Sunday, 13 September 2009

Plaid Conference

Apparently Plaid, the Party of Wales are holding their annual conference in Llandudno at the moment.

Not that you'd know it from their engagement with the press.

Due to budgetary constraints we at Welsh Icons are unable to attend this years conference but are still waiting for a single press release telling us what's happening up North.

Despite repeated phone calls to Plaid's press officer's, all unanswered, we are still the dark and the only bit of information we have managed to glean is the text of Phil Edwards' speech which we reproduce below:

"Friends, Thank you very much and thank you Gareth for your kind words. May I also extend a welcome to you to Llandudno, Plaid Cymru’s fairly new heartland - but heartland nevertheless.

"We had some good news here last week with the announcement that the future of Llandudno Hospital and Breast Cancer Services are safe and that both are to receive substantial investment.

"Congratulations to all the people who campaigned for this.

"Thanks also to the Minister for her very welcome announcement . This has removed much of the anxiety.

"The only outstanding issue is for us to ensure that enough money comes to Wales from Westminster to fund this investment.

"Llongyfarchiadau i bawb ymgyrchodd am hyn.

"Winning new ground in politics is difficult, but the map is turning green along the North here now

"And it’s possible for us to win more ground back. Labour is in disarray, the Conservatives dis-united over Wales and the Lib Dem support still falling here.

"At the same time, people’s attitude towards Plaid Cymru on the doorstep all over the area is warm and positive indeed.

"But the most glaring point is that the people of Wales have had a belly ful of being ignored, of Ministers working behind closed doors in Westminster, of the spin, the warring, the under-funding and being treated like second class citizens.

"Just think for a second... if there were more politicians working for our needs and more of them arguing about how to improve things rather than arguing with each other from one day to the next

"I have a lot of faith by in the ability of the One Wales Government to rule our country. Many improvements have been achieved in the last two years.

"But we are only starting. There is another opportunity on the horizon for us to make much more of a difference.

"Our three existing MP’s richly deserve praise for what they are achieving in combating unfair policies, working for their electorate, and giving Wales a voice in Westminster that is strong and independent.

"But just think if we could double that number or get another four into Westminster to join them.

"No magnificent 7 jokes please.

"And consider the contribution , the difference Dafydd Wigley could have made in the House of Lords during the last few months with his two colleagues Janet Davies and our answer to Vince Cable – Eurfyl Ap Gwilym if only Gordon Brown had given them the opportunity

"Only enough room there for the Mandlesson’s and the Kinnocks for sure. Shame on them

"The Ancient Chinese had a curse: "May you live in interesting times."

"But in these interesting times many are suffering real hardship, losing their jobs their businesses and their homes whilst a few people still make millions in salary or bonuses every year.

"The One Wales Government has been praised for its handling of the recession. Just think if we had the powers - how much more we could have done for those small businesses, creaking under the strain of taxes, European bureaucracy, rising costs and falling revenues.

"Talking of taxes, what on earth was the Chancellor thinking about when he allowed the rise in fuel taxes to go ahead last week. Don’t they understand the damage this will cause to a fragile economy.

"Are they so busy saving their own skins that these things just don’t register with them anymore?

"The trouble is they’re not thinking, no one seems to be running the UK, it is left to lurch from one crisis to the next

"For instance, there is now a real crisis in farming. Not because of the recession, but because of long standing corporate greed.

"The farmers had a double whammy last week. Not only has their fuel prices gone up, again, but the price they get for their milk has fallen again.
Their situation was already critical it is now desperate.

"The Westminster Government must take swift action to stop the supermarkets from destroying our dairy industry before it’s too late. We will lose much more than just milk and cheese if they don’t.

"It must tackle the imbalance of power wielded by the Multinationals to protect local businesses and our economy.

"What else should Governments do? – Leave it for the free markets to decide maybe? No!

"Absolutely not – that particular notion – a charter for the greedy - must be a warning to future generations of how not to run a country’s economy.

"Talking of economies, Wales has suffered for far too long under what we should now call the Barnett Under - Funding Formula

"Left unchanged, we’re told that we could lose another £8.5 billion pounds over the next decade.

"Just think how much difference £8.5 billion could make .

