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YesCymru Central Committee receives vote of no confidence from member groups

31 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Picture by Llywelyn2000 (CC BY-SA 4.0).

The Central Committee of YesCymru has received a vote of no confidence from regional groups of the National Committee.

The vote was taken during an emergency meeting that was called to discuss rewriting the campaign group’s constitution and to launch an EGM Working Group.

Tori West, one of the Central Committee members who recently resigned from her position, has confirmed the vote of no confidence took place in a post on social media.

YesCymru Central Committee member Elin Hywel has hit out at the vote today, saying that it does not “represent” her as a member.

The vote is understood to have been an advisory with no final decisions made about the future of the Central Committee until an EGM, scheduled for the autumn.

Interim chair of YesCymru, Sarah Rees, announced last week that all members of the committee would be standing down with an opportunity to elect a new Central Committee at the EGM.

It follows a period of turmoil within the organisation with a number of resignations from the Central Committee, including that of former Chair, Sion Jobbins.

EGM

A statement from the Central Committee released before the meeting said: “YesCymru will hold an Extraordinary General Meeting of members (EGM) this Autumn, where many constitutional changes will be on the table.

“To coincide with the EGM, we, the remaining members of the YesCymru Central Committee, will put our own seats up for election, and will be giving the membership the opportunity to elect a new Central Committee.

“There have recently been calls by a number of the local YesCymru groups for an EGM to be held, pursuant to our written constitution, and we as the Central Committee are pleased to fulfil this instruction.

“The meeting will be used to address potential structural issues in our current constitution, a document which has seen only minor changes since YesCymru was launched in 2016.

“We recognise that the organisation of today – which has 18,000 members, many local groups, and salaried members of staff – is unrecognisable compared with the movement of the early years.”

The vote of no-confidence comes during a stormy time for the organisation which has been struggling with internal divisions and the recently standing down of chairman Sion Jobbins.

It follows a period of rapid growth for the group which saw membership numbers rocket to around 18,000 over the past 18 months.

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Horus
Horus
2 months ago

Meeting is technically still going, because the Chair left out and a replacement voted in.

The original then purported to Close a Meeting that she had no authority to so do.

This was one of many procedural errors.

YesCymru has become to large to keep going without some professional organisation.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Horus

What utter rubbish! The IWW (Wobblies) manages to run very well without professional organisation, and it operates internationally over several continents! YC could learn much from the way the IWW organised.

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Am I wrong in thinking the Wobblies have a smaller membership number (about half) than Yes Cymru though?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reilly

That would be about right, but the organisation still wouldn’t change as it’s more than capable of scaling up. Internal communications are excellent, and the union is ultra democratic, all officials are delegates and have no executive power whatsoever. All power is really vested in the branches. There are issues, and there are robust, and fair mechanisms for dealing with them.

I’m an ex member, but nothing has fundamentally changed since I ceased to be a member.

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Thanks.

Do they actually actively do anything or are they an interest group? Sorry, I’ve vaguely heard of them in the past but don’t know anything about them.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reilly

The IWW is an industrial union. Do a web search and find the Wikipedia article, which must be pretty good because the IWW themselves link to it. IWW in the UK has a comprehensive website, as does the union in the USA. The UK website has info about recent activities. The IWW is very active, even though it’s still very small with about 2000 members in the UK, with, I believe, nearly half that figure in Cymru. All I can say is that when I was a member I was never short of something to do, whether that was representing… Read more »

#1Chris
#1Chris
2 months ago
Reply to  Horus

That’s a bit picky though eh? Maybe not to the letter of, but in the spirit of.

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 months ago

YC should be a members’ association that empowers its members and provides a framework within which to coordinate campaigning activity with others. The Central Committee should have a very limited role. However, a critical part of that is to ensure the organization provides a safe space for all people who adhere to YC’s basic beliefs and values. That requires rigorous and even handed discipline to drive out bullying, intimidation, rudeness and bad behaviour. Sad to say that the Central Committee has conspicuously failed in this over the last couple of years. To have any chance of success in our campaign… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Cai Wogan Jones
David
David
2 months ago

What are “YC’s basic beliefs and values.” for everyone to know?

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  David

They are set out clearly in YC’s constitution.

Last edited 2 months ago by Cai Wogan Jones
defaid
defaid
2 months ago
Reply to  David

From the constitution, the download link is on their /about/ page. “OBJECTS 2. YesCymru is a campaigning organisation with the aim of gaining independence for Wales in order to improve the way the country is governed. YesCymru believes that Wales would be better running its own affairs, as part of a wider European and international family. YesCymru believes in an inclusive citizenship, which embraces the fact that all who choose to make Wales their home – regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation – are full citizens… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by defaid
Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
2 months ago
Reply to  defaid

I thought there was also a prominent commitment to stand aloof from party politics too. Certainly, I understood it was intended that people of all political persuasions should find a welcome within YC provided they commit to the beliefs and values expressed in the YC constitution. I have heard this expressed repeatedly by the founders and officers of YC over the past few years …

defaid
defaid
2 months ago

So did I: single item agenda and all that, but there doesn’t seem to be anything to that effect in the constitution. Time it was rewritten?

