Bygythiad Brexit i’n cymunedau dosbarth gweithiol

Leanne Wood

Medi 2018

Does gan Brexit fawr ddim i’w wneud ag Ewrop.

Mae ganddo bopeth i’w wneud â‘r rhaniadau o fewn y Blaid Dorïaidd. Mae ganddo bopeth i’w wneud â phobl sydd heb fawr i golli yn cicio sefydliad sydd wedi eu methu. Mae ganddo bopeth i’w wneud â narcissists fel Boris Johnson a Farage yn dweud celwydd ar ben celwydd wrth geisio hyrwyddo’i hunain.

Er hyn, bydd Cymru’n dal i wynebu’r canlyniadau cymdeithasol ac economaidd trychinebus o gael ein llusgo oddiwrth Ewrop.

Dyw “Brexit yn golygu Brexit” mewn gwirionedd yn golygu dim. Ond dyma’r math o ddadlau gwag sydd wedi’n gadael ni o fewn dyddiau o adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd a dim math o gynllun ymarferol.

Nid yw’n ymddygiad arferol i ymfalchïo mewn rhybudd y gallai eich methiannau eich hun arwain at brinder bwyd, meddygaeth ac ynni. Dros yr haf, fodd bynnag, dyna ry’n wedi’i weld – mae llywodraeth Torïaidd San Steffan yn rhybuddio y bydd Dim Cytundeb yn golygu’r math o gynllunio y byddwn yn ei ddisgwyl adeg rhyfel.

Mae’r Brexitwyr yn hoff iawn o ramantu am ysbryd yr Ail Ryfel Byd – efallai fod y rhamantu hefyd yn cynnwys defnyddio llyfrau dogni a blackouts.

Llymder

Os cawn ni gytundeb ai peidio, bydd biliynau’n cael eu gwasgu o’r economi, swyddi’n cael eu colli a chyflogau’n crebachu.

Nid swyddi bras colofnwyr y Telegraph na bancwyr fydd yn cael eu colli. Fel y degawd o lymder a fu, nid y rhai a greodd yr anhrefn fydd yn ysgwyddo’r baich.

O Abertawe i Brestatyn, o Gaerdydd i Geredigion, pobl dosbarth gweithiol fydd yn talu am strancio Sefydliad sydd wedi arwain at Brexit – a’r math o Brexit sy’n cael ei arddel.

Mae llymder eisoes yn lladd ein cymunedau ac yn llythrennol lladd llawer o’n dinasyddion ar yr incwm isaf.

Gyda biliynau o bunnoedd yn cael eu colli o economi Cymru, bydd Brexit yn atgyfnerthu Llymder. Mae’r ddau yn rhedeg law yn llaw.

Brexit y Biliwnydd 

Rydyn ni’n bwrw ymlaen â Brexit y Biliwnydd.

Mae cronfa gyfalaf Rees-Mogg yn symud i Iwerddon. Mae Redwood yn cynghori ei gleientiaid yn y Ddinas i symud eu harian i’r UE. Ac mae Farage yn cael pasbortau Almaeneg iddo ef a’i deulu.

Bydd gadael Ewrop yn fuddiol iawn i’r rhai sydd am elwa drwy bedlera celwydd Brexit wrth fynd ar ôl dyfodol o drethi isel iddynt hwy a’u ffrindiau.

Wrth i’r UE gyflwyno mesurau atal osgoi treth, ar yr un pryd â thorri trethi mewn ymdrech i gadw busnesau mawr, ni allwn adael i’r rhai breintiedig a fydd yn elwa o Brexit eithafol y Toriaid arwain y gweddill ohonom dros y dibyn.

Mae’n rhaid i’r cymunedau a’r teuluoedd sy’n cael eu heffeithio fwyaf gan gytundeb eithafol – neu ddim cytundeb o gwbl – fod â’r hawl i’w wrthod.

Pleidlais y Bobl – cymryd penderfyniad democrataidd

Mae Pleidlais y Bobl yn cynnig ffordd i osgoi’r anhrefn hwn, ffordd i osgoi difrod trychinebus Brexit y Biliwnydd a fydd yn digwydd os awn ni lawr y llwybr presennol.

‘Gwrth-ddemocrataidd’ yw’r floedd yn erbyn y rhai ohonom sy’n cefnogi Pleidlais y Bobl. Sut y gall mwy o bleidleisio, mwy o ddemocratiaeth a mwy o lais i’r bobl fod yn ‘wrth-ddemocrataidd’?

Mae llawer o bobl yn fwy gwybodus nawr nag oeddent pan gynhaliwyd refferendwm Brexit. Mae gallu gweld sut mae’r Torïaid wedi ymdrin â’r trafodaethau, a gallu gweld celwydd noeth y Brexitwyr yn siŵr o olygu y bydd pobl yn trin refferendwm ar y fargen olaf mewn ffordd wahanol iawn i’r refferendwm aros / gadael.

Nawr bod mwy o bobl yn gwybod y bydd Cymru’n cael ei effeithio mor ddrwg gan Brexit eithafol, a bod mwy o ddealltwriaeth am sut y bydd ein cymunedau’n dioddef, gallem weld pobl yn gwrthod cytundeb niweidiol.

Hwb i’r Dde

Mae Brexit wedi tynnu ynghyd carfannau o’r Sefydliad asgell-dde a’r dde eithafol. Mae criw hiliol, bots Rwsiaidd, Ysgrifenyddion Tramor, ffasgwyr, elfennau o’r cyfryngau Prydeinig a’r dde eithafol ar y Rhyngrwyd wedi rhyddhau ton o gasineb. Mae wedi agor y llifddorau i fwy o dicter, ofn ac ymrannu.

Rhoddwyd hwb di-gynsail gan Brexit i normaleiddio gwleidyddiaeth asgell-dde eithafol.

Er hyn i gyd, mae Llafur yn parhau i laesu dwylo a gwrthod ymladd yn erbyn y Brexit anhrefnus yma. Maent yn atal Pleidlais y Bobl.

