If ever there were a need for a strong, radical government of the left in Wales, it is now. Despite Plaid’s success in delivering and winning a referendum on law-making powers for the National Assembly last year, Wales is still bearing the brunt of savage cuts to public services and already-meagre benefits, all being carried out by a government the people of Wales didn’t vote for.
Labour has a minority government in the Welsh Assembly. It fought last year’s Assembly election on a claim that it would ‘stand up for Wales’. As the SNP government in Scotland stands up for its people and fights Cameron’s attempts to deny them self-determination, Labour in Wales is happy to simply sit and wait, hoping for another Labour government in London that will solve their problems, rather than set out a vision for Wales. Labour in Wales are a party happier with Tory rule than home rule. When its masters in London support the cuts, ‘Welsh Labour’ remains silent.
There is a clear need for a strong, socialist alternative to the Tory/Labour cuts agenda in Wales. Plaid Cymru is in a great position to provide that alternative. Plaid Cymru can and should speak for those who face a daily struggle to make ends meet, such as those who face a choice between heating their home and putting food on the table. The majority in Wales who reject the cuts agenda deserve a voice. In the longer term, we must tackle the root problems in Welsh society and seek to transform our nation, not simply manage it, as the British parties have done.
After a disappointing election result last year and an internal review, Plaid Cymru now has an opportunity to reinvigorate itself. Members will soon elect a new leader. I have decided to put my name forward.
Our party has much of which it can be proud, including standing firm against Trident and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, delivering more devolved powers for Wales and providing an alternative to the privatisation agenda.
However, we still have much to do. I believe the time has now come to build the case for independence – not for its own sake, but in order to break the cycle of poverty and a weak economy which has left our nation as one of the poorest parts of Western Europe. In the current economic climate, this need is clearer than ever.
Plaid Cymru is the only party that seeks independence for Wales. We know that there is a powerful economic argument for it, but we have not always communicated that case effectively. Only Plaid Cymru works to see Wales break out of its poverty and develop the inherent skills of our people in order to thrive and achieve our true potential. That ambition sets us distinctly apart from the British parties. I believe in our people, and am determined to offer leadership which fosters a sense of national confidence and ambition that is a precursor to renewed prosperity.
The next step towards independence means placing Wales in a better position economically. In the short term, we must insist on financial fairness; in the long term, we need to put in place a robust economic infrastructure that can shelter us from future economic storms.
Models from across the world show that we can create a thriving decentralised economy that is inherently Welsh, serving our people rather than the market; an economy in which co-operative and green ventures can thrive creating jobs for local people; an economy in which we can foster the enterprise of small businesses, community organisations and our workforce. Most importantly, a social economy that will distribute wealth fairly and combat crippling inequality. Devolving power and prosperity to our local communities is essential to ensuring true social justice.
There has never been a better time for progressives in Wales to be in Plaid Cymru. For those who believe in economic justice, ecological resilience, true democracy, a bilingual Wales and independence, Plaid Cymru should be your home. By standing for the leadership I hope to lead and inspire a chorus of thousands of voices articulating a vision for our country. A vision of our Welsh nation speaking out confidently for our unique values, as an independent country, playing a constructive role in a family of nations across Europe and the world.
When fire safety has become a privilege for the rich, it’s time to stop austerity and fund emergency mass works to raise standards immediately, writes Jane Shallice
The election result has irreversibly changed political discourse in the UK, writes James Fox
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Bernie Grant's election to parliament, Ayo Wallace explores the life and legacy of his radical representation of Tottenham's black communities.
Across Britain, hundreds of thousands of people have now taken part in mass rallies for Corbyn's Labour. Eli Regan soaks up the atmosphere in Warrington
The under-30s could be decisive in the general election. Frances Grahl meets young people hit by Tory austerity and looks at what's driving their support for Labour
“To them it’s just another number, someone else being sent back. But when you’ve got three children being left without their dad … it’s quite major,” writes Rebecca Omonira-Okeykanmi.
Hundreds of people surrounded the fences this weekend. Hera Lorandos spoke to women who have suffered inside.
