Adam Price's Full Speech to Plaid Cymru Conference
We were going to use “Dancing Queen” as the walk-on music but some other party leader stole it.
Talk about cultural appropriation.
Gadewch i mi ddechrau drwy ddweud diolch.
Yn y lle cyntaf, diolch i chi aelodau Plaid Cymru am roi eich ffydd ynof i i arwain y Blaid ac i arwain Cymru.
Dechreuais fy ymgyrch arweinyddol ar Orffennaf y 4ydd, yn datgan fy mwriad i sefyll wrth wylio gorymdaith dydd annibyniaeth yn yr Unol Daleithiau – yno ar gyfnod tadolaeth.
Mae‘n debyg mai fi yw arweinydd cyntaf Plaid Cymru i lansio ei ymgyrch yn Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Ac efallai yr un olaf.
Pa le gwell i Gymro o goloni gyntaf yr ymerodraeth fwyaf a welodd y byd erioed i gael ysbrydoldiaeth na’r goloni gyntaf i ennill ei rhyddid.
Roedd yn ymgyrch hir ond bywiog, brwdfrydig a buddiol, yn adfywhau ein hegni a’n hymlyniad i’r Gymru Newydd y’n ni gyd am greu.
Ga i ddiolch i’r ddau ymgeisydd arall am eu cwmni, eu cyfeillgarwch, eu caredigrwydd a’r comitment i’r Blaid ac i Gymru ddangoson nhw yn ystod yr ymgyrch ac ers y canlyniad.
Ga i yn arbennig dalu terynged i Leanne. Does neb wedi gwneud mwy, wedi rhoi mwy, wedi cyfrannu mwy i’r Blaid hon na Leanne yn ystod y 6 mlynedd diwethaf. Y mae hi wedi hawlio ei lle o fewn hanes y Blaid, ond fel mae hi ei hunan wedi dweud, mae’r Prosiect yn parhau - y prosiect mae hi wedi ei gynrychioli yn ystod cyfnod ei harweinyddiaeth fwy nag unrhyw un – gwneud y Blaid hon yn blaid i bawb yng Nghymru, nid dim ond un gornel, un iaith, un rhyw – ond yn blaid i bob un ohonom , ac yn Blaid radical, sosialaidd, ddatganoledig sydd yn credu mewn annibyniaeth.Nid fel rhywbeth haniaethol ond fel rhywbeth fydd yn delifro’r newid sydd ei angen o ran bywydau beunyddiol ein pobl. Mae Leanne wedi bod yn arweinydd allweddol ac mi fydd hi’n gwbl allweddol i lwyddiant a chynnydd yn y blynyddoedd i ddod – a rwy’n edrych ymlaen i wasanaethu gyda hi fel rhan o Lywodraeth gyntaf Plaid Cymru yn 2021.
Ga i ddiolch hefyd i Rhun ap Iorwerth am ei ddull dihafal o gyflwyno ei fersiwn bositif, gobeithiol, ar y droed flaen – i’w ddyfynu - o beth all neges y Blaid hon fod. Un peth sydd yn gwbl glir - mae’r Blaid wedi canfod yn Rhun un o’n negesyddion mwyaf effeithiol. Mi fydd harnesu huodledd Rhun yn ganolog i’r gamp o ennill ymhen tair blynedd, a’i sgiliau arweinyddol yn adnodd amhrisiadwy yn y degawd i ddod. Mi fydd yntau hefyd yn Aelod craidd o’r Llywodraeth Plaid Cymru gyntaf a phwysicaf yn ein hanes ni.
Nid un cennad sydd yn rhyddhau cenedl, ond cenhedlaeth. Dyrnaid o bobl sydd yn troi’n don.
Ond ymhlith y dorf fydd yn dathlu annibyniaeth Cymru fe fydd dau enw yn sefyll allan a Leanne a Rhun fydd rheiny.
Ga i ddiolch i bob un o’r timoedd ymgyrchu am helpu i gynnal ymgyrch arweinyddol o’r safon uchaf, yn feiddgar ac eto’n barchus, yn dangos cryfder y cwlwm craidd sydd rhyngom fel cyd-aelodau.