Law yn llaw, mae’r Blaid Lafur a’r Torïaid yn delifro Brexit er bod y ddau’n gwybod y bydd yn gwneud niwed i’n gwlad ac i’n rhagolygon economaidd at y dyfodol.  Mae’r safiad yn cael eu wthio gan gyfleustod gwleidyddol.

Cymraes Ewropeaidd

Rwyf yn Gymraes Ewropeaidd.

Ni fydd Brexit byth yn dwyn fy hunaniaeth. Fodd bynnag, bydd yn dwyn swyddi pobl a chyfleuon i genedlaethau y dyfodol.

Mae Cymru’n wlad wych. Cenedl, rwy’n credu, gyda dyfodol yn Ewrop ac yn gysylltiedig â hi.

Ni ddylai ein cymunedau dosbarth gweithiol ysgwyddo’r anhrefn gostus a achosir gan raniadau’r blaid Dorïaidd.

Ein rhwymedigaeth yw dangos Cymru, mae ffordd well na hyn.

Arweinydd Plaid Cymru yn cyflwyno gweledigaeth i amddiffyn ffermydd Cymru er budd cenedlaethau’r dyfodol

Leanne Wood yn galw am Fanc Tir Amaethyddol Cymru

Cyn ymweld â Sioe Môn, galwodd Arweinydd Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood, am Fanc Tir Amaethyddol i amddiffyn ffermwyr a chymunedau gwledig er budd cenedlaethau’r dyfodol.

 

Mae Ms Wood wedi galw am system ariannu amaethyddol newydd a fyddai’n darparu morgeisi ar gyfradd llog isel a sero i ffermwyr sy’n profi anawsterau a newydd-ddyfodiaid i fyd amaeth. Yn rhan o’r cynllun, mae Arweinydd Plaid Cymru hefyd wedi cynnig mecanweithiau fyddai’n galluogi ffermwyr sy’n denantiaid i brynu eu ffermydd drwy drefniant fforddiadwy, ac i’r Banc Tir brynu ffermydd newydd sydd ar y farchnad i’w rhentu am bris isel i’r genhedlaeth nesaf o ffermwyr.

Gan adeiladu ar bolisi Plaid Cymru i gyflwyno Incwm Sylfaenol i Ffermwyr, dywedodd Ms Wood y byddai’r pecyn hwn o bolisïau yn creu “tarian genedlaethol i amddiffyn ein ffermydd bach a chanolig”.

“Mae’r posibilrwydd o Brexit heb gytundeb yn ein hwynebu, a dyfodol cymorthdaliadau amaethyddol o dan fygythiad, felly mae’n rhaid inni weithredu i sicrhau dyfodol ffyniannus i ffermydd Cymru.

 “Rydym eisoes yn gweld adroddiadau mynych fod dyfodol ffermydd teulu Cymru o dan fygythiad, ac y gallai’r ffermydd hynny ddiflannu hyd yn oed o fewn y degawd nesaf.  Rwy’n ofni y byddai cwmnïau mawr a chronfeydd gwarchod yn manteisio ar y cyfle i brynu darnau enfawr o dir amaethyddol Cymru.

 “Byddai hyn yn golygu trosglwyddo un o’n hadnoddau naturiol mwyaf gwerthfawr ar raddfa enfawr, o ddwylo’r nifer fawr o bobl yn ein cymunedau i ddwylo nifer fach o fuddsoddwyr tu hwnt o gyfoethog nad oes ganddynt les busnesau gwledig na’n diwylliant wrth eu calon.

 “Byddai creu Banc Tir Amaethyddol yn fodd i gynnig morgeisi a benthyciadau ar gyfradd llog isel a sero i ffermwyr sy’n profi anawsterau ac i newydd-ddyfodiaid i fyd amaeth. “Byddai’r Banc hefyd yn helpu ffermwyr sy’n denantiaid ac sydd am brynu eu fferm eu hunain drwy drefniant fforddiadwy, a hefyd yn cadw portffolio o ffermydd i’w cynnig am rent isel i newydd-ddyfodiaid i’r sector ffermio. Byddem yn amddiffyn ffermio yng Nghymru er budd cenedlaethau’r dyfodol.

 “Mae Banc Tir Cymru yn cydredeg â chynnig Plaid Cymru i ddarparu incwm sylfaenol i ffermwyr, er mwyn creu dyfodol mwy cynaliadwy wedi inni gefnu ar y Polisi Amaethyddol Cyffredin a phan ddaw’r gyfundrefn gymorthdaliadau gyfredol i ben. “Gyda’i gilydd, byddai’r polisïau hyn yn ein galluogi i greu tarian genedlaethol i amddiffyn ein ffermydd bach a chanolig er budd cenedlaethau sydd i ddod.”

 

Arweinydd Plaid Cymru yn ail-adrodd galwad am ‘Bleidlais y Bobl’ i atal Brexit eithafol sy’n cael ei lywio gan filiwnyddion hunanol

Mae Leanne Wood AC heddiw wedi ail-adrodd ei galwad am refferendwm cadarnhau ar unrhyw gytundeb terfynol gyda’r Undeb Ewropeaidd, gan amlygu’r ffaith fod cefnogwyr cyfoethog Brexit yn debygol o fod ar eu hennill tra bod gweithwyr cyffredin yn dal pen tryma’r baich. Dywedodd Ms Wood fod y ffordd mae Brexit yn cael ei weithredu yn ‘drychineb llwyr’, yn enwedig i Gymru, ac y dylai pobl gael y gair olaf am “fargen neu ddim o gwbl”.

Dywedodd Ms Wood nad galwad oedd hwn am ail-gynnal  refferendwm 2016. Plaid ddemocrataidd yw Plaid Cymru ac y mae’n derbyn y bleidlais honno; serch hynny, dywedodd , wrth i fwy a mwy o beryglon a phroblemau ddod i’r amlwg oherwydd diffyg cynllunio cyn ac ar ôl y refferendwm, mae’n rhaid i bobl gael cyfle i dderbyn neu i wrthod y ffordd y byddwn yn gadael. Gan bwysleisio mai’r hyn sy’n ganolog i ddemocratiaeth yw’r hawl i bobl newid eu meddwl, dadleuodd Ms Wood y gallai gwrthod roi cychwyn ar broses newydd fyddai’n cynnig ffordd yn ôl at aelodaeth o’r UE.

