Sunday, 31 October 2010

The Wealth of Nations

I haven't written a blog for quite some time now, and I have been wondering why. I thought it was probably down to the fact I had been busy with other things, like my new job, training for the Cardiff Half Marathon, spending more time out with mates and my girlfriend. But if I'm honest I think its because I've become a bit bored with politics lately and I think I know partly why.

I think it's because politics has for some time now been all about one thing, the economy. I think if we're honest not many of us truly understand what is happening (and has happened) to the UK's financial system. I have tried to improve my knowledge of this vital subject area, but after about two minutes of getting my head stuck into 'essential economics' my eyes start to close. I have decided on a compromise with the book.... I have just read the summaries of each chapter, which to be honest are pretty useless if taken in isolation.

It can be a bit of a problem when we all think we are experts on a topic, and all those whose ideas are different are either idiots or evil. All we know is that its not going to be good for a lot of people, to say the least. Not even the experts know the full extent of what these cuts will mean for the long term strength of Britains' or Wales' economy. Most of what is offered must, like in most of politics, be an opinion. However, you don't really need to be an expert to see that Wales has been given a harsh deal in the spending review. A loss of jobs at the Newport passport office and the loss of a number of major investment projects, on top of worse cuts to our block grant than that imposed on Scotland and Northern Ireland. Not to mention the problem of Wales' small private sector in comparison to its public sector. But maybe even that is just my opinion based on what I have read in the Welsh press.

I think as we get older we all start to realise the real importance of money, it really does make the world go round whether you like it or not. The capitalistic system is one of mankind's most revolutionary ideas and can be a great force for freedom in the world, but like most things that have great benefits, there has to be some negatives. There are things we need and things we want, and money to be made by those who can supply them. Unfortunately there are also people to be exploited when making that money. In the end it is human nature to want more than we need, and there is nothing wrong with this, but it does sometimes get way out of hand, and has got us into these difficult times.

Whether Wales is suffering disproportionally or not we still have to tackle the one thing that always makes us suffer more than other parts of these islands. We need to take this opportunity and not just blame others for the harsh hand we have been dealt, but to take it upon ourselves to create the wealth in Wales that we all would benefit from. We need a Yes vote in next March's referendum on further powers for the Assembly not just so we can get more money from the UK treasury, but so that we can really start to do things more creatively here in Wales. We need a vote of confidence in ourselves to do things our own way and with our own unique talents. That is the real wealth of all nations, their ability to do things their own way and the confidence to do it.

Like most of us will learn in our lives we need to take some risks to really challenge ourselves if we wish to better ourselves. Sometimes we will get it wrong, but we will learn from it, and when we try again we might just get it right.

By Daniel Pryce Lawrence
South Wales East representative

1 comment:

Older Nationalist said...

"The capitalistic system is one of mankind's most revolutionary ideas and can be a great force for freedom in the world"

Conversely, too much capitalism leads to a loss of freedom of sovereign nation-states to control their own economies, and really capitalism (or rather, what capitalism has become) is probably not compatible with ensuring a long-term human habitation on this planet.

I would like to see a piece (by a person younger than myself) exploring to what extent capitalism and globalisation actually works against the traditional nationalist view of distinctiveness and subsidarity (decisions being taken at the lowest level), whilst I would agree that Plaid in its modern form has been consistently internationalist, to what extent does globalisation actually make the independence of nation-states less relevant? Shouldn't Plaid be either anti-globalisation or at least, critical of moves towards further globalisation and freer trade?

Interesting points to discuss, and probably more than interesting than talking about cuts, if the Plaid youth wants to get to grips more with the economy.