Why the Welsh national movement needs Brexit voters

Picture by ketrin1407 (CC BY 2.0)

 

Ifan Morgan Jones

I, like many others within the Welsh national movement, voted to ‘Remain’ in the Referendum on EU membership on 23 June last year.

Subsequent events have, I believe, validated that choice. I believe that Wales will suffer economically, and culturally, because of Brexit.

However, as contradictory as it may seem, the Welsh Brexit voter may have gotten us into this mess, but they’re also key to getting us out of it.

There’s no point shunning them. They are our friends, family members, and fellow countrymen. If we truly believe that we’re running a national movement, we need to include them too.

And it’s clear that they share many of the aims of the Welsh national movement.

Wales voted ‘Leave’ because of a deep dissatisfaction with the political status quo.

To use slightly more colourful language, they wanted to give an out of touch elite that they perceive as not giving a damn about them, a good kicking.

And however terrible Brexit would be to the economy, they wouldn’t have risked that if they didn’t recognise that Wales’ economy was in a pretty bad state anyway.

OK, yes, the same elite they voted to kick is now using Brexit as an excuse to make themselves more politically powerful.

And yes, what little crumbs off the table they had given Wales in recent years are going to be swept back up off the floor. That surely wasn’t part of the plan.

But you can’t blame Leave voters for that. Some of us here in Wales had warned that this would happen, but:

  1. We lacked a strong Welsh media to get our message across
  2. We were complacent. We didn’t see it coming and didn’t do enough to stop it

Disillusioned

If the national movement in Wales is going to make any ground, it needs to offer these small ‘c’ conservative voters a home. Here are four reasons:

  • These are the people most likely to understand that we live in a rigged system, because they see that same system holding them back every day however hard they try to overcome it.
  • These are also the people most willing to change that rigged system, because they have less to lose in doing so.
  • They are looking for change. If the Welsh national movement doesn’t offer it to them, they will turn to the imperial nationalism of the Farages and Trumps of this world instead.
  • The Welsh national movement won’t get very far without them.

The contradiction at the heart of the Welsh national movement is that it’s a middle-class, mainly Welsh-speaking, socialist movement in a mostly working class, English-speaking, socially conservative country.

It’s a front-row nationalism in a back-row country.

In other words, it’s not much of a national movement at all because it effectively leaves out a good 75% of the population.

Independence and dependence

The second of the four reasons outlined above warrants further discussion.

These socially conservative voters are also actually more likely to ultimately vote for independence than the group that currently makes up the independence movement.

Although cultural factors do play a part, the success or failure of national movements ultimately comes down to economic and political self-interest.

Ironically, the people who currently make up the Welsh national movement are also the group that’s probably one of the least likely to vote for Welsh independence.

That may seem mind-boggling, but it’s true.

This is because their own economic and political self-interest is dependent on the public-sector institutions most likely to be damaged by the economic changes that would follow independence.

In fact, it could be argued that the Welsh national movement isn’t in its current form an independence movement at all. Its aim is to achieve two things:

  • Maintain the current political status quo (with a few tweaks) in perpetuity
  • Maintain Welsh institutions for the employment of the Welsh middle class

That is, we have ended up with half a nation state (devolution) not because the Welsh are ‘weak’ or because we’ve been ‘brainwashed’.

It’s because half a nation state is ultimately the arrangement that meets the political and financial needs those that make up the Welsh middle class than run the country.

While they are ultimately financially dependent on the UK government, the kind of activity that would make independence a possibility will never happen. There’s simply no incentive.

Only a financially independent middle class will ever fight for independence.

The conservative argument

Therefore, if Wales is to become independent (and it’s a big if) it’s more likely to do so via a small ‘c’ conservative movement than a left-wing, socialist one.

Such a movement would be free to argue for the following:

  • Spending less on the public sector and more on projects that would strengthen the private economy in the long term, such as better infrastructure
  • Lower taxes on small businesses to make Wales a country of financially independent business people.
  • Fight to devolve broadcasting in Wales – the BBC and S4C. While the media in Wales depends on the UK Government’s funding it’s unlikely they would give an independence movement an equal platform.
  • Argue that while immigration of skilled workers is a positive, free movement in and of itself can damage the cultural fabric of communities (English as well as Welsh speaking) if not controlled
  • Combine local authorities but also devolve significant powers over housing, education, language, transport and agriculture
  • Strive in every way to cut Wales’ financial deficit and set independence as the goal once it is done

These are arguments that are already out there, and are occasionally expressed by members of Plaid Cymru, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

However, there is no party or movement that has brought them together into one over-arching, consistent political manifesto.

