Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Champions of Wales Hold Ceredigion Rally

By Iago ap Steffan

Well, it was great to see so many people out in force on Saturday in bright and sunny Ceredigion. Plaid Cymru held a huge rally, endorsing its candidate Penri James, in Aberystwyth town centre. The atmosphere was amazing and it was so inspiring to have so much support from Plaid members and local people.

It felt like a day at the Oscars, lol, with the amount of 'celebrities' in town. We had Plaid councillors, AMs, an MP and its MEP out to meet and greet the local people. Not to mention the number of Plaid members, supporters and locals that just wanted to hear what Plaid had to offer. The biggest fans must have been the Lib Dem and Labour activists that were so interested in joining us that day, they really couldn't keep away.

A number of Plaid politicians spoke at the event (Dafydd Iwan, Jill Evans, Elfyn Llwyd, Ieuan Wyn Jones and Elin Jones), but the talk of the town was the speech from one of Wales' best known politicians and hero of devolution, ex-Labour MP - Ron Davies. Davies came to Ceredigion to back Plaid Cymru and Penri James and to shout out to the people of Wales that the death of Labour was the birth of Plaid - Labour was the 20th century, Plaid the 21st - the future!

Penri James had a great reception with loud cheers and chants from all over the square. He promised to work for the people of Ceredigion. This is what the people wanted to hear especially since they currently had an invisible Lib Dem MP Mark what's his name. Penri is a local guy who has lived and worked in the area all his life. A family man with great morals and someone who has worked hard to get round as many houses as he can to listen to what the people of Ceredigion actually want from their MP. This door to door campaign did not start two weeks ago like the Lib Dems, but for around two years now. Ceredigion needs a champion for Wales and who else to better represent them than that of Penri James!

As I said, Plaid had much support that day and everyone, after the rally, helped out and either distributed leaflets or canvassed. What I would like to say to all those who lent a hand is...DIOLCH YN FAWR IAWN; especially to the students of Cymdeithas CymruX Society Aberystwyth (CCXS) who have worked hard all year round and deserve praise. Plaid and CymruX would not have a future without the determination and hard work of people like yourselves. :)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Looking For Our Voice Again – The Undemocratic Debates

By Iago ap Steffan

Well as everyone probably knows the starting gun for the ‘leaders’ debates’ has been taken. We saw our first leaders’ debates Thursday; held by ITV in Manchester with an audience who live in England only (same rules apply to the Sky and BBC Leaders' Debates to come). Now I for one did not watch the debate. Why? Well because Wales was not represented. Not only was Plaid not able to take part, but as I have read, Wales was not mentioned and most of the topics were issues only to do with England.
Now, Nick Clegg might have won the debate, which has affected the polls not only on a UK level, but here in Wales. The Lib Dems have doubled their poll rating; this is the reason why we have been asking for a voice in the UK debates. What we can be proud about is that of the Sky News Welsh Leaders’ Debate, where Ieuan Wyn Jones had won the popular vote; 55% of those polled I look forward to what people think of the ITV Welsh debates tonight. We must also praise the hard work of our candidates on the BBC Welsh debates, Peter Ryder in Delyn and Heledd Fychan for Mongomeryshire, who both done extremely well and gained a great reception from the studio audience. Keep up the good work.
The English media have said that this is because Plaid Cymru are not putting up candidates all over the UK; well neither are the Lib Dems or Labour who have no candidates in Northern Ireland; also if this is the case where is the Green Party and, God-forbid, UKIP? If these are Prime Ministerial debates, why is Nick Clegg there? No-one believes that he will be the next PM, not even the Lib Dems themselves. Plaid Cymru and the SNP are in government in both Wales and Scotland, whereas the Conservatives and Lib Dems are not in ANY national government. The people of Wales and Scotland are yet again ignored by the EBC (English Broadcasting Corporation), ETV (not ITV) and ESKYB (instead of British Sky Broadcasting). We need a stronger voice.
Due to the undemocratic state that we unfortunately live in today, when other European nations have reformed their systems, this is now the time to fight and work harder than ever before to make sure Wales has Plaid MPs to represent our corner of this island. We have key seats all over Wales and we need to make sure that all of us, our friends and family too, get ourselves out there and help campaign to ensure Plaid win. We can't be complacent, we all have to work hard and who knows maybe we will win more than just our key seats. If you support Wales, support Plaid, the only party that will put you and your nation first and look after those most vulnerable in our society.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Manifesto Launched

Gan Daniel Lawrence

Plaid Cymru has today launched its manifesto which has at its heart a commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in society during these difficult economic times. Pensioners and children are those who will suffer the most as a result of future spending cuts, and as a result it will be important that we fight this general election with them in mind.

