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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Plaid Cymru Conference 2013

As I was packing up my Mebyon Kernow roll-up banner a conference delgate came over and said how much he had enjoyed my speech and that it had challenged his view of Cornwall. If there had been nothing else to take away from Aberystwyth, the 600 mile round trip would have been worth it for those words alone. For me that was one of the objectives of going to Wales, to challenge the false assertion, continuosly ingrained by our English dominated education system that Cornwall is just an administrative county of England.

Yet there was so much more to bring back from Cymru.

There was the sense of purpose and determination that Plaid has a plan and knows exactly where it is going. A plan which is distinctly bereft of Tory principles, in stark contrast to any of the big Westminster parties. A plan for government and leadership of Wales rather than being content with a junior coalition role. A plan to put Wales first - whether it's by Plaid's committment to providing 1000 new doctors or by tackling a failing energy market. A market which has meant that while, in net terms, Wales exports energy, the people of Wales still pay more in proportion than anywhere else in the UK. "How is that fair? .... If the markets are failing the public then it is time that the public take back the markets"

But it's not just Leanne Wood's key note speech or the appearances on national TV. Plaid Cymru is not just a one trick pony like UKIP with their fags and booze leader Nigel Farage.

The breadth and depth of their expertise and experience is growing all the time. Whether it's the headline grabbing, charismatic Rhun ap Iowerth - taking the recent Anglesey bye-election with a staggering 58% of the vote, or the professionals - the businessmen, economists and banking specialists that are joining the party in ever increasing numbers. Plaid is a party built on teamwork and shared responsibility. Building on the bedrock of generations of Welsh nationalism and reaching for the stars.

The message is that the current Welsh government is bereft of ideas and if they don't act to take Wales forward then the next Plaid led government will.

And it's not just Leanne Wood leading from the front that is driving Plaid forward. The backbone of Plaid, the local councillors and activists, are keeping the party grounded and insisting that people are put at the centre of policy. Working tirelessly to make sure that people are put before bureacracy and that doing the right thing is put before party politics. These are the people that are really making the difference.

For me the lesson of #PC13 and the last two years is summed up by Ben Stein when he said:

"Jump into the middle of things, get your hands dirty, fall flat on your face and then reach for the stars."

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