Friday, 31 July 2009

Camping up a storm....

Calling all eco-activists, eco-newbies and anyone else who wants to join in!!

Climate Camp for Action is coming to Wales - from 13th to 16th August, in an as yet undisclosed location somewhere in South Wales, people will join together to inspire, educate, inform and take peaceful direct action in the name of Climate Change.

The camp will be a living example of sustainable and radical alternatives, providing a space for people to meet and learn new skills. Anyone can join in - just rock up and pitch your tent!

There will be plenty of opportunity to learn new stuff, with loads of workshops planned... from a session on "Grey Water and Humanure" to "Legal Training" and "Engaging Communities", it's all there!

I for one, am investing in a pair of wellies and a sleeping bag, and preparing to throw off my "nicey-bits", girly-girl cloak, push my boundaries and experience Climate Camp-ing!

Anyone for helping, I mean, joining me??

More information can be found at or ring 07886719873

Posted by Natasha Cody, Campaigns Officer, eco-newbie and fearer of mud!

Monday, 27 July 2009

The Welsh Government

Cymru X submitted a motion to this year's Plaid Cymru Conference, calling for the party to refer to the administration in Wales as the Welsh Government in all of its communications. The term 'Welsh Assembly Government' is unnecessary and causes confusion amongst the public who will equate the legislative and administrative arm of devolution with the National Assembly itself. This might seem like a minor issue, but in the past it has had a steady political effect on election results, with Plaid doing badly when people thought the Assembly as a whole was to blame for a bad administration (with the early devolution settlement not being a help there either). The WAG term also relegates the Welsh Government to being a lesser beast than the UK Government. While this might be true in terms of powers, it holds back aspiration and the confidence of the people of Wales in their own government.

While not calling for a formal rebranding of the Government during a time of economic recession, it is obvious that people in Wales will generally refer to their government as the Welsh Government, and when they talk about the Assembly they will be talking about the institution at the Senedd composed of 60 Assembly Members of varying parties. The distinction between the two is important to furthering a public understanding of how devolution works.

Our motion was not included in the end, perhaps understandably because it is not the most pressing issue for Plaid Cymru to be addressing, and in any case our Assembly Members, MPs and supporters routinely use the term Welsh Government, emphasising that since Plaid Cymru has entered government we have had a genuinely and independently Welsh administration for the first time since antiquity. We should be proud of this and should not have to muddle things up by talking about a second class 'Assembly Government' as if they cannot ever do the same job as Westminster. It's not as if the UK Government calls itself the 'British Parliamentary Government' is it?!

Nonetheless, it is positive that the new Annual Report by the National Assembly recognises this distinction and refers only to the Welsh Government. It shows that Cymru X is on the ball on this. The report itself also makes interesting reading and Cymru X is particularly pleased with the moves the Assembly has made to accommodate young people in Welsh democracy. You can read the report here:

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Global Warming: Fact, Fiction - Or the Truth?

Guest blogger Josh Parry writes:

As the Assembly government announces that the Welsh nation is the 13th worst country out of those it surveyed for carbon emissions. As a new recycling centre opens and the worst snow storms to hit Wales in the 21st century. Is the Welsh Assembly government wasting too much time, effort and money on the issue of global warming. Pouring millions into surveys on global warming and feasibility studies on barrages and wind turbines. When we have a vast array of coal under the valleys of this great nation which could be re started as an industry to employ the thousands of unemployed. Has the Welsh Assembly been to quick to jump on the Global Warming team and haven't looked at the other facts and figures.

The question I pose is have people jumped on the global warming band wagon before looking at the evidence. Global Warming is a theory of course not a fact. A decade ago no one believed or took any notice of the fact posed that carbon emissions were the cause of the rise in the earth's temperature. I do believe that global warming is happening but it isn't caused by carbon emissions. The earth's temperature has been rising! Is it because of carbon emissions in particular. I would very much doubt it. I'm just afraid that the population of the modern world is accepting global warming as a fact now and not a myth. Have you ever looked at the evidence to support global warming being caused by carbon emissions because if we in 100 years time find out global warming is definitely a natural occurrence. We will look like the laughing stock of time as were the people who thought the earth was flat!!!!

Personally I just want to get people thinking about global warming. Have they looked at the arguments and weighed them up properly. Is global warming really caused by carbon emissions. Is there really a need to cut down on our carbon emissions? Just an insight of graphs out there that doubt global warming and carbon dioxide are dramatically rising.