Ga i ddiolch i’r teulu bach am adael i un o’r tri ohonom ymneilltuo am beth wmbreth o’r haf. Dyw Ilar Rhys ddim yn gwybod fod ei dad yn arweinydd y Blaid eto – ond o leiaf mae e wedi bod yn ei gownt cyntaf.
Ga i ddiolch i’n rhieni sydd wedi bod mewn sawl cownt – ac sydd yma heddi.
Gyda fy mam y cwrddais i a Jim Callaghan tu fas i’r Cop yn Rhydaman ac roedd e yno er mwyn ymweld a glofa fy nhad. Felly nhw ill ddau sydd yn gyfrifol am yr hedyn a hauwyd bryd hynny y gall mab i golier freuddwydio am fod yn brif weinidog a nid dim ond hynny, ond prif weinidog ei wlad ei hun.
Mi oedd yr hedyn wedi ei blannu ynof i a chenhedlaeth gyfan o’m cwmpas i, nad oedd tlodi ein hamgylchiadau yn llethu dim ar gyfoeth ein gallu.
Roedd Ysgol Dyffryn Aman ar un adeg, fel oedd y diweddar Phil Williams yn hoff o bwyntio mas, wedi cynhyrchu saith Athro Prifysgol yn y Gwyddoniaethau yn unig. A Dafydd Iwan a John Cale o’r Velvet Undergound, yn yr un ysgol, ond nid, ysywaeth, yr un band. Dyw hi byth yn rhy hwyr, Dafydd, i albym ar y cyd.
Es i o’r Tŷ Cyngor yn y Tymbl i’r Tŷ Cyffredin yn Llundain. A’m cefnder Rob o dŷ cyngor ym Mhontyberem i redeg Europol yn yr Hague. Fi oedd tangyflawnydd y teulu.
Ond magwyd hyder ar ein haelwydydd ni – y gallwn ni gyflawni unrhyw beth y mynnwn ni.
Cymharwch y platfform cadarn a gethon ni gyda seiliau simsan Cymru heddiw. Mae na dîm cyfan yn yr Adran Addysg yn y Llywodraeth yn paratoi i gynnig esgusodion pan wnaiff Cymru ddisgyn eto y flwyddyn nesaf ym mynegai cyrhaeddiant addysgol bydeang PISA. Mae na ryw eironi tragic yn y ffaith ei fod yn dwyn yr un enw a’r tŵr cam ‘na yn yr Eidal – oherwydd ein pobl ifainc ni sydd nawr yn cael cam lle ces i gyfle.
Archwiliwch y dicter, y gwewyr, y siom y’ch chi’n deimlo wrth feddwl am wastraffu talent cenhedlaeth gyfan - a darganfyddwch yn y foment honno pam y’n ni yma. Oherwydd bod yr hedyn bach na o hyder wedi ei blannu ynoch chi: i gredu y gallwn ennill Cymru newydd.
Ar ôl gadael y Senedd a’r sedd yn nwylo diogel Jonathan Edwards, cwrddais i yn Harvard bobl o bob gwlad yn y byd â’r un hedyn o obaith, yn dysgu er mwyn dychwelyd â storfa o syniadau i ail-lunio cenedl fel crochenydd a’i lestr.
Byddin byd-eang o weledwyr penderfynol.
Dim ond ar ôl i mi ddychwelyd i Gymru a gweld ei lun ar glawr yr FT magazine y sylweddolais i taw’r dyn tawel o Tibet oedd yn ishte drws nesa i fi mewn un dosbarth oedd olynydd y Dalai Lama.
A ie, fi’n medru rhagweld y pennawd yn Golwg wythnos nesa, Adam Price yn cymharu ei hun gyda’r Dalai Lama… er nid dyna yw’r pwynt cweit rwy’n ceisio ei wneud.
Ond wrth ishte wrth Lobsang Sangay, a’i ysbryd hael, diymhongar, fe ddysgais i wir natur arweinyddiaeth.
Nid coron fo arwain ond cyfrwng i ni gyd gyflawni. A fo ben bid bont.
