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Gwlad, Gwlad’s small ‘c’ conservatism is a different animal to the Tories’ brutalism

10 Sep 2019 8 minute read
Picture by Gwlad, Gwlad

Aled Gwyn Jôb, Communications Officer at Gwlad, Gwlad

Witnessing the collective nervous breakdown currently being experienced by an occupying political system is an exilarating process for Welsh nationalists.

The three year Brexit War has shown us that the body politic of the UK is broken. Broken beyond repair.

We’ve got both main political parties fighting their own internal and vicious proxy wars, oblivious to how this appears to normal people outside the political bubble.

We have a brazenly opportunistic Prime Minister, scrabbling to keep his head above water, being torpedoed from all directions.

This includes a good number of his own Tory MP’s who are revelling in his predicament. Even his own brother put the boot in.

We’ve got the witless Labour party, whose latest contortions on Brexit have taken the ridiculous to a whole new level – with their latest wheeze, to negotiate a new deal with the EU and then campaign against it!

Meanwhile, out in the real world, the general public are watching this never-ending circus at Westminster in sheer disbelief, and increasing fury.

Does anyone seriously believe that Westminster is now a legislature fit for the task of governing a 21st century nation state?


When historians of the future look back at the Brexit War of words and the subsequent disintegration of the UK body politic, three small sentences will surely be at the heart of all their deliberations.

‘This will be your decision. Not the politicians’. Whatever you decide, we will respect it’.

The words of ex-PM David Cameron on the eve of the referendum vote in 2016. Not only his own political obituary, but the obituary of politics as we’ve known it in the UK.

And all because of that little word, respect. Politicians promised the people respect, but they have not delivered it.

Which has in turn exposed the rottenness, the hollowness and the sheer arrogance of the political class here in the UK.

All it took was one unprecedented vote that went against what they wanted, and it all unravelled in front of us.

One can only come to the conclusion that a complete political re-set is on the way.

The ‘change agenda’ which played out so well for Corbyn in the 2017 election has morphed into an overwhelming desire for change from not only the existing EU model of governance, but also from a discredited Westminster regime as well.


Wales, having been caught in the crossfire of these exchanges over the past three years, is also ripe for change.

The EU elections showed that no longer can Labour pin a rosette on a donkey and expect to win in Wales. The growing independence movement also shows that people will no longer tolerate the political status quo.

Wales’s newest political party, ‘Gwlad, Gwlad’, is well positioned to take advantage of this new terrain. It’s been an eventful year  since the initial party launch on August 28, 2018.

After spending the first year building up a profile on-line, the party are now taking stock of the situation, before launching in communities across Wales this month.

Amongst the year’s staging posts was the publication of the book ‘Gwlad, Gwlad: An Invitation To A Party’  in November 2018 outlining the process of forming the party, and registration with the Electoral Commission in February 2019. The Commission have now confirmed that the party’s name will be Gwlad, Gwlad.

A news portal was set up, the only one of its kind in the UK – providing daily news and commentary on Welsh politics.

The portal has been a medium for the party to develop its thinking on-line, in real time.

This process continues to evolve but Gwlad is now positioning itself as a both a small ‘c’ and a large ‘N’ party at the same time.

The small ‘c’ to stand for common sense and constructive policies. It also represents a significant feature of life both in Y Fro Gymraeg (Welsh-speaking areas) and Welsh Wales, i.e small ‘c’ conservatism.

This is a completely different animal to the Tory brutalism epitomised by Boris Johnson and his like, so detested here in Wales.

It is rather, an inherently Welsh way of looking at life which emphasises a love of family and strong sense of place and tradition.

It involves a striving to better oneself and achieve things in life by means of  personal agency.

It also includes a healthy dose of scepticism about all politicans and their promises of utopia.

The party, with its large ‘N’ identity, is also unashamedly branding itself as a traditional nationalist party, committed to Welsh Independence.


The only fly in the ointment during our first year was the readiness of some in the national movement to brand Gwlad, Gwlad a ‘far-right’ or ‘fascist’ party.

