Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Standing up for nationalism and the left!

This week, I'm in West Sussex representing Plaid Cymru at a British-German forum. Yes, before you say it, I do get that it's ironic that I'm here, given that I wouldn't classify myself as being either British nor German! But, I am glad I'm here though, if only to speak up for Wales and Scotland who would otherwise be totally off the agenda. Well, that's the way it seems up to now anyway. Devolution seems to have slipped from the minds of all the British speakers up to now, and they're very much talking about England when putting forward any 'British' viewpoints or argument.

I've always considered myself to be rather pragmatic and realistic in my politics, but here, I am undoubtedly the most left wing person present. I actually find it quite amusing that I'm the only way harping on about socialist principles within a captialist society as everyone else is very much centre-right. Whilst there is talk of 'responsible capitalism' no one is really offering any ideas on how that can become more of a reality in the future, and I find that disappointing. Indeed, there's a general acceptance that true reform is too difficult. Yes, every one seems very on message and obsessed with sustainability and the environment, but other than that, there's no other real desire to see things changing. Indeed, I find it a huge cause of concern that the main focus up to now has been on the private sector with very little thought being given into the public sector and its contribution to the economy and society on the whole. To be fair, we do have two full days ahead so all these issues might well be addressed. I just thought it would be interesting to share some initial thoughts whilst half way through discussions. It's going to be funny tomorrow actually as we're spending the morning in the Houses of Parliament. We're even having a tour, which I'm quite excited about as I never went on one in the whole time I was working there. One of the speakers addressing us tomorrow is an SNP MP so that should help even things out a bit, well hopefully anyway. Will up-date you next time I have the chance.

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