As we campaign we should bear in mind that Plaid has a massive opportunity to make a real difference in setting the agenda after the election as we may (with the help of our allies the SNP) hold the balance of power in a hung parliament. It is important that as many young people get involved and help out in their local areas as possible. I'm helping out Chris Williams' campaign in Cardiff Central, and there are numerous other young energetic Cymru X members all across Wales helping out in their local constituencies.

This election is looking like it will be the most closely fought since 1992, and the electorate faces a real choice. The state of the economy will shape the arguments, but through it all we need to remember why a strong economy is so important, it is for the common health and wealth of the people of these nations, and it is not something Plaid will forget.

There hasn't been a hung parliament in the UK since 1974, and it would be a major shock for many people around the UK to wake up on May 7th to such a scenario. But we in Wales are a bit more used to the idea of a more balanced parliament. With proportional representation in the National Assembly, coalition government and the deals needed to achieve this are, and will inevitably be a common feature for the foreseeable future. Plaid Cymru have proved themselves skillful deal breakers, both within the Welsh Assembly (with the One Wales programme of government), and in UK elections. During the late 70's Plaid made, as the historian John Davies puts it “such skillful use of the Labour party's eagerness to ensure their support that the Queens speech in November 1978 was studded with concessions to them”. These concessions included the promise to pay compensation to quarrymen suffering from silicosis, and shows that Plaid could play an important role if given the people's support.

Elections are or at least should be a battle of ideas, and the party with the best ideas should win that battle. It is our job to take those ideas to the people and hopefully we can win their trust.

Daniel Lawrence
South Wales East Representative

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Senedd Grog......... a Seidr Rhad - Hung Parliament....... and Cheap Cider

Gan Owain Rhys James

** Scroll down for English version **

Gyda etholiad cyffreinol ar y gorwel mae’r prif bleidiau wrthi’n gwerthu eu hunain i’r wlad, ond mae teimlad gwahanol i ymgyrchoedd eleni. Gyda’r polau piniwn diweddara yn dangos senedd grog fel canlyniad tebygol mae pwer yn San Steffan yn symud o’r ddau brif blaid at y pleidiau ‘lleiafrifol’. Am y tro cynta mewn blynyddoedd all Plaid Cymru, a’n brodyr yn yr SNP, siarad am gael pwer yn Llundain; a gyda datgeliad y cytundeb ‘4 dros Gymru, 4 dros yr Alban’ gellir gweld gwir fwriad a pwrpas y bloc Celtaidd I gael dylanwad.

Dros y tymor byr bydd effaith senedd grog yn cael ei deimlo’n gryf yng Nghymru. Fel y mae pethau yn sefyll mae cyllid Cymru ar fin cael ei dorri yn frawychus wrth I’rllywodraeth geisio rheoli’i dyled, polisi a fydd yn niweidio adfywiad yr economi, ein cymunedau a’n gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn ofnadwy. Gyda Plaid yn amddifyn diddordebau Cymru yn San Steffan bydd modd i ni osgoi y fath broblemau a dylanwadu ar y polisiau sy’n effeithio arnym ni.

Yn ogystal a hyn credaf bydd effeithiau hir dymor senedd grog eleni yn ei teimlo am ddegawdau. Bydd tirwedd gwleidyddol Prydain yn newid o’r system ddwy-bleidiol draddodiadol i un aml-bleidiol gan alluogi Plaid I fanteisio ar ein llwyddiant yn y Cynulliad a datblygu yn San Steffan. Mae pleidlais dros y Blaid wedi cael ei weld fel gwastraff mewn etholiad cyffredinol, ond ni fydd hyn yn wir yn y dyfodol. Bydd gan Plaid Cymru y gallu a’r chwant I amddifyn diddordebau Cymru ac I hybu polisiau Cymreig, gan fod yn atebol I etholwyr Cymru. Gyda llywodraeth glym-blaid yn edrych yn ansicr bydd pleidleisiau’r Ty Cyffredin yn troi’n frwydrau gwleidyddol (neu yn fargen greftus wedi’I daro yn yr ystafelloedd cefn) sy’n sicr o arwain at fanteision I’r pleidiau Celtaidd. Gyda pleidlais pob AS yn dyngedfenol mae dyddiau’r llywodraeth yn llywodraethu fel y mynnai dros Gymru wedi dod I ben.