As anyone who has bothered to look at our manifesto will realise, the accusation is completely without merit.

Here is a taste:

  • Support for offshore renewable power generation, whether wind, wave or tidal, and opposition to large scale nuclear projects.
  • Complete freedom of movement with unrestricted, document-free travel across all land and sea borders in an independent Wales.
  • A rejection of the development of ‘Super Prisons’, and the creation of a separate women’s prison facility.
  • A more decentralised structure with six regional bodies covering different parts of Wales.

Do these really sound like the policies of an authoritarian, fascist party? If anyone thinks so, perhaps they should look up what a definition of a fascist really is.

A clue: It’s not anyone to the right of Jeremy Corbyn.

The reality, I suspect, is that Wales’ hard left are spending too much time reading about America’s culture wars.

Wales is a completely different country to the United States with completely different politics. And while fascism is a strain within American politics at the moment, there simply isn’t any evidence that it is within Welsh nationalism.

But, in an attempt to make the American model ‘fit’ in Welsh politics they are trying to put a round peg in a square hole – to make Gwlad, Gwlad represent a type of politics we simply do not.

There is a danger here, of course, of crying wolf. If any conservatives within the independence movement are branded as ‘fascist’ and ‘far-right’, what will we call real fascists if they do turn up?

The other danger is that it could hobble the independence movement completely as Welsh citizens with completely mainstream conservative views – much of the country – are told that they’re beyond the pale.

Gwlad, Gwlad are keen to build bridges with everyone that wants Independence for Wales – whatever their politics.

We may not be able to agree on everything, but let us move forward together – ‘All Under One Banner’ as Saturday’s march proclaimed.

With Plaid, with Yes Cymru, with AUOB. Yes, even with Undod, if they will talk with us!


We must recognise that if Independence is going to happen, the old political tribalism has got to be put to bed once and for all.

There has to be a creative coalition of interests put together to achieve this historic goal.

After all, people are sick to the back teeth with your conventional politicians, and their top-down model of power and self-serving agendas.

And fed up with all traditional parties with their dogmatic left or right orientation, which is so out of touch with the nuances of life experienced by most individuals.

People are crying out for authenticity, truth, honesty, and engagement in modern Welsh life.

Fortunately, unlike the Westminster elite, Gwlad, Gwlad is made up of individuals with a wealth of real life experiences both here in Wales and abroad.

This experience has been put to work analyzing Wales’s problems and coming up with a whole set of new ideas how to put things right.

This includes an in-depth analysis by our resident economics expert, Dr. Stephen Morris, of how a new Welsh currency could work in an Independent Wales.

We propose an end to the Cardiff Bay way of doing politics, with a select band of politicians and lobbyists and third sector favourites running a kind of in-house government for their own.

Instead, we favour devolving power to different parts of Wales and moving to a more direct democracy model of governance.

To shift power from politicians and their cronies to actual citizens.

To empower people, to motivate people, to enable Wales to finally become the prosperous and thriving country it deserves to be.

What’s this you say, a new nationalist party for Wales offering more power, not to its own politicians or party functionaries,but to actual citizens?

Could it catch on? Watch this space.

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4 years ago

If I were a member of Gwlad, Gwlad, I wouldn’t waste my breath on condemning spurious accusations of ‘fascism’. They are so clearly not a ‘fascist’ party that it doesn’t bear further discussion. Shortly after the party was launched, I predicted that certain BritNat interest-groups, or the Norm’s of this world, would dig out the ‘fascist’ label to discredit the independence movement. How sad that a few teenagers in Undod and Plaid Cymru Ifanc have immitated them. If Gwlad have anything to say or do that will further the independence cause, I’d be happy to hear it without the background… Read more »

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
4 years ago
Reply to  Rhosddu

Spot on there Rhosddu, cytuno’n llwyr. The old “F” word has been chucked around so much, it’s now just a part of the limited vocabulary of segments of the population , ranging from BritNat supremacists ( who probably are real “F”‘s ) to the equally stupid elements within our nationalist movements who think that only their narrow orthodoxy can ever be tolerated. On reflection those creeps are also beginning to exhibit “F” traits. Strange old environment where people are so easily deflected from the main purpose to harp on with their deranged mantras.

