30/03/2008

Vote for Wales or Vote Gwynedd / Lloegr?

Since I began commenting on-line about political issues, many years before blogs were invented, I have supported Plaid Cymru during election periods and opposed Plaid's lack of commitment to what I see as purist Welsh Nationalism in between elections.

I find myself in a conundrum with the forthcoming County Council elections.

My nephew in law, Gethin Williams, is standing for Llais Gwynedd as the candidate for the Llanelltyd, Brithdir ac Islaw'r Dref ward of Gwynedd Council. If elected he will be a bloody good councillor for his ward. I say this from knowing the boy rather than the relation or the party rep. I hope that he is elected.

There are others on the Llais Gwynedd list that I know and respect:

Owain Gwynys, Seimon Glyn, Alwyn Gruffudd, people who have suffered for being nationalists rather than party hacks, the sort of nationalist that I support. People who have shown that they put the national cause before personal enhancement and have served the national cause well over many years, people who I want to see elected.

A council with individual members like Gethin, Alwyn, Seimon and Now would be a council and a half.

BUT - they are not Llais Gwynedd. Llais Gwynedd is a party of one issue people who don’t want local schools to change. And from what I've heard, some of the opponents of school changes oppose on the basis that it will force more Welsh on their kids. The idea that those at the heart of true Welsh Nationalism could coalesce with those who oppose the very existence of our language, just in order to save a school or two, turns my stomach.

I support Plaid Cymru during election periods, for the simple reason that it is the only nationalist party that we have. I would love to see a credible alternative nationalist party. Llais Gwynedd doesn’t provide that alternative!

The only way to vote for Wales in Gwynedd next May is to vote for the Plaid Cymru Candidate. (Unless you live in the Dolgellau Rural District, where you should vote for Gethin Williams)!

6 comments:

  1. Llais Gwynedd are taking a very dangerous path, as if they deprive Plaid of an overall majority then what options are there? Labour supported the school changes and have kept the heads down and mouths shut on the issue. The reality is that Local Government has had the budget squeeze passed onto it by WAG, who themselves face a very low budget from London. To keep open all the schools would lead to savage cuts in other services, which would mean the big spending departments such as Social Services. Can any Councillor defend keeping open a school with a dozen children and deny funding to fully protect childen on the 'at risk' register? This is quite a dramatic example, but one that could well occur if Llais Gwynedd get elected and block any changes.

    Plaid have handled the p.r. with their proposals badly and any changes should have in hindsight, been handled over many years and not in one lump. However, unless someone can come up with a funding stream that can plug the gap to keep all the schools open, what alternatives are there?

    I was surprised to hear that anti-language bigots were opposing the changes for their own ends. It's rather depressing to know that such bigots exist in such numbers up north, as they do down south. You only have to scratch the surface to find them plotting away in places like Cardiff and Swansea.

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  2. Dear Old Uncle Al! Thank you for your kind words about Gethin although you don't seem too enthusiastic about the newly formed party - Llais Gwynedd. I want to take this opportunity to try my best to convert your thinking and lead you to the conclusion that for the people living in Gwynedd, 'Llais' is the party to represent our views and their impending success at the polls will be proof in itself!
    'Llais' candidates such as Alwyn, Seimon and Now are people of principal and to their credit would rather practice what they preach through the newly formed party - aimed at conveying the views of the people - rather than 'kow - tow' to officers, governmental mandarins and politicians that are totally out of touch with the views, opinions and needs of their people!
    They are far from being a 'single issue' party. I know that many inhabitants of our area, including Gethin and myself have had grave concerns about the lack of development, expenditure, housing, employment and the general decline of our rural towns and villages. The current 'blanket' policies of G.C.C are not working for Gwynedd. It's been 12 years now since the re-organisation and South and West Gwynedd have suffered badly. Current policies of all the main parties are leaning to urban areas and votes, but it's these policies that are driving bigger divides between town and country. For example, a prominent Plaid member on the Council Board wrote to me and said that they have to retreat from rural areas and re-group their resources to urban areas. Talk about holding up the white flag! If they want the Menai hub for business so be it - but if they want to leave the rural areas to Leisure and Tourism (as stated in the Councillors letter) then we need help. Therefore we need affordable homes, cheaper parking so that tourists return, lower rates for local shops to ensure their survival and finally to safeguard our leisure facilities and public services. WAG, Snowdonia National Park and G. C. C. need to take the handcuffs off so that schemes in rural areas can be developed therefore prospering rather than constantly in decline. But of course this will not be done under the present Council as Caernarfon is the centre of the universe!! I've even heard that some people are keen to move the starting point of the 'Three Peaks' yacht race from Barmouth to somewhere further North! Will they leave us anything?!
    'Llais' will stand 27 candidates in local elections, Plaid 58, 30 Ind. 18 Lab. 7 Lib. Dems. 4 W. Cons. and 1 B.N.P. So in only 5 months they have aquired the second largest number of candidates in a party, a great achievement in itself.
    The schools issue for Gethin and the other 26 candidates was only the catalyst for the forming of Llais Gwynedd.The disaffection with our representatives finally came to a head, after all if they close all of our rural schools we'll suffer even more de-population and our local economy will suffer further. Being free of National Party politics can reverse the decline in our rural areas and when 'Llais' prevail they will bring accountability and respect back to people and their communities.
    And as for your comment "Vote Gwynedd / Lloegr" 90% of Llais Gwynedd candidates are local, ordinary Welsh speaking people and should be commended for standing up to the powers that be.
    Your niece, Clare xx
    P.S How are Aunty Helen and the boys?

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  3. Gethin,

    So you are more than a one issue party, are you? If you claim to be a party and not just a group of like-minded independents, perhaps you can explain how you are going to pay for equal pay deals and the deadlines for recycling that 'Ian' hinted at? I work in Local Government and come across individuals like you all the time.

    You love to talk about the popular easy issues and then avoid altogether all the issues that serious political parties have to deal with, when managing a Council.

    As you have pointed out, you are playing rural Gwynedd against urban Gwynedd so you are not a party of Gwynedd at all, but 'Llais (the rural bits with really small schools)Gwynedd'.

    I can only assume that you now want Gwynedd to split into two Councils, one representing the urban areas and one the rural.

    Talk about a party with no future.

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  4. Dear anonymous, I am sorry to disappoint you but it was not Gethin that wrote the comment that you replied to, it was me - Clare as you would have found if you had read the comment in its entirety. My comment was exactly that - MY comment. These are MY feelings and responses to Llais Gwynedd.

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  5. Aunty "Annie -onymus"09/04/2008, 00:27

    Dear anonymous,
    if you cant put your name to a piece you should not bother writing. I live in cardiff an have no particular view on LLais Gwynedd. But don't go shouting your mouth off if your too afraid to give your name.
    P.s
    don't pick on my little niece!!

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  6. I wasn;t sure what to think of Llais Gwynedd for a while - after all their idols The People's Voice in Blaenau Gwent have at least awakened deocracy there and it seems that Llais Gwynedd is doing the same thing - I understand there's much less uncontested seats in Gwynedd than usually this year.

    The more I read about them however, the more I worry for Gwynedd if they get elected in any sort of numbers.

    The comments of the party's founder on maes-E are truly terrifying, if not downright disgusting - they sound more like a sulking schoolboy than a politician able to run a Council.

    I suspect that Llais Gwynedd will get the 6 or 7 seats it needs to make Gwynedd NOC - and maybe it won't be a bad thing for that to happen - no Council should be ruled by the same party forever - but I truly hope that whatever coalition takes control of Gwynedd doesn't include Llais Gwynedd.

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