Leanne Wood was not at all satisfied with a fourth place finish in the 2015 General Election.
Her immediate response to the loss – and the mere hold of her three MPs – was to declare that the campaign for the National Assembly elections of May 2016 would commence without pause.
This most recent campaign has been the culmination of decades of political action: miner’s strike, CND, devolution, various assembly elections, and the 2011 referendum.
Already in campaign mode, and convinced that there would have been a breakthrough in the General Elections with a few more weeks to campaign, Wood began a series of major engagements: visiting local constituencies, attending cultural events, making visits to schools and giving major addresses on politics and policy at Aberystwyth University. Linking up her network on the ground, Wood engaged local organisations in the campaign, giving speeches at party events and demonstrations, outlining her message for the May elections.
The UK Leaders Debates Have Served to Rebalance Political Discourse in the UK and Could Determine the Composition of the Next Government.
As we arrive at the second UK Leaders Debate (Thursday, April 16), there is a recognisable shift in political discourse of the UK. It seems that all the establishment parties are now pandering to the “needs of the people” agenda and are steering away from the “blame the poor” agenda of the far right UKIP.
This seismic shift in UK political discourse was brought about not only by the disintegration of the binary two-party system in the UK, but also by the emergence of viable and credible minority options, such as the Scottish National Party, the Green Party and Plaid Cymru – The Party of Wales. Their inclusion in the first debate and their obvious success on that night have altered the landscape of the UK irreversibly. I will not burden you with a detailed history, but will try to describe this new landscape.
There is a considerable array of serious decisions that will have to be made by the people in the upcoming UK General Elections of 2015.
By people, I mean the vast multitude of individual working citizens for whose interests and representation the Parliament in Westminster was originally established.
By decision, I do not mean some arbitrary choice, or some choosing of a product in a shop, but one that involves thought and deliberation – and only then a choice.
In the context of decision-making, it is never sufficient to simply remain within a boxed mentality or echo chamber, captivated by the habit of custom which merely accepts the status quo and its erratic, though familiar, surface narrative.
One must look beyond the surface of the headlines and investigate the root causes and truths which stand behind the powers that be. It is toward the facilitation of such an investigation that the following essay is written.
The following essay, the fourth in a series of pieces engaged in Welsh and British politics, takes the position that the manifold deficits upon the Welsh political and economic landscape cannot be resolved by the current constitutional arrangement of the United Kingdom. Moreover, against the background of the obsolescence of the constitutional order, Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales will be introduced as an experienced and progressive voice in the Welsh experience, and as an option for an increasingly broad array of citizens in the General Elections of 2015. Despite the fact that it has been around since 1925, still too few in Wales itself know about a political party which is New Left, Green, Socially Liberal, Internationalist and Pro-Europe. What makes Plaid Cymru different from the Westminster parties, including the Greens, is that the Party of Wales no longer believes that Westminster will or can fulfill the aspirations of the people of Wales for a better life. Wales, in this light, needs a voice and direction of its own.