Ond pont i ble?
Yng ngeiriau’r prifardd Catrin Dafydd:
“Dyma awr y gwireddu
Eiladau cyfrin yr adrodd stori
Wrth i ti ac eraill ddychmygu hen, hen yfory nad yw eto’n bodoli”
A does dim yn amlygu’r angen am y Gymru newydd honno nag agwedd drahaus y Llywodraeth Lafur tuag at ein hiaith.
Fandaliaeth diwylliannol pur a dim arall yw ymdrechion y Llywodraeth Lafur i ddileu un o’r enillion pwysicaf i’r Blaid ei sicrhau yn ystod Llywodraeth Cymru’n Un – sef Mesur y Gymraeg 2011 – a’r seiliau cadarn roddwyd ar waith gan Alun Ffred Jones yn Weinidog Treftadaeth:
– yr hawl i siarad ein hiaith ein hunain yn ein gwlad ein hunain am y tro cyntaf ers dyddiau Glyndwr;
a chyfundrefn safonau a Chomisiynydd Iaith sy’n cymharu’n ffafriol i sefyllfa ein cyfeillion rhyngwladol yng Nghanada, yng Nghatalwnia ac yng Ngwlad y Basg.
A beth mae Llafur am wneud? Sgrapio’r cwbl gan fynd a ni yn ol i gyfundrefn deddf iaith 1993 a luniwyd gan Lywodraeth Geidwadol y dydd yn Llundain. Dileu rol pencampwr dros y Gymraeg a gwneud i’n dinasyddion droi at y corff sydd yn tramgwyddo ar ein hawliau. Maen nhw yn dweud mai annogaeth sydd ei angen ar gyrff mawrion a busnesau i barchu’r Gymraeg – wel fe weithiodd hynny mor dda yn achos y banciau, yn do’fe?
Gadewch imi ddatgan yn glir o lwyfan y gynhadledd hon y prynhawn yma na fydd Plaid Cymru yn caniatau unrhyw grebachu ar ein hawliau iaith. Yn hytrach, bydddwn yn gwthio i gryfhau hawliau holl bobl Cymru i’r Gymraeg. Byddwn ni hefyd yn symud ymlaen i wneud y gwaith pwysig sydd angen ei wneud:
Cynllunio ieithyddol deallus o blaid y Gymraeg
Manteisio ar y cyswllt rhwng yr iaith a’r economi ym mhob rhan o Gymru, gan gynnwys yma yn y gorllewin.
Strategaeth i hyrwyddo addysg Gymraeg ac i recriwtio athrawon.
Ond taflu llwch i’n llygaid yw gwanio deddfwraieth sy’n rhoi gwaelodlin o hawliau i ni dan fantell miliwn o siaradwyr. Ni fydd Plaid Cymru yn derbyn hyn.
Conference, Welsh politics is coming alive again.....that’s probably one of the most unlikely headlines ever in the 87 year history of GQ magazine.
But we’re grateful nevertheless.
Because they’re right.
There is something happening in Wales.
We are at a crossroads as a country.
And I don’t mean Britain in Europe, I mean Wales in Europe and Wales in the world, Wales in our heart and Wales in our mind.
A hinge-point in our history.
One path forward is the same path as our past.
1918 marks not just the centenary of the end of the First World War but also the beginning of a hundred years of Labour’s rule in Wales.
That great party, once a movement, a force for change, has shrivelled into the management class of the status quo, shackling us to the corpse of a British body politic which in all its pathetic machinations these days is doing a pretty convincing impersonation of the last days of the Austro-Hungarian empire. If chucking Chequers is on the agenda, can we please ditch Downing Street too?
For twenty years, what passes for political leadership in Wales has failed the test of our times.
Welsh politics has been an oasis of stasis in a sea-full of change.
And politics abhors a vacuum every bit as much as nature.
As so many of our people have begun to lose faith in democracy, hope in the future and belief in themselves. Some have cheered on Brexit as enthusiastically as the crowds a hundred years ago cheered on those marching to the Somme.