Small ‘n’ nationalist in Plaid Cymru, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are mostly content with the current arrangements (with a few tweaks).

There is some overlap with the Conservative Party but their British nationalism means that such a program would be anathema to them.

Want Welsh independence? You’ll need Brexit voters.

But you may need to create a new movement from the ground up, as none of the political parties in Wales, at the moment at least, offer an easy fit.

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Gareth Tuen
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Gareth Tuen

flag needs scotch input, then would be fantastic

chiefofwales
Guest
chiefofwales

Very well written article which articulates many valid points

My question would be, is Yes Cymru open to the arguments presented above? (The small ‘c’ issues which many in Wales support)

My assumptions of Plaid and the independence movement have been that they are too far left for mine (and the the majority of the public’s)

Jonesy
Guest
Jonesy

Hit the nail on the head there, bang on without the S E of Wales and Valleys there is no hope for Independence. Leanne and PC banging on about socialism is completely the wrong tack. Preach communitarianism rather than out of date socialism which puts off people as they think that the state is planning to take their hard earned money off them in higher taxes. People want to look after their communities and care for their fellow man/woman , so work on that not trendy lefty issues suited to Corbyn’s Labour . Anyway how can PC be to the… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

Not convinced Leanne or PC bang on about socialism. She actually won in the Rhondda, and more recently that area saw the most council seat gains for PC (seats taken off Labour). It appeared to be due to localism, authenticity and community work. It seemed to be exactly the things you call for, looking after communities. Plaid’s output is dominated by banging on about “communities”, place names, Welsh language and other localist type things. But Brexit does seem to be a cloud hanging over both sides of the debate, and will be until it is resolved.

Gwylon Phillips
Guest
Gwylon Phillips

What is too far left exactly? Please explain chiefofwales.

chiefofwales
Guest
chiefofwales

In general terms higher taxation, more regulation, an overall bigger state

DDOwen
Guest

That’s a fairly reductive take on what it means to be ‘left-wing’, though, in that it’s defining it as being no more than post-war social democracy. Post-war social democracy tends to favour a compromise between socialism and capitalism by using ‘big’ states as a way of reining in capitalism’s more destructive tendencies. But there are left-wing schools of thought that are sceptical of that way of forging a compromise, and it strikes me as very plausible that you could have a left-wing alternative to Corbyn that draws on them rather than on nostalgia for how things were in 1945 (a… Read more »

DDOwen
Guest

Should also add: it’s also mistaken to think of ‘big’ states as characteristic of the left; they’re also characteristic of the right — for instance the current form of Westminster Toryism favours strong, ‘big’, centralised government [1] while leaving local governance hollowed out and subject to the whims of the market. That’s a problem regardless of where you are on the political spectrum. [1] Some on the right (and a few on the left) aren’t going to regard the constant monitoring and intrusion required by the ‘hostile environment to migration’ as a problem, but if intrusive, omnipresent monitoring in a… Read more »

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

Marx and Lenin were proponents of people having the right to self determination and national sovereignty and I don’t under how the big state solution became a socialist ideal.

I understand the attractions of state solutions to control the means of production and ensure labour is fairly valued and rewarded, but what has anything in socialist ideals got to do with imposing big state solutions over indigenous minority ethnic groups.

There is no philosophical basis for it and I fail to recognise anything about socialism in it.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Big state solutions are favoured because, simply put, states equal bureaucracies, and bureaucracies tend to perpetuate themselves and grow. There is no real correlation that state ‘solutions’ actually deliver in terms of controlling the means of production, or indeed that labour is fairly valued and rewarded – the only solution to those problems is the wholesale expropriation of the means of production by the workers, who will then run it in their own interests, and abolish the wages system in the process. It shouldn’t be about a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work, hut about workers enjoying the… Read more »

Tal Mac
Guest
Tal Mac

You forgot what could be the radical stimulus for all this. Restoration of Welsh Law. The economic and social benefits it would bring, as excellently argued in the document below.

