Why Plaid Cymru aren’t talking about independence enough
The biggest story in Welsh politics before the Covid-19 pandemic hit the world was the growing demand an independent Wales.
Thousands of Welsh people marched in Cardiff, Caernarfon and Merthyr Tydfil calling for Welsh independence, and the YesCymru movement has grown rapidly.
Why then is our country’s constitutional future virtually being ignored in the May parliamentary election?
I understand why the unionist parties don’t want to discuss the issue. The Conservatives have always been supportive of the United Kingdom. The Liberals have also made it clear that they do not support independence for Wales although their views are becoming less and less relevant.
The Labour Party is in a different situation with a small group expressing support for independence. Mark Drakeford obviously doesn’t want his party to look divided in any way during an election campaign and so keeping quiet on the subject is his best hope.
But what about our alleged nationalist party, Plaid Cymru. Shouldn’t they be leading the campaign and shouting loudly about the urgent need for us to be independent.
When asked of course they say they are in favour of independence. But where does it stands in their list of priorities? If you look at the party manifesto you will see it comes second from last in the contents list of thirty. Is that significant?
Judging by the attention that independence has received in the campaign so far, I would say it is. Plaids five main goals promise more teachers, more jobs, more affordable homes, more doctors and nurses and solving the climate crisis.
Very commendable ambitions that no politician standing for election would criticize. But how many of these topics would motivate thousands of our fellow citizens to march through our streets to demand policies that would make them a reality.
This election should be an opportunity to tap into the country’s growing demand for independence and use it to drive the campaign forward. But no, Plaid Cymru is campaigning on ground just to the left of the Labour Party without learning any lessons from Jeremy Corbyn’s disastrous campaign in the last General Election in England.
It is now clear that Plaid Cymru does not have the desire or ability to respond to the demand from the Welsh people for leadership towards independence. They have positioned themselves so there is no danger they will have to implement their left-wing policies that do not appeal to most of the voters.
It is a convenient position however to be the only choice for the Labour Party if it needs an expendable ally to maintain the political system that has turned Wales into a one-party state in the best tradition of communist countries worldwide.
In my opinion Plaid Cymru has betrayed the Welsh nationalists and no longer deserves to be seen as their leader.
If Wales is ever to become a free country, it needs a political party that focuses its energy and time solely on achieving that goal. Independence must be at the top of its agenda and it must put the arguments for independence clearly before the Welsh electorate.
Many Welsh people are justifiably anxious about what the consequences of becoming independent will be.
The unionist parties prophesise that without the largesse of our benevolent neighbour we will not be able to maintain our public services or our standard of living.
Any party campaigning for independence has to present clear evidence that these doom-laden predictions are false. The possible economic consequences of independence must be analysed objectively, and the results of this analysis will have to be the basis of their campaign.
This analysis must include a vision of what an independent Wales could become. It should question the level of defence spending we will need, question whether Wales is receiving appropriate payment for the export of its water and electricity. It should explore the economic consequences of bringing all the apparatus of statehood back to Wales and of becoming a republic.
These are only some of the factors which will affect the prosperity of an independent Wales. It is the basic groundwork that a party which is campaigning for independence should be doing.