Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Wwhat is a youth wing for, and what is it hoping to achieve?

One of the issues around Cymru-X that has been playing on mind is a wider issue of how young movements within political parties react to the digital age, but also an age where politics is not as prominent in people's lives? It is challenge that many far larger organisations (such as the parties themselves) are wrestling with, but ultimately the question for Cymru-X is put simply - what is a youth wing for, and what is it hoping to achieve?

My own view is that for too long youth movements have either sought to be independent to the point of being counter productive to its party's aims, or be too pliant and not willing to take a stand. Equally, youth movements have (naturally) merely highlighted the issues that are deemed for young people. But is that enough? While we are here to make sure young people's voices are heard within the wider Plaid movement, why are we not seeking to offer our views on far wider issues? Cymru-X should be looking to speak up on wider issues; such as the economy, child poverty and the environment. While not seeking to be different for differents sake, we must aim to be a distinctive voice within Plaid; we can also prove to be a hot bed of new ideas that should inform the wider policy debate. While a youth manifesto is a great way to engage young people, what about a Cymru-X driven policy getting on the actual election manifesto? Cymru-X should be a player in the realpolitik, we dont need stablisers to ride in the fast lane of politics.

I can understand the fine line between being a distinct voice within political debate and that distinction being used by others to distort differences within the wider party. But I sense that at the very least setting ourselves a higher targets we can at least give a true voice to the young people of Wales - young people, much like all people, as concerned with far more than tuition fees and votes at 16. They want their ideas heard and put into practice on all areas of life, the challenge for Cymru-X is to make that case for young people.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Welsh democracy suffering due to media cutbacks

by Luke James
Cymru X Vice-Chair

I have just returned from a challenging week at the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) conference in Southport.

The conference was dominated by the subject of cutbacks and the effect that was having on democracy.

In many places whole papers are being lost and in others massive staffing cut backs were leaving the journalists left with just enough time to re-write press releases.

Journalists being left with no time to investigate, question and dig for stories. This leads to government at every level being left unchallenged and able to present the public with their version of accounts.

How can a reader tell who is telling the truth if there is not a journalist, an expert, involved to sift through what politicians are saying for the relevant facts and mistruths.

It would be like having Nick Griffin on Question Time again but this time gagging the audience, the media is not there to provide parties, including our own, with 24/7, 365 days a year party political broadcasts.

If the situation was bleak in England, Scotland, Ireland, France and the other nations the NUJ has members in it seems the situation in Wales is critical.

As someone living in the South it seems only the Western Mail stands between us and spin becoming king as far as papers go.

Adrian Masters and co do their bit at the BBC, but Welsh political output on the tv amounts to an hour a week, probably less, and there has been cutbacks at BBC Wales which has no doubt effected BBC Radio Cymru and Wales.

The purpose of Plaid is to nurture Welsh culture and end our reliance on London.

Well if there is anything that needs nurturing right now, it's the media in Wales. Infact replace nurturing for drastic surgery and not of the plastic sort.

We need a thriving Welsh media to uphold democracy, bring government closer to the people it's there to serve and where necesary expose failings.

If we are serious about building this nation we cannot let the Welsh media die, there can be no independent Wales without an independent Welsh media.

The fightback has already begun at NUJ Wales:http://www.nujadm.org.uk/welsh-delegates-ready-for-fightback/

Friday, 20 November 2009

A Government of our own

We in Cymru X have long believed that Wales should have its own Government, both in name and in nature. We campaigned on this issue and submitted a motion to National Conference calling for Plaid Cymru representatives to exclusively refer to the 'Welsh Government' and not use the misleading term 'Welsh Assembly Government'. Our motion wasn't really needed as its now standard practice to call it the Welsh Government- but we were in the right spirit of things.

Sir Emyr Jones-Parry made exactly the same point this week when he reported back from the All Wales Convention. He backed up our view that including the word 'Assembly' causes confusion and is unecessary. There is a very practical reason to call it what it is, which is the Welsh Government, even if it does not yet have the kind of powers most Governments do.

