We’re going to talk to 10,000 young people about Welsh independence

Picture by George Martell (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Rhydian Elis Fitter

“When we look back on what changed the independence debate in Wales, let us say it was this.”

These were the words of Plaid Ifanc member Daniel Roberts, as he revealed the movement’s most ambitious campaign to date in front of delegates at their National Council earlier this year.

Plaid Cymru’s youth movement has received increased attention in recent months. The level of organisation and commitment shown by its members, coupled with its modern, creative campaigning style, has led many to suggest that this collection of young activists may be the burst of energy that Plaid Cymru needs.

The idea of movement politics within political parties has seen a resurgence recently. There is certainly something to be said for the recent growth in importance of political movements which have both an undying commitment to their party, and a stubborn resolve to do things their own way.

Plaid Ifanc certainly fits this mould, and has won plaudits from far and wide for the dedication shown by the great number of members it sent to Catalonia to defend ballot boxes in this month’s independence referendum.

With no election scheduled for a few years (we’ll see if it stays that way), it can be easy for political movements to stagnate, to become comfortable, and to simply wait for the next call to go out and knock doors or put up placards.

Plaid Ifanc is determined to do things differently. That’s why, in Stiwdio 2 of Galeri, Caernarfon, at 4.05pm on Saturday, they will be launching their “National Survey”.

This survey is the biggest ever attempt to learn what Wales’ young people feel about independence.

The survey asks a series of questions, not only to gauge the level of support for a Free Wales, but also to develop an understanding of what stops people from getting behind the movement to create an independent Welsh state.

It will explore what really concerns young people in their day to day lives – those bread and butter issues that will constitute and enrich the vision of what we want Wales to look like in the future.

With its own dedicated website, and with volunteers already signed up the length and breadth of Wales to take this survey to the streets, Plaid Ifanc is confident that they will hit their target of 10,000 responses.

Imagine the difference that could make to our country’s national movement. The information gathered will present a unique opportunity for Plaid Cymru, and organisations like Yes Cymru, to further the independence campaign.

But these conversations with young people in every corner of Wales will also spark a new debate about our nation’s future.


Of course, as soon as the hard work of gathering responses begins, people will excitedly await the results of the survey.

One thing we already know is that there is a tendency in Wales, as in other stateless nations, for young people to be at least more open to the idea of independence, than the older generations. The data collected will be fascinating, whatever it shows.

Though the headline results of this biggest ever survey on independence might be the most exciting aspect of the campaign, the value of the hard work on the ground shouldn’t be underestimated.

Whatever the data shows, we’ll know that after 10,000 conversations, we’ll be closer to our goal than we were at the start.

There’s a real buzz of excitement within the Plaid Ifanc ranks at the moment about what this survey could achieve.

And while members are confident that the capacity is there to achieve the target of 10,000 responses, there is always room for more volunteers.

After all, the entire purpose of this exercise, at heart, is to bring more people into the fold of our national movement.

Are you a young person who wants our country to be free, proud, cultured, bilingual, equal, prosperous, and independent?

If so, get in touch with Plaid Ifanc and offer your support to what could be the biggest grassroots attempt to change the hearts and minds of our generation to date.

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  1. Hywel Moseley

    I hope the name will be changed. Plaid Ifanc means young plaid. Plaid is not young:it is decades old. Pleidwyr Ifainc would be more appropriate. The plural adjective is not essential: so Pleidwyr Ifanc would imho be acceptable.

  2. Capitalist and Welshnash

    Set up cafés in Caerdydd, Abertawe and Wrecsam near univerities with a manufactred ‘hip’ element.

    Then inside them hire Welsh-speakers, constantly scatteraround publications like Planet and O’r Pedwar Gwynt, pamphlets from YesCymru, and any group whatsoever Left or Right which is pro-Wales. Have art on the walls (preferably murals) which are pro-Welsh nationalist, and invite artists to come sing in these cafés. Offer people pro-Wales stickers when they buy certain products in your cafés. Have shelves with pro-Wales Literature from Saunders Lewis to recent articles by Ifan Morgan Jones.

    We live in a consumer society and that’s not changing anytime soon. You have to embrace that and compete to get any message across.

    • Even books like Tryweryn: A Nation Awakes by Owain Williams!!

    • I guess you have not spent much time in Cardiff,Swansea and and Wrexham.

      Not much chance of mustering any sort of pro Wales independence movement in those places.

      If Plaid spoke for Wales they would rule the Senate. Instead they have a major uphill battle to get anywhere near a majority.

      The Scot’s National Party won support because unlike Plaid they were not encumbered by the language issue.

      Wales will never be independant and majority bilingual.

      As King Canute found you cannot fight the incoming tide.

      • I must have imagined #IndyFest in Cardiff then!

        Out of interest – do you WANT an independent Wales and have just given up hope, or do you think it would be better to stay as we are?

  3. The Bellwether

    This strange obsession with surveys and polls!
    We already know the answers that are at the top of the concerns of young (and old) people, they all very obvious; lack of affordable housing, no meaningful work etc etc.
    It’s votes in elections that are needed and new role models (not just sports stars) promoted heavily using social media.

