New political movement launched with the aim of ‘building a better Wales’

A new political movement has launched promising to hold the Welsh Government to account and pull the country away from “reactionary politics, conflict and environmental catastrophe”.

The 1911 Group is a collective of activists, academics, and workers who are “deeply concerned” about the direction in which Welsh society is heading.

In a statement, the currently anonymous group said that they were looking for similarly minded people to help with our vision of building a better Wales – be it in research, organization or street activism.

“Our first and most immediate aim, in the absence of a robust Welsh media, is to hold the Welsh Government to account,” the 1911 Group said in a statement sent to Nation.Cymru.

“Indeed, we intend to challenge the prevailing regressive, anti-utopian political culture of the establishment at every turn.

“Whilst our immediate focus is the politics of the Welsh Assembly, we shall also actively critique the cultures, policies, and structures – local, British or transnational – that negatively affect the people of Wales and those beyond.

“Our second aim, which follows from the first, is to transform the ‘common sense’ of Welsh society, so that in the future, things like shelter, food, and clothes for all will be viewed as basic human rights in Wales, and an end to poverty & discrimination will no longer be regarded as empty promises.

“We seek to build an alternative vision of a better, more just society, discussing and proposing practical ideas required to achieve this goal.

“Neutrality, cynical detachment and aloofness are no longer options – we must make a stand and fight for what we believe in.”

‘Crossroads’

While the identity of those involved remains a mystery, the movement’s name, the 1911 Group, refers to a tumultuous period in Wales’ history when “the future of Wales was brimming with possibilities – whilst also being replete with danger and disharmony”.

Events in 1911 included the founding of a Welsh Nationalist League to campaign for Home Rule, and the investiture of the future Edward VIII as Prince of Wales.

The 1911 Group said that Wales was facing similar challenges today and that the country’s people had to do “everything we can to avoid more dark times, and work to build a better Wales”.

“Wales is standing at the crossroads of history. One route leads to reactionary politics, conflict and environmental catastrophe; the other to solidarity, fairness and a better life for all,” they said.

“It seems the prevailing political culture in Wales is one that does not recognize the scale of the challenges we face and what is at stake.

“The ideas, leadership, and resolve required to address these problems and create a better world are continuously blunted and undermined.

“There is a desperate need for non-partisan, radical activism outside the constraints of the party system.

“A safer, more contented future for our children and future generations will therefore only be achieved if people stand up, take responsibility and attempt to fundamentally change the society we live in for the better.”

Those with an interest in joining the group are urged to get in touch with them here.

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39 Comments

  1. Is this another group that is happy to rage against the symptoms, but doesn’t have the courage to confront the causes head on? If so, yawn. If not, please understand and forgive the cynicism: and I am in.

  2. 1911? 1969? Sometime soon, do we need yet another political group especially one that is going to celebrate Investitures of English Princes?
    What we need is a campaigning Plaid Cymru that will get rid of the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay and rid of London Government.

    • maybe this 1911 group will feed some bright ideas to Plaid and even show them how to convert ideas into action. Plaid has become good at producing occasional critical reviews or statements but fails abysmally to follow through with sustained critique of government action/inaction in those areas. In an underperforming environment Opposition needs to be assertive and willing to set out clear alternatives.

  3. Sounds more like a Plaid Cymru ginger group than anything to get excited about. Perhaps formed to take attention away from the new political party.

    Let’s see who’s behind it.

  4. Bydd yn diddorol gweld beth yn union sydd ‘da nhw mewn golwg.

  5. So, we have a shadowy “1911 group”, that just happens to be most concerned about Welsh media, (or the lack of it to be precise). Sounds like something out of your own imagination Ifan. Given your description of this group, “a collective of activists, academics, and workers who are “deeply concerned” about the direction in which Welsh society is heading” and their “vision of building a better Wales”, it sounds like it’s been swiped out of some Plaid Cymru manifesto or policy paper.

    Listen, everyone wants a “better Wales”. Or at least everyone in politics will claim that. (You won’t get much support campaigning for a “worse Wales”.) To have a viable agenda one needs to clearly identify the root causes of our problems, expose them, and tackle them head on. The lack of Welsh media is not a cause, it is a symptom. (JE Lloyd’s comment above is bang on in this respect.)