Aeth Ms Wood ymlaen i amlygu’r ffaith fod llawer o bleidwyr mwyaf croch Brexit yn bleidiol i bolisïau trethi isel, ac mai hwy sydd fwyaf tebyg o elwa o Brexit. Gyda’r DG yn gadael cyn gweithredu rheolau newydd yr UE ar osgoi talu trethi a’r posibilrwydd y cyflwynir toriadau treth yn y DG wedi Brexit, gallai’r cyfoethogion gael mwy o arian yn eu pocedi wedi Brexit, tra byddai’r economi yn gyffredinol a gweithwyr cyffredin yn dioddef gyda mwy fyth o lymder. “Mae’n rhaid i’r cymunedau a’r teuluoedd y bydd Brexit yn eu niweidio fwyaf” gael yr hawl i ddweud eu dweud ar gytundeb terfynol Brexit, meddai Ms Wood.

Bu Arweinydd Plaid Cymru yn gryf ei chefnogaeth i ymgyrch Pleidlais y Bobl, gan lofnodi eu llythyr agored oedd yn galw am refferendwm ar y cytundeb terfynol yn gynharach eleni.

Gan ategu ei galwad am Bleidlais y Bobl, dywedodd Leanne Wood:

“Gadewch i ni fod yn onest. Mae Brexit yn newyddion drwg i weithwyr, mae’n newyddion drwg i fusnesau. Gwyddom y bydd ei effaith ar Gymru yn waeth nac ar unman arall, bron.

“Po agosaf yr awn at adael yr UE, y mwyaf mae’n dod yn amlwg mai trychineb llwyr ydyw. Mae hyd yn oed Llywodraeth San Steffan bellach yn cyfaddef fod meddyginiaethau, cyfrifon banc a hyd yn oed gyflenwadau bwyd mewn perygl dan senario Dim Cytundeb.

“Hyd yn oed os deuir i gytundeb, does dim llawer o achos dathlu. Bydd biliynau yn diflannu o’n heconomi, a chollid cyfle i’r cenedlaethau i ddod oherwydd y Brexit eithafol sy’n cael ei hyrwyddo gan San Steffan.

“O’i roi yn syml, bargen neu beidio, bydd Cymru’n dlotach os gadawn yr UE. Rhaid i ni fod â’r hawl i wrthod cytundeb fydd yn niweidiol i’n heconomi a chael llwybr yn ôl i’r UE os bydd pobl yn y refferendwm hwnnw yn gwrthod y cytundeb a gynigir neu os digwydd iddynt fod wedi newid eu meddwl ers 2016.

“Bydd cost Brexit eithafol yn disgyn nid ar yr arweinyddion Gadael hynny a’u rhoddwyr sydd yn filiwnyddion, ond yn hytrach ar ysgwyddau gweithwyr cyffredin. Bydd y cyfoethogion ar eu hennill ganwaith, a hwythau wedi pedlera’r celwydd am Brexit er mwyn cael dyfodol rhydd o drethi iddynt hwy a’u cyfeillion. Wrth i’r UE gyflwyno mesurau i wrthweithio osgoi trethi ar yr un pryd ag y mae toriadau trethi ar y gorwel fel ymgais munud-olaf i gadw busnesau mawr yn y DG, allwn ni ddim gadael i’r ychydig breintiedig fydd yn elwa o Brexit Torïaidd eithafol adael y gweddill ohonom ar erchwyn y dibyn heb lais pellach ar y mater.

“Mae’n rhaid i’r cymunedau a’r teuluoedd y bydd cytundeb Brexit eithafol neu ddim cytundeb yn effeithio arnynt waethaf gael yr hawl i’w wrthod.”

* Llythyr Pleidlais y Bobl
* Manylion am reoliadau osgoi trethi’r UE:

Youtube

2m 51s
3m 41s
0m 51s
5m 18s
3m 14s
5m 27s
1m 32s
5m 51s
1m 15s
2m 7s

Dylai Plaid Cymru feddwl eto cyn ceisio tynnu lawr ased etholiadol gorau y blaid

Erthygl gan Guto Prys ap Gwynfor yn olrhain hanes arweinwyr y gorffennol yng nghyd-destun y tensiynau a welwn o fewn y Blaid ar hyn o bryd. Mae’n disgrifio nifer o achosion dros y blynyddoedd, yn mynd yn ôl i gyfnod Gwynfor Evans ble mae pwysau o’r tu mewn wedi cyfrannu at anhawsterau’r


Guto Prys ap Gwyfor

“California earthquakes are a geologic inevitability”.

So said a report on the American network CBS. California is expected to suffer a severe earthquake every hundred years or so, and it is said that California is now overdue an earthquake. Plaid Cymru is much the same.

Every twenty years or so it goes through its own little earthquake. In nearly every case, except for the first, it boils down to frustration and knee jerk reaction. And as with every such case, decisions made in frustration are inevitably the wrong decisions.

Plaid Cymru was formed in 1924. The party only fielded one candidate in elections between then and 1943, and that was in Caernarfon.

Then, during the 1943 University Seat by-election the party had very high hopes of winning, with Saunders Lewis considered to be head and shoulders above every other prospective candidate, only to be scuppered by the betrayal of WJ Gruffydd, who had previously been a party member.

This was seen by the party’s enemies as the high-water mark for the young Plaid Cymru. However, with the hope and reinvigoration that came with the 1943 by-election, it also heralded in a new era.

By 1945 the party’s old guard decided to step aside. Saunders Lewis, JE Daniel, and other stalwarts decided for various reasons to move on.

Saunders Lewis, on his departure, announced that it was his opinion that the young Gwynfor Evans should be President.

And so Plaid Cymru became a professional party. Gwynfor Evans changed it from what was seen as largely a protest party, to be an electoral force, increasing the number of candidates that they fielded in every election.

Crisis

In the 1959 election the party fielded no fewer than twenty candidates. However, by the early sixties things were not all well.

The party was coming under continuous sniping for not doing enough for the Welsh Language. It had failed to make an electoral breakthrough.

