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.