Sunday, 30 May 2010

Seremoni Cofio'r Rhyfel Cartref yng Nghatalonia

Rhyw fis yn ol cynhaliwyd Seremoni gan gangen Cymru X Caerdydd er mwyn cofio'r Rhyfel Cartref yn Sbaen. Cynhaliwyd y seremoni ar ddydd San Sior (nawddsant Catalonia) ym mharc Alexandria, Caerdydd ar bwys y gofeb i'r Rhyfel. Bwriad y seremoni oedd cofio effaith y rhyfel a'r blynyddoedd o unbennaeth creulon a ddilynodd y rhyfel, ond hefyd i gofio'r degau o filwyr Cymreig, y rhan fwyaf ohonynt o Gymoedd De Cymru, a aeth i frwydro gyda'r lluoedd rhyngwaldol. Cofiwyd y bu iddynt frwydro dros ryddid, heddwch a sosialaeth yn y rhyfel dyngedfennol hon yn erbyn ffasgaeth Franco.

Cyflwynwyd y seremoni gan Emyr Gruffydd, cadeirydd Cymru X Caerdydd. Fe gafwyd darlleniadau gan Llion Williams, Dan Lawrence, Sian Owen a Deian Timms, yn y Gymraeg, yn Saesneg, yn Sbaeneg ac yn y Gatalaneg. Gososdodd Lleu Williams rhosod a chennin pedr (blodau cenedlaethol Catalonia a Chymru) ger y gofeb. Diolch i bob un a ddaeth i wneud y seremoni yn un llwyddianus.
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Last month on St. Geroge's day, the Catalan national day, Cymru X Caerdydd held a ceremony in order to remember the contribution of the Welsh soldiers who went to fight in the international brigades. Thank you to all who came to make the ceremony a success.

Monday, 24 May 2010

At least it's not the end of the world

Guest blog by Luke Nicholas

Enough dust has settled and enough stock has been taken, in terms of Plaid's Westminster election performance, that we can now move on. And in doing so, we should completely reject the idea that somehow Plaid was slaughtered or massacred at the election. This doesn't mean adopting complacency or spinning the result as a good one, but it means recognising that we retained 3 members of Parliament. Not very good, but not the end of the world. I know that Cymru X members threw themselves into the campaign. In all of the target seats young people were heavily involved. Away from the targets, it was young people that ran Chris Williams' campaign in Cardiff Central. Not an earth-shattering result, but where better for the next generation of nationalists to learn their trade than at the coalface?

We held 3 seats. We wanted more, but quite simply, not enough people decided to vote for us. The real problem isn't Plaid's loss in not having a stronger team at Westminster. The real losers are the people of Wales who will now suffer disproportionately from savage public spending cuts. Empirically, you could conclude that a larger group of Plaid MPs would have made disproportionate cuts to Welsh public finances less likely, because the likelihood of us getting reform of the Barnett formula would have been considerably higher. A larger group of Plaid MPs would have saved jobs and protected services.

The question also has to be asked, can young nationalists still hold their heads high, having failed at the ballot box so recently? I believe we can. It is not our party that is responsible for these devastating cuts. We maintained all along that you have to create better economic conditions before you reduce the deficit. We put those arguments forward and most of the people of Wales decided to reject them. That is their democratic shoice. Most people in Wales didn't want a Plaid MP this time around. We'll have to keep trying.

In Scotland the benefits of more people voting for nationalist MPs are starkly obvious. They are not only getting less cuts, but are receiving a small proportion of the fossil fuels levy. This is the first time in history that Scotland is being directly paid for the exploitation of its own resources. It represents a significant break with traditional imperial policy. In Wales all such resources have long been extracted, but it is a well-established fact that if fairness is adopted as the principle for financing the nations and regions of the UK, Wales would be due far more in funding through the Barnett formula. I do not see this as a contradiction to the long-term aim of independence, which is not possible without a period of national development similar to that which the liberation movements on the African continent used to advocate before they mostly turned to globalisation and post-colonial malaise.

On one of the shelves in Ty Gwynfor is a stack of tea-coloured pamphlets from the "Plaid Cymru Commission of Inquiry, 1981". The guys that wrote those pamphlets really were up against it. At the time, the people of Wales had exercised their right to self-determination and had resoundingly turned self-government down. Plaid faced an existential crisis and the Commission of Inquiry was a fundamental, wide-ranging and incisive examination of the party's nature, organisation, policies and future.