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
2 months ago

Leaving YC because it has problems is just handing WM the win. This is all unionist plants stoking the far right like “o the north”, into tinfoil levels of paranoia that YC is being secretly taken over by the “woke”. Then mix that with the far left harassing anyone who tried to understand what both sides were saying or doesn’t agree 100% and we just have a civil war within the movement. Both sides are guilty, both sides need to shut up about certain issues until we gain indy, and people on both sides are probably going to have police… Read more »

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 months ago
Reply to  Notta Bott

The ones you describe as far left are actually anything but.

They worship Ash Sarkar who defines herself as a Communist despite appearing to not know what the word means. A committed (New) Labourite.

The “left” these days are, in reality, right wing and pretty authoritarian. Just like the modern Labour Party they have hijacked.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Alan Reilly

Ignore the irrelevant left -right dichotomy and you are pretty much bang on the money. People should just remember that the world is 3 dimensional, people are mostly 3 dimensional, yet politics and related ideological matters are reduced to a linear 2 D model. Why ? Is it just too convenient, or is it reduced to simple terms to mislead simple people ? The big challenge for us not-so-simple ordinary folk is to stop power crazy authoritarian, dictatorial types from imposing crazy ideologies and philosophies on us in the name of “the cause” or “the movement”. By all means recruit… Read more »

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Unfortunately, you have to talk about left-right because most people see things in those black-white terms when it comes to politics. Most of them, without actually understanding what they’re talking about. To the extent that many people adamantly they’re one whereas in actual fact they’re the other. Left-right is a scale of political thought and theory in so far as it pertains to economics. No more, no less. Actually, most authoritarian movements which gain any traction tend to be pretty centrist (it helps to sit on fences when you’re trying to attract the masses). Talk of “far right” and “far… Read more »

Alan Reilly
Alan Reilly
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Unfortunately, you have to talk about left-right because most people see things in those black-white terms when it comes to politics. Most of them, without actually understanding what they’re talking about. To the extent that many people adamantly they’re one whereas in actual fact they’re the other. Left-right is a scale of political thought and theory in so far as it pertains to economics. No more, no less. Actually, most authoritarian movements which gain any traction tend to be pretty centrist (it helps to sit on fences when you’re trying to attract the masses). Talk of “far right” and “far… Read more »

John Brooks
John Brooks
2 months ago

People need to remember that every single elected representative of Yes Cymru at National, Regional or Branch level is an unpaid volunteer working for YC in addition to whatever else they do. The growth in membership would have swamped an organisation with paid officials let alone a volunteer body..

The EGM in the autumn will give everyone the chance to have their say and maybe even volunteer to do something.

It is easy to be critical of others, easier than stepping forward and doing some organisational work.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
2 months ago
Reply to  John Brooks

I hope the day never arrives where YC employs paid officials, (as opposed to paid admin staff). One only has to look to TUC affiliated trade unions to see where that could lead.

But you’re correct, those representatives who have volunteered deserve our utmost respect, and we must all now focus on the brighter future of the movement and ensure that policies are in place so that no CC in the future can be elected with so few allowed to cast a vote.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

.. and maybe Plaid Cymru can heed your advice about elections too.

j humphrys
j humphrys
2 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Ha!

Ken covack
Ken covack
2 months ago

Like so many unions and political parties in Wales, they have been infiltrated by rightwing agent provocateurs, who work hard to undermine the movement when they lift theirs heads above the parapets of the safety of within. Westminster does not want Wales to be independent, hell, they even want to disband the Senedd, undermining it at every opportunity, as well as our legally elected government they are dismissing our rights and choices, with a swift dismissal from their secretary of state and their cabal of charlatans in the CONservative party in Wales. They employ bots and trolls to counter every… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
2 months ago
Reply to  Ken covack

How true, they never sleep. Never underestimate Tory cunning and spite. As I am not a bishop, I can say this.

Erisian
Erisian
2 months ago

I don’t care who started it – go to your rooms until you come to your senses.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 months ago

Disagreement was always going to be on the cards as the organisation grew but we must take a leaf out of Gandhi’s book – everyone must work together as we all have the same aim. That includes with organisations outside YesCymru, Plaid, Gwlad etc. Of course it starts within our own organisation we must tolerate the views of everyone but stick by the core fundamentals agreed. Divide and conquer is what Westminster does well – we must not let it happen to us.

Rob
Rob
2 months ago

United we Stand Divided we Fall. Its as simple as that. The success of Yes Cymru should not be held back by those who have a different political agenda not necessarily related to independence & we should be prepared to work with those whom we may profoundly disagree with. Scottish independence and Irish reunification is inevitable. Once that happens Wales would by default revert back to its pre-1707 status. The choice then would be simple a) independence, or b) become part of England. And I am concerned that there a large of voters in Wales would (albeit very reluctantly) pick… Read more »

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