Bydd senedd grog hefyd yn achosi traferthion I’r prif bleidiau a’r perthynas a’I canghennau Cymreig, gan sicrhau bod pleidlais dros Plaid Cymru yn golygu pleidlais er lles Cymru. Dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf gwelwyd pleidleisiau’r ASau o Gymru a’r Alban yn allweddol I allugoi’r llywodraeth I lywodraethu fel y mynnai, a hynny pan yr oedd ganddynt fwyafrif iachus. Gyda llywodraeth leiafrifol bydd sicrhau bod pob aelod yn pledileisio’n unfordd yn hanfodol; ac felly bydd cael AS sy’n barod I gynrychioli ein diddordebau ni, ein barn a’n ofnau yn fwy pwysig nag erioed. Aelodau sy’n atebol I’w etholwyr, ac nid I bwyllgor canolog y blaid, yw’r unig fordd I hybu materion Cymreig; ac dim ond Plaid Cymru all gynnig hyn.

Y pwynt olaf I drafod yw effaith y canlyniad ar system bleidleisio San Steffan. Mae adnewyddu’r ‘Cyntaf Heibio’r Postyn’ wedi cael ei drafod ers blynyddoedd, a nawr bod y Toriaid a Llafur wedi colli ei monopoli o bwer mae’n debygol y bydd y newid yn digwydd. O fewn degawd, sy’n debyg o weld dwy senedd grog arall, mae’n sicr y bydd yr etholwyr a’r gwleidyddion yn sylweddoli bod newid I system PR yn fantais I’r system ddemocrataidd. Canlyniad hyn I Gymru; ariannu cyfiawn, llywodraethu tecach a llais cryf I faterion Cymrieg… a Plaid Cymru yn arwain y gad.

Owain Rhys James
Swyddog Polisi ac Ymgyrchoedd – Cymru X

I orffen; newyddion da I gefnogwyr seidr a hawliau sifil yr wythnos yma wrth I’r llywodraeth gyhoeddi na fydd y cynnydd treth na’r Mesur Economi Digidol yn estyn y llyfrau statudol cyn diwedd y tymor seneddol.

Magners a’r rhyngrwyd heb ‘cyber-police’ I bawb yr haf yma felly!!


With the General Election date set the main parties’ campaigning has begun, but there is a distinctively different attitude this year. With the prospect of a hung parliament hanging over each leaders head this year has opened the door for the minority parties. This will give Plaid, and our brothers in the SNP, an opportunity to yield real power at Westminster, and the revelation of the ‘4 for Wales, 4 for Scotland’ agreement is a strong signal of the Celtic block working together to ensure that the Nations get a fair deal.

The short term the effect of a hung Parliament will be beneficial for Wales. Currently the Welsh budget is pencilled in as being slashed as the Government attempts to tackle the colossal debt it faces. With Plaid protecting Welsh interests in London this extremely damaging step to Welsh communities, to our public services and to the economy as a whole can be avoided. The need to gain our support on crucial issues will give us greater leverage in securing fairer policies across the board and more importantly will ease the process of devolving powers until the referendum on Part IV powers is held.

In addition to these benefits I believe that the long term effects of a hung parliament in 2010 will be profound. The British political landscape will move from the current two-party to a multi-party system, ensuring that Plaid’s increasing success in Assembly elections can be transferred to results at the General Election. Voting for Plaid has long been seen as a wasted vote in Westminster, but this is no longer true. Plaid will be able to protect Welsh interests, further Welsh policies and, most importantly, will answer to only one master; the electorate of Wales. As a coalition government is looking unlikely each vote in the Commons will be a hard fought battle (or preferably a well negotiated agreement) which is certain to lead to beneficial concessions for the Celtic-block. With every MPs vote pivotal the days of forcing through legislation contrary to Welsh interests are gone and a new era of political bargaining awaits us.

A hung Parliament is also likely to strain the relations between the Parliamentary parties and their Assembly counterparts, meaning that a vote for Plaid really will be a vote for the best interests of Wales. Even with Labours’ majority over the last 12 years the Scottish and Welsh MP’s were constantly drafted in to ensure government success; with a hung parliament this will be of even greater importance. Therefore having MP’s who represent our interests, our opinions and our concerns will have a greater effect than ever. Making sure that the Welsh MPs are there to represent us, and not to boost whatever majority the Government will have, can only be ensured by voting for Plaid.

The final effect of a hung parliament will be on our electoral system. There has been much debate about the out-dated and unfair system of ‘First Past the Post’ currently used, and the use of PR in the devolved administrations has further fuelled the debate. With Labour and the Tories having lost their monopoly of power, now must be the time that this electoral revolution takes place. It’s likely that within a decade, which is likely to see two more hung parliaments, the people and the politicians will realise that a move to PR is the correct decision in the interest of democracy. Its result for Wales; fairer funding, enhanced governance and a greater voice for Welsh interests with Plaid leading the charge.

