Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 15 November 2003

John Marek Launches Forward Wales, Cymru Ymlaen

AS DISSATISFACTION with New Labour grows and people in Wales become more and more disillusioned with the main parties, the need for a new mass party for working people has never been more urgent.

Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales

A layer of activists were therefore looking forward with anticipation to John Marek, the independent Assembly Member for Wrexham, announcing the formation of a new party this autumn. Unfortunately, trade union activists and young people will be disappointed by the announcement this week by Marek of the "Forward Wales, Cymru Ymlaen" party.

The best chance for this party to take off would have been with an open democratic structure appealing to the thousands of disillusioned working-class people, particularly trade unionists, and putting forward a bold programme that could answer the problems of Welsh working and young people.

But the declaration of the party will leave many of them cold. The party appears to be positioning itself in the 'centre-left' of Welsh politics hinting at mild reforms while attempting at all times to appear to be moderate. This might well appeal to sections of the Welsh press corps and maybe to one or two 'big name' disillusioned Labour Party members but is unlikely to inspire young and working people to become active in the movement.

The party has deliberately decided to reject a class approach by naming itself "Forward Wales - Cymru Ymlaen". Its founding principles appear to be deliberately vague. There is no commitment in principle to nationalisation or even renationalisation of privatised services. The only reference to public services is "for the maintenance of such services within the public realm" which does not even necessarily rule out PFI, tendering out of services or even privatisation.

The only reference to socialist principles is the vague passage: "As a democratic party we encourage local participation, with the aim of creating self-reliant and sustainable communities equipped to take maximum decisions on their own behalf as the basis for a socialist society."

Having rejected a class approach, the party has opted to concentrate on a Welsh identity under the banner "Forward Wales". But most voters in Wales looking for an alternative to New Labour would be more likely to opt for Plaid Cymru, the second party in Wales.

Plaid claim to be a socialist party with socialist policies but where they have held power in local councils in Wales, in practise they have been little different to New Labour. Nevertheless, their programme is likely to be more left wing than Cymru Ymlaen and to most voters they will be seen to be the larger radical alternative to New Labour.

Cymru Ymlaen claims to be "pluralist" but will not allow platforms or groups within it, making it impossible for Socialist Party Wales and other socialist organisations to play a role in the party.

John Marek has calculated that by making the party moderate he can attract some disillusioned 'big names' from the Labour Party. Articles and interviews by Ron Davies, Tony Blair's former Welsh Secretary, indicate that he is considering joining this party. But high-profile names alone will not attract working people to support this party, least of all names that are perceived to be part of the political establishment.

Forward Wales are targeting next year's European and council elections but it is debateable whether this project will really take off. However, because of the vacuum that has developed in politics, no new formation can be ruled out from gaining some support.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 15 November 2003:

End the occupation of Iraq: Protest Against Bush

Occupation of Iraq: A Disaster Happening Now

Vote For Real Change: Vote Socialist in Lewisham

Lessons of the postal strike: The Bosses Can Be Beaten

Teachers Ballot Against Sats

A Decade On The Wrong Tracks

London's Low-Paid Fight Back

Northern Ireland elections: Capitalist Politicians Bring Stalemate And Division

Ireland: Fighting The Bin Tax

Global warming: How Capitalism Puts Our Planet At Risk

Strikes Rock Government in Greece

Sri Lanka's Political Crisis Unresolved

John Marek Launches Forward Wales, Cymru Ymlaen


Home   |   The Socialist 15 November 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

triangleWarts-and-all account of class war and the struggle for LGBT+ rights

triangleFord workers vote for action

triangleCrunchy guitar and poignant dialogue in alt-rock homage to south Wales miners


triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangle'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

triangleCan you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleTories torn - bin them now

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay


Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?



Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni


Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers



Balloting members on the pay cap



'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future



Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison


South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP



Uprising to save the NHS!



Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?


East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!


North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses



Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems



Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now



Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice