Tuesday, 28 June 2011

It's the economy, stupid.

Gerald Holtham offers Plaid Cymru some interesting advice in this month's edition of Barn (Opinion) magazine.
Although not a member - or even a supporter - this is his message.
Be and open. Say "we want independence and we want to see Wales taking her place among the world's nations."
Being honest also means saying: "if Wales was independent right now we would be poorer by far".
Accept the reality that few will be swayed by such a prospect: "We serve the people of Wales and don't want to make you poorer. On the contrary our aim is to stabilise the Welsh economy to the extent that the Welsh people can choose independence without becoming poorer.
"Unlike the other parties, we have no split loyalties and nothing to distract us from our goal.
This may take a decade or two, even three. But Plaid is about more than that:
"Perhaps wealth is enough for some but Plaid has a higher purpose. When we reach our economic goal, we appeal for you to support our goal of independence.
This is the choice facing people: "Even then, independence will be your choice."
That is a radically different framework to the other parties, whose Welsh branches can only beg for more crumbs from london's table. We seek powers to achieve our goals.
Holtham also calls for a leader with the chutzpah and self-confidence of Alex Salmond.
Amen to that.
I would take issue with Holtham on two counts. Firstly is that our current relative poverty is somehow natural. We are poorer because we are part of the British state and do not have control over our natural resources and energy sources. Secondly, that it is possible to rectify that economic imbalance and lack of social justice within that state. The current legal set-up under the Government of Wales Act 2006, e.g. regarding control over water resources, explicitly rules out the Government of Wales having any control over our greatest asset.
It follows therefore that political change, i.e. independence, can lead to greater economic wealth and social justice rather than simply the other way around.


Anonymous said...

Calling Gerry Holtham 'stupid' are we?

So who shall I believe an economist of Gerry Holtham's standing, or some half arsed councillor from Wrexham? hmmmmmmm.

Plaid Whitegate said...

No, I'm not calling Gerry Holtham stupid. He is saying the argument for independence is all about the Welsh economy. I agree.

Jac o' the North said...

Too many people have lost faith in political parties and see Plaid as just another party.

This is the price Plaid has paid for its 'safety first' pursuit of 'respectabilty'. It appears weak and unimaginative. Most electors couldn't name a single Plaid policy - apart from independence.

Honesty coupled with a radical agenda is obviously Plaid's best option. Probably its only hope.

Hugh Jordan, Dyffryn Ceiriog said...

The simple message that needs to be repeated and repeated until it sinks in is that Wales is relatively poor because of and not despite being run from London.

maen_tramgwydd said...

Hugh Jordan

Yes, I fully agree.

Holtham examines the economic issue(s) through a unionist prism.

All the indications are that Wales is getting relatively poorer the longer it remains within the UK.

However, one shudders at the abyss the UK is currently facing having a huge national debt, with the prospect of Greece defaulting, and a domino effect within and beyond the Eurozone. Makes me wonder what remedies Holtham has for the mess unionist politicians have created, for which we ordinary folk are paying dearly.


I endorse your comments too. Plaid needs to be bolder. It's essential it gets the right leader, soon.