This is a watershed post. Not for you dear readers, but for me. I was tidying up the cortaderias when a realisation so overpowering came upon me that I have had to rush in to post - just in case I lose it again. Its one of those thoughts that have been bouncing around the dark corridors of my mind, which has suddenly crashing into the 'active' zone. It might only be the glorious sunshine but it sure puts some backbone into my politics.
It started with the question "How does a country which does not believe in separation from England come to vote for a political party that does?". (We're talking Scotland here.) The answer must be that a lot of voters are voting for Alex Salmon because they believe he puts Scotland first rather than for any policy reasoning. The SNP may talk 'socialism' but that is not why Scots are going to vote for them. I reckon that there are probably many thousands of a centre-right mindset who think a Scotland with greater autonomy can be less 'socialist' than a Gordon Brown led Government at Westminster. And I suspect they are right.
Next question is how this translates to Wales. At present, the 'Wales, our nation' camp is infected with 'socialism'. And that is because people like me have allowed it to happen. And I have just been confronted by the realisation that it has been because of a lack of courage (no other way of putting it). Since the 1997 devolution referendum, I have been going around saying "Now that we have devolution, it is not going away and we must work to make a success of it" or "I accept the referendum result because I am a democrat". I have gone further than most in my party by saying "In the interests of 'accountability' I believe we should have law making powers in devolved areas". When I think about it, how can I expect to inspire anyone with such non-visionary, feet-dragging, reluctant acceptance.
All this brings me closer to Plaid Cymru in some ways, but drives a 'Berlin Wall' between me and the so-called Party of Wales in other ways. Plaid Cymru has become a 'socialist' party with a 'begging bowl' approach to politics, an unshakable belief in 'state interference' and a policy agenda aimed at promoting a culture of dependency. It is the anti- private sector party. It is time for devolution to be promoted as a mechanism for getting the state off the backs of the people. The case for devolution, and devolution itself is not safe in Plaid Cymru's hands.
And the joy of it is that I hardly need to change my views at all - just be more courageous about why I hold them. I believe that Wales should have law making powers so that we can set the people free from the stultifying shackles of the 'state', we can oppose the 'freebie' culture of dependency creation, we can search for ideas to help ourselves, etc.. I am a centre/right politician who is appalled by what Labour is doing to Wales from its Westminster base and Cardiff Bay outpost - and I positively want a full law making National Assembly so that Wales can cast off the great 'socialist' baggage that is dragging my proud nation down.