But now as then, as the dream of Empire sours, the Welsh nation, an even more ancient nation, begins to rouse from its long slumber.
There is something happening in Wales. And it’s us.
These moments, when history speeds up, when minds and hearts open up, when a nation begins to rise up, come along just once a generation.
This is our moment. This is our time. This is our chance.
Now in times such as these the first imperative is to be unambiguous.
We have to be honest with the people of our country.
There is no sustainable solution to the problems and challenges we face without Welsh independence. It’s only by owning our own problems that will solve them, by owning our own opportunities that we will seize them, by owning our own dream – not Boris Johnson’s, not Jacob Rees-Mogg’s or Jeremy Corbyn’s – that we will ever turn our Welsh dreams into our Welsh reality.
And we have to be honest with our people about the destructive potential of a brittle, bitter Brexit.
Some argue there is a contradiction, in arguing for Europe and Welsh independence. But for this nation Wales and Europe have always been tightly woven together like a Celtic knot. From the thousand words of Latin in our language. To our roots in a Celtic civilisation that once ranged from Turkish Galatia to our own Pays de Galles. We may be the descendants of the original Britons, but we were Welsh were always Romano-Britons, a hybrid culture that looks outward not just inward, and to the future not just to someone else’s manufactured past.
When England’s Kings sought to crush our independence 600 years ago, it was envoys from Scotland, France and Castile that honoured us with their presence when Glyndwr became our prince.
And in 1415, a few years after he had disappeared, there was a Council of Christendom, the European Parliament of its day. There, as Gwyn Alf Williams, pointed out, an English delegate proposed that voting should be by nation not diocese. It was a French delegate who stood up to argue that the Welsh on the island of Britain were not part of the English nation, that we were a nation in our own right. It was by a European in a European Parliament that we were first proclaimed as a nation to the world. You did not forget us then, and we will not forget you now.
In 1979 a referendum to establish a Welsh national Parliament was lost.
It took almost twenty years for that mistake to be overturned with another referendum.
We cannot wait 20 years to undo the damage that is about to befall us. To see our farming industry decimated, our fishing sector eliminated, our manufacturing base eviscerated.
Brexit poses the greatest existential threat of our generation to the agricultural sector as a whole and to upland family farms in particular.
Mirroring Michael Gove, the Labour Welsh Government’s response to this is proposing to take away farmers’ safety net through phasing out the Basic Payment Scheme from 2020.
In Wales, 80% of an average farmer’s income comes from the Common Agricultural Policy, and this figure is likely to be even higher in Wales’ uplands. Wales is 4.7% of the UK population, but receives over 9% of EU funds that come to the UK.
Meanwhile, our principal competitors in the European Union will continue to take over 70 per cent of common agricultural policy support as direct payments. The Scottish Government is maintaining basic payments. Northern Ireland will do so as well. Even Labour's shadow DEFRA Secretary, Sue Hayman, has announced that Labour in England would maintain basic farm payments. This is creating an uneven playing field for Wales.
The FUW has spent the summer arguing strongly that the Welsh Government’s proposals to scrap basic payments would be the biggest change since the Second World War to agriculture in Wales. Despite this, very little modelling has been done on the effects of this drastic policy change.
The proposals, particularly in relation to doing away with basic payments to farmers, could do to our rural communities what Margaret Thatcher did to industrial communities in Wales. We've heard about the Highland Clearances in Scotland; if we are looking at family farms going out of business, then it will be the upland clearances of Wales.
Plaid Cymru believes that all farmers should continue to receive a basic income.
Any new system following Brexit must direct support to active farmers rather than rewarding land ownership in itself.
But it’s not just rural Wales at the moment that is facing catastrophe.
We’re on the Titanic’s deck. The iceberg’s looming. The Government’s strategy is to tell the Iceberg to move. Those in first class have taken to the lifeboats – David Cameron’s on a beach somewhere, Jacob Rees Mogg’s firm has moved to Dublin.
It’s the people that are left locked in the third class cabins.
We have got to break that deadlock.
We need to give people a chance and a choice to avert a disaster for which it is they that will pay the heaviest price.