I've been reading the report from the inquiry and the intelligence, attention to detail and excitement in terms of proposals is breathtaking. But at the same time there is a sense of disenchantment with the likelihood of getting a resolution to the national question, of making any step towards freedom, and of seeing what they called "community socialism" ever being put into practice. Like I said, they were up against it. One passage even declares that the only forseeable way Wales could ever gain even a limited measure of self-government would be in a revolutionary situation!

A few decades on and much of what they are asking for is now reality. So Plaid flatlined on 3 MPs a couple of weeks ago. But we're in government in the Assembly. Plaid's Assembly group has steered a positive course. Further self-rule is very much on the agenda. People outside of Plaid are prepared to openly discuss fiscal autonomy as a possibility within the next decade. The people of Wales, not Plaid, will ultimately decide on these things, but we are in as strong a position as we deserve in terms of being able to argue for incremental progress and eventually national liberation.

There's alot to be learned from what the likes of Dr. Phil Williams were talking about in the pamphlet. And in learning those lessons we can also look to a national future that is more optimistic than anything nationalists in 1981 would dare to dream of. And young people have a duty to the 1981ers to fulfil this task, because it's only because of the grumpy 1981ers that our party still exists today.

We shall overcome!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Letter re: Welsh language

Below is a letter by Emyr Gruffyd which appears in today's Western Mail.

"SIR – I was rather disappointed to read some of Dr Sibani Roy’s comments (Letters, May 12). I am aware that Dr Roy is a well-respected councillor for the party and works hard, especially on the issue of ethnic minority community cohesion.

However, I could not help noticing that she had fundamentally misunderstood many of Plaid Cymru’s policies on the Welsh language.

Plaid policy does not in any way advocate forcing people to learn the language to obtain employment, as Dr Roy seems to be suggesting. However, she must realise that many jobs in the public sector in North Wales ask for a qualification in Welsh as it is a region where the language is widely spoken, and a language of preference for a large proportion of the population.

As she herself will know, Plaid is strongly in favour of welcoming people of all backgrounds to settle into our communities, while at the same time increasing opportunities for people to use the Welsh language in all aspects of life, especially in the workplace and in business.

Dr Roy is also mistaken in suggesting that language policy is the cause of Plaid’s mediocre performance in the General Election; our share of the vote increased greatly in English-speaking constituencies such as Rhondda and Cynon Valley, while it suffered in the Welsh-speaking heartlands.

Dr Roy must realise that Plaid has been the only party that has cared and fought for the interests of the Welsh language since its establishment in 1925.

Unlike the Labour Party, which has thrown all its socialist principles out of the window, Plaid Cymru will never forget our core commitment to ensuring that the Welsh language is given the respect and the attention that it deserves.

Chairman of Cardiff Cymru X – Young Plaid Ifanc"

Monday, 10 May 2010

Our Future in the Balance

Gan Daniel Pryce Lawrence

Well, its all over. Or is it? As it seemed likely, we are now in Hung (Balanced) Parliament territory, and predicting what will happen in the coming days and weeks is not an easy game. As I write this the talks between the parties are in full swing. But can all these parties, with their different ideologies and plans for the future of the UK form some sort of stable government? Will it be a Tory/Lib Dem government or will we see a rainbow coalition of the 'progressive' parties to fend off the Tory threat, the arithmetic is there, but only just. Can Plaid secure a good deal for Wales at the end off all this?

It has to be said it was not a great night for Plaid on May 6th, we failed to gain our main target seats of Llanelli, Ynys Mon, Ceredigion and Aberconwy, although we did put ourselves in a strong position for next years Assembly elections. But what went wrong? There certainly wasn't a lack of effort on the part of Plaid Cymru and Cymru X activists. Was it the parties campaign strategy? Plaid have always struggled in UK elections compared to Assembly elections, where it is more difficult to stress the importance of our unique message in the wider British context. But one factor that played against us must have been the impact of the leaders debates on the whole campaign.

The UK leadership debates focused minds on the 3 main London parties, and these debates essentially became the election campaign for each of the parties. Even the supposedly 'slick' media performer David Cameron suffered from these with his poor first performance, but at least he had the exposure and the opportunity to rectify it. It was argued that Plaid wasn't going to form the next government and being a relatively small player had no right to access this potential game changer. It sounds fair enough if we are looking at things from a UK wide perspective, but from a Welsh one it wasn't. British media is Welsh media to all intents and purposes, and we sadly suffer from Wales' poor media sector. One national newspaper read by less than 70 000 people will not give us a good opportunity to act on an equal playing field.

