Ambition, Bravery, Confidence – the ABC of an Indy Wales
Gwern Gwynfil, CEO of YesCymru
When we are young we find it easier to be ambitious, to be brave and to be confident in the promise of a bright and hopeful future. Easy to recognise that to achieve this we must have fundamental change.
Easy to see that the world has changed dramatically as we transition from an industrial age to a digital era of instant connectivity on a global scale.
Recent polling reflects this, showing a growing and consistent majority in favour of Welsh independence amongst 18-34 year olds in Wales.
Not all pollsters are up to date with the recently enfranchised 16-18 year olds in Wales.
Perhaps some amongst older generations are defeated by cynicism, inertia and fear. Curiously the data shows that it is the 45-54 year olds who are least likely to support independence. Perhaps they are at a low ebb, concerned with their own mortality, too worn out to maintain the sense of adventure needed to seize life’s opportunities and strive for a better tomorrow.
Of course the over 65s are also less likely to support independence. They will have grown up at a time when the UK was more tightly bonded, when there was still some sense of shared enterprise and affinity, when it was part of the bulwark against the Soviet Union, when it was still a relatively wealthy and influential country.
Change is daunting when life’s long lessons have to be unlearnt. New technology, new social attitudes, new enthusiasm for fundamental change so that a better, brighter future can be built for generations to come.
Meanwhile, for everyone, of all ages, we must accept that the current mould is irredeemably broken. This is true not just for Wales, but for Scotland, Northern Ireland and England too. The evidence is stark and cumulative.
The UK overall is in rapid decline, becoming poorer overall relative to the world. Some of the figures are staggering – seven of the ten poorest regions in Europe are in the UK; the UK has the largest wealth gap in Europe (and it’s growing); quality of life has plummeted; there are too many people in food poverty and a wholly unacceptable level of deprivation for our children.
The UK may still nominally be one of the wealthiest countries in the world but this is not the lived reality for all but a relative minority.
But it is still hard to accept that the institution, the structure with which we have grown up and lived, is so far beyond its sell by date the maggots are hatching.
Not so hard for the younger generation.
Time for more of the middle aged and older generations to take note of this unconscious wisdom imparted by the youth of today. For those who already support independence the challenge is to open the eyes of peers and contemporaries who remain blind to the hope, vitality and renewal it will bring.
As challenging as it is, we must all pause and reflect, encourage our peers to do the same, and find the selflessness to consider, not our own future but the well being of future generations.
We must open our minds, we must persuade others to open theirs, we must bring a confident, brave and ambitious independent Wales to life. A fair and equitable Wales, in control of its own priorities and its own resources, a democratic nation, outward looking, culturally rich, economically vibrant, lively and content.
We already know that today’s youth will thank us for it. Let’s write our names in history as the generations that freed the future children of Wales to live on their own terms, proudly, as citizens of their own nation.
No one will thank us for continuing to allow the fading vestige of a dying empire to dictate our future here in Wales. The people of England too will come to thank Wales and Scotland for freeing them to renew and revitalise their own nation and make it fit for the modern era.
Wales can lead this process for everyone in the UK. Helping to deliver a better future for all. A new British union where nations work together within the rich tapestry and framework of nations globally. Wales, Scotland, England and a reunited Ireland can be friends, allies, the closest of trading partners, independent, sovereign and free.
Since 1944, and Iceland’s independence, a further fifteen European nations have restored their sovereignty. It is our turn now.
Unlike Scotland, here in Wales we have not tied support for independence to a specific political vision or party. We are free to truly come together as a nation and make it clear that we are ready to take back control of our own affairs, to set our own priorities, to look after our own children, to create and fulfil our own vision of what we want our Wales to look like.
Support for independence in Wales has grown incredibly over the last decade. Time to accelerate again. As well as already having 36% support for independence a further 31% state they would be more likely or significantly more likely to support Welsh independence if Scotland voted for independence.
Why wait? Let the confidence sing, let’s show Scotland the way and get the gold medal.
Cymru wins – in every sense.
All poll data taken from Redfield & Wilton 14-16 July 2023
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