The Plaid Ifanc National Executive Committee sends its warmest wishes to all our members over the festive period – Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! Thanks to each and every one of you for your hard work throughout the year.
At this time of year, it can be particularly difficult to make sense of the world in which we live. In the midst of December’s joviality and excess, it’s impossible not to think of the need and suffering on our doorstep and across the world.
Brexit has dominated the news in 2018; and yet conflict in the Middle East, which continues to devastate lives and renders thousands of people homeless, has largely disappeared from the bulletins. We hear far more about the 1922 Committee than we do the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where millions face starvation in a war-torn country. We have this year noted 100 years since the end of the First World War; and yet, there is little recognition of the British State’s complicity as the war in Yemen rages on, in its sale of arms to Saudi Arabia. What about the Kurdish community, and their fight for self-determination and social justice? Have we forgotten, too, about the political prisoners in Catalonia, and those in exile for their role in conducting a democratic vote on independence?
Meanwhile, in Wales, more and more people are becoming homeless, as a direct result of Tory austerity measures. Reliance on food banks has increased dramatically, and real poverty has hit Wales’ neglected communities. The Tories’ inhumane hostile environment policy, too, has people living in fear of detention or deportation. The Brexit impasse provides little hope of a brighter future for the people of Wales. Further, recent reports have suggested that far-right movements are targeting Welsh communities.
There is no doubt that all this makes for bleak reading, and adds to a heightened sense of helplessness.
How should we respond?
By maintaining our solidarity with all those who seek social and political freedom in all corners of the world. Never underestimate how far an expression of solidarity and support can go.
By highlighting the plight of all those facing an uncertain future, and by pressuring those in power to revoke their outmoded and uncompassionate treatment of migrants – human beings, like us. By doing our utmost to oppose and challenge prejudice in all its forms, and ensuring right-wing views don’t lay down their roots here in Wales. By realising that a fairer society will only be achieved if we involve all our citizens in the conversation. By being the bastions of tolerance and respect, even if we are met with animosity.
We hope you will join us in our efforts next year. Future generations rely on us to shoulder our responsibilities, and play our part in shaping the future of our country.