http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/wgc/files/2015/11/Publisher-version-of-Pamphletfinal.pdf

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

I agree, but it’s full of conundrums that need to be solved – not least in terms of some of the Brexit issues that have been raised – trading relationships with the EU, currency (tieing to the Euro is the simplest option, but perhaps unpalatable for many), customs arrangements etc etc. Also, I personally could never compromise or cave in to the darker side of Brexit – hostility to ethic minorities and others etc. If we are going to throw sacred things out of the window, then this is a controversial, Devil’s advocate sort of idea – Why don’t we… Read more »

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

wish i had a delete button for the above post

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Nation.Cymru,
Fyddwch chi’n cyfyngu ar hyd sylwedau please?
Will you put a limit on the length of comments os gwelwch yn dda?

leigh richards
Guest

trailorboy i cant think of anything more ‘disrespectful’ than a flag (the union flag) on which wales isnt even represented. Wales has its own flag – y ddraig goch – and i look forward to the day when it’s flown outside the united nations building alongside the flags of other small independent nations like ireland, iceland, malta and estonia.

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

I do agree with you. Just throwing the idea out there, but do find it hard to stomach myself.

I also have friends and relatives though who don’t think like I do and will never change.

Heather
Guest
Heather

Trailorboy, you might just have something here. It depends what we want from independence… If you only want cultural independence, then this is entirely possible if ‘being British’ means that the Welsh speak Welsh, and that is how it is. If that was universally accepted, then funding for promoting the language would not be questioned.
If you want independence for it’s own sake, then this will obviously not do.

A Gog
Guest
A Gog

That flag is disgusting. Long Live the Republic!

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

When we achieve independence we will still have the monarchy. Grow up, this is not 1917.

leigh richards
Guest

Um think you might be taking rather a lot for granted there capitalist and welshnash. It would ultimately be up to the people of wales to decide if they wanted to keep the queen (or king) of england as their head of state. It is entirely possible we may decide to follow most other nations in the world and dispense with the hangover from medieval times that is a hereditary monarch. After all this isn’t 1717.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

best leave kings and queens where they belong – in the history books !

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

Some would say the same about our language and culture. Easy comment to make. I wonder if the Senators of the Roman Empire said much the same about the Republic? Easy to pick and choose elements of our culture and history we like and ignore some that do not conform to our personal opinion… which is kind of why Welsh nationalism falters in the first place. Constitutional monarchy keeps the Union together above the politics… we should seek to imitate it in that regard considering the fractious nature of our nation. Best part about that? It fits with our culture… Read more »

glasiad
Guest
glasiad

The referendum gave us two choices: 1. no change, keep the status quo; 2. ignore the elites and their FUD and vote to shake up of the Establishment. The idea that those who voted in favour of the Establishment are more ‘Welsh nationalist’ in character is an illusion. Voting for no change is the very definition of a small ‘c’ conservative – yet you claim that “people most willing to change that rigged system” are the small ‘c’ conservatives. Are you deliberately trying to muddy the waters here or was that a typo? You write, “If the Welsh national movement… Read more »

iantoddu
Guest

“Your characterisation of the Welsh national movement as “middle-class, mainly Welsh-speaking, socialist movement” is more of a characterisation of Plaid Cymru members and supporters.” Yeah. I’m middle class from the top of my head to the soles of my feet, but I grew up in an area which was not. And that area was straightforwardly Welsh nationalist. People there voted for Plaid, which didn’t make them “supporters”, and I didn’t know many members. People were Welsh because they were Welsh, wanted the best for Wales and considered Wales their country above others. Welsh speaking they were. Socialism they tended to… Read more »

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

“In other words, people who voted Leave are ‘low information’ (stupid) people who will follow anyone. This is the exact line that anti-democratic elitists like Tony Blair espouses.” I think what he meant is… if they are alienated by the values of the Welsh nationalist movement then they will naturally oppose that movement regardless of whether they consider themselves Welsh or not. Welsh identity is pretty unique to every individual and the more ideologies that movement has the more exclusive it becomes. Thats why many in the south see Plaid as the “Welsh language party” because even though Welsh language… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Nation.Cymru,
Will you put a length limit on comments os sgwelwch yn dda. Some people want to write books.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Why? Do you want to stifle debate? Some of us are literate and need space to expand our ideas.