Owain Rhys James
Cymru X Polisi and Campaigns Officer

Finally; some good news for Cider-lovers and civil liberties campaigners alike this week as the government announced rise in duty for Cider and the Orwellian Digital Economy Bill had fallen by the wayside.

Magners [other brands are available] and web browsing free from the cyber-police for all this summer.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

New Kids ar y bloc/ New Kids on the block?

***Please scroll down for the English Version***

Wel, ma’r etholiad wedi cael ei alw, a heb phoeni gormod am amser, allan oeddwn i ar y stryd yn taflenni yng Nghwm Gwendraeth ar y diwrnod cyntaf. Ond beth odd yn ddiddorol tra yn siarad gyda cymydog i fyny’r lon oedd hyn,

“Wel Duw, ti bach yn ifanc i fod allan gyda’r lecsiwn? New kids ar y bloc ife?” yn sarcastig.

A wnaeth hyn i fi feddwl, ynghyd a blog gwych Dominic Hannigan ar Wales Home heddiw, odi hyn yn golygu, yn 23 oed, fy mod i yn rhy ifanc i fod yn rhan o’r broses ddemocratiaeth yn y wlad yma? Neu odi gwleidyddiaeth wedi cyrraedd y pwynt hynny lle os nad ydw i’n ddyn hanner cant oed mewn siwt, ni fyddai’n edrych fel wleidyddwr?

Yr hyn sydd yn bwysig am unrhyw ymgeisydd eithrio oed, rhyw, credodau, anableddau neu chefnidr ethnig yw y gallu i gynrhychioli pobl, ac mae hyn yn wir mewn unrhyw maes pinnau Etholiad Cyffredinol, undebau myfyrwyr neu fel llywodraethwr mewn ysgol neu choleg. Dwi’n cofio cael ebost ychydig o fisoedd yn ol gan Undeb Myfyrwyr yn Lloegr rhywle, yn gofyn os oedd unrhyw undeb wedi gosod rheolau ar ei etholiadau sabathol a oedd yn sicrhau fod gan y person etholedig radd cyn cymryd y swydd etholedig. Eto, yr ymateb oedd “peidiwch a fod yn ddwl, y gallu i gynrychioli yw’r hyn sydd yn gwneud yr ymgeisydd yn gymwys”.

Dwi wir yn poeni am hyn, gan fod yna gymaint o dalent ifanc o fewn Cymru, nid yn unig gyda Phlaid Cymru, ond gyda’r partion eraill a chyfundrefnau eraill hefyd. Y peth gwaethaf fyddai fod pobl ifanc yn cael ei troi i ffwrdd o wleidyddiaeth gan ymagweddau tebyg i hyn. Mae’n bwysig yng Nghymru i adeiladu ar, yn fy marn i, traddodiad newydd o gael phobl ifanc i fewn i wleidyddiaeth. Dwi ddim yn disgwyl a bydd y Cynulliad yn Mai 2011 yn llawn pobl yn oed i, ond mae’n bwysig cael y cytbwysedd o wahanol phrofiadau i sicrhau fod pawb yn cael ei llais wedi clywed.

Yn ol ymchwil gan y Joseph Rowntree Foundation yn 2007, y brif rhesymau dros pobl ifanc ddim yn ymgysylltu a gwleidyddiaeth oedd ei bod nhw’n ei weld yn ddiflas, nid oedd unrhyw wleidydd yn apelio iddynt ac roedd polisiau’r brif partion yn Llundain ddim wedi anelu at bobl ifanc o gwbl (ar wahan i bolisi y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol ar ffioedd ychwanegol, a gafodd ei scrapio mewn tro)! Ynghyd ag hyn, pryd mae gwleidyddion yn ymgysylltu ag myfyrwyr mewn ardaloedd prifysgol, fel gwelir gan y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol yn Abertawe, Aberystwyth a Chaerdydd Canolog, mae pobl ifanc yn ido am wleidyddiaeth- a mae nhw’n GALLU gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr yn y sbectrwm wleidyddol mewn ardaloedd lleol. Mae ymgyrch diweddar Undeb Cenedlaethol y Myfyrwyr ar bleidleisio dros myfyrwyr wedi cael effaith mawr, gyda phrif neges yr ymgyrch i gael myfyrwyr i lobio eich ymgeiswyr lleol i bleidleisio yn erbyn codiad mewn ffioedd ychwanegol mewn prifysgolion, ac ar hyn o bryd mae wedi gweithio!

