Mar 182017
 

REFERENDA FOR ALL!

As you know by now, the SNP wants another referendum on Scottish independence, to be held towards the end of 2018, when the terms of Brexit will be known but before its implementation, in the hope that a Yes vote might keep Scotland in the EU without the need to apply for membership.

Within hours of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon asking for her referendum Sinn Féin called for a referendum on re-unifying Ireland. Boosted by the increase in the party’s vote in the recent elections and playing on the fact that there is disquiet on both sides of the border, and in both northern communities, about the possibility of a ‘hard border’ being imposed once the UK leaves the EU.

UK prime minster Theresa May has refused to grant a Scottish referendum, making a vague promise of allowing a vote when the Brexit negotiations are complete and ‘the facts are known’ . . . or perhaps she’ll drag it out in the hope that the SNP loses its majority in the 2021 Scottish elections.

Here in Wales, in response to the SNP’s request Carwyn Jones nailed his colours to the mast of British nationalism by stating that we’re all better off in the UK. Last month declaring that after Brexit the UK could become a ‘mini-EU’. (Does he write this stuff himself?)

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has called for a ‘debate’ on independence if Scotland votes to leave the UK. Many others, especially on social media, are calling for a Welsh referendum.

click to enlarge

My reading of the situation is as follows.

Ms Sturgeon believes that Brexit is the issue to swing things her party’s way, and she may be right, for as we know Scotland voted 62% in favour of remaining in the EU. But will that translate into Yes votes in an independence referendum?

A lot is being made of those in Scotland who voted for independence in September 2014 and for Brexit in June 2016, with Unionists pretending to believe that this group will vote No to independence in a second referendum. Look, I have wanted independence for Wales all my life – and I voted for Brexit. Like 80% of Scots who voted for independence and Brexit my priority is to break the English connection; whether we’re in or out of the EU is almost irrelevant. So stop talking nonsense.

Sinn Féin has nothing to lose because a No vote to reunification would be expected due to there still being a Unionist majority. The party can count on its own supporters voting Yes, and nationalists joining them, but what if enough Unionists are so worried by Brexit that they’ll agree to a united Ireland rather than be outside the EU? There could be enough to be decisive; but whatever happens, Sinn Féin has nothing to lose.

Mrs May is the real gambler in this situation for any number of reasons, here are three. What would the UK Government do if a referendum organised by the SNP in defiance of Westminster returned a Yes vote and the SNP government in Holyrood declared independence? Second, Mrs May is increasingly being compared with Mrs Thatcher, but seeing as Mrs Thatcher’s legacy is toxic in Scotland this is turning Scots towards independence. Third, her own party, plus Ukip bawling in the wings, will demand a tough Brexit, telling them Europeans where to stick it, so delaying the Scottish referendum may be no advantage.

And here’s a final consideration that could screw up the Unionist position entirely. There is increasing acceptance within the EU that it needs to reform, to become less bureaucratic and more more democratic, and to crack down on corruption rather than on whistle-blowers. What if, as a farewell present, the EU, while negotiating Britain’s exit, simultaneously began reforming itself, so as to make it more alluring to Scottish and Northern Irish voters. For we all know how devious Johnny Foreigner can be.

But of course we are concerned with Wales. If Scotland goes independent, and if Ireland becomes one again – two big ifs – then there will be calls for a referendum in Wales. But there are important differences between Wales and the other two. For example, Scotland and Northern Ireland both voted, by substantial majorities, to remain in the EU, whereas Wales voted to leave.

~ ♦ ~

FOCUSING ON WALES

Let us assume that Brexit goes through to satisfy the BritLanders, that Scotland then votes for independence, and that the Irish throw themselves into each other’s arms, or at least, enough of them want a united Ireland to leave the UK as nothing more than Englandandwales. It goes without saying that in such a situation the calls for a Welsh referendum on independence will become louder.

While the position of most Plaid Cymru members can be guessed at, perhaps of greater importance is the position of the other political parties in Wales, especially the Labour Party. If Lord Kinnock is still with us in 2020 – and let us pray that the Grim Reaper ignores him (as we have learnt to) for a few more years – then I can see him leading the fight against Welsh independence. But what of Carwyn Jones and his gang, possibly more representative of today’s Labour voters than Kinnock?

Even with Scotland and Northern Ireland gone, I cannot see ‘Welsh’ Labour supporting the call for a referendum. The party is just too Brit in its outlook on everything, and so hostile to expressions of Welsh identity such as the Welsh language, as we’ve seen in Llangennech and elsewhere. Most recently in Labour’s refusal to back Dr Dai Lloyd’s modest attempt to protect Welsh place names.