Arfor Cymru
Guest
Arfor Cymru

Fair play Trailor Boy, whilst what you say does make me feel uncomfortable, it is this sort of thinking (outside the box) which will help to achieve our aims.

Personally, I am fed up of seeing the same old ideas year after year never going anywhere

Trailorboy
Guest
Trailorboy

and i before i read your comment I was asking for it to be deleted.
I was uncomfortable writing it.

Tal Mac
Guest
Tal Mac

Carwyn Jones nonchalantly making the claim for independence in the ‘Justice for Wales’ document. Yes Carwyn, divergence should be seen as an opportunity. In 2009, the First Minister Carwyn Jones AM (then Counsel General), spoke of a ‘Devolution Dividend’ for the legal profession in Wales. Public and administrative law linked to devolution should be a ‘growth area of work’. Divergence should be seen as an opportunity: ‘The law of Wales will be different and firms can advise English clients in this.’ Welsh law and a legal system might mean that: ‘Economic and social advantages…flow from developing the legal profession in… Read more »

leigh richards
Guest

Some sweeping assertions there Ifan – most notably the statement that “if Wales is to become independent (and it’s a big if) it’s more likely to do so via a small ‘c’ conservative movement than a left-wing, socialist one”. It would have been nice to have seen some psephological evidence to back this claim up, as all existing evidence of political attitudes would seem to show the complete opposite of this. Conservative voters – big c or small c – tend to vote for conservative parties, and in wales this now means the tories and ukip – parties based on… Read more »

glasiad
Guest
glasiad

I agree with much of you comment, but, I fail to see how voting to leave the EU makes you a British nationalist.

People who voted to remain in the EU simply because of this erroneous association reminds me of the phrase “biting your nose to spite your face”.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

No, it doesn’t necessarily follow that voting for Brexit makes someone a British nationalist, but most people probably did vote Brexit full in the knowledge that much of the campaign cloaked itself in British nationalism. It’s also true that subsequent to the Brexit vote that British nationalism has come to the fore and seemingly isn’t being challenged by those who voted Brexit but who don’t see themselves as British natonalists. That may just be down to a biased media who are ignoring those dissonant voices, but also may just be because they are relatively few in number. But that doesn’t… Read more »

leigh richards
Guest

“I fail to see how voting to leave the EU makes you a British nationalist” no it doesnt glasiad. The point i was trying to get across – and to be fair i think sibrydionmawr has done a better job of it than i did – is that a fair chunk of the people who voted leave in wales did so because their primary motive was to ‘restore britain’s sovereignty’ and to ‘make britain great again’. Well given our intention is to break up Britain as a political state, and to establish an independent wales and scotland and reunify ireland,… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Your point was noteworthy, but did it need its own article length explanation?

Radek
Guest
Radek

The problem in your analysis is that Leavers were not the revolutionaries smashing the status quo you are painting them as. They voted for the emotional status quo. After decades of talk of the EU as something alien, many felt the referendum was a joining one. They voted for isolation because that’s how they had always felt and were told to feel. So yes, conservatives voted Leave, and in order to uphold the status quo.

Royston Jones
Guest

You have excelled yourself. This sentence alone encapsulates what is wrong with the self-elected left-green ‘leadership of a non-national movement. (Movement!)

“The contradiction at the heart of the Welsh national movement is that it’s a middle-class, mainly Welsh-speaking, socialist movement in a mostly working class, English-speaking, socially conservative country.”

But then, I would agree, seeing as I’ve been saying the same thing for decades. Here’s a link to my post explaining why I voted for Brexit. http://jacothenorth.net/blog/eu-referendum-i-want/

glasiad
Guest
glasiad

Your post confirms my observation that the less people know about the EU the more likely they were to vote Remain. The irony is that the Remain voters tend to think of the Leave voters as “low information votes” bolstered by the BBC and the British Establishment.

Dafis
Guest
Dafis

Hello Jac Revisiting that post of yours which appeared in June last year was an interesting experience. I don’t get around to reviewing archived materials often enough but that post made an interesting read because there was an awful lot of good stuff in there. Too many people in Wales, and some on here, had made the simple mistake of equating a pro Leave stance with support for the AngloBrit “Brexit” stance. Many of us went to great pains even prior to June 2016 to spell out the key difference – we wanted to Leave the U.K as well as… Read more »

CambroUiDunlainge
Guest
CambroUiDunlainge

Completely agree with everything you’ve said. The realisation we need Welsh “c”‘s is a major stepping stone to making any kind of progress towards Independence. I do genuinely believe that the Welsh Leave vote was true to Welsh identity (I voted Remain, should say) – when the results were confirmed in those early hours and I just couldn’t understand how so many people were sold on it. But then I thought “David Cameron was a Tory Prime Minister asking the people of Britain to remain” – and that is why I suspect many people voted leave. The most basic instinct… Read more »

Dafydd Thomas
Guest
Dafydd Thomas

With output per head in the Welsh economy at only 72% of the U.K. average we are placed as the poorest part of the U.K. The GVA per head in Wales is rock bottom, owing to a lower participation rate in the workforce. This is the result of a massive elderly immigration. Also sick and disabled are being offloaded here to social housing from over the border. What do we need? Education and Taxation are Key. We need to spend at least as much on the education of our school children as they do in England, not much less as… Read more »

chiefofwales
Guest
chiefofwales

I completely agree – a low rate of corporation tax in Wales alongside a reduction in other forms of taxation is the route to prosperity.

I also find being an ardent supporter of independence yet a passionate advocate for the EU a big contradiction.

However, can’t we debate these issues as part of a wider Yes campaign?

We all have different visions of what Wales could and should be but the fundamental point is that we’re not in a position to decide which vision should come to pass.

Tame Frontiersman
Guest
Tame Frontiersman

Brexit was billed by Mr Farage as the UK’s independence day- an event, which would be a starting point for a new direction of travel. However, what we have is a process and a process which colours and will continue to colour (or cast its shadow if you prefer) over political debate for the foreseeable future;-devolution and the independence debate included. Dissatisfaction with the status quo may well have a reason why some people voted for the UK to leave the EU. It is certainly true that very many people in Wales and other parts of the UK have very… Read more »

Martin
Guest
Martin

The idea that Brexit voters suddenly go to Welsh nationalists because of “infrastructure spending” or low taxes for small business is not sound. Also, I keep seeing (online mostly) wishful thinking from some Welsh nationalists who want to convert the Brexit vote into a Welsh nationalist one. It absolutely was not a vote to create a Welsh state. And in fact, the limited evidence I have seen online from Yes Cymru suggests that nominal support for Welsh independence is linked to somehow staying in the EU, or trying to stop having a Conservative majority UK Government.

glasiad
Guest
glasiad

You write: “evidence I have seen online from Yes Cymru suggests that nominal support for Welsh independence is linked to somehow staying in the EU”.

An astute observation. From what I can gather the top dogs in Yes Cymru are very much in favour of ignoring the referendum result and promote an ‘independent Wales in the EU’ (as if it’s possible to be independent and in the EU at the same time). I believe this is the main barrier to Yes Cymru becoming a larger movement than it is. Time will tell …

Martin
Guest
Martin

I am not involved, but would not be surprised. The reason is, if you are the kind of person inspired by Catalonia and Scotland, and you are also a strong Welsh identifier, being pro-EU is a natural development. I can even see it in these comments. People pointing out Ireland’s low corporation tax rate. Ireland’s position in the Single Market (and EU) is critical to how their economy grew so rapidly. My main argument is that these are fundamental questions about identity as much as they are economic. Brexit was not a randomised anti-establishment vote, it was a specific anti-EU… Read more »

iantoddu
Guest

Not round here we aren’t. Definitely aren’t pushing remaining in Europe as a part of being independence. And each YesCymru group runs its own area, so we aren’t getting any pressure to push being a member of the EU from anybody. Who are the “top dogs” to whom you refer?

