The Welsh Communist Party understands that people are feeling battered and bruised by the Covid-19 crisis. Many are bereaved. It’s a tough time – and tougher for some than for others.
We also understand that important lessons have been learned. People want more control over their lives and their communities. In particular, we want our key and front-line workers to be rewarded with decent pay and conditions.
The Covid crisis has shown how much we need real power in the hands of the people of Wales.
Under-investment in NHS, elderly social care, manufacturing and civil emergency planning meant we were not prepared for the Covid pandemic.
Exercise Cygnet in Wales (2015) and Cygnus in England (2016) warned that a serious epidemic could find our NHS and privatised elederly care service without enough PPE, medical ventilators and critical and intensive care beds.
British and Welsh governments largely ignored the findings and failed to carry out the investment needed.
Policies to favour the City of London banks and markets have allowed our manufacturing base to stagnate — so governments, health authorities and care homes had to turn to China and other countries for vital protective and medical equipment.
Early last year, the disastrous responses of the London Tory government to the Covid outbreak made matters worse. Desperate to protect business profits, it failed to order full lock-downs early enough and ended them too soon.
The giant drug companies had to be bribed to produce testing kits and anti-virals. The privatised ‘test and trace’ system was an expensive disaster until the NHS took it over.
Had Britain not left the EU, we might have been trapped in the vaccine power-grab by the European Commission which has already cost many thousands of lives on the Continent.
Instead, thanks to the NHS and its GPs, and to our universities, local authorities and volunteers, we now have one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world.
But now we face the return of mass unemployment. After bailing out business with the biggest rescue plan since the 2008 financial crash, the Tory government intends to make the rest of us pay. Taxes will go up, public sector workers face more real wage cuts and our services will suffer.
The Welsh government will have its block grant squeezed as never before.
For these and other reasons, Welsh Communists demand ‘Real power for the people of Wales’.
In this manifesto, we spell out why the people of Wales, the Senedd and the Welsh government need:
- Economic and environmental powers for a modern, sustainable economy
- Financial powers to invest in jobs, industry and public services
- Power at work to win fair pay, conditions and pensions
- Power in the community to protect families, friends and neighbours
- Power for Wales with equal status in a federal Britain