First of all if we look at this graph of the temperature from the last 500,000 years as we see there have been many ice ages and if you look at the dotted line where the temperature is at now. The temperature of the sea 100,000 years ago was actually at a higher temperature that in is now. I think this graph suggests that temperature change is a natural occurrence. The graph shows that before each ice age, ocean temperatures go sharply vertical, and then there is a rapid cool-down. Ocean temperatures at the present time are near the usual peak which occurs before the cool-down. This evidence does show that the earth is not rising in temperature dramatically at all but approaching a cool down period and the ocean temperatures should be plunging shortly.

People are confused about is the rate of increase of carbon dioxide. Some people think that CO2 is rising dramatically. This is probably because of graphs like the one above. At the current rate of increase, CO2 will not double its current level until 2255.

This graph shows no distinct pattern between rising levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures. In fact as levels of carbon dioxide increase the earth's temperature is plunging.

This graph clearly shows that today's temperatures are nothing new and a severe global warming period did happen in the Middle ages. This does suggest that the temperature which is globally warming could be a natural occurrence as the earth's temperature has been hotter than it was now. The temperature of the all may be warming but is their enough evidence to suggest it is caused by greenhouse gases and in particular carbon dioxide. If the current global temperatures are anything to go by it is just a blot in the earth's timeline it isn't severe at all. These global temperatures are nothing new to the earth.

This is a video on why carbon emissions don't cause global warming all I want to do is to get people thinking and making their minds up by looking at evidence not by listening to politicians! This is a great video with some great charts!

This post might not be a great way to get to know about the ins and outs of global warming but I want to get people to think is global warming the real deal. Or have all of us jumped on the merry go round too quickly before looking at the facts with the Welsh Assembly wasting millions on surveys and renewable energies while the real problem isn't carbon emissions. Is the Assembly making a mistake by putting to many resources into renewable carbon emission problems. When global warming is a theory not a fact. Think!

Transport decisions are good for the environment

Yesterday marked the first time in history that Plaid Cymru has been responsible for deciding the future direction of transport in Wales.

Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, who amongst other responsibilities deals with transport at the Welsh Government, announced an all-Wales plan which will be in place long after the current Government leaves office. The plan has been broadly welcomed by environmental groups as it shifts Welsh policy away from road-building and towards public transport. At the same time, the existing road network in Wales will see significant safety improvements. This is good news for young people, because we need to be safe when we drive but also need access to quality public transport.

Cymru X members will be quick to welcome Ieuan's plans for transport in Wales, which see the dreaded M4 Relief Road being dropped on both economic and environmental grounds. The CBI and right-wing MP's such as John Smith are inevitably disappointed that large-scale road building will not be taking place, but they should recognise that traditional economic growth is unsustainable. It's true that we still need to use cars and that we need good roads, but a vision for the future needs to look at how our transport is affecting the planet. It needs to be long-term rather than based on what's best for the market in the short run.

The CBI wants a commitment from the Welsh Government to deliver "large-scale infrastructure projects". This is a redundant line of thinking in the age of climate crisis. Large-scale infrastructure projects are inevitably designed to serve the market rather than the environment, and interests based outside of Wales rather than our own communities. The future will be decentralised, in terms of local transport, energy production and other infrastructure. This is why projects such as the Severn Barrage also have to be thrown out.

It is very encouraging that the principles of sustainability that Cymru X supports have been taken into account and taken on board by the Plaid Minister. Plaid Cymru in government has delivered the greenest transport plan Wales has ever had- which is exactly what we expected.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Plaid a mynd i chwilio am Degid