glasiad
Guest
glasiad

Sion Jobbins comes to mind, who recently tweeted (August 19) “Dwi’n teimlo dylai’r mudiad dros #annibyniaeth @YesCymru gynnal rali dros Annibyniaeth yn UE. ‘Sdim Cymru Rydd tu allan UE.” In English – I think that the movement for #independence @YesCymru should hold a rally for Independence in the EU. There in no free Wales outside the EU. That’s classic Orwellian doublespeak to me. I glad to hear that not everyone associated to Yes Cymru feels the same, but I don’t think he is alone in the Yes Cymru inner circle. I hope they don’t lead you back to increased dependence… Read more »

iantoddu
Guest

Sion Jobbins is a “top dog” in Yes Cymru? Really? Firstly, he may be a member of Yes Cymru but I can’t see why you regard him as being in an “inner circle”. He doesn’t seem to be making an effort to steer it in any direction to me, or particularly involved in the running of it, or particularly noticeable at any meetings.. Some people might be trying to do that, he doesn’t seem to be. I have my suspicions about people trying to steer any organisation (that’s why I join them on a next to never basis voluntarily), but… Read more »

iantoddu
Guest

Just had a look at that tweet. As I said, he doesn’t seem to be particularly active around Yes Cymru meetings etc, so it was a personal opinion and he made a suggestion asking for people’s opinions. And everyone disagreed with him. Not to my mind demonstrative of the attitude which you describe. There are ambitious people who I would worry about for all sorts of reasons. Sion Jobbins isn’t, in this case, one. And the separate groups seem to be doing just that – leading to a movement run by the grassroots rather than the “top dogs”. So far,… Read more »

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

From what Ive seen YesCymru leans towards the Left, which is a problem.

I wish them the best of luck, honestly, no sarcasm, deapite some being hippies.

Cymru Rydd
Guest

Some great points made in this article. I also concur with Glasiad’s succinct summary: Step 1 Leave the EU. Step 2 Leave the UK. Step 2 could not happen without Step 1. In fact, Step 1 is the historical trigger point which the Welsh national movement has been waiting for. The genie is now truly out of the bottle. We are starting from scratch. Step 2 is the logical end game. I think we will look back in a few years time and marvel at how England’s Independence Campaign( which is what leaving the EU is to all intents and… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

So, rather than European or English capitalists exploiting Welsh workers, you’d want small minded Welsh capitalists exploiting Welsh workers? Doesn’t sound like much of a change to me, apart, from my experience of Welsh capitalists being even meaner and nastier than most of their English equivalents! It makes no difference whatsoever whether you’re being exploited by a Welsh capitalist, or any other kind of capitalist, you’re still being exploited by capitalist scum!

Capitalist and Welshnash
Guest
Capitalist and Welshnash

Some of us could not care less about the workers struggle. Some of us want independence for cultural reasons.

Nick Hubble
Guest
Nick Hubble

Yes, independence needs the support of Brexit supporters. But where does the jump to current indy supporters are less likely to vote indy come from? Economic determinism is an overused explanation. Experience suggests people vote what they believe as much as they vote for their economic interests (brexit being a classic example). If I believe indy, I’m going to vote indy regardless of the damage it does to my public sector university job. Aside from brexit voters, indy also requires a new economics. I for one am prepared to lose my professional salary and work towards new models of further… Read more »

Dafydd Thomas
Guest
Dafydd Thomas

The command economy experiment (Russia etc) has failed. Would we want someone or government controlling all aspects of our economy. Our first minister said, recently, through the ‘Office of the First minister’ (Prime minister in Welsh) that “there are almost 800,000 people aged 60 and over in Wales, over a quarter of the population, and,in the next twenty years, this is expected to exceed one million people. The fact that Wales is a nation of older people should be seen as something positive”. We are older because elderly English retirees, which add a minimum of 50% to our own elderly… Read more »

Al
Guest
Al

It’s great to see a consensus forming that a new Welsh national movement is now essential in what is an existential crisis for Wales.

I have high hopes for Yes Cymru in this respect but i very much hope that they don’t turn out to be another lefty/socialist echo chamber.

Please put the Welsh national interest first! What Wales needs is a strong culture, society and economy based on a strong sense of national identity. A new national movement needs the old socialist shibboleths like a hole in the head.