Which is why we say it is time for a people’s vote.
But what is Labour doing in all this? Holding hands with Theresa May as the band plays Nearer God to Thee.
We lost the vote in the National Assembly because Labour and the Liberal Democrat- I have to use the singular – couldn’t bring themselves to vote for it. And talk in terms of options when our options are fast running out.
Like Brexit itself, Labour under Corbyn promises the illusion of change. But for us in Wales, Labour represents the very essence of the politics of the past; which is why we must become the party of tomorrow.
That’s the crossroads that we face.
That’s the choice.
Change versus more of the same. The future or the past. The Old Wales or the new Wales.
To build the New Wales, we must invest in the next generation.
In the campaign we mentioned the importance of making Wales the best place in the world in which to be young.
This starts at the beginning of a child’s life.
The Lib Dems in 2015 proposed that free school meals would be available to all primary school children in England but Kirsty Williams and Labour in Government are doing quite the opposite.
Due to their decision to cap the eligibility of families on Universal Credit for free school meals at a net earned income of £7,400, more than 40% of children who live in poverty in Wales will not be eligible for free school meals. This will be the least generous offer in the UK as all children in early years education in Scotland and England are provided with free school meals and the cap for earned income in Northern Ireland has been set at £14,000 – almost double the level proposed in Wales.
Childcare costs Welsh families nearly a quarter of their income, even before tax. The Labour Welsh Government’s childcare offer provides families earning up to £200k a year with 30 hours a week free childcare for three year olds but does not provide this to parents seeking work or who are in education or training.
So much for Labour’s “Flying Start” – more a flailing start. Shame on them.
It’s time for a new start for Wales.
A Plaid Cymru government that I lead will deliver a comprehensive child package - making it possible for parents to return to work when they choose - giving children from all backgrounds a good start in life with a healthy nutritious meal, clothes for school, support to attend field trips and receive a world-class education.
That's how we win a New Wales.
But to build those new foundations – of confidence, promise and prosperity – we must renew ourselves as a party.
New ideas. New ways of thinking. New ways of working.
Over the course of the leadership election I outlined my desire to transform our party into an election-winning machine.
What become clear to me this summer is that members across the country, those of you who have given years of selfless service to the party, also shared this aim.
We have pockets of success. Where we are established, communities have a Plaid Cymru community councillor, county councillor, Assembly Member, Member of Parliament, Police and Crime Commissioner and Plaid-run Council.
In other constituencies, our candidates are often the agent, leaflet designer, press officer, organiser and canvasser too. If we are to win, we need to transform, we have to turn supporters into members and members into activists. We must expand our campaign resources in every sense.
We will re-establish a National Campaigns Unit to deliver a dedicated team of support campaigns across the country. It will consist of specialists in communications and strategy. It will pilot and roll-out cutting-edge campaign technologies, and provide all the services you need to succeed.
Alongside this will be a National Organising Academy to support our volunteers to become leaders in their community and teach the principles of grassroots organising. It will support candidates, branches and constituencies with their local plans to achieve positive change in their areas. From the local ‘Save our School’ campaign to standing for Parliament, organising and expanding the group of grassroots activists through building personal relationships with voters will be crucial to achieving a Plaid Cymru government in 2021.
But to make sure we get this right, conference, we need a full and honest assessment of where we’re at.
I am therefore pleased to announce that my first act as Leader of the party was to commission the former SNP Westminster Leader and the coordinator of the SNP’s independence campaign, Angus Robertson, to conduct a root and branch review of the party’s campaign machinery. This work will begin in earnest, will report promptly, and will look at our structures, our operations, capacity and ability to secure victory for Plaid Cymru in every corner of the country.
In their desperate attempts to divert attention away from the Brexit splits, both Labour and the Tories are cynically calling for snap elections in Wales and Westminster.
My message to them today is that Plaid Cymru will have an election-winning machine ready to face the challenge whenever an election comes, so bring it on.
Let the battle begin.
A battle between the old ideas, new ideas and no ideas.
We will succeed as the party of the new ideas, of the new Wales, of the new horizon. The modernisers of an ancient nation.
