts on our communities, it is a great shame that Labour MPs today seem to have forgotten who they stand for!
Dafydd Trystan Davies
Isn’t it good to know that the modern Labour Party, under the current leadership of the spineless Oxford-educated PPE graduate Edward Samuel Miliband, are sticking so closely to their founding principles? After all, a satirical old song (to the tune of socialist anthem ‘The Red Flag’) went like this:
The working class can kiss my arse,
I’ve got the foreman’s job at last!