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Opinion

The Crown Estate trap

02 Sep 2023 4 minute read
King Charles Photo Danny Lawson Windfarm photo Birchall PA Images

Gwern Gwynfil, CEO of YesCymru

The people of Wales continue to be robbed. The staggering asset value of the Crown Estate in Wales, none of which belongs to the people of Wales, with not a penny of the profits staying in Wales, makes this clear.

Welsh politicians have woken up and have begun to call for the assets and profits of the Crown Estate to be devolved. A YesCymru poll conducted by YouGov showed that 75% of the people of Wales believe that the Estate should belong to Wales. A statistic which makes a mockery of, then Secretary of State for Wales, Simon Hart’s, recent claim that ‘there is no appetite for Crown Estate devolution in Wales’. A statement showing how out of touch he and Westminster are with the Welsh constituency.

Meanwhile, the current Welsh Office incumbent, David TC Davies, thinks the people of Wales are either incompetent or children (or both), ‘too risky to devolve the Crown Estate to Wales’ apparently.

But Wales has begun to raise its voice. Support for Independence has grown at pace. YesCymru has become the mouthpiece for that growth, for that new confidence, for the ambition to be a grown up, to have agency, to take charge of our assets and make use of them for the benefit of the people who live here in Wales.

That support has created the platform to bring the Crown Estate, alongside HS2’s absurd categorisation as an ‘England and Wales’ project, to the forefront of politics in Wales.

People in Wales have a keen sense of justice and fairness. Wales is not being treated justly, fairly or with respect by its Westminster master.

There is a trap here though. When support for Welsh Independence tops 40% consistently in the polls, as it surely will, those Westminster masters of the old Empire may see an easy win in ‘gifting’ the Crown Estates and the HS2 consequentials to the Senedd. ‘Look peons, you do not need Independence, see our magnanimity in giving you these riches, let us look after you, let us manage your affairs and set your priorities, we still know best after all’.

Repatriation

Wales should certainly welcome this when it happens – these are Welsh assets after all. No more than a repatriation of stolen goods. When Wales does gain control of the Crown Estates it will be a win for those who started these campaigns and those politicians who are now pursuing it. But bittersweet, as victories go, as it will inevitably be used as a tool to try to steal the momentum from a growing independence movement.

Of course this won’t work.

Anyone in Wales, whatever their background, origin or language, who takes a clear eyed look at the Union soon realises that it no longer has anything to offer Wales.

Today, Wales has the highest inflation rate in the UK, the lowest income growth and is starting out as the poorest part of the Union.

Wales is getting poorer, faster, than everywhere else in the UK at a time when the whole of the UK is becoming poorer. Meanwhile the richest 5% in the UK (none of which live in Wales) continue to grow their wealth at the expense of everyone else.

Wales can do better. Wales deserves better. The people of Wales must leave the Union to save themselves. Building a brighter future for their, for our, children.

There is broad recognition that the United Kingdom is nearing the end of its days. Northern Ireland is on the way out, Scotland is simply waiting for its opportunity to leave. Many accept that independence will come ‘but not in my lifetime’.

Why wait?

The sooner Wales breaks free, the sooner we can create a new relationship with a newly independent England and a newly independent Scotland. The sooner Wales takes its place on the international stage, the sooner we can foster and nurture close relationships with other nations across the globe. Small, successful vibrant nations like Ireland, Slovenia, Estonia, Croatia, New Zealand and many more.

There were less than a hundred sovereign nations in the world at the end of the Second World War in 1945. Today there are 195 sovereign states in the world.

Independence is normal.


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David Pearn
David Pearn
5 months ago

Yes the Welsh should raise their voices, we are like the poor relations of the the UK bloody hell time to get serious about Welsh independence and get away from the cabal of westmonster ASAP.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago

Yes, we will still need independence to stop the Empire stealing it all back.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

“Stand up for your rights” sang Bob Marley, as applicable to Cymru as anywhere else… This won’t get much traction on here I don’t suppose but to me a measure of the man is the fact that he let his first Royal Navy command sink to the bottom of a dock… HMS Bronington is/was a Ton Class minesweeper, the last of the wooden ships… With his money he could have saved her for the nation but chose not to… To my mind unforgivable… Bermo was visited twice by a ‘Ton’ during my youth… Trips out to one ‘anchored off’ by… Read more »

Garry Jones
Garry Jones
5 months ago

Opportunity now for yet more early adopters of the indy message to put themselves on the right side of history. Wales gets it. Scotland gets it. Ireland has it. It’s your serve Westminster. History and future generations are watching you… and waiting.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
5 months ago

It is the old Bob Danvers-Walker conundrum…

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
5 months ago

Just thinking what about the billions and billions of pounds that was taken away from Wales when the whole world wanted Welsh steam coal we could have been one of the richest countries in the world but the rape of the Fair country goes on and on wake up you people of Wales think of you’re children and grandchildren labour party won’t fight for Wales they never have they’re a unionist political party full Stop 🛑

David Pearn
David Pearn
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Jones

Well said Malcolm

Bill
Bill
5 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Jones

Not all of Labour https://www.lab4indy.wales/ Let’s keep the Independence argument, like YesCymru itself, non-political.