It's reassuring that an increasing number of organisations, different political parties and even the National Assembly itself are now using the term 'Welsh Government'. I opened up an email this morning from the Assembly's Petitions Committee where the civil servants referred to it as such, dropping out the word 'Assembly' from the Government part.

Look at the difference that has been made in Scotland where the 'Scottish Executive', which conjures up images of some kind of closed off club, has been replaced by the 'Scottish Government'. Some of that here please! As soon as we're officially out of recession we should rebrand our legislative arm as the Welsh Government- by the people, for the people.

Luke Nicholas
Policy Officer, Cymru X

Thursday, 12 November 2009

IWA yn Lawnsio adran Menywod

Echnos mynychais noson lawnsio menywod IWA oedd yn cyflwyno adroddiad newydd “Mas Critigol” Effaith a dyfodol cynrychiolaeth menywod yng Nghynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru. Tipyn o lond ceg - ond fela ma’ merched ynte?!

Cafwyd pwt o araith gan gynrychiolydd o’r prif Bleidiau, gyda Carwyn Jones ar ran y Blaid Lafur, Jocelyn Davies ar ran Plaid Cymru, Nick Bourne ar ran y Ceidwadwyr a Kirsty ar ran y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol.

Canlyniad y noson yn syml oedd nad oedd merched yn sefyll fel ymgeiswyr ac felly yn achosi diffyg cyd bwysedd cynrychiolaeth yng Nghymru. Nid dim ond menywod wrth gwrs sydd â diffyg cynrychiolaeth deg, mae lleiafrifoedd ethnig heb gynrychiolaeth sy’n adlewyrchu’r boblogaeth. Ond menywod oedd prif destun y noson.

Daeth hi’n amlwg na fyddai na ateb i’r cwestiwn mawr ar sut i godi nifer y merched etholedig yn y Cynulliad, ond cafwyd trafodaeth ddifyr. Daeth consensws nad oedd y term anffafriaeth bositif “positive discrimination” yn gweithio ac yn annealladwy i’r rhan fwyaf o etholwyr. Yn fy nhyb i mae’n ‘chydig o oxymoron, sut allai unrhyw fath o anffafriaeth fod yn bositif? Felly awgrymodd Carwyn Jones ein bod yn defnyddio’r term “positive action” gweithred bositif. Ie, iawn ond ai dim ond siarad nonsens, meddal, di ystyr yw hyn? Y gwir amdani yw bod rhaid taclo’r broblem yma ar lawr gwlad. Dyma yn fy marn i yw’r lle gorau i hybu merched i sefyll mewn etholaeth, sir, tref neu bentref. Yn bersonol credaf nad yw rhoi blaenoriaeth i ferched ar ben unrhyw restr mewn etholaeth yn gwneud llawer i hunan hyder merched ac yn sicr ni fuaswn i yn hapus iawn o gael fy rhoi ar ben rhestr a neb wedi pleidleisio i mi fod yno.

Mae’n rhaid egin cymorth a help i ferched o’r cychwyn cyntaf, boed yn ymweliad cyntaf i’r pwyllgor etholaeth neu wrth gynnig helpu taflennu, gallaf ddweud o brofiad bod eistedd mewn neuadd bentref yn llawn o ddynion mewn teis yn siarad am bwnc am faterion nad oes gen i syniad amdanyn nhw yn ‘sgeri’ iawn.

Mae hi’n ddyletswydd ar aelodau o bob haen Pleidiau gwleidyddol wneud yn siŵr nad yw merched yn dod ar draws unrhyw anffafriaeth a bod cymorth, anogaeth ac yn fwy na dim hyder yn cael ei hybu i unrhyw ferch sydd a’i phryd ar sefyll fel ymgeisydd.

Dyma 'chydig o ferched Plaid!