Cymru Culture

Articles / Erthyglau

Leanne Wood, Bae watch (December 2016)

(December 01, 2016)

Bae Watch; with Leanne Wood

Leanne Wood AC/AM

Many have spoken of their dread and fear that someone like Trump, who conducted such a divisive election campaign is to take residence in the White House in the New Year. He sought to separate people on account of their race, religion and sexuality.

I understand and share people’s concerns. He has to row back from those comments if there's any chance of healing a divided nation. His election is part of a wider political pattern that saw people in the UK vote to leave the European Union (albeit by a small margin) and the far-right candidate Marine le Pen doing well in the French polls. There is now a trend in Western democracies of anti-establishment rhetoric being falsely utilised by the wealthy and powerful as a route to power.

Plaid Cymru's values, which include anti-racism and anti-sexism, are not up for negotiation. We must still reach out to those people who are now attracted to right-wing populist parties or causes, because on issues like austerity and inequality of wealth, there is a clear left position to be won. Many Welsh communities have been neglected and taken for granted by the political elites and the establishment for decades. This is a factor for many who voted to leave the European Union.

Plaid Cymru will continue to hold these open and inclusive values and, in doing so, we offer an alternative to the Westminster establishment’s ever rightward shift.

On more local issue, I have been conducting weekly street surgeries every Friday since my election as Assembly Member for the Rhondda in May. My team and I go out to a different part of the Rhondda every week. We distribute leaflets in the days prior to the street surgery and people are invited to place the leaflet in their window if they want me to call by during the advertised time slot. I’ve picked up loads of casework this way that would probably have never been raised through the more traditional methods. The types of problems that crop up are wide and varied; they can range from local issues such as dropped kerbs, concerns about bus services and derelict properties blighting the neighbourhood. Sometimes more complex, serious and urgent matters are raised. These surgeries are a great way of keeping me in touch with the issues most concerning people all over the Rhondda.

I'm pleased to be able to report a small success. A local pub called 'The Lord Tonypandy' caused some local consternation in the wake of the series of programmes aired recently to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster. The programmes reminded people of the dubious role that Rhondda Labour politician George Thomas played while Secretary of State for Wales when the disaster struck. Thomas, who later became Lord Tonypandy, was the pivotal figure in coercing the grieving community of Aberfan to handover £150,000 to clean up the tips that killed 116 children and 28 adults. Many people in the Rhondda have had enough of being associated with this establishment figure and have welcomed the decision of the pub’s owners to change the name after our petition gathered more than 600 signatures.

While I am pleased the name has been changed, the new name – The Fulling Mill – is not great. The pub chain owners have Anglicised'‘Pandy'. I would have preferred them to have consulted with local people. Next people have been pressing for a change in the name of the hospital and street named after Lord Tonypandy. We are on the case!

Leanne Wood,
Leader of Plaid Cymru and Assembly Member for the Rhondda, December 2016

Also from Leanne Wood:

    

Bae watch; September 2016
Bae watch; June 2016

Bae watch; March 2016

Bae watch; December 2015
Bae Watch; September 2015

Bae Watch; June 2015

Bae Watch; March 2015

Bae Watch; December 2014

Bae Watch; September 2014

Bae Watch; June 2014

Bae Watch; March 2014

Bae Watch; December 2013

Bae Watch; September 2013
Bae Watch; June 2013
Bae Watch; March 2013
Bae Watch; December 2012
Bae Watch; September 2012
Bae Watch; June 2012
Bae Watch; March 2012
Bae Watch; December 2011
Bae Watch; September 2011
Bae Watch; June 2011

Leanne Wood's contact details:

     Website: http://www.leannewood.org/
     Facebook: Leanne Wood
     Twitter: @LeanneWood

 
cylchgrawn Cymru Culture magazine
Published by/Cyhoeddwyd gan:
Caregos Cyf., 2016

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