Covid pandemic ‘a crash course in nation building’ for Wales, Adam Price says
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has said that the Covid pandemic was a “crash course in nation building” for Wales.
He said the people of Wales discovered that they trusted their own government more than the UK Government, and made them realise that Wales had the collective capacity to deal with its own problems.
Speaking at the Plaid Cymru Spring Conference at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, he added that the pandemic had also brought to the surface and to public attention problems that had long existed in Wales.
“The more interdependent we become within Wales, the stronger our desire for independence for Wales,” he said. “The pandemic was, in some sense, a crash course in nation-building.
“Previously, many had low awareness and little knowledge of the Welsh Government and even less interest, truth be told.
“But in those months from March to May two years ago, the Welsh Government suddenly became the most important government in the world for the people, the one we turn to and the one they trusted, making decisions about many of the most important aspects of our lives.
“What was striking, and it’s confirmed is that generally speaking, most Welsh people approve of the Welsh Government’s decision.
“There’s no surprise of course, that the Welsh people trust their own government to act in the best interests of Wales far more than the Westminster Government in London.
“The pandemic has meant but now these attitudes have spread, and the more the people know the Welsh Government, the stronger they want the government to be.”
He said that while “Westminster for decades hollowed-out politics” in Wales is “about building that greater collective capacity” to “fix the problems already here”.
“But the pandemic brought to the surface more starkly than ever, the deep scars of poverty and inequality,” he said. “That meant that we as a nation, were more vulnerable to the ravages of this terrible disease.
“There can be no freedom from poverty or sickness, without freedom for Wales. That has propelled the extraordinarily doubling in the support for independence in the past few years.
“Amongst the young, support for independence is already in the majority because they see in independence, the seeds of hope. Not just to have a better Wales, but a better world.
“The modern national movement in Wales is about the liberation of everyone, and freedom from every injustice. Small nations can’t afford to leave anyone behind. We need everyone individually, if we are to achieve our potential collectively.
“But here’s the good news. If we can fight the pandemic as Wales, then we can fight the cancers of inequality and poverty of racism and misogyny. Cymru means together more than at any time in our history.”
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