And worst of all it was facing an existential crisis, with a real threat of the party splitting in two – between the more Anglicised Valleys of south Wales, and the more Welsh-speaking rural north and west.

It was all coming to a head, when, in mid-1966, a by-election was called in Carmarthen following the passing of Lady Megan Lloyd-George. Gwynfor Evans won a historic by-election, becoming the party’s first MP, and changing the course of Wales’ history. Plaid entered its next phase, as a Parliamentary party.

The 1966 success stimulated the party faithful and brought in a generation of new supporters. Plaid had a series of very strong by-election showings.

By the second 1974 election Plaid Cymru had a candidate in every one of the 36 constituencies in Wales, and succeeded in getting three MPs elected.

But, as with every elation there comes a fall. The party was once again experiencing an existential crisis in the early eighties following the hammer blow loss of the 1979 devolution referendum.

Gwynfor’s triumph over Thatcher with the establishing of S4C galvanised the party and the movement, and gave it that thrust that it needed to carry on with the fight.

It also resulted in Gwynfor stepping down as the party’s President, and saw the heralding in of the new generation – the leadership of both Dafydd Wigley and Dafydd Ellis-Thomas.

Threat

Fast forward twenty years, and the party was once again facing a crisis. This time largely of its own making.

Plaid Cymru’s 1999 National Assembly elections were truly historic. They won seats across the south Wales Valleys and became a real political force. And what did they do? A plot was hatched, and the experienced and popular Dafydd Wigley was dispatched.

The party wasn’t facing any sort of crisis. It had just managed to get the Labour First Minister, Alun Michael, sacked. It had had its most successful election ever, and was seen as a real political threat.

It’s difficult for us today to understand just how much of a threat Plaid Cymru was back then.

So much so that London newspapers, most notably the Labour loving Mirror, threw resources at discrediting the party and damaging Plaid’s political chances. This was a sure sign of success.

Irony

And here we are today. History suggests that we’re due for another internal crisis. It’s a generational thing. Plaid Cymru are once again building up a head of steam.

However good or strong the leader, once every generation frustration boils over and the knees start jerking. Gwynfor Evans, Dafydd Wigley, and Leanne Wood.

The sad irony is that it isn’t pressure from the outside, but in every case it’s pressure from the inside.

However, the party isn’t facing an existential crisis, like it did in the 1960s and early 1980s. In fact, Plaid enjoyed one of its most successful local election campaigns ever last year.

They increased the number of MPs back to 4, with the first ever female MP elected in 2015. Half of Wales elected Police and Crime Commissioners are there as Plaid Cymru representatives.

And they succeeded in capturing the symbolic Rhondda constituency in 2016. And yet, for some peculiar reason, much like the plot of 2000, there are people itching for an internal, damaging fight.

Liked

Having just come out of a bitter public row with former Plaid Cymru AM, Neil McEvoy, and just as Labour are embroiled in their own internal fights about their structures and leadership, some of the Plaid group of AMs have taken it upon themselves to demand a leadership election.

Conversely, Leanne Wood has, and is, travelling the length and breadth of the country, holding open meetings in village halls, pubs and clubs, engaging with people of all political persuasions and none.

The Labour Party will go into the next election with the least known First Minister in the history of the National Assembly.

Whether it’s Mark Drakeford, Vaughan Gething, Eluned Morgan or AN Other, the new FM’s recognition factor will be tiny. Leanne Wood is the most well known and most liked politician in Wales.

Plaid Cymru will go into the next election with what can only be called political gold. Recognition, brand awareness, call it what you will, but it’s one of a political party’s main currencies.

Leanne Wood has this in bucket loads, especially when compared to her rivals. What would be achieved by throwing all of that away?

Plaid Cymru supporters are all frustrated that the party is not in Government. None more so than Leanne herself, I’m sure. Yet the blame cannot, and should not, be laid at her feet.

Root

Politics is a team event. The whole membership, especially the professional, elected politicians, should take a long hard look at themselves before trying to topple the party’s best electoral asset.

If anyone thinks that changing one person will change the fortunes of the party, then they’ve completely miss-read the political situation in Wales, and are failing to tackle the root causes of our problems.

If some Plaid Cymru politicians fail to identify the democratic and media deficit, which are at the root of our problems, then heaven help us.

Leanne Wood has clearly identified these problems and is doing everything within her considerable ability to redress the issues. They should all get behind her.

Greddf gwrth-ffasgiaeth Leanne Wood yw’r rheswm pam ein bod ei hangen hi fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru

Erthygl gan yr awdur a’r cyn-ymgeisydd seneddol Mike Parker ar y rhesymau pam y dylai Leanne Wood barhau fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru. Mae’n tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod ei greddfau i adnabod bwli yn mynd i fod yn hollbwysig wrth i elfennau’r asgell dde eithafol gael ail wynt yma ac draws y byd. Mae’n dweud ei bod yn ddynes sydd wedi arfer â brwydro dros gyfiawnder a bod y cryfder hwnnw sydd ynddi wedi mynegi ei hun pan wnaeth tri Aelodau Cynulliad y Blaid ysgrifennu llythyr yn galw am her i’w harweinyddiaeth, a hynny ar drothwy ei hymddangosiad ar y rhaglen deledu Question Time.


Mike Parker

Like most queer people, I can smell bullies a mile off.  It’s part of our training, you see, something we had to learn as youngsters growing into an identity at odds with the mainstream, sometimes violently so.

We learned to scan any situation and quickly identify the thugs, the blustering egomaniacs fizzing with insecurities and the passive-aggressive narcissists who’ve learned the right vocabulary, but not a jot of the meaning behind it.

It’s good training for life, and for politics in particular, because politics is crock-full of them all.

Quite how full only became apparent to me after publishing The Greasy Poll, a diary of the turbulent time I spent as Plaid Cymru’s 2015 Westminster candidate in Ceredigion.

Over the decades, I’ve written more than a dozen books about place and identity; each brings reaction from readers, sharing their stories, agreeing or disagreeing with me.

With The Greasy Poll though, it was amazing just how radically different were the responses, especially the emails from politicians and activists in all parties.

Too many saw themselves in it, and only themselves; to them, it wasn’t so much a book, more a wander through a fairground hall of mirrors, marvelling at their own reflection.

