Saturday, September 30, 2006

Plaid helps first-time home buyers

I was very please last week that both "Nelson" in the County Times and Glyn Davies AM welcomed Plaid Cymru's analysis of the affordable homes crisis in Powys and, to lesser extent in Glyn Davies' case, Plaid's proposal to give first-time buyers a grant of £5,000.

I was most disappointed, however, to read the response of Mick Bates AM in the local paper. I have not spoken to any young people struggling to find a £15,000 deposit on a "starter home" of £150,000 who think that Plaid's proposal is a "simplistic and expensive gimmick".

Plaid Cymru takes the needs of young people in Montgomeryshire seriously and that is why we are proposing to help them in a positive and practical way by giving them a lift onto the first rung of the housing ladder. This crisis is causing serious concern to very many first-time buyers and I am astonished that the Liberals are so dismissive of their problems.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

LibDems' massive tax hike for farmers

While I welcome the Liberal Democrats' attempts to tackle climate change their new green tax shows once again that they have completely forgotten about the realities of life in rural Montgomeryshire.

The Liberal Democrats want car tax to rise from £175 for the basic model Landrover, for example, to £1500 and anything more powerful to £2000! Their proposed 2% reduction in income tax which is meant to compensate for this increase would still leave farmers having to find between £1300 and £1500 extra per year per vehicle even after tax relief.

This anti-rural policy, along with the LibDems' proposed land tax, will drive a stake through the heart of farming in Montgomeryshire. The Liberal Democrats say they want to "discourage marginal journeys" so it is fuel consumption not the annual excise duty which they should tax.

To equate a Landrover (a farmer's essential tool for the job) with a Chelsea Tractor used for the suburban school run betrays a woeful indifference to our way of life.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


What on earth was Peter Hain on about when he told the Labour Party they had to attract the voters of Middle Wales?! The place - and the concept - just does not exist!

Virtually all of us are only two generations at most removed from a family of tenant farmers, coalminers, steelworkers or dockers. Wales simply does not share that tradition of the English middle class of inherited wealth and property, routine private education and health care and a whole lifestyle devoid of any concerns about money.

Some of us may be better educated and some may be better paid but we're all gwerin - peasant folk - at heart and so much the better for it.

When he made this comment and when Rhodri Morgam called for for more middle class (not just middle income) people in Wales they showed more clearly than ever where the Labour now feels its real home is. What a betrayal of its roots and of the true Socialists who gave their lives for it!

Peter Hain has clearly spent too much time mixing with the wrong class of people. His idea of Middle Wales is a fantasy land and belongs in Middle Earth!


1 “I can’t speak Welsh”

False – it doesn’t matter what language you speak or don’t speak you can vote for Plaid Cymru if you think the interests of Wales should come first in Wales. It doesn’t matter if you speak only English or if you speak French, German, Swahili or Welsh as well. Plaid Cymru is a political party not an evening class for Welsh learners. Lots of our candidates don’t speak Welsh and even Gwynfor Evans, our first MP, learned Welsh as an adult. All of Plaid’s literature is in English as well as Welsh so there is no problem whatsoever if you don’t speak the language.

2 “I’m not from Wales”

False – it doesn’t matter where you’re from – Welshpool, Wolverhampton or Warsaw - if you live in Wales you can vote for Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru means The Party of Wales i.e. the party for everybody who lives in Wales not just the people who were born here and we are the party for you because we are the only party which is run in Wales for the benefit of the people of Wales. We don’t have a London HQ like all the other parties so we don’t have to worry about what our masters are thinking – we are out own masters and our priority is not a Party but the people who live in Wales.

Two of our Presidents – Dafydd Wigley and Saunders Lewis – were not born in Wales. Where you come from, what colour your skin is, what religion you are, what language you speak, what clothes you wear – none of these things matter to Plaid Cymru. If you live in Wales you can vote for us because we have your interests at heart.

3 “I don’t believe in the Assembly”

False – None of the parties in the National Assembly for Wales wants it abolished so it is definitely here to stay and at the moment it stands right at the centre of our politics with Community/Town Councils and County Councils on the one hand and Westminster and the European Parliament on the other. The Assembly is getting more powers in 2007 so even if you didn’t vote for it in 1998 it will play an increasingly important part in your life from next year onwards. Best therefore to vote for a party which has your interests as its sole concern - Plaid Cymru.

4 “I don’t think Wales can go it alone”

False – neither does Plaid Cymru. There is scarcely a country in the world that could be considered genuinely “independent” these days. Certainly in Europe 25 countries, including the UK, have given up part of their independence or sovereignty because they see the benefits of a union of nation states. Many of those 25, including a number of the newest members, are smaller (some much smaller) than Wales but are storming ahead in economic development taking a lead from Ireland which, although with about the same population as Wales, has received 30 times more aid from Europe because it is a sovereign state.

We believe the next step for Wales should be Parity with Scotland so that things like the organisation of our police forces, how we control foxes, whether we have new nuclear power stations, what happens to our water, whether we can smoke in public, what happens to our council houses and a host of other issues can be decided by Welsh politicians in Wales not, as they are at the moment, in Westminster where English MPs have an overwhelming majority of votes.

5 “I don’t live in Wales”

True! If you don’t live in Wales you can’t vote for us – or for any other party for that matter. If you haven’t got your main home in our lovely country then you won’t be registered to vote in the National Assembly elections on 3 May 2007 but if you like what you’ve read and you’d like to support Plaid Cymru in any way we’d be very pleased to hear from you. Please go to for details about the party nationally or, to help out in Montgomeryshire, contact David Thomas, Plaid Assembly Candidate for Montgomeryshire, on 01691 870642 or or www.

I look forward to hearing from you!