The UK has the widest and worst level of regional inequality. This inequality places Wales in a conundrum. We are "too poor" to be able to afford to be independent of either EU or UK subsidies. Yet the Assembly has gained neither the powers nor the economic levers to change that fact from within the British state.
Through these and other policies we have built a resilient Wales, a Wales with good and improving employment rates and skills levels. People and communities are ready to thrive. But for this to really happen, we need a Labour Government in Westminster. A Government that won't lock people out of the economic recovery, but allow everyone to experience the benefits of an economic uplift.
The tragedy here really lies in the bureaucracy that has surrounded this decision and the loss to Pennard to offer a fitting memorial to a man who had spent his life creating a psycho-geographic legacy, not only of this corner of Wales, but the breadth and depth of the land, and its history through his work.
I am proposing a Welsh way forward. Plaid Cymru is not a party to shout "foul play" from the side-lines. The Party of Wales is determined to meet the aspirations of our people with alternatives. I've written to the UK Business Secretary calling on him to follow a precedent set in the Post Office Act of 1969. That legislation implemented far-reaching reforms, and within it, the UK Government surrendered its postal interests in the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, offering them to the governments of those territories.
The UK remains in the midst of the deepest recession in living memory with few predicting a change in fortune anytime soon. People in Wales are particularly feeling the pinch. Unemployment is higher than the UK average and the cull of the public sector has, and will continue to, hit us especially hard since it employs a higher proportion of our workforce than in England or Scotland.