David Roberts
David Roberts
4 years ago

A good article. If only they would grow up and drop the climate change deniers from their midst and get some environmental policies, I would vote for them. However, at the moment I couldn’t. Shame… the only other “Welsh” party, Plaid are utterly pathetic!!

4 years ago
Reply to  David Roberts

hear hear. I’ve been telling Mr Job this very same thing for months!

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
4 years ago
Reply to  David Roberts

People will debate at length the root causes of the things we describe as climate change – fair enough, and it needs discussing. Right now, like so many other challenges in our lives, climate change is being hijacked and misused by well organised interest groups who will use the challenges to organise our lives to suit them and their objectives rather than adopting a sincere holistic approach. Many of them remind me of those rich celebs who encourage us to donate to “good causes” while they exploit all sorts of tax dodging scams. The EG stuff I’ve read is as… Read more »

4 years ago

A party with no national profile, no media-friendly candidates or leadership, and not even a Wikipedia page. They make UKIP seem like a thriving party.

Simon Gruffydd
Simon Gruffydd
4 years ago

Aled claims Gwlad Gwlad want to “To shift power from politicians and their cronies to actual citizens.” That would be grand. Do they have concrete proposals to do this? I would like to hear them. Of course we now have the technology to make political party based representative democracy past its use by date. We could have a citizen run democracy using citizen led referendums like the gillet jaune movement in France are demanding. So the question remains, what degree of power shift from the establishment to the people is Gwlad Gwlad proposing?

Aled Gwyn J
Aled Gwyn J
4 years ago

As i said in my article Simon, Gwlad Gwlad’s thinking is still evolving, and certainly more flesh needs to be put on the bones by 2021. Having said that, the manifesto does state that the collective intelligence of the people of Wales is more important than the views of a select group of poiticians and civil servants. I fully agree with you that technology does now provide the means to tap into this collective intelligence on a regular basis through the kind of direct democracy methods you mention. Switzerland holds at least 4 referenda on various issues each year, and… Read more »

jr Humphrys
jr Humphrys
4 years ago
Reply to  Aled Gwyn J

Collective Intelligence. Once again, you come up with something good……..
…… I’ll bet A.P’s jotting that into his filofax!

Eos Pengwern
4 years ago
Reply to  jr Humphrys

Many, many years ago – when he was still a fresh-faced new MP, before stepping down and heading off to Harvard for a spell – I remember A.P. writing an article where he favourably mentioned James Surowiecki’s classic, “The Wisdom of Crowds”. The title is another name for the same thing. Having read the same book myself not long before that, I was impressed by his erudition. I’m disappointed by the way that, since then, his economic thinking has reverted to the sort of top-down socialism which presumes that the state always knows best. I don’t suppose his party management… Read more »

jr Humphrys
jr Humphrys
4 years ago

Okay, Gwlad (why not be called, simply, Gwlad?) so now you are “small c” conservative.
What happened to “Syncretic”?
Very very difficult, “Syncretic” was. Try explaining it to my Mam!
Gwlad’s articles, though, are almost always very good.
Tragedy, that Gwlad have to exist, instead of powering Plaid along, especially at this
point in time. Thank goodness for Yes Cymru!

jr Humphrys
jr Humphrys
4 years ago
Reply to  jr Humphrys

Just read the “Currency for an independent Cymru” – article. V. good.

4 years ago

There’s a lot on the Gwlad, Gwlad website that makes sense and they seem to be a sensible addition to the independence movement. I’m an old fashioned bearded lefty, so am automatically biased against anything that uses the word conservative to describe itself, so not someone you’d naturally expect to defend them. However, Gwlad, Gwlad do themselves no favours with their link to their “Independent Associate Website” It’s impossible to take seriously a group which is in anyway linked to rubbish like and In fact, it’s articles like the latter that will encourage the “F” word to… Read more »

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