    Anyhow, I will send the1911group@gmail.com some information about the mess we are in and what we need to do to get out of it. I have no secret agenda. The truth is there for those who seek it.

  6. Dennis Morris

    Conservatives-1922 Committee, Plaid Cymru-1911 Group?

  7. I do no share the cynicism of the comments so far. If the root cause of the shrinkage of Welsh identity and all but collapse of our language and prosperity has been dur in part to the liberal elite, then alienationation of this highly influential group of decision makers is counter productive. All societies have the chattering classes.

    Wales is no different. We are stuck in some pause mode. Our acquiescence to present political inertia is symptomatic of lack of progress. It might be because we have not embraced the higher points of our society sufficiently well enough. A true leader breeds other leaders. We lack confidence in ourselves.
    There is in front of us a journey of uncertainty in politics. There is ground to be seized.

    To seek to attack a sensible initiative of creating a new wave of interlect and debate is turning inwards because of our very lack of traction to make change. Nothing has worked hitherto.

    I’m not sure this will work either. But a brand of inclusive politics is where I want to be.

  8. “The investiture of the future Edward VIII as Prince of Wales”? 🤭

  9. Keith Parry. I think you have misread the article. The Group didn’t say they were celebrating the Investuture of English Princes! The writer was relaying big events in the year that is in their name.

    To quote: “Events in 1911 included the founding of a Welsh Nationalist League to campaign for Home Rule, and the investiture of the future Edward VIII as Prince of Wales.”

    • Margaret Hall

      Exactly! The two events highlighted in the year of 1911 illustrate the tensions between those who want to move towards true self-government and those who are happy to remain as subjects of an English monarch. The same tensions apply to the present day.

  10. It sounds very much as if this group would manage to feel at home within Plaid Cymru, it is not clear why they are not there and how their vision differs. Their vision doesn’t sound as if it would be objectionable to anyone. tThis may be more like the Peoples Liberation Front of Judea rather than the Liberation Front for the People of Judea. Gawn ni weld.

  11. Red Dragon Jim

    Why the cynicism?

    In Catalonia (yes I’m banging on about them I know) there is a healthy multitude of groups outside of the parties, all doing things, publishing things, whether its grassroots, language or academic.

    I find the name slightly odd but let’s see what these people believe in and whether they can provide something.

    It doesn’t have to be pro or anti Plaid. Stop relating everything to Plaid. It’s unhealthy. Be non-partisan and just do stuff.

    • CambroUiDunlainge

      It doesn’t have to be pro or anti Plaid you’re right… but it sounds an awful lot like the world view shared by many prominent Plaid members. I’m not saying that world view is a dead end… its just not reaching out to the rest of Wales.

      • Red Dragon Jim

        It’s not like Plaid because they won’t have to go and fix people’s bins and get their mates elected to councils.

        In Catalonia there are loads of grassroots groups which share the worldview of the Catalan parties or whomever but want to concentrate on ideas and events rather than elections, and you can be in both of them and it isn’t a problem.

        Please just welcome these guys and don’t over analyse.

        • CambroUiDunlainge

          Group comes forth under veil of anonymity: “Please just welcome these guys and don’t over analyse”. Let me introduce you to my three friends: W, T and F.

    • Good points. A multiplicity of parties and groups shows a healthy, broadly based cause. Just as long as we focus on the real enemy rather than squabbling (too much) amongst ourselves.

  12. CambroUiDunlainge

    So what are you guys looking for here? People who agree with your world view? Or a wide spectrum of people? Because the problem is… if you only gather those who agree with you too your cause then you’re not actually going to evolve new ideas, just recycle all. So my question here is… you say you want to challenge things, but can you face being challenged yourselves? Because if not… don’t waste your time. I know this sounds harsh but we don’t need another group that is going to condemn dissenters.

    • Join Plaid and you can get as much “dissenter-bashing” as you like , so long as you embrace the right-on orthodoxy of the moment.

    • But every party/group/’collective’ disagrees to some degree with others, because why form anything new if there already exists a group with which you agree?

      And mixing with those you agree with is perfectly natural and human; it extends from politics to football allegiances to dress sense to self-identification from the sexual to the national or the linguistic.

      But no such group is hermetically sealed against outside influences. Why do football chants spread? Why have women followed Paris fashions for centuries? Why do I know people attending classes to learn a dance developed in the more ‘colourful’ areas of Buenos Aires?