"We, Plaid Cymru the Party of Wales as ever will have to lead on this.

"You needn’t wait for Labour or the Tories to fight this battle for us.

"They’ve failed us in the past, and given a chance, they will fail us again.

"I think it’s fair to say that people are pretty fed up with politicians now.

"All the main London parties are now in the dock.

"The expenses scandal with the Moats, duck houses and switching houses for maximum profits at our expense - has rocked our democracy to its very core.

"And it has changed the world’s perception of us.

"But even now some MP’s believe they are living on rations and the one with the Moat, thinks they should be paid a six figure salary plus expenses.

"Wake up boys bach. Your gravy train has been derailed – its time you went home.

"For generations, when the party in govt has run out of steam or becomes scandalised, the default position has been to let the other lot back in. And so it went on.

"But their time is up. And it’s their own doing.

"Both Labour and the Tories in Government have lost the moral right, if they ever had it, to govern the UK on their own anymore.

"They have broken faith with the people too many times to be given another chance.

"So handing either of these parties full power again won’t restore the balance to fix the problem.

"But fix it we must, or the vicious circle will continue

"Supporting Plaid Cymru will help restore stability and fairness to our damaged democracy

"In the 1990’s Politicians started interfering with operational policing, setting targets and objectives.

"Police Officers are the keepers of the peace. They need – we need them to be able to exercise judgement and discretion. You can’t count what they do like you count widgets coming off a production line.

"There have been so many new laws introduced during the last twenty years that not even the police can keep up with them.

"We have laws that stop children having donkey rides, laws that send Women and Children to prison for non violent offences.

"And laws that release dangerous - vicious criminals early from custody whilst their victims are afraid to leave their homes.

"This isn’t justice. That isn’t fairness or protecting citizens from harm. That is injustice and its wrong.

"We need to have a new national debate on justice and policing. We need to re-set the balance with the victims of crime firmly at the centre of that debate.

"We need a police service that continues its special relationship with the people which was once the envy of the world.

"Remember Tough on Crime – Tough on the Causes of Crime?

"Good slogan Tony – but that’s all it was. A slogan

"The relationship between the Government itself and the people has been out of balance for generations. Some would argue it has always been thus.

"Is it not time that changed as well?

"And for the UK Government to start showing us a bit of respect.

"Imagine if you switched on News At Ten tonight and there was a story on about a young man in some far away country who’d been jailed for wanting to do nothing more than speak his own language in his own country.

"If (importantly) that country didn’t have oil “How terrible” , “Human Rights” they’d shout.

"Wouldn’t happen here would it? Ask Osian Jones about his Human Rights.

"The men and women of our armed forces deserve respect, so do the elderly and our young people.

"And its time the Government in London recognised the right for Wales to govern herself like any other self respecting Nation.

"Who knows what the Conservatives would do in power. They are totally dis-united on the future of Wales.

"There is a rumour that there might be a general election soon.

"This is another opportunity to explain to people the differences between Plaid Cymru politicians and the others.

"Another opportunity to ask people to think differently about our future.

"Yet the message is simple.

"We will not let you down.

"We will stand up for you,

"And we will work hard for you, by putting your needs, the people of Wales first.

"That is the difference.

"We have to explain to them that it doesn’t always have to be like this.

"We you don’t have to swallow the spin and lies anymore.

"We can do things differently and better

"Think of a Wales that is prosperous.

"A Wales that can provide housing and work

"Enabling our young people to succeed

"A Wales that respects and appreciates the contribution and sacrifices of our forefathers

"A Wales that thanks our small businesses and our public services for their contribution

"And a Wales that stands shoulder to shoulder with other Nations of the world

"The biggest enemy we face is apathy.

"The most important objective is to re-establish faith

"Then it’s up to us

"When the next election comes and the sooner the better now, but when that historic day dawns - stop, think and ask yourself this question.

"What will I do today. Answer – clearly and positively, I will stand up for my country. I will vote for Wales.

"Friends, please make the most of everything Llandudno and Conwy has to offer over the next few days.

"It is one of the most beautiful areas in the world.

"I hope you all have a very successful conference.

"For Wales – Thank you very much"


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