Labor and Tories embrace the maxim that ‘greed is good’
Jack Morris, Plaid Cymru Senedd candidate for Alyn and Deeside
The saying “greed is good” was immortalized by corporate raider Gordon Gekko’s character in the rapacious profit feature Wall Street.
But this attitude is far from limited to movies, because in the UK we have spent the past 40 years living in an economic system that celebrates the enrichment of the rich and stigmatizes the poor as deserving of their lot.
Both Conservatives and Labor have embraced this maxim. Their attitudes towards financial regulation repeated throughout the 1990s and 2000s. This contributed to the 2008 financial crash from which ordinary workers have yet to recover.
Such attitudes have also had a corrosive effect on our collective wealth. In my lifetime alone, we have seen many state-owned enterprises privatized, from airports and power companies to British Rail, Post and the Student Loan Book.
The post office was a very telling example that saw many, including Peter Davies of Lansdowne Partners, make a very handsome profit. This hedge fund saw its £ 50million stake increase in value to £ 86million. Conveniently, Davies acted as George Osbourne’s best man.
It is not only by underestimating our collective assets that this attitude has spread. In 2019, our Senedd was one of the first parliaments in the world to declare a climate emergency, accelerated by carbon emissions in our common atmosphere.
Beyond that we have seen scandals involving the nuclear mud dumping in Cardiff Bay, while being denied the resources to invest in 21st century projects such as the Swansea Tidal Lagoon which is said to have been a source of clean and green energy.
It is hardly surprising that our communities, our common spaces, have suffered dramatically as greed and selfishness prevail.
Austerity, this Conservative election scam, has shut down many of our common spaces, like libraries, youth clubs and community centers, while cutting emergency services to the bone. As I walk the streets of Connah’s Quay, I see nothing but neglect. The litter is widespread. Graffiti is plastered with empty stores. Children have nothing to do for fun. Many residents do not feel safe at night.
I am running in the next Senedd election as the Plaid Cymru candidate for Alyn and Deeside because I believe that a better world is possible for all of us, and I want to help make this vision a reality.
We must accept the changing modern world, which has seen our shopping streets decrease in value as commercial areas. However, they should not be viewed as no-go areas, and can instead be turned into community centers containing cafes, play areas, libraries, art centers and safe spaces for our children and seniors.
After the last year of lockdown, we’re all in desperate need of socializing with long-missed friends and family, and we’re all no doubt tired of staring at the same four walls at home.
Our dilapidated shopping streets can provide these spaces, but the political will is lacking. The pandemic has shown that the community spirit is alive and well, with neighbors in Wales helping each other in unprecedented numbers.
It is my dream to harness this spirit of collectivity and community to enable all of us to become richer.