People I know to be savage bullies wrote to wail about how badly they too had been pushed around by party machinery, the press or their colleagues.  Devious schemers painted themselves as misunderstood ingénues.

People who have been tipping poison down the communal well for years screeched in horror about the barrenness of the political landscape.

Beliefs

Hiding behind smokescreens and subterfuge, bullies love to whip up problems, and then move into the light to present themselves as the solution.

It’s been there for all to see in every party in the Senedd (except, to be fair, the LibDems; it’s hard to split a group of one).

My concern is with Plaid.  If there is a leadership challenge, it will be a tough call for many.

Plaid has not been in a good place this last couple of years.  We’ve lost two AMs, internal discipline has been badly handled, election results are patchy, the party has sounded quite hesitant on Brexit, and – its real bête noire, in my opinion – there’s been far too much timidity and emphasis on PR over substance.

As leader, Leanne Wood has inevitably copped much of the blame for Plaid’s woes.  She’s far from perfect, but that’s unfair.

It’s no secret that I’m a mate of hers, but – as she would tell you too – I’m that kind of gobby mate that doesn’t hold back from criticism when needed (and even when not!).

She knows that I wish she was less carefully calibrated sometimes, and show more of the fire in her belly that powers her politics.

I wish she’d occasionally overrule her advisers, and voice her real beliefs on everything from nuclear power to drugs, and yes, Welsh independence too.

As a fellow Welsh learner, I’d also like to see her be bolder in using the language.

Ambush

That all said, there is one huge, over-arching reason why I want Leanne to continue as leader: she too can smell a bully at forty paces, and always refuses to play their game.

Right now, that is just about the most important thing we could need in a leader.  Left unchecked, bullies become fascists, and at a time when real fascism is flexing its muscles, we need all the opposition we can muster.

Grim election results all over the world tell only a sliver of the story; evidence is mounting by the day of increased tensions and hostility, and dangerous zealots strutting with newfound confidence.

We are not immune to it here, however much we like to think we are.

Leanne is a fighter, a woman who instinctively takes on the bullies and the bullshitters, and always has.  There was no careful calibration when she shot down the dog whistle drivel of Farage and Nuttall in those election debates, nor the creepy utterances of their sometime colleagues in the Senedd.

She has fought racism, misogyny and homophobia all her life, and not just for the hashtags and selfies.

She relishes the scrap, as demonstrated so resoundingly on last Thursday’s Question Timefrom Caernarfon, the very day that three Plaid AMs (and the fingerprint of a fourth?) had put out a letter calling for a challenge to her leadership, surely hoping to ambush her appearance.

If anything, it had the opposite effect to the one they intended, for Leanne came roaring out of the traps and showed just what a formidable operator she has become in her six years of leadership.

Neither does she fall back on the tactic of stoking easy resentment for quick buck electoral gain or social media likes.

Need

I fear that some in and around Plaid don’t quite understand how dangerous that game is, and what dark places it can lead to if encouraged.

During last week’s Question Time, my Twitter feed was full of people getting way more upset by people’s accents than the actual words they used.  Where does that leave those of us who will never sound local?

The new and shiny is always appealing when we’ve had our old model six years.  It’s all about upgrades these days, even if they promise the earth and deliver very little.

I’ve wavered in my support for Leanne, and for Plaid too, but now that there is talk of a challenge, it has made me think hard about where we are and what we need.

Leanne is well-known, liked and respected.  Her confidence is growing, as is her clarity about the perilous state of Wales and the world, and her determination to improve things.

She needs to finish the job, to take us to the next Assembly election, and to work tirelessly to spread nationwide what she did so convincingly in Rhondda last time.

Fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru, rwyf yn cynnig y llwybr at wir annibyniaeth

Erthygl gan Leanne Wood yn cyhoeddi ei bod yn sefyll unwaith eto fel arweinydd Plaid Cymru gan ei bod yn gyfnod ble mae modd i bobl eraill roi eu henwau yn yr het yn unol a rheolau’r Blaid. Mae hi’n dweud y bydd yn arwain Cymru ar lwybr tuag at wir annibyniaeth, gan ddadlau bod annibyniaeth go iawn yn mynd tu hwnt i drefniadau cyfansoddiadol. Mae’n ymwneud, meddai hi, ag agwedd a hyder pobl pan maent wedi eu grymuso yn wleidyddol ac yn economaidd i wneud eu penderfyniadau eu hunain dros eu bywydau eu hunain.


Leanne Wood AM, Leader of Plaid Cymru

This week I have resubmitted my nomination to lead Plaid Cymru.

In line with our party’s democratic principles, I am required to table my nomination to lead the Party of Wales every two years. This ensures that Plaid Cymru is always led by our membership.

As Leader, I have one overriding objective – to lead a Plaid Cymru government that begins our nation’s journey to independence, so that we can realise our potential as a country.

Westminster never has and never will deliver the solutions Wales needs. I believe there is a better way.

As a Plaid Cymru First Minister, I will deliver a programme for an empowered nation and an empowered people – for a future based on equality, dignity and opportunity for all.

That is why, on my re-election as leader, I will deliver a Pathway to Real Independence. Real Independence goes much further than national constitutional arrangements.

It covers the attitude, outlook and confidence people have when they are politically and economically empowered to determine the direction of their own lives.

I will set-up a national forum to discuss the steps we must take to end our social, political and economic dependence on Westminster.

With representatives from all walks of life, we will map out a future for Wales that doesn’t have to wait for Westminster to build our own, better society.

Review

I got into politics to make a difference. I want to create a Wales where we don’t settle for second best. Where our communities grow richer not poorer. I want to see decisions about our country made in our country.

And, as the Leader of Plaid Cymru, I know that I can deliver on this positive vision for the future of our country. It won’t be easy, but I can promise, the party I lead has answers to the big questions our nation faces.

What is Wales’s place in the world? Where should the balance of power lie – Westminster or Wales? What type of society, economy and environment will we create for future generations?

As an initial step, I am commissioning a review of our energy policies – a full appraisal of the effects that Wylfa B and Hinckley Point could have on the communities and economy of Ynys Môn and Gwynedd and the south east.