    • It’s a just tool isn’t it – people fundamentally like to think they’re being listened to – the the results of the poll are sometimes useful but largely irrelevant – it’s the conversation and visibility that matters.

  4. Robert Tyler

    Bellwether, of course these concerns are paramount, but making independence regarded as the answer (which I believe it is), is the job in hand.

  5. David Williams

    “Are you a young person who wants our country to be free, proud, cultured, bilingual, equal, prosperous, and independent?” That is a unsubstantiated statement which needs to be backed up by facts. In my view an independent Wales would become isolated & less prosperous. Energies would be more productively channelled towards a fairer allocation of funds from national government.

  6. “Plaid Ifanc is determined to do things differently. That’s why, in Stiwdio 2 of Galeri, Caernarfon, at 4.05pm on Saturday, they will be launching their “National Survey”.

    Not exactly a great centre of population?

    Except for Plaid!

    Looking at the the political disaster unfolding in Catalonia what chance is there for an independent Wales.

    I say no chance.

    Devolution scraped through on just a few thousand votes and given the expense of establishing another tier of goverment would probably
    fail if the vote ran again.

    Plaid will never govern Wales because the majority of the population are English speakers in urban areas.

    The country is so geographically and politicly diverse it will never unite to be independant.

    The gathering above in Studio 2 will be lucky if they meet the 90 person capacity of the room.

    Dream on Rhydian

    • “Devolution scraped through on just a few thousand votes” – er think you’ll find mike the last time the people of wales were consulted on the matter of devolution in 2011 they voted Yes by a margin of two to one. “The expense of establishing another tier of goverment” – hey we’ll be saving a small fortune by removing ourselves from that vastly ‘expensive tier of government’ that is the gravy train which is Westminster (wasn’t it a billion pounds they spent tarting it up a couple of years back? Oh and there’s the little matter of the 61 million to give Big Ben a makeover).

      “Plaid will never govern Wales because the majority of the population are English speakers in urban areas” um i think the Rhondda is largely ‘english speaking and urban’.

      “The country is so geographically and politicly diverse it will never unite to be independant”. Hard to think of any country on the earth which isnt ‘geographically and politically diverse’ mike. So if what you say is true there wouldnt be a single independent nation on the planet.

      As for the ‘disaster that is unfolding in catalonia’ well what’s unfolding in catalonia right now is that a right wing government in madrid is using threats, brute force – and a national guard created by the fascist franco – to thwart the democratic wishes of the Catalonian people.

  7. Gwylon Phillips

    Mike Flynn – what nonsense. Plaid welcomes CYMRY and newcomers and of course the Irish diaspora.

    • Agreed but how do you move the Plaid dream on?

      In many respects it is like a Welsh version of the old UK SDP party.

      Great ideas but no popular support.

  8. Brian ap francis

    Can’t persuade the older and wiser so we’ll brainwash the young.

    • It will never happen Brian,

      Plaid is still stuck in the Gwynedd time warp.

      • Capitalist and Welshnash

        Better than being in 1970s time warp with Corbyn!

        • Agreed re Corbyn.

          In my opinion Wales needs a new party divorced from the old Plaid ideals of linking the language to politics.

          I’m from Wrexham and a monoglot with no ambition or intention to speak a dying language .

          I have not voted in forty years.

          I know from my life in the borders around 90% plus of the population think there are more importantl things in life than speaking Welsh.

          The old Gwynedd brigade can campaign as much as they like but there is no grass roots support for Plaid.

          They campaigned for S4C,Radio Cymru and biligualism but in forty years have achieved nothing.

          The few viewers and listeners have a foot in the graveyard with ratings falling througn the floor.

          Indeed youtube and facebook might be a more cost effective method of broadcasting Welsh language output.

          The old Welsh newspapers such as Y Cymru (printed and edited in England) are gone because the subscribers died.

          Meanwhile new roads invite a movement of population to the cheap housing in Wales.The demand for moving immigrants on social housing can be paid for quite cost effectively in the Valleys where houses cost peanuts.

          The Welsh language ‘apartheid’ crowd can moan until the cows come home but the nation is changing.

          Sadly the likesof Vaughen Roderick at BBC Wales will never be prepared to face the facts.

          Perhaps because he had spent his entire life like an ostrich with his neck stuck in the blind sands of Llandaff?

          As king Canute found…you can’t fight the tide.

          • ‘Apartheid’? Now where have i heard that ludicrous and obscene reference to welsh language services before? Looks like a certain jacques protic is among us (and ‘mike flynn’ is his latest alias). Protic being a notorious internet troll who operates under a host of pseudonyms and has become infamous for his crazed vendetta campaign and smears against the welsh language. Admin I thought trolls using aliases had been blocked from this website?

    • Not a hope in hell Brian. Hence the small numbers that tune in to S4C and Radio Cymru.

  9. Efnisien fab Euroswydd

    I’m willing to bet my bottom dollar that this lazy, arrogant bunch will get nowhere near 10,000. Not even close.

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