Welcome to me!
Being brought up in the ’80s in south Wales it was inevitable I’d succumb to a certain degree of indoctrination when it comes to party politics. However, I wasn’t prepared for what my eyes would be opened to in more recent years.
Yes it was easy to say “I’m Labour” because friends and family around me all said the same thing. But I’m not your average person that likes to run with the crowd, and I always find myself needing to question why i have such beliefs.
My twenties was dominated with the rat race of life, going to work, coming home and repeating that cycle over and over and I’m sure many relate to this. This life didn’t allow me time to even fathom an interest in politics. All I wanted to know was did i have enough left in my pay packet, after paying bills and taxes, to go wild at the next festival or the like.
Sitting at my desk with a business I’d spent so much of my time working for. Feeling strangled by the tunnel vision of the world I was in. I made the decision, after saving enough money to take a year out of work, to try and find something that fulfilled me as a person. Ironically, it was the love of my community that got me into politics. I began to see how traditional politics had failed my community and that the community itself was, like many others, being left behind in the rush.
I’d never expected to be so politically involved, however I became a big fan of getting things done where politicians couldn’t, and encouraging the community to believe in themselves in a way their politicians didn’t. I saw endless talent being overlooked by an establishment that was in denial about how badly they had failed people and could see what the establishment couldn’t; that my community had the tools to change itself without needing a bureaucrats nod.
The growth in social media became a game changer, and granted me the opportunity to connect with likeminded people who were also prepared to turn words into positive action.
After meeting and interacting with all levels of government within Wales, it was my turn to put my money where my mouth was and play an active role in changing not just my community, but influencing decisions made by local government. And here I am, pursuing that ambition. It stands to reason therefore that, due to Labour’s complete dominance in my area and in Wales as a whole, it was their lack of ambition which has driven me into this position, arguing for positive change and sensible decision making. If all my presence achieves is the kick in the backside for the longstanding Labour establishment, then I consider it a worthy endeavour.
Wales taking a back-seat in the Union
Why does Wales always seem consigned to the background on all matters union? Even when it comes to calls for independence, Wales isn’t taken seriously.
I am a unionist through and through, don’t get me wrong. I’ve always been open minded to the concept of independence, however the voice of independence in Wales at present seems predicated more on an anti-British sentiment than a pro-Welsh one.
I do not see a desire for independence in any nation that makes up our great union, however I do see and share the frustrations of each nation. The decline of the SNP in the recent election indicates that the frustration of the Scottish at Westminster remains, while those who are frustrated seems to be less inclined to support independence. It is incumbent upon the Westminster government to utilise this opportunity to strengthen the union, which stands on hollow ground, by showing that Scotland is an integral part, an equal part of Great Britain. I do sincerely hope that they achieve this and that Scotland remains within our union.
The stagnation of our own nationalist party Plaid Cymru, who failed to capitalise on opportunities presented to them over the past 12 months with the growth of the anti-establishment insurgents, has shown the blinkered view of Wales which Leanne Wood appears to hold. Apparently speaking for The Rhondda appears to her to be the same as speaking for the whole of Wales.
Instead of reaching out and aiming for a broad-base support for independence across the country, Plaid Cymru have reverted to their base. This is a massive disappointment for me, as I have seen some of the positive work that Plaid Cymru have done at a local level when they are inclusive and less tribal, and had wished this be replicated nationally. We live in hope that this may change.
2 pound parking, you’ve got to be joking!
I am currently sitting in The Gnoll Park, where the weather is lovely and Welsh scenery is as beautiful as ever. I am perplexed however at the decision to charge 2 pound for parking.
I accept that at events or to outsiders, charging 2 quid seems reasonable. However, many local residents who frequently used The Gnoll before the parking charge seem to have gone elsewhere as I sit here looking at an almost empty car park, with an almost empty Gnoll. A place that once thrived day in day out, seems to have felt the effects of the parking charge. Maybe it is worth considering parking exemptions for those living in the borough, so as they can enjoy their asset as much as those coming in from elsewhere.
Get ready for the cries. Darren has written for a right wing publication which must make him right wing yes? I’m pretty much a centrist that often dips my toes left and right.