Special attention will be paid to potential damage that nuclear development could cause to health, the Welsh language as well as our natural environment and overstretched infrastructure.

Power

Labour and the Conservatives have both failed to show they have the answers. Both are complicit in delivering an extreme Brexit, costing Welsh jobs and wages.

They even colluded on a deal that will see our National Assembly weakened – with Westminster taking control over key powers relating to our environment, agriculture and state aid.

That is why I will continue to push the case for Wales to have an open and job-protecting relationship with our European neighbours and to bring back the powers that were so cynically handed to Westminster by Labour.

That is also why I will not enter into coalition with any party that stands opposed to our principles, values and policies.

Hope

Growing up during the 1980s in Rhondda, I saw first-hand the problems caused by political choices when Wales and our working-class communities were side-lined.

I knew then, as I know now, it doesn’t have to be this way. I know there is much more we can do to ensure people reach their full potential.

This not only means electing more Plaid Cymru representatives at all levels, it also means Plaid Cymru itself must better reflect all of the people of our nation.

For this reason, I will make sure our politics and elected representatives can properly reflect the diversity which makes up Welsh communities.

Raymond Williams described Real Independence as “a time of new and active creation: people sure enough of themselves to discard their baggage; knowing the past is past, as shaping history, but with a new confident sense of the present and the future, where the decisive meanings and values will be made.”

Inspired with a vision for a better future, we can build a nation shaped by its citizens. Giving hope and opportunity to those who have been denied it for so long.

Together, we will deliver an empowered people and nation, ready to take our future into our own hands.

Pam y dylem uno tu ô i Leanne Wood, y gwleidydd a dorrodd y mowld

Cyng. Steve Collings, cynghorydd Plaid Cymru dros Ward Deiniol, Bangor, yn trafod sut y bu iddo fo ymuno â Phaid Cymru oherwydd arweinyddiaeth Leanne Wood, a’i gweledigaeth radical hi mewn môr o wleidyddiaeth llwydaidd. Mae’n nodi fod cryfder Leanne Wood fel ased i’r Blaid yn ymgorffori tair elfen hollbwysig:

Amddiffynydd angerddol o ddiwylliant Cymru, rhywbeth a fyddai’n apelio at yr ardaloedd traddodiadol

Yn gryf o blaid annibyniaeth

Menyw ddosbarth gweithiol sydd a’i chartref diwyllianol yng nghanol byd y cymoedd, yr ardal mae Plaid angen ei hennill.


Steve Collings

After having spent most of my adult life being an activist, ‘mainstream’ politics held little interest back in 2012.

There was no variety, no radicalism and no sincerity to be found in any of the political parties as far as I could see.

It was a politics populated by grey suits with bland politics who always seemed to be more interested in getting their own seat at the table rather than holding power to account.

During this time of neoliberal consensus every politician owed their career to being seen favourably by a constantly shrinking and more centralised media elite, who acted as middle men between politicians and the public.

If they said something too radical or too far from the mainstream belief in capitalist market economics their views would be blocked or condemned by this very small number of media channels.

The public figure in question had no way of addressing the public directly to correct the record.

What emerged was a culture or conformity and timidity that led to the commonly held belief that “politicians are all the same”.

Even well-intentioned and radical hearted individuals had to ‘tone down’ their message and be very wary of saying anything that was too far from the norm as an eerie group think settled over politics.

The result was an entire political class raised in a culture of fear of saying the wrong thing.

Change

Leanne Wood was different. I and many others were drawn to Plaid by her political leadership. The new ideas and radicalism that she represented broke the mould.

A staunch republican, feminist, socialist and advocate of Welsh independence, Leanne was a state school educated, working-class woman who seemed to say directly what was on her mind.

I was convinced that she would be ‘weeded out’ by the natural selection of all-powerful media scrutiny. Surely, she would be hounded for her every word and could not rise to the top of a political party?

Maybe it was because Plaid was a small party when compared to the Westminster behemoths, or maybe it was because the SNP in Scotland had already managed to put independence back on the agenda, but I was wrong.

Either way, her leadership campaign on a platform of ‘real independence’ won through and nearly secured her the Plaid leadership in the first round of voting in 2012. When the second round was counted she won decisively.

Plaid had chosen its radical.

Unique

So why did Plaid break out of the ‘grey consensus’?

From the current vantage point of 2018, there doesn’t seem to be anything too unusual about a political party electing a radical and outspoken leader.

The politics of ‘business as usual’ has rapidly been replaced by a political climate in which radicals and populists of both left and right and thriving.

In the era of Corbyn and Sanders, Trump and Farage, the mainstream mould is no longer a barrier to reaching the top; it actually seems to be a benefit

Leanne’s breakthrough, however, was unique for its time.

For a considerable period before her election, the party seemed stuck in a rut. Their message of gradual independence and cultural preservation had always done well in the Welsh-speaking heartlands, but failed to attract serious interest in the majority English speaking Valleys where the bulk of the population lived.

She embodied a combination of three vital elements. She was:

  • a passionate defender of the culture who could appeal to the heartlands
  • a staunch advocate of independence
  • a working-class woman who’s cultural home was right in the centre of the valleys world that Plaid needed to win.

Leanne represented an opportunity for Plaid, and the party grassroots overwhelmingly decided to take a risk on doing something different.

For me, an English-speaking leftist from the north-east borders, she stood out in an otherwise stale political landscape.

In order to support her vision of a united Wales that could push its way towards independence by focussing on the bread and butter issues that most concerned people, I joined Plaid Cymru.

Centre 

It is a badly kept secret that some elected members at the top of the party have been jostling for position and putting pressure on Leanne since the summer of last year.

Shortly after she released a publication that restated her commitment to focusing on the grassroots issues and paving the way towards independence – including a discussion on the place of community-led socialism in Plaids economic thinking – a counter-narrative of ‘moving to the centre’ and being open to working with the Tories has gradually emerged, one hint at a time.

This has since been picked up by a media establishment quick to exploit the perceived weakness in any party and have a pop at a radical.

To me, this appears to be an attempt by some elected officials to retreat back into Plaids comfort zone and abandon the drive to reach out to the electorally vital valleys.