Owain W
Guest

“Argue that while immigration of skilled workers is a positive, free movement in and of itself can damage the cultural fabric of communities (English as well as Welsh speaking) if not controlled.” If this is the kind of Wales you want, you can count me out. The ‘threat’ of immigration has been built up over decades out of pretty much nothing. It is a colossal lie that distracts people from the things that are really important in life, particularly in Wales which has such incredibly low levels of non-UK inward migration. Follow this narrative and it only leads one way… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Firstly, I don’t think that it’s non-UK immigration that most of us are concerned about. It’s the immigration from other parts of the UK, predominantly England. I wouldn’t go so far as to tar every migrant from England with the same brush, but there are more than significant numbers of these immigrants who harbour some very nasty attitudes towards Welsh people, especially Welsh speakers, and other people, often those who have a different coloured skin. I personally don’t wish to live in a Wales where our political leaders are spineless appeasers. Nor do I want to live in a Wales… Read more »

Owain W
Guest

I think this is where the indy debate gets stuck. There is an inherent conflict between the aims of nationalism and the aims of socialism/redistribution. Personally, I can’t see an independent Wales without an active bourgeoisie to lead it, campaign for it and administer it. This is not because I love the idea of a parasitic middle class, nor because of international ‘keeping up with the Jones’’ but because the middle class has the resources to do it, has the interest in making it happen and because historically it has been the bourgeoisie that has led nationalist movements – look… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

We need a bourgeoisie like we need a hole in the head! We don’t need leaders in the conventional sense. It may be that ‘historically it has been the bourgeoisie that has led nationalist/political movements’, usually because that class didn’t feel they were being adequately accommodated by an imperialist regime. However, once they’ve achieved their aims, that bourgeoisie wastes little time in suppressing the ordinary working people who did all the grunt work, paid for it, and often shed their blood for it too. And as for your claim that the idea that ordinary people controlling their own lives, with… Read more »

sibrydionmawr
Guest

Oh, there are various ways of getting rid of the middle class, the methods depend a lot on how much time there is. The anarchists in Catalonia just shot people dressed in bourgeois clothing out of hand, which even I think is a little drastic, after all, the way someone dresses is no indication of their political or social leanings, and besides, there are quite a few anarchist dandies out there too. Other methods would be a gradual moving of society away from the bullshit of social class, best achieved through education, which, contrary to the beliefs of many, isn’t… Read more »

Red Dragon Jim
Guest
Red Dragon Jim

Or you could look at the real, existing Catalonia of today, run by a coalition of bourgeois liberal nationalists and left-nationalists. A relatively successful pre-independence state with prosperity, identity and a strong social welfare system.
National liberation absolutely requires the participation of patriotic elements of the middle-class.

sibrydionmawr
Guest

(THIS ISN’T A DOUBLE POSTING – I saw some errors and omissions in the version above!) Firstly, I don’t think that it’s non-UK immigration that most of us are concerned about. It’s the immigration from other parts of the UK, predominantly England. I wouldn’t go so far as to tar every migrant from England with the same brush, but there are more than significant numbers of these immigrants who harbour some very nasty attitudes towards Welsh people, especially Welsh speakers, and other people, often those who have a different coloured skin. I personally don’t wish to live in a Wales… Read more »

Eos Pengwern
Guest
Eos Pengwern

One of the most cogent and sensible articles on the subject I’ve read in a long time. I was a Plaid Cymru member during the Dafydd Wigley era, and would describe myself as a right-of-centre Welsh Nationalist. Not a single one of the Welsh ‘mainstream’ parties represent me, so I vote UKIP: enthusiastically in 2015, reluctantly this year, and of course in between the two general elections I voted Leave. I cannot think of a single argument for Brexit which is not also just as good an argument for Welsh independence, and vice versa; I want the one for the… Read more »

Wrexhamian
Guest
Wrexhamian

The issues that motivate Brexit supporters and those that motivate Welsh nationalists are not mutually contradictory. Some overlap, e.g. the desire to protect Welsh culture and the Welsh language from the threat of massive demographic change emanating from both England and the EU and promoted by their respective rulers.
Brexit supporters were, as far as I can see, voting for Britain but equally for Wales.
They will be far less of a problem to hopes of Welsh sovereignty than those like the liberal elite who work to promote a globalist agenda.

JezzaC
Guest
JezzaC

I was a Plaid member and voted Brexit. No longer. My MP revealed himself as a virtue-signalling anti-democrat when he voted in Parliament for a second referendum. Wales has been sucking off the tit of Europe for too long and it has got us nowhere. When we have no-one else to blame, and begin to restore pride based on our abilities, rather than our “grudge” identity as “not English”, then we will make progress. Until then, let’s talk about about anything other than the real issues and go to the Eisteddfod for a bit of nostalgia.