Grassroots posters giving an alternative take on the general election
Laying out the case for Labour's leadership of a Progressive Alliance, Jeremy Gilbert argues that far from posing a threat to the Left, the Progressive Alliance offers a golden opportunity to end Tory rule and build a 21st century government committed to social justice
The Greens have stood down in Brighton Kemptown to clear the way for Labour, and the Lib Dems won’t stand in Brighton’s other seat, Green-held Pavilion. Davy Jones, who would have been the Green candidate in Kemptown, says this shows the way forward
Jeremy Corbyn is no longer the leader of the opposition – he has become the People’s Prime Minister
While Theresa May hides away, Corbyn stands with the people in our hours of need, writes Tom Walker
In the aftermath of this disaster, we must fight to restore respect and democracy for council tenants
Glyn Robbins says it's time to put residents, not private firms, back at the centre of decision-making over their housing
After Grenfell: ending the murderous war on our protections
Under cover of 'cutting red tape', the government has been slashing safety standards. It's time for it to stop, writes Christine Berry
Why the Grenfell Tower fire means everything must change
The fire was a man-made atrocity, says Faiza Shaheen – we must redesign our economic system so it can never happen again
Forcing MPs to take an oath of allegiance to the monarchy undermines democracy
As long as being an MP means pledging loyalty to an unelected head of state, our parliamentary system will remain undemocratic, writes Kate Flood
7 reasons why Labour can win the next election
From the rise of Grime for Corbyn to the reduced power of the tabloids, Will Murray looks at the reasons to be optimistic for Labour's chances next time
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 25 June
On June 25th, the fourth of Red Pepper Race Section's Open Editorial Meetings will celebrate the launch of our new black writers' issue - Empire Will Eat Itself.
After two years of attacks on Corbyn supporters, where are the apologies?
In the aftermath of this spectacular election result, some issues in the Labour Party need addressing, argues Seema Chandwani
If Corbyn’s Labour wins, it will be Attlee v Churchill all over again
Jack Witek argues that a Labour victory is no longer unthinkable – and it would mean the biggest shake-up since 1945
On the life of Robin Murray, visionary economist
Hilary Wainwright pays tribute to the life and legacy of Robin Murray, one of the key figures of the New Left whose vision of a modern socialism lies at the heart of the Labour manifesto.
Letter from the US: Dear rest of the world, I’m just as confused as you are
Kate Harveston apologises for the rise of Trump, but promises to make it up to us somehow
The myth of ‘stability’ with Theresa May
Settit Beyene looks at the truth behind the prime minister's favourite soundbite
Civic strike paralyses Colombia’s principle pacific port
An alliance of community organisations are fighting ’to live with dignity’ in the face of military repression. Patrick Kane and Seb Ordoñez report.
Greece’s heavy load
While the UK left is divided over how to respond to Brexit, the people of Greece continue to groan under the burden of EU-backed austerity. Jane Shallice reports
On the narcissism of small differences
In an interview with the TNI's Nick Buxton, social scientist and activist Susan George reflects on the French Presidential Elections.
Why Corbyn’s ‘unpopularity’ is exaggerated: Polls show he’s more popular than most other parties’ leaders – and on the up
Headlines about Jeremy Corbyn’s poor approval ratings in polls don’t tell the whole story, writes Alex Nunns
Job vacancy: Red Pepper is looking for a political organiser
Closing date for applications: postponed, see below
The media wants to demoralise Corbyn’s supporters – don’t let them succeed
Michael Calderbank looks at the results of yesterday's local elections
In light of Dunkirk: What have we learned from the (lack of) response in Calais?
Amy Corcoran and Sam Walton ask who helps refugees when it matters – and who stands on the sidelines
Osborne’s first day at work – activists to pulp Evening Standards for renewable energy
This isn’t just a stunt. A new worker’s cooperative is set to employ people on a real living wage in a recycling scheme that is heavily trolling George Osborne. Jenny Nelson writes
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 24 May
On May 24th, we’ll be holding the third of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Our activism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit…
Reflecting on a year in the environmental and anti-racist movements, Plane Stupid activist, Ali Tamlit, calls for a renewed focus on the dangers of power and privilege and the means to overcome them.
West Yorkshire calls for devolution of politics
When communities feel that power is exercised by a remote elite, anger and alienation will grow. But genuine regional democracy offers a positive alternative, argue the Same Skies Collective
How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workers
For the first time in history, we have a mass migration of labour without an actual migration of workers. Mark Graham and Alex Wood explore the consequences
The Digital Liberties cross-party campaign
Access to the internet should be considered as vital as access to power and water writes Sophia Drakopoulou
#AndABlackWomanAtThat – part III: a discussion of power and privilege
In the final article of a three-part series, Sheri Carr gives a few pointers on how to be a good ally
Event: Take Back Control Croydon
Ken Loach, Dawn Foster & Soweto Kinch to speak in Croydon at the first event of a UK-wide series organised by The World Transformed and local activists
Red Pepper’s race section: open editorial meeting 19 April
On April 19th, we’ll be holding the second of Red Pepper’s Race Section Open Editorial Meetings.
Changing our attitude to Climate Change
Paul Allen of the Centre for Alternative Technology spells out what we need to do to break through the inaction over climate change
Introducing Trump’s Inner Circle
Donald Trump’s key allies are as alarming as the man himself