Jane Dodds’ New Year Message: Welsh Liberal Democrats are fighting back

Dymuniadau Gorau i chi gyd dros y Blwyddyn Newydd/ Best Wishes to you all for the New Year.

2018 will be the year of the Welsh Liberal Democrat fight back, with renewed energy in our activists, key policies which will change the lives of Welsh people, and a focus on winning seats.

We want to see a Wales that has social justice as its backbone – rethinking a punitive benefits system which wages war on the poor.  We want to see a Wales that looks out to Europe – leaving the EU would be a disaster for Welsh farmers and businesses.  We want to see a Wales that  welcomes refugees – building on its proud history of internationalism.  We want to see a Wales that has a health system that is fair – English people have waiting times for planned operations that is half that of Welsh people.  We want to see an economic plan for Wales that will breathe new life into its urban and rural areas – promoting innovation in green industries.  

We will be progressive, reforming and inspiring in what we do.  If a policy doesn’t excite or surprise us as members, we will not use it.  If a campaign doesn’t take us to another level, above the negative echo chamber of politicians, we will not take part in it.  If a political message does not allow us to apply a distinctively Welsh aspect to it, we will rethink it.  We are going to be different in how we represent  the people of Wales.  Wales needs the Liberal Democrats more than it has ever needed us.

Ymlaen a ni i 2018 a pellach.  Onwards to 2018 and further.

* Jane Dodds is Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats

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8 Comments

  • Relevant to Wales yes – but I’m not sure I agree that every political message has to be ‘distinctively Welsh’.

    Though – I certainly hope you can give the Welsh party the good kick up the backside it so desperately needs.

  • Do you want to know why Labour is still in control?, because of our political first past the post system. We have to keep the Tories out and when the time is right, we will abandon Labour and flock to Plaid Cymru. Only an independent Wales will allow our country to prosper because being part of the UK has kept us poor. The UK is a relic of the British Empire and is on its last legs. Free Wales!

  • Good message, Jane. Fe Godwn Ni Eto.

  • To the person who seems to have responded to a completely different article….

    Being part of the UK has left us poor? Do tell which industries in Wales exactly would be at the forefront of a prosperous independent Wales?

  • nvelope2003 31st Dec '17 - 5:33pm

    Craig: The Welsh Assembly is elected by a mixture of first past the post and proportional representaion so you can vote for as many Plaid Cymru members as you wish without letting any other party in, which is unlikely anyway.

  • Gwyn Williams 1st Jan '18 - 12:25pm

    The Welsh Assembly has 60 members. 40 of these are elected by first past the post. In 2016 Labour won 29 seats with 34% of the vote on a 42% turnout. Labour has been in power since 1999 with support of a few hundred thousand people. For the Liberal Democrats replacing UKIP in the Welsh Assembly is the first step. Then it is being part of an alternative to Labour coalition government which a democratic Wales really needs.

  • A real alternative to Labour is most definitely needed in Wales – however, the Tories and the nationalists do not make natural bedfellows for us, so I don’t think an alternative to Labour coalition must be the end goal – if it could work at the time, okay, but the stated aim, no.

    For both our party and the nation, I feel we really need to find a sense of purpose and vision to tackle the problems that actually matter and affect people in Wales – in my view, among other things: the lack of industry and investment in the country; a brain drain to other parts of the UK; poor public transport and infrastructure to varying degrees right across the country; lower educational attainment and higher levels of deprivation in parts of Wales than the rest of the UK; what the actual purpose of Welsh language policy is supposed to be and how to effectively achieve whatever that is; how to manage with a truly abysmal Welsh media and a political system not well understood by many. Too often, these things seem to be a bit ignored or addressed in a rather superficial way in my view.

    Most of all, for there to be an alternative to Labour, it has to be presented beyond ‘they take voters for granted and under them public services are still generally crap’ – no party in my eyes have come close to offering one since the Senedd’s inception.

  • Denis Mollison 7th Jan '18 - 9:44pm

    @Gwyn –
    The McAllister Report that came out just before Christmas – http://www.assembly.wales/en/abthome/about_us-commission_assembly_administration/panel-elec-reform/Pages/Assembly-Electoral-Reform.aspx – recommends using STV to elect the Assembly, as did the Richard Commission in 2004. I hope Welsh Liberal Democrats can support this proposal.

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