Jane Dodds to outline vision for a freer, fairer, greener, more liberal Wales

Welsh Liberal Democrats meet in Cardiff for their Spring Conference this weekend.

They’ll be discussing motions ranging from housing to mental health in schools, to citizenship lessons on the curriculum to clean air to the future of local government.

Leader Jane Dodds will be making her keynote speech.

She will  criticise the fear and division dominating UK politics, reiterate the need for the people to be given the final say on Brexit and highlight the necessity of urgently taking every action to combat climate change.

Here are some of the extracts:

On the state of politics

“Around the world we are seeing the rise of right-wing populism, intolerance and the politics of fear and division. From Trump in the US, to Bolsonaro in Brazil to Orban in Hungary, we live in dangerous times.”

On Brexit

“In the near 3 years since the referendum, we’ve seen a Conservative Prime Minister who has put her own party first at every stage – not our country. Her real masters have become the ERG and the DUP.

“In the Conservative Party, a party that took Britain into the Europe and into the single market, we’re seeing good, honest, pro-European MPs like Dominic Grieve and Nick Boles labelled as traitors and facing votes of no confidence.

“All while Jeremy Corbyn continues to ignore most of his members and voters by consistently failing to oppose what is clearly a Brexit that will hurt our economy, our future and frankly the most vulnerable in our society.

“It was Tim Farron that showed great courage after that referendum and first put forward the idea of a People’s Vote.

“It was Vince Cable that took this fight forward and put the Liberal Democrats at the heart of a movement of millions to give the people the final say on the deal.

“Conference, there is an alternative to right wing populism, to the politics of fear and to Brexit. It is the Liberal Democrats and liberals around the world.

“Now is OUR time to demand better and take a stand.

“We demand a People’s Vote and we will not waver in our stand.”

On Injustice

“Around my home in Powys, I visit foodbanks and find people driven there by the injustice and failing of the Westminster government’s universal credit scheme.

“As Liberal Democrats, it’s our job to stand up against injustices like these.

“It’s our job to give a real voice to the powerless.

“To stand up against authority that’s failing the people in their most basic needs.

“Conference we demand better.”

On Climate Change

“I don’t need to tell you the dangers of climate change, nor should I have to be stood here making the case for tackling it.

“Green politics needs to be embraced in everything we say and do.

“It’s not just about our economy.

“It’s about the way we live,

“It’s about the way we learn.

“It’s about how we travel.”

“Wales has already sought to create a green economy with the Swansea Tidal Lagoon at its heart. Conference I will never apologise for continuing to talk about and fight for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.

“It is the vital first step in making Wales a world leader in green renewable energy and, if successful, could spark a whole wave of new Lagoons right across Wales.”

“If we’re serious about putting a stop to climate change, we need to commit to diversifying our energy production, investing in green technologies and eliminating the usage of damaging fossil fuels.

“Now yesterday, I visited the UK’s first “energy positive’ house at Cenin in Bridgend. For every £100 spent on electricity, its aim is to generate £175 in electricity exports.

“Wales is leading the way in cutting edge low carbon supply storage and I want us to make more of that fact.

“I want us to launch a new Welsh Green Tech Fund. A package of investments aimed at supporting these new technologies and funding further green energy projects.”

On plastic pollution

“Now what really opened my eyes to the real danger plastic pollution poses to our planet was a little documentary you may have heard of… Blue Planet.”

“Last week, I visited a company in mid-Wales called Radnor Hills. 12 months ago, the company did no recycling of its plastic bottles. Today, they recycle everything, and produce their own bottles, which are now made of 51% recyclable plastic.

“If we do not act soon, it may be too late and I for one am committed to fighting to protecting our planet.”

On a vision for Wales

“I want us to truly change the way things work. We need to offer a fresh vision for Wales. A positive vision of the kind of society we want our children to grow up in.

“A liberal vision of an open, welcoming and forward-looking Wales that we can all be proud of.

“A vision of hope to defeat the politics of fear and division.”

“Together, we can change Wales for the better.

“Together, we can champion our communities and tackle the injustices we face.

“Together, we can and will make a freer, fairer, greener and more liberal Wales.”

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