“I marched with the miners at Maerdy Colliery and I will never forget the pride I felt at seeing men and women, old and young, come together to fight for their neighbours, their jobs and hope for the next generation.His Father of course is Dai Smith the "Welsh" Historian and co- author of the epic
“This sense of community, solidarity and passion for justice remain at the heart of my politics.
“This is why I am Labour right to my fingertips. I’m not interested in machine politicking and Westminster parlour games, but rooted politics – that’s about making a real and lasting difference to people’s lives.”
THe FED A HISTORY OF THE SOUTH WALES MINERS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
So it seems that even a 13/14 year old Barry Schoolboy "Political awakening may have had some earlier prompting.
It seems ironic that I am writing this almost 50 years to the hour that a then 12 year old Schoolboy woke up in a small Pontypridd Village tho here his Mother delightfully announce that Gwynfor Evans ad won the Carmarthen Byelection .
For some reason I never quite gathered My Mother a monoglot English speaker and a former Children's Nanny married to a workingclass man who had been severely wounded in France during D Day was an anirer of Gwynfor.
So i was brought up in a home in which my Parents became Plaid supporters but who were supposed to be natural Labour Voters.
50 years on Plaid a virtually unknown Party in Wales in 1966 has perhaps not made as much progress as we would like .
On his election in 1966 Gwynfor said that
"the people of Wales were waking up ans walking with their backs a little straighter and their heads a little higher".
In 1984 Plaid played a major role in the supporting the Miners strike while the Labour Leader another Welsh MP was doing his best to distance himself fromm it.
I have often thought as Welsh Historian Owen Smith father felt that all Welsh history stopped North of Blaen Rhondda in the nineteenth century. I hope his son does not share that view ,
My political awakening started with a bright morning when for a brief moment the idea of an Independent Wales looked like a near possibility.
But the same moment and awaking also led me to embrace the sort of Progressive -Left ideas for and beyond Wales that the current Plaid Leader Leanne Wood projects.
Its a pity that Owen Smith teenage political awaking had not also led him to realise the potential that his Nation could make as United, Socially equal and Independent Nation rather than follow the narrow Unionist British Nationalism of many of his party which has led them to accept much of the Tory polices they claim to desert.