Thursday 1 March 2012

The little things

It is customary on this day in particular to repeat the injunction left to us by Dewi, “Gwnewch y pethau bychain” – “Do the little things”.  And the little things are certainly important in politics.  It’s often the little things which can make the greatest and most immediate difference to people’s daily lives.  Certainly, when I was a councillor many years ago, it was a lesson which I kept in mind; most of the impact that I had didn’t come from speaking or voting in the chamber, but from acting as an advocate for the people I represented, often on issues which might look very minor.
But concentrating only on the little things means ignoring the big things; the little things need to be put into the broader context, which only the big things can provide.  Any politician, from any party, can attend to the drains and the streetlamps.  Any politician from any party can seek and obtain power on a platform of minor change today.  But pursuing such a programme means putting off the more fundamental changes indefinitely.
It’s not enough just to remember the little things today; let us also remember the bigger task which faces us, of bringing real and lasting change to the economic and political structures.

1 comment:

Peter Freeman said...

This has always been a conflicting issue. It is hardly strange that someone involved in, especially local, politics would do all they can for the everyday problems of the constituents. neither is it strange that when election time comes around the candidate would remind the voters of his/her achievements. Then you realize that instead of changing the system you are proving that you can manage the system better than anyone else. That is how Peter Black won and kept the Labour stronghold of Cwmbwrla in Swansea.
I remember the demonstration in Swansea at the Welsh Conservative conference. Later, in the Pub, a Plaid counselor from Merthyr pointed out that he had become so obsessed with falling chimneys and the like that he had almost forgotten why he was there. He said that chasing Maggie around the streets of Swansea was the most political thing he had done since being elected.
I feel the context of what Dewi said is what we should remember.
"Arglwyddi brodyr a chwiorydd, Cadw deich fydd a'ch cred. A fyddwch ffyddlon yn y pethau bach."
Noble brothers and sisters, keep the faith and your religion and be faithful in the little things.
Being faithful in the little things while keeping true to our core principles is a balancing act. Personally, I'm glad I don't have to do it any more.