Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 19 January 2011

Wales referendum: Vote Yes on 3 March - Defend public services in Wales

Socialist Party Wales is calling for a 'yes' vote in the referendum on more powers for the Welsh Assembly on 3 March.

Dave Reid

The Socialist Party, and its forerunner Militant, has always called for a Welsh parliament with full legislative powers as a basic democratic reform and as a means for working people in Wales to fight to change society and for socialism. We believe that the Welsh Assembly can be put under pressure from the working class - pressure to defend jobs and services and to allow the development of a socialist alternative in Wales.

Already working class people in Wales have won some important concessions compared to England. Tuition fees have been somewhat ameliorated this year by the subsidy to Wales-domiciled students by the Welsh Assembly Government (WAG).

The privatisation of health and the semi-privatisation of education in England through foundation hospitals, GP "consortia" and academies have been resisted. The huge waste of mortgaging public assets through the Private Finance Initiative has been partially reduced.

Further powers to the Assembly would prevent the Westminster government and Whitehall mandarins from obstructing or delaying Assembly decisions and enable the Assembly to pass laws in Wales.

However support for a 'yes' vote does not mean support for the four main parties in the Yes campaign. We need a new party to fight for the interests of working people in Wales.

The highly paid politicians in all parties in the Assembly have grouped themselves around the Yes For Wales/Ie Dros Cymru campaign headed by Roger Lewis, CEO of the Welsh Rugby Union. Even the Tories in the Assembly who want to cut Welsh public services to shreds support a 'yes' vote.

They all say they want more powers to allow the Assembly to govern Wales "more efficiently". Yet for working people in Wales the real problem has been the Assembly politicians.

Assembly members have awarded themselves generous wages and expenses while all parties agree that "some cuts have to be made" in public services.

One Assembly member even claimed 12,000 a year for a second home in Cardiff despite living near Bridgend, 24 miles from the Assembly. How can these politicians understand what it is like for workers facing pay cuts or the loss of their jobs?

Passing on Con-Dem cutbacks with a shrug of the shoulders is not acceptable. A campaign of resistance is necessary. WAG has responded to the student demonstrations by pledging to ensure that the university fees of Welsh students are not increased any more. It has retained the Education Maintenance Allowance in Wales but is still intent on forcing through huge cuts.

According to civil service union PCS, 30,000 jobs are at risk as a result of the WAG budget cuts. University courses are being cut and universities being merged, leading to big job losses.

Already public services in Wales are under-funded to the tune of 300 million according to the Holtham Commission. The neoliberal policies of Tory and New Labour Westminster governments have largely de-industrialised the British economy and created a huge social gulf between rich and poor. The Welsh economy has suffered as manufacturing industry has closed and been only partially replaced by service industries and the public sector.

Radical action, mobilising the working class of Wales, is needed. This action needs to be linked up to action by workers throughout Britain who are resisting the coalition government cuts.

Socialist Party Wales says the Assembly should use its new powers not to pass on the Con-Dem cuts more efficiently but to fight the cuts. We argue that the Assembly government should propose a budget that meets the needs of working people in Wales - a needs budget, call upon its reserves to prevent any immediate cuts and begin a mass campaign of demonstrations, protests, strikes and civil disobedience to demand the rest.

A socialist WAG would set out a bold programme to defend the Welsh economy, using its new powers to take into public ownership firms threatening redundancies, the utilities and privatised public services. The programme would propose socialist economic policies to put Wales back to work again through an ambitious programme of useful public works and public investment in publicly owned green and high technology industries.

Resisting the cuts and carrying out socialist policies would come up against ferocious opposition from the Con-Dem government in Westminster and big business in Wales and the rest of Britain. It would need a mass campaign, including demonstrations and general strikes in Wales, linking up with similar struggles in the rest of Britain, to win these reforms.

Socialist Party Wales supports a socialist Wales as part of a socialist federation of Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland.

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

In The Socialist 19 January 2011:

National Shop Stewards Network

Unite against all the cuts

Discussing an NSSN anti-cuts campaign

Socialist Party NHS campaign

Save our NHS!

International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia in revolt

Socialist Party news and analysis

MPs' expenses scam continues: for workers' MPs on a worker's wage

Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election: A left-wing workers' alternative needed

Wales referendum: Vote Yes on 3 March - Defend public services in Wales

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Fighting cuts in Somerset

Socialist Party youth and students

Student receives draconian sentence

Students demand - 'save our EMA'

Education Maintenance Allowance: 11 January day of action

Urgent action needed to end youth unemployment

Socialist Party workplace news

PCS members vote for battle against cuts

Strike at sweatshop DWP centres

Teachers strike against redundancies

Heinz strikes force improved offer

Cameron 'thanks' postal workers by axing their jobs and pensions

Workplace news in brief


Home   |   The Socialist 19 January 2011   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:


triangleSwansea Labour council votes for cuts

triangleThree major West Wales hospitals could close

triangleSuccessful Socialist Party Wales conference sets tone for the year ahead

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Wales and the National Question

triangleWelsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

Public services:

triangleSpring Statement 2018: Tory austerity staggers on despite economic and political weakness

triangleNHS: use the 3 February protests as a launch pad for a mass movement

triangleBallots against Bromley privatisers

triangleTurn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

Defend public services:

triangleFight the cuts: Demand no-cuts council budgets

triangle2011 riots: An outpouring of anger at the system


triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: France in May 1968

triangleBirmingham Central Socialist Party: Japan - Stagnation and Military Tensions


triangleSocialist Party congress 2018

Socialist Party:

triangleSalford Socialist Party: The history of the Labour movement in Ireland

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns



Refugee Rights campaigners on the 17.3.18 anti-racism demo - pics


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018