Diolch Dirprwy Lefarydd,

Mae Cymru yn genedl fach ond mae hi’n genedl falch hefyd, fel y grŵp Aelodau Seneddol bod Cymru yn anfon i’r lle hon.

Thank you Deputy Speaker,

Wales is a small nation, but it is also a proud one. Like the group of MPs that Wales sends to this place.

Wales has a history of community, of communitarianism of helping out both your neighbour and someone you haven’t met before. Not for a long time has this been as apparent as it has been during the past 12 months. Since this House last held this debate the world has changed forever and I hope all across this place will pause with me to remember the friends, family and loved ones lost to the Coronavirus pandemic. If there can be any benefit to come from this tragedy it is how, despite the fact we must all remain socially distanced, we have never felt closer. The work of various community action groups are to be commended. Teams such as The Sanctuary, the British Red Cross, Kings Church, Stow Hill Evangelical Church, Feed Newport, The Wallich, Llamau, Edengate, Solas, The Samaritans, Sparkle, Care for the Family, St Davids Hospice, Pobl, Newport Mind, BAWSO and Newport Uskmouth Rotary.

I also want to pay tribute to the fantastic work that Newport County Football Club have done with their community mental health programme. I hope their fantastic work is used as a model for other EFL clubs and that the Government brings them on board with their post pandemic community mental health initiatives.

Mr Deputy speaker, Wales has a history also of incredible industry, from the coal and steel and slate that powered the industrial revolution now our future sees us providing the power of the future. From the Wind, Wave and Tidal power that thrives in Wales to the fantastic work of Catapult in my own constituency, designing and building the compound semi-conductors that move the machines we all rely on. Wales is a net explorer of energy, and through the Welsh Parliament’s ground-breaking Wellbeing of Future Generations Act, stands ready to lead the way for the world in the green revolution. Hopefully, Mr Deputy Speaker, the UK government will soon realise this and build some tidal lagoons. If the Prime Minister is so keen to impress the new President of the United States with his green credentials, it is imperative for him to put his money where his mouth is.

Now, Mr Deputy Speaker, as you know I am a chorister. Like many on the green benches, Welsh or otherwise I look forward to a good sing song waiting for the result of vote, unless you rule it out of order of course. However, it would be remiss of me to in a debate on Wales to not mention our rich musical history. Now as the constituency MP of one Nicky Wire, the bassist and lyricist of the Manic Street Preachers, I will take this opportunity to highlight one of Wales’ greatest exports. In their 35th year together, they are set to release their 14th Album this year and I am sure everyone here will wish them well. The future is certainly bright for Welsh music and for Newport music too. Supermarine, like the Manics originally come from Blackwood but now call the great city of Newport home, and Newportonian, Jack Perrett named to the 2019 Horizons Gorwelion list, backed by BBC Cymru Wales and the Arts Council of Wales. We are a city full of incredible grassroots music venues and I am proud to represent them all.

Let us not forget Newport’s own, Goldie Looking Chain, who we know even the Prime Minister has a soft spot for, even if we cannot be sure the feeling is mutual.

Dirprwy llefarydd, dwi ddim yn gallu siarad Cymraeg yn rhugl, ond dwi’n cydnabod ei bod hi mor bwysig i geisio siaried Cymraeg, yn enwedig yn gyhoeddus. Mae’r iaith Cymraeg yn iaith fyw ac iaith wleidyddol. I siarad Cymraeg yn y lle hwn, ni’n gallu sicrhau bydded i’r hen iaith barhau.

Deputy Speaker, I cannot speak Welsh fluently, but I recognise that it is so important to try and speak Welsh, particularly in public, The Welsh Language is a living language and a political language. To speak Welsh in this place, we can ensure that long may the old language endure.

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