'Da ni yma ac yn ei chanol hi. Prynhawn Gwener cafwyd croeso gan Gwenllian Lansdown Prif Weithredwr Plaid Cymru a chael ein siarsio gan Huw Antur pennaeth Glan-llyn i beidio torri'r rheolau megis - bechgyn i beidio mynd i 'stafelloedd merched a.y.b.
Cyn cael swper roedd cyfle i gael dau weithdy - 'Ymgyrch San Steffan' gan Gwenllian ac 'Sut i ennill mewn tir newydd' gan Neil McEvoy. Bwysicaf oll mae'n falch gen i gyhoeddi bod y bwyd yn 5 seren ac mi roeddwn i'n gwneud yn fawr o bob pryd a phwdin!
Ni fyddai noson gymdeithasol Plaid yn gyflawn heb sing song gan icon rhif 6 Cymru gyfan- y dyn ei hun - ein Llywydd - Dafydd Iwan, ond tro 'ma fel trît ychwanegol fe'n diddanwyd gan neb llai na Geraint Lovegreen. Roedd y neuadd dan ei sang wrth i Lovegreen adrodd ei gerddi a chanu alawon hen a newydd gan gynnwys yn briodol iawn y gan Dafydd Elis Thomas. Siomedig iawn oedd y DJ (nid D.J Williams) Er mor holl alluog yw'r Pennaeth Cyfathrebu, Morgan Lloyd, mae dewis playlist allan o'i afael mae gen i ofn.
Aeth pawb am y cae sgwâr yn blant da, rhai yn gynt na'r lleill ( 'da chi'n gwybod pwy yda chi) yn barod am ddiwrnod llawn dop o sesiynau a gweithdai. Er safon uchel iawn y gweithdai bu rhaid i un neu ddau fynd am nap neu 'forty winks' er mwyn gallu para'r diwrnod cyfan. Cafwyd sesiynau megis 'Cyfraith etholiadol a Chyllid Ymgyrchu', sut i 'Ddysgu o Bleidiau Eraill' ac 'datblygu Maniffestos lleol'. Mi siaradais i gyd aelodau o'r Blaid ar sawl lefel boed yn ymgeisydd i actifyddion neu i Brif weithredwyr! oedd yn gweld budd mawr i'r sesiynau ac wedi dysgu rhywbeth newydd a fyddant yn sicr yn ei gario wrth fynd yn nôl i'w canghennau neu rhanbarthau.
Cyn cael swper roedd staff Tŷ Gwynfor wedi trefnu noson o ffug-etholiad. Dyna'r olygfa, neuadd bentref yn Llanbidinodyn, pedair plaid gyda phedwar ymgeisydd, pedwar asiant, pedwar rheolydd ymgyrch a llu o 'counting agents'.
Diben y gweithgaredd oedd tynnu sylw pawb at bwysigrwydd rôl pawb mewn count. Rhoddodd y swyddog canlyniadau sawl trap a bagl er mwyn dal rhai o'r pleidiau allan. Cafwyd achos lle bu i un o aelodau'r Torïaid ddwyn papurau pleidleisio'r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol ac o dan amgylchiadau go-iawn byddai rhaid ffonio'r heddlu. Roedd hefyd sawl papur pleidleisio wedi ei ddifetha ac felly roedd rhaid i fod ymgeisydd ac asiant ynghyd a'r swyddog canlyniadau fynd drwy'r rheolau gan gytuno ar y papurau hynny oedd yn dderbyniol.
beth bynnag roedd y noson yn llwyddiannus a thensiwn i'w deimlo gyda 'chydig o staff y Torïaid yn digio!
Ar ôl swper aeth pawb i newid i rywbeth chydig bach yn jazzy ac off a ni i Bala wa. Plas Coch oedd y stop cyntaf a'r unig stop. Dros beint mi roth pawb y byd yn ei le, gyda'r aelod o'r SNP yn teimlo'n hapusach mewn cynefin mwy cyfforddus. Dechreuodd 'na rai chwarae Tipit ond mi aeth chwarae'n troi'n chwerw gydag un tîm yn torri rheolau a dechrau chwarae'n fudur. Mi wyddoch chi yn iawn pwy yda' chi y Double Bants.

Bore Sul, pawb yn edrych ymlaen am sesiwn gyda Hywel Williams AS ar sut i greu tîm o ymgyrchwyr i ennill. Gyda'r pwyslais ar ennill. Sesiwn anffurfiol oedd hon gyda thasgau hwyliog tipyn o chwerthin ond roedd y neges wedi ei chario mewn ffordd gynnil. Cyn cau'r ysgol haf mi aeth pawb am ginio dydd Sul oedd bron a bod mor fawr â chinio 'dolig i rai ohona ni. Beth bynnag mae pawb wedi gadael hefo cyswllt newydd a bwysicaf oll wedi creu ffrindiau o fewn y Blaid a thu allan. Dwi'n sicr yn edrych 'mlaen at yr ysgol haf nesaf fydd heb os yn bigyr and betyr.
O.N. Mae'r Bala nawr wedi ei hysbysu ar wallt melfedaidd Ioan Bellin.


Monday, 13 July 2009

Why Don't Young People Vote?

Guest blogger Josh Parry writes:

Aberystwyth’s Professor of Politics Richard Wyn Jones met with 6th formers in Cardiff today to talk about why young people didn’t vote. It’s a very important question, when less than 39% of youngsters under 24 vote at Westminster elections and only 11% of those under 24 vote at council elections. Why don’t youngsters vote at elections? Most youngsters don’t vote at elections because they find politics to be dull and uninspiring. Young people don’t think politics is something that is going to affect them at all.

Not many youngsters can make a distinction between their own lives and Westminster and see how policies at Westminster will affect them. Youngsters can’t make any distinction between the parties as they all seem the same. No youngster really knows on what policies each party differs. There’s a lack of knowledge and understanding from us on what politics is really about.

