As the black Land Rover Discovery crawled along Downing Street and none other than a former Prime Minister emerged from the back seat, the audible gasps on the UK’s live news channels proved that not even the most astute political hacks had predicted this particular return.

Journalists were dumbstruck – some sounding almost delighted at the chance to revisit an old story. The original protagonist in the long running Tory pantomime had returned for a grim encore – Austerity, Brexit and now the Cost-of-Living Crisis – the ABC of Tory economics spells disaster for Wales.

That Cameron’s political rebirth has been met with an all too familiar dose of London-centric excited curiosity represents so much of what’s wrong with Westminster.

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Like a grim fairytale and with a wave of a Westminster wand, a former Prime Minister became a Lord, and the Lord became our Foreign Secretary. Unaccountable, unfathomable, and utterly unacceptable. So let’s cut to it. David Cameron is back but his broken Britain never went away.

This week’s events have exposed some fundamental flaws in the Westminster system which make the case for Wales running its own affairs more compelling than ever. Let’s look at three of those flaws.

Firstly, change is anathema to the London parties. Last month in a speech to the party faithful at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, Rishi Sunak used the word “change” 30 times. Six weeks on and with his predecessor (three times removed) by his side, the Prime Minister’s words certainly ring hollow. That he turned to his 350 colleagues and decided that none were fit to be Foreign Secretary is a damning indictment of the dearth of talent in the Tory parliamentary party.

Cast your eyes to the front bench opposite, and sadly you all-too-often see an absence of meaningful opposition. We’ve seen it this week in the Labour party’s refusal to support the cross-party amendment calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. We’ve seen it in Keir Starmer’s refusal to commit to repealing the two-child limit on welfare payments imposed by the Tories. And we’ve seen it in the rolling back of his leadership campaign pledge to nationalise key services – a principle supported by more than 60% of the public.

We cannot either forget Labour’s failure to stand up against Cameron’s austerity agenda unleashed by the Tory-LibDem Coalition Government of 2010. In 2013, academics calculated that more than £1billion would be taken out of the Welsh economy as a result of the UK Government’s changes to the welfare system – an annual loss of £550 for every working age adult in Wales and far higher than the UK average. Our communities are still suffering the consequences today, compounded by a cost-of-living crisis which is crippling many household budgets. Labour’s fixation with perpetuating a self-imposed fiscal straitjacket sets us once more on a dangerous path towards cutting public services to the bone at the expense of living standards and community resilience. We’ve seen Labour side with Cameron once before and there is little to suggest they wouldn’t do so again.

This brings me to the second fundamental flaw in Westminster – that hope is the scarcest of commodities. With the proliferation of digital debate, politics has become more polarised, more toxic, and more off-putting for the ordinary voter. This is entirely at odds with Plaid Cymru’s desire to see more people enthused by and engaged with politics. That’s why offering an alternative vision for Wales of fairness and ambition is crucial.

Isn’t there a more compelling option for our nation than the politics of Tories and Labour shouting at each other across the despatch box in a crumbling parliament that is out of reach and increasingly out of touch? Rather than have our fate decided by another country’s votes election after election, wouldn’t a more accountable government be a more effective government? And instead of enduring scandal after scandal dominating the front pages of the London press, wouldn’t Wales benefit from a stronger, independent media producing genuinely Welsh news for a Welsh audience?

At the heart of Plaid Cymru’s vision is doing things differently and doing things better. Not out of some contrarian instinct to set ourselves at odds with others, but out of a genuine desire to see our nation chart its own course in a way that benefits all its communities.

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Taking control of energy projects, natural resources, justice, policing, broadcasting, and the tools needed to develop the economy would be the building blocks of a stronger nation. Decisions which affect Wales should be made in Wales – the simplest of democratic principles. A relentless focus on reforming to build – meaningful, well-thought-out changes to our health and education systems designed to improve outcomes rather than simply manage decline.

UK Leaders are more interested in cheap slogans about small boats than in keeping our communities afloat. It is no wonder therefore that the union of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a union with no future. More and more people are persuaded by the case for Wales and Scotland standing on their own two feet, free from Westminster’s chaos and fully accountable for their own affairs.

The King’s Speech made no mention of Wales. In Cameron we have a Foreign Secretary who facilitated the greatest foreign policy blunder in generations. His Brexit is eroding our economy and weakening our public services – more than £1 billion lost from regional and rural development funds and 4,000 fewer EU doctors working in the NHS. The UK’s influence on the global stage has diminished considerably as people realise that isolation is not so splendid after all.

So there we have it. No change. No hope. No future. That is the state of Westminster, and what a sorry state it is. Wales can and must demand better.

With a General Election rapidly approaching, nothing we’re hearing from Labour, or the Tories signals a fundamental desire to redesign UK politics. Plaid Cymru is putting plans in place to help people through tough times today AND looking to tomorrow with an alternative vision for our country.

Having voices who speak up for fairness, for ambition and for Wales are more important than ever.