Monday, April 09, 2007

The Light amongst the Grasses

This is a watershed post. Not for you dear readers, but for me. I was tidying up the cortaderias when a realisation so overpowering came upon me that I have had to rush in to post - just in case I lose it again. Its one of those thoughts that have been bouncing around the dark corridors of my mind, which has suddenly crashing into the 'active' zone. It might only be the glorious sunshine but it sure puts some backbone into my politics.

It started with the question "How does a country which does not believe in separation from England come to vote for a political party that does?". (We're talking Scotland here.) The answer must be that a lot of voters are voting for Alex Salmon because they believe he puts Scotland first rather than for any policy reasoning. The SNP may talk 'socialism' but that is not why Scots are going to vote for them. I reckon that there are probably many thousands of a centre-right mindset who think a Scotland with greater autonomy can be less 'socialist' than a Gordon Brown led Government at Westminster. And I suspect they are right.

Next question is how this translates to Wales. At present, the 'Wales, our nation' camp is infected with 'socialism'. And that is because people like me have allowed it to happen. And I have just been confronted by the realisation that it has been because of a lack of courage (no other way of putting it). Since the 1997 devolution referendum, I have been going around saying "Now that we have devolution, it is not going away and we must work to make a success of it" or "I accept the referendum result because I am a democrat". I have gone further than most in my party by saying "In the interests of 'accountability' I believe we should have law making powers in devolved areas". When I think about it, how can I expect to inspire anyone with such non-visionary, feet-dragging, reluctant acceptance.

All this brings me closer to Plaid Cymru in some ways, but drives a 'Berlin Wall' between me and the so-called Party of Wales in other ways. Plaid Cymru has become a 'socialist' party with a 'begging bowl' approach to politics, an unshakable belief in 'state interference' and a policy agenda aimed at promoting a culture of dependency. It is the anti- private sector party. It is time for devolution to be promoted as a mechanism for getting the state off the backs of the people. The case for devolution, and devolution itself is not safe in Plaid Cymru's hands.

And the joy of it is that I hardly need to change my views at all - just be more courageous about why I hold them. I believe that Wales should have law making powers so that we can set the people free from the stultifying shackles of the 'state', we can oppose the 'freebie' culture of dependency creation, we can search for ideas to help ourselves, etc.. I am a centre/right politician who is appalled by what Labour is doing to Wales from its Westminster base and Cardiff Bay outpost - and I positively want a full law making National Assembly so that Wales can cast off the great 'socialist' baggage that is dragging my proud nation down.


Anonymous said...

I see Arsembly has now resorted to homophobia.

Will you be boycotting him now?

Anonymous said...

hear, hear.

Answer, Glyn!

Anonymous said...

glyn doesn't want to answer...

Anonymous said...

I want to see a Wales with as much devolved power as the "official" Basque Country.

I want to see a Wales where the rights of Welsh speakers and communities are not only protected, but where Welsh truly becomes an official language, and is promoted by the government to be a language all Welsh people -regardless of what language they speak- can consider as belonging to them.

I want to see a Wales where rural communities are protected from the blight of rising house prices.

I want to see a Wales where social justice is not undermined by politics.

There are too many things that need resolving in Wales to allow the state to use a "hands off" approach. I'm not so much opposing your argument about socialism, Glyn, but the only way forward is to fashion a path that employs both the good things from a socialist state AND the good things from the right. I want to see a Wales where the majority own their own homes in their own communities, where small private businesses abound, and where leaving their communities to find work becomes a choice, not a necessity.

PS Arsembly is not being homophobic, he's just having a laugh.

Glyn Davies AM said...

You've all encouraged me to visit Arsembly now. I found his 'offending' comment neither funny nor homophobic - nor 'offending' for that matter. I wouldn't have posted such a comment myself.

The thing about arsembly is that sometimes it is genuinely funny - and sometimes it isn't. You know what to expect if you visit the site. This time, the supposed joke didn't work for me. Sometimes, I am disapproving of the content, but I try to gloss over the gratuitous use of the c*** word, which I don't like. I also know that if I approved of everything arsembly posted, he or she would be most upset.

Glyn Davies AM said...

sanddef, I totally agree with your comment. That is exactly the attitude I hope we Tories are taking. Its certainly my approach. Of course the state has a role - but it can rarely sort out a problem without using the 'dynamism' of the private sector - and there is no better example than house prices where state interference has totally screwed up the planning system.

Arsembly said...

glyn i totally diagree with you.

give me one example of where arsembly has been genuinely funny.

Glyn Davies AM said...

Too risky to answer this one - especially with an election around the corner

Anonymous said...

give me one example of where arsembly has been genuinely funny.

Oh come on, that live blog on Wales Decides had everyone wtting their pants. Please liveblog the next one.

Blamerbell said...

"and I positively want a full law making National Assembly so that Wales can cast off the great 'socialist' baggage that is dragging my proud nation down."

Hasn't this revelation come a little late for the poor old voters?

I'm looking at page 35 of your manifesto on 'using devolution more imaginatively'. It just says "introduce a Welsh symbol on car number plates".

Am I missing the page on full-law making powers?

Glyn Davies AM said...

Blamerbell, this blog is my personal view of life and politics. Would you bother tune in if I just recited chunks of the manifesto. Some other blogs probably do. As far as I know I was the only one tidying up cortaderias today.

And before you ask, I am content with Page 35 - its just that I would go a tad further.

Anonymous said...

Glyn, have you given you support to this yet?

bethan said...

I've already given a comment on my blog regarding your latest entry. At the end of the day, before the HTV poll, you were mentioning the Rainbow Coalition right left and cetnre. You aquire some confidence and now you come out and criticise Plaid because you want to change tac.

Plaid believes in devolving power to the people of Wales- that is why we have come up with ideas such as citizen's assemblies, and community involvement in local decision making regarding issues such as energy conservation. It is a Labour Gpvernment that has created a culture of dependency, not Plaid. We would like to win as many seats as possible to show that we can do things differently to past Labour and Tory Governments.

Im glad your true colours are clear,so that we can get on with the job of winning this election without some people fuelling the Rainbow coalition.

Glyn Davies AM said...

Bethan, my colours have always been clear - and I remain as keen on a non Labour coalition as ever. Anyway, Adam was the last one out with the fuel can. But none of this rules out healthy debate about where Plaid policy is wrong about things - and I fully expect you to give it back with interest. Couldn't see much wrong with what you wrote to in your comment though. I favour some sort of limited coalition - not merger. And it can only work if it suits all sides. And look at the alternative ! And I mean the real alternative - which is propping up Labour in office for another term.

Sanddef, I have not replied to the Cymuned email yet. I may do - but the threat of exposure probably means that I will leave it until after the threat date has passed. It so happens that I was there a long time before they were. I was talking (and implementing) this sort of approach when I was Chair of a Planning Authority for 6 years in the 1980s. Threats put me right off though. Gave up taking any notice when I was in primary school.

Anonymous said...
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Penddu said...

I am committed to Welsh Independence, but I would always be worried that an independent Wales would be ruined before it begun by the state leeches of the Labour party (and some in the left of Plaid). Sounds like you are just the man to promote an alternative vision for Wales.

Pob Lwc

Anonymous said...
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