With leadership elections in each of the political parties this should be a Great Reset moment in Welsh politics, a political renaissance.
But when Paul Davies was challenged to mention a single new policy on Wales Live he couldn’t even mention one.
In the old unionist parties the cupboard is bare.
Theirs is a desert of inspiration in a nation that is thirsting for change.
Carwyn Jones, like the late Rhodri Morgan before him, were great communicators, who talked the talk, but without saying or doing anything of any substance. They were great at holding court.
But what Wales needs is not a Prime Monarch but a Prime Minister, with the vision and the knowledge and the ideas to translate into action.
We want Wales to be the creative country, a knowledge nation, a land of innovation, of inspiration and of hope. The hope that unites humanity, that sustains us all through dark times, that is the focus of our love for each other and for each new generation, that the future will be better than the past, that the hopes and the dreams of all the years will not have been in vain, that we will persevere and that we will prevail, that we will win the new world and new Wales for which we have yearned so long.
That new Wales is on the horizon. Its shores are beckoning.
It’s time for us to be like Bendigeidfran, to be the bridge that gets us there.
We must fire up the national imagination with a sense of the Wales that might yet be.
We must create in our people a realisation of the radical urgency of now.
That we cannot afford to keep doing what we have done for another five years.
That it’s time to end the well-worn path of decline – the disgrace of falling life expectancy, the scandal of the collapse in educational rankings, the ignominy of the sick man of Europe status of our economy –and instead begin to chart a new course.
We have been a nation of innovators. When the Welsh armies at the Battle of Crug Mawr here in Cardigan faced the superior forces of the Anglo-Norman invaders seeking to turn us into a vassal state – you see there is nothing novel in this year’s Westminster power grab – what did they do but innovate. And so the long-bow that was to dominate Europe until the invention of gunpowder was invented here. The weapon of a David confronted with Goliath.
But we have been a nation of innovators in saving lives too.
It was David Lloyd George that introduced the first social insurance scheme for health in 1911.
It was Emily Talbot of Port Talbot that endowed the first full-time public health chair in preventative medicine in the world in Cardiff in 1917
In 1948 – of course – Aneurin Bevan introduced the NHS – the Tredegarisation of the whole country – the first system of to offer free medical care to the whole population anywhere in the world.
But it didn’t end there. In 1972 evidence based medicine began building on Archie Cochrane and Ian Chalmers work in the south Wales valleys. Together they created the Cochrane Collaboration which is credited with preventing millions of deaths and disabilities. In primary care – the now world famous inverse care law – that those who need it the most get the worst healthcare – was the observation of the late great Julian Tudor Hart working in Glyncorrwg.
But this spirit of innovation has come shuddering to a halt. We have seen the default thinking at play in the Welsh Government’s budget this week.
How does the Welsh Government make its budget? Well, I’ve seen them up close enough to make my mind up now. There is no strategic thinking. They start by raising everyone’s budget or more often cutting everything by a standard amount – and then the Health Service gets more because it is in crisis, so everyone else gets a haircut. And social care therefore gets cut which means an even bigger crisis in the health service the following year.
But the truth is that no amount of new money will solve our health service problems if unaccompanied by new thinking. We spend 40% of our entire national budget on the health service, and the OECD says that about 20% of that make no or minimal contribution to good health outcomes. Worse than that, data from Wales and other countries shows that about one in ten patients are actually harmed by hospital admission.
I want us to develop a comprehensive new vision for health and care. Work is already underway being led by Dr Dai Lloyd. I want this approach to every area of public policy. That is why I will be setting up a series of panels – each of which will be provided with terms of reference, priorities and a direction of travel.
For health these will be:
The creation of a National Care Service alongside the NHS
A shift in emphasis from hospital-based to GP-led primary care health provision in the community
A One Health approach which integrates health not just with care but with housing, education, transport, food and the environment
We’ll ask the panel also to examine the four compromises made by Aneurin Bevan:
Continued private practice by consultant specialists
The Continued status of GPs as private operators of public service
The second tier status of areas like mental and public health
The absence of local democratic accountability
We can and will go further even than Bevan could – and build the truly universal health and care service of which he could only dream.
