This is going to cause me some trouble I can tell.
Two things this week have triggered me to ask a couple of questions to, quite frankly our best hope of stopping austerity, Jeremy Corbyn. Before I go on, as stated before I am in favour of any progressive party, with close family ties to the Labour party, yet scrutiny is a must for progression. I am lucky enough to be a friend of Leanne Wood on Facebook due to the fact that our families have been neighbours in Penycraig for generations, and of course I support her views on greater decentralisation to Wales and anti-austerity. This week Ms Wood confirmed what I had been trying to ignore for years now; the fact that Welsh Labour are not effective enough.
At a Plaid Cymru speech in Cardiff on Monday, Ms Wood stated that Plaid would reverse Labour’s “lack-luster” and “unambitious” tendencies in the Welsh Assembly and in Westminster. Wood is right on the ball here. Labour do a good job at defending the many against the few in England, but they have totally forgotten about the ‘other parts’ of the UK. Wales have been absolutely vital to any success Labour have achieved at voting time, but it seems that Labour will not “empower the people, because they do not trust the people.” For any success in the future Corbyn needs to invest in and assist the socialist movement in Wales.
We have always been the forerunners in the welfare state, from Lloyd-George’s ‘War on Poverty’ to Nye Bevan’s creation of the NHS. The lack of thought that Labour is giving Wales at this moment will take its toll in time if not currently addressed, even though they hold the majority in the assembly. Wood went further, stating that Welsh Labour are “leaving behind the community,” yet I believe they are leaving their roots behind. My great-grandmother, or Mam Gard as we used to call her, was a Labour councillor and hopeful mayor of Rhondda until she lost her fight with cancer. She epitomised everything about Welsh support for the party, a tea-addict, wife of a coal-miner and voice of the community. Like her the rest of us Welsh are proud, social warriors, fighting for equality, so much so that I can keep on adding names of Welsh figures which have proved vital to the Co-operative, Labour and Liberal movements until nearly everyone in Welsh history were added. Investiture into Wales will mean a stronger UK.
‘Two hands. That’s what the Labour movement means, should mean. You support me. I support you. Whoever you are. Where ever you come from. Shoulder to shoulder, hand to hand.’
These effectively are just some of the words that changed my outlook on life. They feature in the film Pride. Queue the link of nationality and sex to the reference. Yet again they mean just as much now as they did during the strikes or the creation of the unions. Surprisingly, it is Labour who needs to remember this. Again, I am a Labour/ Plaid voter, but this needs to be said. There was a question on BBC’s Question Time last week in London: ‘Why don’t Labour use the General Election as a second referendum?’ 79% of Labour supporters want a second referendum. 65% of Labour voted remain. 53% of Wales want another referendum, with a majority of 5% voting remain this time around. The evidence is concrete, align with the other progressive, anti-Brexit, anti-austerity parties and use combined power to give the people what they now want. Without going too far into Brexit as, although it is vitally important, there are far too many commentaries. But one thing is important, there is a clear indication from these polls that the situation as well as voting decisions have changed and so should Labour’s “lack-luster” defence of the EU. When will Corbyn support the rest of the opposition to block the government?
(The damaging photograph of the vacant seat, courtesy of @CarolineLucas)