Does Wales need a Navalny figure?

This week I met up with several farmers who were setting off on a protest against the Welsh Government. Incredibly some of them uttered the words, Communist and Dictator when referring to the First Minister Mark Drakeford. I say incredibly because it is not something you would expect your average farmer to come out with.

We mentioned in a previous editorial that no matter what Lee Waters says or does he gets chastised. The Deputy Minister for Climate Change made a post commenting on the death of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. True to form his opposition took issue and gave their take on his post.

Navalny was a lawyer, anti-corruption activist, and political prisoner. He organised anti-government demonstrations and ran for office to advocate reforms against corruption in Russia, and against President Vladimir Putin and his government. This was when Russia was still part of the global club.

Perhaps the farmer who organised Friday’s rolling road protest in Carmarthenshire had all the characteristics of Alexei Navalny. I would dare to speculate that there was some precision organising and tactics at play, possibly in the hope that the First Minister would travel by road to an appointment in West Wales. It is the Welsh Labour Government who have become the target for Welsh farmers.

Labour have won two by-elections and the Labour Leader and some pundits are claiming this signals the dawn of a Labour Government following the next General Election. The surprise spin-off is that the Reform UK party took a large chunk of the votes. It left Jacob Rees-Mogg claiming that the combined vote for Reform UK and Conservatives was higher than the Labour vote. It is a futile remark given that there is no hope of any electoral reform, which could have an impact on political results.

Nigel Farage wasted no time in celebrating Reform UK’s rise claiming that this General Election may be lost but Reform UK could win at the next. Mr Farage highlighted immigration as one of the key battlegrounds and said in conclusion that he could see no difference at all between Labour and the Conservatives.

Noises continue to be made around the immigration issue in Llanelli with some claiming that the demographic of Llanelli is now unrecognisable because there are so many immigrants in the town. It is a claim, which has no concrete evidence to back it up.

Graffiti in Bucharest

I lived in Romania for three years. Admittedly it was at the end of Ceaucescu’s regime and one could say it was a communist country. The infrastructure was falling apart. Roads were riddled with potholes a car could fall into. On a recent drive to Llanelli, it was slightly reminiscent of a drive along Romanian roads.

Communism is left-wing to far-left sociopolitical, philosophical, and economic ideology within the socialist movement, whose goal is the creation of a communist society, a socioeconomic order centred around common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange that allocates products to everyone in the society based on need. A communist society would entail the absence of private property and social classes, and ultimately money and the state (or nation-state).

That is a far cry from the Wales I have lived in since birth. If anything we have veered towards the right and conservatism unable to tell left and right as Mr Farage put it, there is no difference between them.

Ceaucescu was a dictator and he paid the price for the way he treated his country’s citizens. He was shot along with his wife. Perhaps the Welsh public, the farmers, and the motorists are longing for someone like Navalny to come along and offer a real alternative and credible opposition voice to the reds and the blues and the mixture of both the purples. Is it telling that the colour green is missing from any political representation but sits as the secondary colour pinned to the mast of politics worldwide? Reform opted for aqua and white as their colours.

The mass protests over immigration in the UK contain a large chunk of the electorate who might be more inclined to align themselves with Reform UK despite their policies flying in the face of the green agenda. The next general election should be fought on the economy, jobs, education, health and policing. The issue of immigration is one not to be ignored and it may cost some parties a lot of votes. The green agenda appears to be the number one priority of Welsh politics. Hence, it remains to be seen whether Welsh voters agree that it is just that or whether they will hedge their bets on a party, which wants to reintroduce fracking, coal mining and more drilling for oil and gas. Welsh politics may be in need of a Navalny figure more so than the same old or new party peripherals.

Алексей Навальный wrote a long piece on his Facebook page but this paragraph struck me. He wrote:

“And now, sectarians and marginals are in power. Overall, they have no ideas. Their only goal is to keep their seats. Perfected hypocrisy will allow them to wrap themselves in any cover. So, polygamists have become conservatives. Members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union have become Orthodox. Owners of “golden passports” and offshore accounts are now aggressive patriots.

“Lies, and nothing but lies. It will collapse and crumble. The Putinist state is not sustainable. One day, we will look at its place, and it won’t be there. Victory is inevitable. But for now, we must not give up and stand by our beliefs.”

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