More than that, a willingness to work with the Tories would push Plaid further to the right than it has ever been before, so this position goes further than just a retreat back to Plaid’s more centrist days.

It is natural that there were always going to be elected officials in Plaid who were uncomfortable with the party having such a different leader and so it is logical that a reaction was always going to come at some point.

Perhaps the remarkable thing is that it has taken this long for Leanne to face a formal challenge.

Valleys

The argument against Leanne is that her strategy has failed, and the party is not moving on. But that is quite simply false.

In 2016 Leanne – with her unique message, platform and style – won a resounding victory in the Rhondda, unseating a Labour minister right in the heart of Plaids main target area with 51% of the vote and a huge swing.

This is the first time the party has had a break-through in the valleys since its short-lived gains of 1999. Its significance cannot be under-estimated.

This seat – combined with Leanne’s huge public profile – can now be used as the launch pad and model for a campaign at the next election that seeks to take a string of valleys seats.

The formula has been tested and it works.

However, Leanne has rather unfairly had to shoulder the blame for a turbulent year within Plaid, where the party’s creaking machinery failed to quickly deal with numerous disciplinary issues that have still left a bitter taste in the mouths of many.

This is unfair because the leadership has no influence in these matters, and Leanne has rightly focussed on promoting the radical, one Wales, real independence message that she was elected on.

Neither the lack of break-through nor the recent internal troubles are the real reasons for the emerging challenge and ‘change of direction’.

Disastrous 

I may have joined the party and stood for election as a councillor because of Leanne Wood, but since then I have become attached to the vision of a more independent Wales that is free to chart its own course in the world.

Giving up the post-2012 strategy and toning down the progressive economic message that seeks to appeal to all of Wales would, to me, be strategically disastrous. This is an impoverished country where about 60% of the population ‘votes left’.

A change of direction would not be enough to drive me away from the party. Cuddling up to the Tories, however, would.

I would resign, and I would not be the only one. Anecdotally, I’ve heard people use the ‘R’ word a lot in recent weeks.

It is one thing to state that Leanne’s Valleys strategy should be abandoned, but it is another to suggest teaming up with the austerity-promoting, ultra-British Nationalist party that has caused so much pain to so many in Wales.

Sadly, the statements of several elected officials have hinted in this direction since Leanne restated her platform with her publication in January.

For many who have joined the party in recent years such a change of direction would be a serious red line.

This retreat is being presented as a strategy because the Tories have opened the door to future cooperation.

To retreat at this point would be a terrible mistake, and to lurch to the right would be catastrophic.

The reality is that the comfy, consensus, grey suit politics has collapsed.

Rather than recognising this and getting behind their own unique public hero in these radical times, the small ‘c’ conservative instincts of some in the party are using this turbulence to try and go back to a politics that is more familiar to them, just as the Blairites did in Labour and the Clintonites did in the Democrats.

I support Leanne Wood for First Minister in 2021 and we need to get behind her.

Rydym angen bod o ddifri am roi’r anrheg o ddwyieithrwydd i bob plentyn yng Nghymru

Erthygl gan Leanne Wood ar drothwy Eisteddfod yr Urdd ble mae hi’n trafod pwysigrwydd addysg Gymraeg i blant Cymru fel bod pob plentyn yn gadael yr ysgol yn ddwyieithog. Mae hi’n trafod ei dicter a’i rhwystredigaeth o fod wedi colli allan ar y Gymraeg yn blentyn fel wnaeth cenhedlaeth gyfan o bobl yn y Rhondda. Mae hi’n nodi sylwadau Lloyd Macey – yntau hefyd o’r Rhondda ac yn fab i gynghorydd Plaid Cymru – un o lywyddion yr Eisteddfod ac un o sêr cyfres yr X Factor sydd wedi talu teyrnged i’w addysg Gymraeg fel rhywbeth a agorodd ddrysau iddo i ddigwyddiadau fel eisteddfodau’r Urdd, a fu yn eu tro yn allweddol iddo yn ei yrfa fel canwr.


It is difficult to convey the feelings of loss that come with missing something you never had. Isn’t it a contradiction? How can anyone possibly miss something they never had?

Let me try to explain.

I was brought up as a monoglot English speaker and as I grew I heard different languages spoken around me. I had the feeling that there were things going on that I couldn’t fully be a part of.

We had language lessons in school, including Welsh, but we didn’t see the value of it then as children. But now, when I look back, I wish that I had paid more attention.

I wish someone had explained to me why learning other languages was important. I wish someone had shown me that languages can open doors for you into different worlds.  I wish someone had told me how important the Welsh language is.

I wish they had explained the threats it has faced through history and still faces. I wish I had known what I could do – what we can all do to make sure there is a future for this unique and precious treasure that runs through the contours of the beautiful and rugged landscape of my home country, Cymru.

My own story is a microcosm of the problems our language faces. I understand a lot of Welsh, but I am not a fluent Welsh speaker and I don’t have the confidence to use it. I know I should. I know that using it will help it survive.

But the confidence question gets in the way.

The lack of confidence is, in my view, linked to the mixed feelings I have towards the Welsh language – and these feelings run deep.

I’ve lost count of the times I have felt awkward, uncomfortable and wrong when a group of Welsh speakers all switch to English for my benefit. Every time that happens I feel like I am striking it yet another blow.

I feel resentful of the art, film, poetry, prose, and plays I am missing out on because my understanding isn’t at full fluent. but most of all, when I think about the opportunities missed, I feel anger.

Growing up in Wales, I should have been given the gift of bilingualism from birth.

Hope

Today, more children than ever before are in Welsh medium education, which means all of their lessons are taught through the medium of Welsh.

It’s known that this is the best way to achieve bilingualism – children end up proficient in both English and Welsh when they leave school.

It is also known that bilingual children find it easier to learn a third, fourth, fifth language.

We are also beginning to understand the benefits of bilingualism and multilingualism in terms of preventing illnesses like Alzheimer’s and dementia in later life.

If we are really serious about not just protecting the Welsh language but creating citizens who are equipped to live long, independent lives, to be confident and to reach out to others throughout the world, then we should be serious about giving this gift of bilingualism to every child who grows up in Wales.