Yn y Cynulliad, mae gennym ni Nerys Evans AC a Bethan Jenkins AC, ac fel ymgeiswyr yn yr Etholiad Cyffredinol ma gennym ni o Blaid Cymru, Caryl Wyn Jones, ac o’r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol Matt Smith a Dominic Hannigan, sydd yn wych! Mae hyn yn gyfle, nid yn unig i Gymru X, ond i bob barti yng Nghymru i ymgysylltu a phobl ifanc yn rhan o’r broses ddemocratol.

I gloi, beth wedes i mewn ymateb i’r cymydog busneslyd?

“We are the kids, but we are also the future, be prepared Mrs Davies”

Lleu Williams, Pwyllgor Gwaith Cymru X

Well, the election has been called, and without wasting any time, I was out on the doorstep leafletting in the Gwendraeth Valley on the first day with no hesitation. But what was interesting was the comment whilst speaking with my neighbour further up the lane,

“Good God, your a bit young to be out with this election aren’t you? New kids on the block is it?” she notes sarcastically.

And this got me thinking, alongside Dominic Hannigan’s amazing blog on Wales Home, does this mean, that at 23 years old, I am too young to be part of the democratic process in this country? Or has politics reached that stage that unless I am a middle aged man in a suit, I won’t look like a politician?

What’s important about any candidate regardless of their age, sex, beliefs, disabilities or ethnicity is their ability to represent people, and this is true within any field be it General Election, Students’ Unions or as a governor within a college or school. I remember receiving an email a few months ago from a Students’ Union in England somewhere, asking that if any union had placed any rules in their sabbatical elections that ensured tha the elected officer had a degree before taking office. Again, the response was “don’t be stupid, it’s the ability to represent is what makes the candidate competent.”

I really do worry about this, because there is so much talent within Wales, not only within Plaid Cymru, but with other parties and organisations as well. The worst thing would be if young people were turned off by politics because of such attitudes that exist. It’s important that Wales, in my view, builds upon this new tradition of getting young people into politics. I don’t expect that the Assembly in May 2011 will be full of people my age, but it’s important to get the balance of different experiences to ensure everyone’s voice is heard.

According to research conducted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in 2007, the main reasons young people didn’t engage with politics was because they saw that it was boring, politicians didn’t appeal to them and that the policies of the main parties in London weren’t aimed at young people at all (apart from the Lib Dems policy on top up fees, which in turn was scrapped)! In addition to this, when politicians engage with students in university areas, as can be seen by the Lib Dems in Swansea, Aberystwyth and Cardiff Central, young people do care about politics- and they CAN make a difference to the political spectrum in local areas. The recent campaign by NUS on vote for students has had a massive impact, with the main message of the campaign focusing on students to lobby their PPC’s to pledge voting against further fees in universities, and its working!

In the Assembly, we have Nerys Evans AM and Bethan Jenkins AM, and as PPC’s in this year’s General Election from Plaid Cymru, we have Caryl Wyn Jones, and from the Lib Dems Matt Smith and Dominic Hannigan, which is fantastic! This is an opportunity, not only for Cymru X, but for every party in Wales to engage with young people as part of the democratic process.

To finish, what was my response to the nosey neighbour?

“We are the kids, but we are also the future, be prepared Mrs Davies”

Lleu Williams, Cymru X National Executive

Dydd Gweithredu Aberconwy / Aberconwy Action Day

Mae Cymru X, Plaid Cymru Ifanc, yn mynd i ymgyrchu ar strydoedd Aberconwyi sicrhau bod yna lais cryf i'r Blaid yn San Steffan yn ymladd dros Gymru.

Rydym ni angen eich cymorth i ddosbarthu taflenni a chanfasio er mwyn gwneud yn siwr bod Plaid Cymru yn ennill y sedd.

Dydy hi erioed wedi bod gyn bwysiced i sicrhau bod gan Gymru lais cryf yn San Steffan, felly ymunwch a Chymru X, eich mudiad ieuenctid chi, a gwnewch eich rhan.

Anfonwch ebost at neu edrychwch yma am ragor o fanylion.

Cymru X, Young Plaid Cymru, is hitting the streets of Aberconwy to make sure another Plaid voice is in Westminster fighting for Wales.

We need your help to deliver leaflets and canvass support to make sure Wales wins the seat.

It has never been more important to make sure Wales has strong voices in Westminster so get involved with Cymru X, your youth movement, and do your bit.

Drop us an email at for more details or check here for more details.