And we want to embrace that spirit of radical and transformational thinking in every area of Welsh life.
We are not here to reproduce the past, to tinker at the edges, to slavishly accept the current paradigm of conventional thinking.
We are here to remake Wales, and fashion it into a beacon of what the world could become.
We want Wales to be the world’s test-bed. As Phil Williams used to say, we are the perfect scale for innovation, big enough to matter, small enough to manage – a nation of natural co-operators, with one degree of separation and not six.
When I’m First Minister we’ll re-localise the economy, watering the roots and building up the foundations. We’ll do what the French Government has just done and guarantee by law that at least 50% of all food bought by the public sector is local.
When I’m First Minister we’ll make up for generations of under-investment by leapfrogging and building the future here – building a reliable, fast, modern, renewably powered National Western Rail Line for Wales linking Swansea with Bangor. We don’t need your Western Powerhouse Mr Cairns, we’ll build our own here in Wales.
When I’m First Minister, we’ll create a real Development Bank to offer patient loans to help local companies grow and, when necessary, to be bought by the staff to help companies made in Wales stay in Wales and prosper.
When I’m First Minister we’ll create a Welsh national energy company with the profit used to build up a basic income for all our citizens.
Governing as if we are already independent, we’ll build the confidence to get there.
Of course I can achieve none of this on my own.
We have a mountain to move and each of us must grab a shovel.
There is no “I” in Wales. There is a “We”. A ni sydd yng nghanol annibyniaeth.
We need everyone who cares about Wales to help build this new Wales, whether you are a member of Plaid or not, whether you’re a supporter of any party or none. We can’t do this without you. Join us. And that’s why I’m pleased to tell you that the party has agreed to waive the membership fee for those who sign up to the party over the coming weeks.
Indeed, one person who has joined us this week, and conference I’m delighted by this news, is Grenville Ham, the former leader of the Green Party in Wales. Passion, purpose, knowledge and innovation define Grenville as a person and they define what we must become as a party.
What is this party after all? What have we ever been but a wake up call to the nation?
If what we do remains the same, then so will what we are.
The arc of history is not a straight line. We have to bend it to our purpose. Like those long bows at crug Mawr
This is our moment of change.
History is in our hands
We can make it if we choose.
During my sabbatical from front-line politics at the Kennedy School in Harvard, one of John F Kennedy’s most famous lines about going to Washington stuck in my mind: “the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we said they were.” That’s how I feel every day at the Assembly and I don’t want to feel that way a day longer than I have to.
When we look at the Wales that is, it can be heart-breaking.
But I joined this party – and you joined this cause – because we don’t settle for the Wales that is, we strive for what might be
That Wales is waiting. It’s waiting for us. There is no Mab or Merch Darogan. This is about us. We are the ones we have been waiting for. And this is the moment we have been waiting for. All our political lives.
We must become the hope of those without hope. The disillusioned, the disenfranchised.
Those who believe they cannot achieve their dreams; that have been sold a deceitful and undeliverable dream ;that believe we cannot ever become the Wales we need to be.
Our message to the Welsh people must be simple.
Yes Wales Can.
We can be prosperous. We can be confident.
We can be fair and flourishing. We can be self-governing and successful. We can be Welsh and European.
We can be independent and we can get there sooner than you think.
This is our chance to turn the page on the politics of the past. Our opportunity to bring new energy and new ideas to the problems we face, to offer a new direction and a new dynamic to the country that we love.
Our time to write a new chapter in Wales’ story.
It will not be written for us in the marbled halls of Whitehall and Westminster. It will be written by us in the streets and shops, the pubs and clubs, the homes and hearts of our nation.
And it starts and it ends with us.
If we hope for a better Wales, then we must begin to believe we can get there. If we begin to believe then we can and we will.
Because our time for change has come,
We are on our way,
We can’t wait another day.
Together we can build the country we know we can be.
Gyda’n gilydd gallwn ennill Cymru Newydd.
For a bird's eye view.
Am olwg oddi uchod.
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