Monday, 25 November 2019

If the Left want Solidarity in Wales , then supporting the answer.

My twitter feeds have been inundated with posts from Gareth Leaman (@garethdwr) who seems to be throwback to the  old 2I am nor an Nationalist ,I am a Inter-Nationalist  claimed the left have made over the years

Here he is on Adam Price

This is a story of class struggle. Does anybody really think that if an independent Welsh state was plonked into existence in the nineteenth century its workers wouldn’t have been exploited in the exact way they were in the British state? No chance. It’s totally ahistorical
Quote Tweet
“The story of Wales, a country that was rich in natural resources, that was plundered...” @Adamprice of @Plaid_Cymru rightly angry about the bitter legacy of poverty as a result of Westminster misrule and exploitation. #colonialism
0:20 / 0:40

A country ‘rich in natural resources’ would still have had its citizens worked to death to mine them for private capital, unless this fantasy Welsh state would have been a priori socialist, unique among every modern western state to have ever existed
10:41 AM · Nov 24, 2019Twitter for iPhone

Replying to
“If not identical”. Ffs
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Sophy Ridge on Sunday
"I don't want to see in the 21st century what happened to Wales in the 20th" @SophyRidgeSky asks Plaid Cymru leader @Adamprice about his claim that the history of Wales was "analogous if not identical to the experience of colonialism" #Ridge.
Here  he is writing in the New Statesman

Prehaps I lack Gareth Leaman intellectual ability , but I am at al oss to what extent he supports devolution or indeed independence.
"Plaid must also be made aware that greater powers for Wales will likely only be delivered through sympathetic support in Westminster: that is to say, a Labour government amiable to, at the very least, a federalised reconstitution of the British state. Their current ‘Progressive Alliance’ collaborators in Westminster will not be so kind, to the point of actively suppressing these goals, so a closer fidelity with Labour and with Corbynism will be essential. If Plaid are to be true to their socialist and humanitarian roots, they should also be agitating for a Labour government in Westminster to help facilitate rapid change in policy areas that no Welsh institution has power over: welfare, for instance, isn’t devolved, and as such presents an urgent problem that our most vulnerable citizens cannot wait for a long-termist solution to. As Leeworthy notes:
To be blunt: the people begging on the streets of Cardiff are not able to wait for ‘independence’. The people who cannot get housing or live in houses not fit for purpose are not able to wait for ‘independence’. Those communities which will be torn asunder by Brexit are not able to wait for ‘independence’. Those living in the care of the state are not able to wait for ‘independence’. Those elderly people who are living isolated in communities are not able to wait for ‘independence’. And those who deserve a twenty-first century education are not able to wait for ‘independence’.
As far as England is concerned, the Labour-supporting left there would do well to understand that it may find willing collaborators in parties other than its own (compare the personal politics of Leanne Wood, Bethan Sayed and Delyth Jewell, for instance, with those of Owen Smith, Stephen Kinnock and Nia Griffith), and that a grassroots non-Labour left in Wales is ripe for a greater circulation of ideas that both sides would find beneficial. The idea too that “Labour need Scotland and Wales if they have any chance of gaining power in Westminster” should be a cause not just for a greater realisation of how important it will be for the viability of English Corbynism for it to become less dependent upon supporting votes from an increasingly ambivalent Wales and Scotland. This would represent not a centrist-style non-partisanship that erases class differences in the name of ‘grown up politics’, as defines the Progressive Alliance, but one that forges class solidarity over and above party divides and national borders.
Finally, it must be incumbent upon the left in all parts of the UK to recognise that a radical and necessary re-distribution of power in this undemocratic, overly-centralised state will depend upon a flexibility to forward different solutions to different nations and regions. So while Leeworthy is correct to say that “changes that we seek are not constitutional so much as materialist” and “[your] antagonist is not a family living on a meagre income in Darlington but the state that enables that to happen”, it serves no community to homogenise austerity across the UK and be confident that the state in its current formation is the only means through which an alleviation can be delivered. Those feeling the full consequences of austerity may have “a common problem” but, as Macfarlane notes:
The only way to defeat [The Johnson government] is to seize the agenda by offering a radical shake-up of Britain’s democratic structures…Britain’s constitutional crisis has been a long time coming. It’s not pretty, and it might not be on the terms of our choosing. But we can’t afford to let the crisis go to waste.
It is only through considering these points, and through building new forms of solidarity, that we can build a better country (or countries in a federalised or post-British-state settlement), and a better movement. On the left we need to ensure that any ‘alliances’ formed are ones borne out of working-class solidarity – across ‘national’ borders, among communities and, where necessary, beyond party lines. These alliances must be deeper and beyond mere parliamentarianism, in service of forging a true coalition of class interests based on coherent material demands for a long-lasting and resilient socialist politics".

Aneurin Bevan. As one of the most distinguished Welsh politicians of all time, used ot state
The crux of his argument was that there were no problems exclusive to Wales, exemplified by his phrase “I do not know the difference between a Welsh sheep, a Westmorland sheep and a Scottish sheep”[2]. He referred to the issue of agriculture which was being discussed. He acknowledged that there was a problem in Wales of farming sheep on Welsh mountains, but he protested that debating the issue in Parliament on a special Welsh Day would be futile because sheep were also being farmed elsewhere. A problem for Wales was a problem for the rest of the UK.
I don't think Mr agrees with that but the problem with his Labour- Plaid alliance , is that somewhere on that journey , and as Scotland complete theirs ,there will be those who  want to complete in speedily for fear that Wales will not be in solidarity  with the working class across the boarder , but subdued  into a English Right Wing  permanent entity.
I have never seen any real evidence that Labour even if it lost its position in Wales to the Tories will not see itself as the natural leaders and Plaid and greater powers let alone Independece a mere side show.
Arguably i aspiring Nations like  Québec and Catalonia it is the parties of the left (Québec solidaire , Democratic Left of Catalonia , CUP) who are at the forefront  of their Independence campaign.
 If Labour and especially a Left Wing part want to embrace Class solidarity it must abandon Westminster .

The reaction of its sister party in Spain to Catalonia's Independence claims where it sides with the Heirs of Franco and jails Independista leaders.

They have an opportunity in Scotland to support Independence , but i susapect many on the left there who would have done so have already moved on.


Mel Morgan said...

Gareth's stream of unevidenced assertions would not go down well in Norway, where the Labour was at the forefront of the struggle for independence, and used national freedom as a stepping-stone to economic and social freedom.

Mel Morgan said...

When the Labour Party's constituent elements were coming together in late Victorian times, one of the planks in their platform was Home Rule for Wales. The moment they achieved office at Westminster, they dropped it. When Labour finally proposed a concrete Home Rule measure in the 1970s, the Unionist extremists in the party set out to sabotage it, split Labour, and let Thatcher into power. Many of us resolved to fight, fight, and fight again so that no child born on Dydd Gwyl Ddewi 2979 would ever again have to go through the hell of the 80s and early 90s.

Sadly - and predictably - Labour in power in Cardiff have continued their traditional policy of implementing oppressive policies and blaming the Tories. The people begging on the streets of Cardiff and our other towns are there because Welsh Labour don't care about them. They simply *cannot* wait for Labour to revert to being a radical political party when it has been a criminal gang for decades.

Simon Neville said...

Stephen Kinnock's policies, like the rest of his family's, consist largely of stratagems for self+advancement. Nia Griffith has no discernible policies at all.