Friday, 31 December 2010

2011 - the year for a revolution in co-operation?

Over the last two years, Plaid Cymru has issued a number of papers and carried out a series of events aimed at consulting people in Wales in preparation for our manifesto for next year's Assembly elections. Hundreds of people have participated in one-day conferences focussing on climate change, security, communities, town centres and more. I participated in many of these events where there were often lively, informative and stimulating discussions.

Some common themes have emerged. Energy and food security must be planned for. Jobs are essential, particularly in those areas which have suffered from economic decline since the devastation of Wales's heavy industry. Difficult economic conditions coupled with public sector cuts means that long term planning is needed if the parts of the Welsh economy are to avoid becoming depressed.

Over the coming weeks, I will be publishing a 'greenprint for the valleys', a specific set of proposals which aims to pull together the themes from the consultation days into a long-term plan to create jobs which prepare us for the future. By aiming for self-sufficiency, can we create our own markets and capacity to start a revolution in renewable energy, home energy efficiency, public transport and food production? Can we utilise existing government initiatives like feed-in tariffs and youth training schemes as well as public sector procurement and encourage the formation of co-operatives to create jobs to do work that will benefit our communities in the long term?

With responsibility for the plan laying with someone with a seat at the Welsh government table, the plan should be implemented in a pilot area covering the most economically deprived communities within the EU Assisted area known as West Wales and the Valleys. In the run-up to the Assembly elections I will be taking the proposal to the different valley communities to hear to peoples' views. In the longer term, I hope that successful aspects of the plan could be rolled out throughout Wales.

Can people be motivated to get involved in a plan to turn-around local economies and communities? Are people up for thinking about an alterative to Cameron's 'Big Society' here in Wales?

If you would like an advance copy of the consultation 'greenprint', or you would like to be kept informed about the meetings planned for the valleys, or you would like more information about Plaid Cymru, please send an e mail to


Anonymous said...

Also on a brighter note, the Yes For Wales campaign has the potential to bring us a step closer to democracy, not to mention Wales being better off by roughly £300 million. No doubt you already know this austerity stuff is about transferring as much wealth as possible to those running the global banks, and England's economy is going to be ruined, screwed, and probably destroyed in the process.
Michael Johnson

Can we get people involved in Welsh politics? I think so. There's certainly been a change in mass consciousness over the past year, and the protests are getting larger and more frequent.
People have lost faith in electoral politics, thanks largely to the Tories and Liberals. On the other hand, revolutionary socialism isn't attracting a majority, and revolutions only happen under dictatorships anyway. We seem to be headed toward some kind of co-operative society, and your thinking is kind of reflective of this subtle change. Indeed, Cameron's trying to market his own toxic ideology under the pretense of a co-operative, and that's why you really need to make the 'greenprint' unambiguous to differentiate it from that.

As it stands, people feel disconnected from the millionaires that occupy Westminster, distanced from the political system, and also powerless to affect it. We'll be looking closer to home - to the Plaid Cymru and Labour representatives in our communities. Empowering people is the key to getting the public involved in making the greenprint become reality, and another reason why it's important to have Plaid Cymru campaigning Yes For Wales on the streets over the coming year.

the madcap rambles said...

"Can people be motivated to get involved in a plan to turn-around local economies and communities? Are people up for thinking about an alterative to Cameron's 'Big Society' here in Wales?"

I certainly am, it is an idea for exactly this sort of thing I was referring to when I spoke to you this evening!

I will send you an email to be kept informed of meetings and to receive a copy of your 'greenprint', and be in touch to discuss my idea when you are free to meet up.

Esther Nagle