But I am hopeful.

This week saw yet another successful Urdd Eisteddfod held this year in Llanelwedd in Powys.

We really are fortunate to have something like the Eisteddfod for children and young people here in Wales which gives them the opportunity to express themselves and develop their creative talents through the medium of Welsh.

The Rhondda’s very own Lloyd Macey, singer and former X-Factor contestant, said that he would not have been able to take part in the TV talent show without the experience of competing at the Urdd Eisteddfod.

Like me, Lloyd is from a non-Welsh speaking household and said that the Urdd showed him that Welsh was more than ‘just a subject in school’ but a gateway into something much richer and valuable.

The last time the Rhondda hosted the Urdd Eisteddfod was in 1947 in Treorci and the last time the Rhondda hosted the National Eisteddfod was in 1928 – the Gorsedd stones placed to commemorate the Eisteddfod still standing proudly on the Maindy hillside overlooking Cwmparc and Treorci to this day.

Perhaps it is time for the Rhondda to host the Eisteddfod again.

So let us put an end to robbing people of something that is arbennig iawn – very special to us all.

Let us celebrate – dathlu.

Let us have confidence – hyder.

Let us make sure Cymraeg has a future – dyfodol.

That future is in our hands – ein dwylo ni.

Let us rise to the challenge of the responsibility that has been given to our generation.

Ymlaen.

“safbwynt cyfaddawd” yn gorfod newid medd Arweinydd Plaid Cymru

Leanne Wood

Addewid gan Wood i adolygu safbwynt Plaid ar ynni niwclear

Mae Leanne Wood wedi cadarnhau y byddai Plaid Cymru yn chwilio am atebion amgen yn lle ynni niwclear pan gaiff ei harweinyddiaeth ei hadnewyddu ym mis Medi.

Daw’r symudiad yn sgil adroddiadau newyddion o Japan sy’n awgrymu bod buddsoddwr allweddol yn tynnu allan o brosiect Wylfa B ar Ynys Môn, cynllun sydd eisioes wedi wynebu helyntion ariannol. Rhybuddiodd arweinydd Plaid Cymru ei bod yn “beryglus” i uchelgeisiau economaidd yr ardal fod yn ddibynnol ar gynllun sydd “angen addewidion cynyddol am gyllid oddi wrth lywodraeth San Steffan ac sy’n dibynnu hefyd ar fympwyon cyfnewidiol corfforaethau mawr byd-eang.

Yr wythnos ddiwethaf roedd Leanne Wood yn bresennol mewn cyfarfod ymgyrch cyhoeddus ym Mhorthaethwy, Ynys Môn, lle dywedodd mai polisi gwrth-niwclear fu gan Blaid Cymru erioed, ond bod pryderon am swyddi lleol wedi arwain at fabwysiadu “safbwynt cyfaddawd”. Dywedodd fod angen i hyn newid, gan gyhoeddi y bydd y blaid yn cynnal “adolygiad llawn o’n polisïau ynni” os caiff ei hail-ethol.

Dywedodd nad ydi safbwynt Plaid Cymru bellach yn adlewyrchu realiti’r sefyllfa ar lawr gwlad yn yr ardal, gan nodi pryderon am yr amcangyfrif o 3,000 unedau tai rhent – sef y nifer fydd eu hangen – yn ôl amcangyfrifon Horizon ei hun – ar gyfer cyfnod adeiladu cynllun Wylfa B.

Meddai Leanne Wood:

“Mae ynni niwclear wedi bod yn fater anodd i Blaid Cymru. Rydym yn gwrthwynebu ynni niwclear ond wedi cael ein gorfodi i fantoli hynny a’r angen i ddenu swyddi â chyflogau da i’n hardaloedd gwledig. Mae’r pryderon yma wedi creu safbwynt cyfaddawd a pheidio gwrthwynebu adnewyddu safleoedd niwclear sydd yn bodoli eisoes. Mae hyn wedi gosod y rhai sydd â chonsyrn am yr iaith ac am yr amgylchedd yn erbyn ei gilydd.
“Hyd yn oed os yw cynllun Wylfa B yn llwyddo i sicrhau’r gefnogaeth ariannol sydd ei angen arno – sydd yn edrych yn llai tebygol bob dydd – mae pryder cynyddol ymhlith trigolion Ynys Môn y bydd angen mewnlif o weithwyr o’r tu allan ar gyfer y cyfnod adeiladu. Bydd pwysau annioddefol yn cael ei roi ar seilwaith, tai a gwasanaethau lleol. Mae’n anodd gweld sut mae’r ddadl ‘swyddi i bobl leol’ yn parhau i fod yn ddilys yn 2018.

 “Mae Ynys Môn yn gartref i gynlluniau adnewyddol cyffrous iawn. Mae gan Gymru gyfan y potensial i fod yn arweinydd byd-eang o ran datblygu technolegau ynni diogel a glân. Rydw i’n awyddus i wneud y gorau o’n talentau peirianneg ac o adnoddau ymchwil prifysgolion er mwyn i’r cynlluniau blaengar yma ddwyn ffrwyth a chreu gwaith tymor-hir a chynaliadwy i’n cymunedau.

 “Os caf fy ail-ethol yn arweinydd, byddaf yn cynnal adolygiad llawn o’n polisïau ynni ac yn comisiynu astudiaeth ar effeithiau negyddol posib prosiect niwclear ar dai, yr economi leol a’r Gymraeg ar Ynys Môn ac yng Ngwynedd sydd ddim ond dros y dŵr.

 “Mae’r ffaith bod San Steffan wedi tynnu’r plwg ar Forlyn Llanw Abertawe tra’n bwrw ymlaen efo Wylfa B ar unrhyw gost, fe ymddengys, yn arwyddocaol o broblem Cymru. Nid yw dyfodol Cymru rydd wedi ei seilio ar niwclear. Mae’n rhaid inni gael rheolaeth dros ein hadnoddau naturiol ein hunain er mwyn inni gael dyfodol Gwyrdd, yn hytrach na chael ein clymu wrth eliffantod gwynion San Steffan”.