It seems that Plaid was squeezed at this election, and we struggled to really make the argument for major change that people are really screaming out for. The sad fact is that if Plaid had won an extra 4 MP's, we would have had much more of a positive change here in Wales, then a couple of extra Tories, Liberals or Labour members could ever make.

Despite all this, change does now seem inevitable, whether for the good of Wales or bad we are yet to see. The last couple of days of election fallout have been fascinating, and it is clear that whatever happens now British politics will be changed for ever. As I write this I have learned that Gordon Brown has stated his intention to step down as Labour leader and therefore Prime Minister, and a rainbow coalition of the progressive parties has become a more realistic option. Plaid could make real gains for Wales.

Let us hope in the days ahead that in the ashes of the old politics, a new more open and fair politics can emerge. I for one would be keen to see a change in the voting system, and a move towards a fairer more proportional system of electing our representatives. I have heard from a number of people since the election telling me that they had voted, but that it was a waste because their chosen candidate had no hope of winning. There can be no greater incentive for young people to vote tactically in the future (where we would find ourselves only ever voting against something rather than for something), or not to vote at all when faced with democratic choices in the future. At a time when people have less trust in political institutions and the political establishment than they have had for decades, and when cynicism rules, surely it is time we re-adjusted the system to give power back to the people. This is our perfect opportunity.

Gan Daniel Pryce Lawrence
South Wales East Representative

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Pob lwc heno!

Luke James

(Scroll down for English)

Mae adain ieuenctid y Blaid, Cymru X, yn dymuno pob hwyl i'n ymgeisyddion a'n gweithwyr heno.

Mae'n sicr y bu pobl ifanc yn rhan pwysig o wireddu ein uchelgais i ennill seddi ar draws Cymru yn yr ymgyrch etholiadol hon.

Mae'r gwaith caled ar gyfer Cymru X yn dechrau ar ôl yr etholiad, pan y byddwn yn ciesio mynd a neges unigryw ein Plaid i Ffeiriau y Glas mewn prifysgolion a gwyliau mawr megis yr eisteddfod er mwyn recriwito y genhedlaeth nesaf o arweinwyr, gweithwyr a chefnogwyr - ac i sicrhau bod rhagor o bobl ifanc yn credu yn ein neges o Gymru rydd a theg.

Ond beth bynnag y canlyniad heno, rwy'n gwybod fy mod yn siarad dros bawb yn Ngymru X gan ddweud ein bod yn hyod freintiedig i fod yn dilyn yn ôl-troed cenhedlaethau o bobl a weithiodd yn galed dros ein hachos genedlaethol yn y gorffennol.

Yn wir, rydym yn ddiolchgar i aelodau a chefnogwyr Plaid Cymru a chwalodd ystydebau ac a weithiodd yn ddiflino i'n harwain ni i'r fan yr ydym heddiw - mewn Cymru groesawgar, ddwyieithog sydd ond fisoedd i ffwrdd o gael Senedd gyda phwerau deddfu.

Megis dechrau ydym ni wrth gwrs, ond, heb ddim rhagor i'w wneud nawr, hoffwn ddweud pa mor falch ydw i i fod yn aelod o'r unig Blaid sydd wedi ymladd dros fuddianau pobl Cymru ers 1925!


Plaid Cymru's youth movement, Cymru X, wishes all our candidates and activists the very best of luck tonight.

Young people will no doubt have been a big part of achieving our goals and winning seats for Wales all across the country in this election campaign.

The big work for Cymru X starts after the election when we take our party's unique message to university freshers fayre's and youth festivals to recruit the next generations of leaders, activists and supporters - and more and more young people are believing in our message of a free and fair Wales as a result.

But whatever the results tonight I know I speak for all of Cymru X when I say we are priveleged to be following in the footsteps of generations of people who have campaigned hard for our national cause before us.

Infact, we are incredibly grateful to the members and supporters of Plaid Cymru who smashed through stereotypes and worked tirelessly to leave us where we are today - in a billingual, welcoming Wales which is just months from a law making Senedd.

This is, of course, just the begining but on election night, with nothing left to do for now, I want to say how incredibly proud I am to be a member of the only party which has fought solely in the interests of the people of Wales since 1925!