      Unless you’re talking about Trappist monks in a community totally isolated from the rest of the world new ideas will spread and be taken up, because no one ever said, ‘Oh, that’s a good idea . . . but I shall never adopt it!’ (Unless of course it’s those we see with prosthetic noses.)

      We all associate with those we feel comfortable with, and we’re all open to new ideas if they can be adopted and adapted to serve our interests.

      • Royston states: “we’re all open to new ideas if they can be adopted and adapted to serve our interests”

        Although that may apply to the ‘silent majority’, it is less applicable to many who engage in political movements. They usually come with an ideology and remain impervious to new ideas that question or threaten it. This is even more the case when it come to our technocratic political elites with their reliance on the TINA argument – There Is No Alternative. Or delegating responsibility to ‘experts’ of democratically unaccountable judicial processes.

        Whether it is austerity, mass-immigration, or the curtailment of our civil liberties, the TINA response is designed to shut down public debate and impose unwanted policies to suit their ideology.

        Plaid Cymru is as guilty of this as the rest, demonstrated by their reaction to the Welsh Brexit referendum result. The democratic response would have been to say, ‘the will of the people is sovereign, we got it wrong’. Instead they have done everything to frustrate the democratic outcome and cannot be trusted.

        • Red Dragon Jim

          Plaid isn’t guilty over Brexit. It’s that just you have a genuine disagreement with them over the EU. A very strong majority of Plaid members are pro-EU as are all of their politicians. It’s just what they believe in.

          • CambroUiDunlainge

            At this point their belief or disbelief should be secondary to the primary purpose of their party. I voted Remain. But I realise its time to just get on with it. Wales situation is getting worse anyway and its slow and people notice it less… leaving the EU might be the very thing Welsh nationalism needs to get the support to take us in a direction other than poverty.

          • Most Plaid Cymru I meet arent that pro the EU elites…more of the understanding UK alone gives even less of a damn about a very ignorant Wales…kept ignorant by a biased media

      • CambroUiDunlainge

        I see your point. But I refer you to “Welsh” Labour and how they picked up Labour dissenters who were not fans of Corbyn. Maybe I’m just overly cynical but at this point I guess its about waiting and seeing how the anonymous group which smells like yellow poppies turns out.

  13. michael smith

    it seems to me we would all be better of if all the celtic nations of britain came together to stand against the english . individualy we are too small together we would be much stronger THIS IS OF COURSE JUST MY OPINION ! but i do think we should all come together as one race Oll An Gwella Mighal

  14. I think the more groups fighting for Wales interests the better. I wish the new political party this movement and YesCymru all the best. The enemy is the Labour Party they need to be reformed or destroyed they may say they are standing up for Wales but the truth is they are undermining every aspect of Wales.

  15. If it’s Adam Johannes, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. Brit-left Trot.

    • Nothing inherently wrong with every part of trotskyism….at least they had the guts to understand that all systems are eventually hijacked the few … thats why they called on constant change.

      The hypocrisy is so called Trotsky types being UK/English state nationalists in Wales.

  16. I am happy enough to see with what they come forward. However, so far there is nothing of any substance to allow a guess at their agenda or future plans. What has been said would be acceptable to anyone; as glasiad said “everyone wants a better Wales” and no-one is going to campaign on a platform of “let’s make things worse” (even though they often eventually do just that). I am not a cynic by nature but need more than progressive sentiment if I am to make an assessment

  17. “Activists, academics and workers”. Surely all parties, movements, etc have a mixture of those? Why not just “people”? Looks like they are trying too hard to make an impression.

  18. Are plaid doing a tory / ukip ALMO?!

  19. The formula

    Power + Land Ownership/ Material Ownership ( + Education ) = Wealth creation.

    *Therefore power and ownership must be availiable to communities and the individuals who live in them* – if we want to see a wealthy Wales. – Say no to top-down dictat from Cardiff or London

  20. Is it time for a Celtic union….with England as a confederate partner?

  21. 1911 was also the year the antisemitic “pogrom” raised its ugly head in Cymru as savage attacks caused Jewish people to flee Glamorgan…Lest we forget!

  22. 1911 could also refer to the Tonypandy riots?

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