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Forward Wales

From Academic Kids

Forward Wales (or Cymru Ymlaen in Welsh) is a political party operating in Wales. It evolved from the John Marek Independent Party (JMIP), formed by the ex-Labour member of the Welsh Assembly, John Marek who is the party's national convenor.

On 8 November 2003 the JMIP decided to rename itself Forward Wales. The party seeks to advance socialist policies for Wales as an alternative to what it perceives as a Labour Party which has moved away from socialism.

Forward Wales has recruited various existing politicians disillusioned with their current parties such as:

Principles

The party lists its principles as being:

For a democratic socialist Wales

1. All people of Wales regardless of ethnic origin, creed, gender or sexual orientation are equal citizens and Forward Wales will represent all without favour or discrimination and based on these founding principles.

2. Wales should enjoy parity with Scotland within the current constitutional arrangements in the UK and should enjoy no fewer powers than any other of the UK nations or regions should any further devolution arrangements be enacted.

3. The UK is a rich state but has unacceptable variations in wealth and opportunity between its peoples and regions. We seek to reduce those variations and wish to secure for Wales levels of public spending that accurately reflect the relative levels of economic prosperity and social provision between Wales and other parts of the UK.

4. We are committed to open and pluralist politics and will co operate with other political parties in Wales, the UK and Europe where common causes exist.

5. We will support and take part in international movements designed to secure peace, freedom, international co-operation for sustainable world development and social justice.

6. Recognising the quality of modern economic and social life depends on public services, we are committed to the maintenance of such services within the public realm.

7. Understanding that healthy politics requires robust debate, party members shall at all times be respectful, tolerant and considerate to others.

8. We defend the civil rights of all language communities. Understanding the value, importance, but threatened status, of the Welsh language, we support special measures throughout Wales and especially in vulnerable core areas to nurture the language and build sustainable communities on which it ultimately depends.

9. As a democratic party we encourage local participation, with the aim of creating self reliant and sustainable communities equipped to take maximum decisions on their own behalf as the basis for a socialist society.

10. Sustainability is the most fundamental of all principles. We do not believe any-one has the right to act in a way which diminishes the life chances of future generations and so the long term consequences shall guide our policies in all that we seek to do.

Recent history and results

The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) has announced its support for Forward Wales, following on from its backing of the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) in Scotland. The party is strongly pro-devolution but opposes notions of Welsh independence.

At the European election in 2004 they polled 17,280 votes, 1.9% of the Welsh total.

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