What was interesting was when Richard Jones asked the 6th formers if they wanted the voting age lowered to 16. Only two people in a room of 100 youngsters wanted the voting age lowered to 16. I thought this was a staggering statistic. Does this show a complete lack of appetite among youngsters to vote at 16? Yes, when asked why they not wanted the voting age lowered. They said that there was no appetite to vote just yet and even though they can get married and drive a car at 17 they didn’t think policies at Westminster affect them when they were 16. When asked if they would vote at 18. The majority said they would for the sole reason that policies at Westminster would affect them.

They would vote at 18 rather than 16 because of higher education and taxes. They thought that it was important that parties would offer cheaper places at universities and help pay for the material thing that comes with universities like books and computers. Many thought they should scrap the top up fees as well. That’s the policies they said that would interest them more. Youngsters don’t here enough about policies.

One young person said there’s not enough to do and parties aren’t offering any policies that would solve that situation and more youth clubs isn’t the answer!!!Political Parties aren’t offering solutions to these types of problems that are facing the youths of today. Young people aren’t hearing about policies that will affect them now and at present. Their needs to be more policies directed at the young and young people need to be told what they are.

I think if we want more young people to vote we just need to reach out to them and be able to Connect with them and their everyday life and have an understanding between the two, because until then I think Young people just won't vote. Politicians need to engage youngsters through texts and through the internet. Politicians need to go into a mind of a teenager and find the best ways to connect with youngsters and how they want to be told about politics.

But do politicians care about young people’s opinions? I don’t think individual politicians actually engage with young people at all and don’t actually care about them. So if politicians don’t care about the votes of youngsters, why should youngsters vote? Politicians want to reach people who will vote for them so they aren’t necessarily going to target and talk to youngsters about policies if they won’t vote for these individual politicians.

So why should young people care if politicians don’t care about them? A lot of young people just don’t see that their vote would make any difference. Maybe we need to move with the times, we do everything else on the internet. Why can’t we get young people to vote online? If it was as easy as voting at a click of a button for young people maybe they would vote in their droves. We should start having more elected representatives who are as young as 18 and 19 in our parliament in order to get the youth vote across. There are a number of ways the number of young people who vote if there was voting reform, communicating political messages in more youth friendly ways, learning from best practice outside the UK, reshaping political culture inside the UK.

The simple thing is politicians need to engage with youngsters and tell them what they want to hear and keep their promises. Hopefully politicians will engage with youngsters and hopefully through schemes like the Welsh Baccalaureate youngsters will learn what politics is and will be encouraged to vote through the education system. The education system is key to youngsters learning about political parties, political system and policies. If the education system doesn’t teach them nobody will and more young people will be disillusioned with politics than ever before.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Newyddion Cymru X News! Gorffennaf / July 2009

Newyddion yma nawr! Os dych chi ddim wedi cael eich copi:
Newsletter out now! If you haven't received your copy:

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

"There's no such thing as a black Welshman"

The Western Mail last week picked up on BNP leader (and now MEP) Nick Griffin being quoted as saying "There is no such thing as a black Welshman. You can have a black Briton; you can’t have a black Welshman. Welsh is about people who live in Wales since the end of the last ice age.” It's clear from the elections that made Griffin an MEP that the anti-fascist strategy needs to be reconsidered, but although his comments will be ridiculous to anyone who lives in Wales we shouldn't go in for the whole let's laugh at the BNP attitude. Though their voter base in Wales is small and they are the seventh party here, we cannot ignore that their vote is growing. Internationalists in Wales should work on the premise that seventh place is too high.

But while that debate should be had, it is worth remembering these kinds of comments so that we can try and understand the world view that the BNP's leading opinion formers have. People don't vote for the BNP because they think black people can't be Welsh, or because they support the BNP's Nazi origins. They vote for the BNP for other reasons which we need to deal with. Alerting people to what the BNP really stands for is the first step towards breaking those illusions.

Of course, all the other political parties in Wales are opposed to the BNP and will have a role to play, but it can be argued that Plaid has the most specific purpose in countering them. This is because the existence of an anti-racist and multi-cultural Welsh nationalism is the biggest obstacle to British nationalism. It's no coincidence that the BNP's Welsh fringe (ironically with its most prominent figures being immigrants to Wales themselves) have adopted Wales-oriented imagery and the cross of St. David as their logo. Plaid is a constitent feature of their internet discussions. A recent blog proclaimed that "from now on Plaid are our number one target". A badge of honour for our movement.