The spectre of communism is haunting Wales. It is not yet a big spectre, but it is very much alive and visible. The Welsh Communist Party has again decided to contest every region in the National Assembly of Wales elections, as it did in 2007, to ensure that the usual fare of "cabbages and kings" dished up by the main parties and the media would not go unchallenged writes Rick Newnham on an influential Wales website.

Our view is that unless the Communist Party and its policies are highly visible, left and progressive views and policies will be buried beneath a tip of empty promises and platitudes.
We are opening up the debate during the deepest crisis of capitalism for 80 years.
For example, while others have criticised the banks, they have failed to criticise the capitalism system that encourages this unfettered speculation for super-profits.  Where other parties have tried to obscure the issue of wealth redistribution, we tackle it head on.
Why do 10 per cent of the population own 71 per cent of the wealth, while the poorer half own just 1 per cent?  Why do we pay our pensioners the least in Europe?  Why are our children the least well cared-for of all the major capitalist countries?
The Communist Party has pointed out that, while the provinces of Spain have the power to levy a wealth tax and even a parish council in Britain can levy a penny on the council tax, the Welsh Assembly has no revenue-raising powers at all.
It has to go cap in hand to the central government in London for even a small share of the tax income raised in Wales and has to administer, without question, the ‘slash and burn’ budget cuts instigated by this reactionary Con-Dem government.
The issue of public services is at the top of the agenda. The public sector employs about 32 per cent of workers in Wales, compared with 26 per cent across Britain.
Even the CBI Wales is beginning to recognise that if the public sector is significantly cut back, then the private sector, rather than being able to take up the slack, will instead contract.
Wales is facing economic devastation if these Government cuts are implemented over the next four years, leading to levels of mass unemployment not seen since the 1930s.  As then, it will take at least a generation for Wales to recover.
The people of Wales cannot wait for the next Westminster general election.
Only the Communist Party is advocating a mass extra-parliamentary campaign led by the labour movement, and which includes a general strike across the public sector, to bring down a Con-Dem government that has declared war on working people and their families.
Plaid Cymru and Labour - with a distinct case of amnesia - rightly condemn these cuts. All four main parties, however, support the EU big-business agenda that drives these austerity programmes, and which threatens to wipe out our public services and the welfare state.
None of the four main parties refer to the GATS agreement, which commits Britain to the privatisation agenda.  And none are able to commit themselves to substantial new investment in all our public services, because they are unwilling to tackle the issue of wealth redistribution.
We believe that the rich and big business must be taxed to a far greater degree than the current low levels. Most of the super-rich pay no income tax, stashing their ill-gotten gains away in tax havens under British jurisdiction. British corporation tax on big business profits is among the lowest in the developed world.
This uncritical stance towards big business is a characteristic of the four main parties. All four advocate financial support for businesses investing in Wales without any safeguards against them relocating later to other countries where wages are cheaper.
But that's precisely what fly-by-night firms are doing, particularly in the manufacturing sector, which has shrunk by 10 per cent in the last ten years.
This is exemplified by Bosch upping sticks from Pontyclun, dumping hundreds of workers on the scrap heap, only to re-materialise in England demanding multi-million pound tax payer contributions to relocate their factory there.
The casino-capitalist economy will not make long-term investments without a far greater level of enforced accountability.
Its desire for short-term profits ignores the needs of communities in economic, social and environmental terms.
Yet none of the four main parties have the political will to question the omnipotence of the so-called 'free market' (rigged by the giant monopolies) and its "right" to exploit working people.
The Communists, on the other hand, demand that the Welsh Assembly have the economic and legislative powers to take public transport and energy utilities into public ownership so that we can unify the transport network, develop clean coal and sustainable energy resources and safeguard our environment.
Our intention is to raise these issues on a mass scale through the use of election broadcasts, a media campaign and the circulation of thousands of leaflets and posters across Wales. We will combine this with public meetings and hustings events.
Some people will hear of our existence and become aware of our programme Real Power for the People of Wales for the first time. 
This approach will bring us into the public arena to a much greater degree than in previous campaigns.
We are not getting carried away by the recent YouGov opinion poll placing us neck and neck with the Lib Dems in the North Wales region (a December 2010 ITV/YouGov poll placed both the Communist Party and the Lib Dems on 3 per cent, and gave the Communist Party 3 per cent of the youth vote across Wales).
Our campaign will be our election victory, as Communist policies win a positive response from thousands of workers and their families who see that there is an alternative to capitalist crisis and destruction.
The Welsh Communist Party, as the prime electoral contender on the left with the mainstream parties, recognises its responsibility as the leading standard-bearer for peace, progress and socialism in this election. Therefore, we are opening places on our electoral lists to non-Communist, socialist and progressive candidates.
Anyone wishing to stand on the Communist Party’s election platform can e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Tweet @WelshCommunists to indicate their interest.
Rick Newnham