Gwyn
Gwyn
5 months ago
Reply to  Bill

Growth in support for indy from within Labour in Wales is welcomed, and is to be hugely encouraged. We cannot however ignore the fact that such growth is opposed to Labour’s default unionist stance. Do default party political viewpoints influence attitudes towards indy? I would argue yes. Is a default patry political unionist standpoint to be criticised? Again I would say yes, therefore we must by default at least be allowed to be “political” to at least that degree. Ultimately only those within the Labour Party will influence its stance on independence for Wales, so more power to the collective… Read more »

Bill
Bill
5 months ago
Reply to  Gwyn

Yes Gwyn, I agree with much of what you are saying. There is an argument that says that an arrogant unionist Labour Party in Wales, as in Scotland, is a driver toward a fully left of centre independence party like the SNP. But, this will not get us over the line in a referendum, any more than it does in Scotland. We need the narratives to attract people to support a referendum (when we know we can win it) and the narratives that will attract people to vote for independence irrespective of their party loyalty or indeed, those that never… Read more »

Steffan Gwent
Steffan Gwent
5 months ago

Many sovereign nations gained Independence from the UK after the second World War due to severe austerity making it too difficult for London to keep hold of them. I agree that ‘the people of Wales must leave the Union to save themselves’ but ironically the reality may be that the Union leaves Wales very much as it is withdrawing from Northern Ireland currently.

Frank
Frank
5 months ago
Reply to  Steffan Gwent

If the union does break up I do hope that each country will get its share of what is being currently held in English coffers. 25% each of everything for each country and not calculated per head as they like to do things……and they can keep 100% of the royal family.

Steffan Gwent
Steffan Gwent
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Wales and Northern Ireland are the two largest drains on the UK economy. Wales’ fiscal deficit per capita of £4300 is the second highest of the economic regions after the Northern Ireland fiscal deficit which is nearly £5000 per capita.

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
5 months ago
Reply to  Steffan Gwent

You cant say that everyone knows Welsh politics is black and white and everything is Westminster’s fault. Please don’t muddy the waters by using facts. Emotions only please.

Annibendod
Annibendod
5 months ago

A hundred years ago, the Welsh GDP per person was the same as the UK average. Since then it has declined relative to that average with the gap growing linearly over the period. Despite the establishment of the Assembly, now Senedd, this trend has not shifted a jot. Can you explain why this has happened and who has responsibility for the UK economy and the model that it operates?

Annibendod
Annibendod
5 months ago
Reply to  Steffan Gwent

And why is that then?

Steffan Gwent
Steffan Gwent
5 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

The so called ‘UK plc’ has not been doing so well since 2016. From the London perspective it may be beneficial for the UK to be broken up as it does not make financial sense. If England separated from the rest of the Union it would avoid Barnett formula payments that subsidize things like free prescriptions.

Elizabeth Bowen
Elizabeth Bowen
5 months ago

We will do well with an independent Wales. Why should we be deferential to Camilla, Charles what a laugh

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
5 months ago

It is becoming clearer by the day that Cymru needs to be independent. What is needed now is a concerted effort to persuade the people that that is the best avenue for us. We know Westminster’s failings now we must promote the positives of Welsh independence. Smaller countries generally have better health services, fairer taxes and a better standard of living, Norway and New Zealand are just two examples. Our resources become fully ‘our’ resources and we can charge our neighbour accordingly. It is time we believed in ourselves, we can be successful, we can be prosperous, as an independent… Read more »

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
5 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Do Norway and New Zealand have enough hospitals and airports for their own people? I know you intend to charge our neighbour but do you think your neighbour might be charging us a lot more than we charge them.

Annibendod
Annibendod
5 months ago

Do you use a VPN? Just wondering having taken a look at your comments.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
5 months ago

So are you suggesting we stay with the status quo and just accept further poverty? There will be challenges as an independent country, every newly independent country has faced them. Did that stop them wanting independence? No. Those obstacles were met and overcome, crucially, they were resolved by having 100% control of their own decisions.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

In any other country there would be riots in the streets. We are hemorrhaging hundreds of millions to the parasitic Monarchy and Whitehall with the Crown Estate and for some reason we are powerless to do anything to stop this resource rape. Why are our so-called political representatives in Wales doing nothing is a question we all should ask?

Frank
Frank
5 months ago

It’s unbelievable how this family of leeches still take take take even in these times of hardship that people are experiencing recently.

Frank
Frank
5 months ago
Reply to  Frank

It’s hard to believe that people thumbs down the truth. What sort of minds have they got to think that providing more wealth to the monarchy is more important than people in poverty.

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