On the plus side, the Labour Party in Wales is losing credibility and haemorrhaging support at a rate that is beginning to alarm the rats left on board, who are now turning on each other, with deselections reported from across the land ahead of May’s council elections.

We can guarantee the Conservative and Ukip positions on Welsh independence, and so without Labour Plaid Cymru could be a lone voice. Which will mean that in order to have any hope of winning an independence referendum the Yes campaign – little more perhaps than Plaid Cymru by another name – will need to remove party politics from the debate and appeal to the people on a different level entirely. Basically, raw patriotism.

~ ♦ ~

WILL AN APPEAL TO PATRIOTISM WORK?

No doubt some reading this will disagree with me and suggest that a Yes campaign could appeal to voters on the grounds that Wales would be better off in the EU, and so if independence is the only way to reach the land of milk and honey then they should vote Yes. The flaw there being that the ‘better off in the EU’ argument was used last year, and Welsh voters rejected it.

No, it would have to be done on the the most basic level, something like, ‘With Scotland and Northern Ireland gone it’s just England and Wales now, so do you want Wales to become part of England?’

And instead of discussing exports of salt marsh lamb to France, or Trixie Grant-Grabber and her friends at the Gurnos LGBT Muesli Knitters Co-operative losing their EU funding, it would be more sensible to use arguments that will resonate with far more people. One that comes to mind is the survival of our national football team. Because it’s not just the BritNats who want to see a UK football team; national associations around the world question why Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have national teams when they are not independent countries.

With Scotland independent and Ireland one again maintaining a national football team for Wales will become very difficult, after a No to independence vote it will be virtually impossible. How long before our national rugby team goes the same way? (Yes it’s scaremongering. What do you think the other side will be doing?)

An appeal to patriotism, painting a picture of Englandandwales morphing into England with the loss of our national sporting teams and other badges of our identity, might get 51% of the Welsh vote on a good day after a particularly rousing speech by Carwyn Jones. But 51% of the Welsh vote will not be enough to gain independence due to the strangers in our midst, and I’m not talking here about EU migrants.

At the most recent census in 2011 we learnt that 20.8% of the population of Wales was born in England. The percentage of the population born in Wales was just 72.7%. The figures may be skewed by Welsh mothers having babies in hospitals just over the border, but the effect of our lack of maternity facilities is more than offset by children born to English parents in Wales who do not identify with Wales in any meaningful way.

Perhaps a more telling figure from the census would be that for identification, shown in the table below. There we see that only 65.8% of people living in Wales at the time of the census regarded themselves as Welsh.

click to enlarge

Now it could be that some of these strangers among us would vote for Welsh independence . . . but it wouldn’t be many. They will vote much as the non-French 20% of the population voted in the Quebéc independence referendum of October 1995, overwhelmingly against independence, and enough to secure a hairs-breadth victory of 50.58% to 49.42%.

Which means that given the figures we know, and taking into account other factors, such as the English element in the population being more heavily represented in the older age groups, and therefore more likely to vote, the Yes campaign would need to secure the votes of almost all the ‘Welsh only’ identifiers to win a referendum. Ain’t gonna happen.

~ ♦ ~

WHAT’S THE ALTERNATIVE?

As I hope I’ve made clear, asking for an independence referendum in the next few years will be a mistake. Partly because it cannot be won, but more importantly because a Yes vote of less than 25% could be so demoralising that some people might give up and resign themselves to assimilation into England.

It would make more sense to accept the improved devolution settlement that London is almost certain to offer to soften the blow of us being left alone with our centuries-old abuser. (Yes, London might want a referendum, but if nobody in Wales is asking for it . . . )

The extra devolution we’ll be given will be as flawed and useless as the devolution we’ve known since 1999 unless Labour loses its pre-eminent position in Welsh politics. But to fully capitalise on Labour’s eclipse either Plaid Cymru must re-invent itself as a nationalist party, or be replaced by a nationalist party.

We must grab as much as we can, we must squeeze every last concession out of the London regime, demand anything that can benefit Wales. And don’t be afraid to take to the streets and in other ways show that you aren’t going to be messed around with. I say that not because I’m trying to incite violence but because we have a corrupt and useless political class that will sell us down the river again and again if given a chance.

Once we’ve secured the best deal we can get Wales needs to be ‘stabilised’, by which I mean investment and economic growth needs to spread more evenly around the country, we need to curb colonisation, we need a strategy for the Valleys that goes beyond commuter communities for Cardiff, we need to provide a real economy for our rural and coastal areas instead of being grateful for zip wires and granny farming, we must invest in infrastructure, education and training.

We need to behave as if we were already independent to prepare our people for independence.

We are in the position of being unable to win an independence referendum in the next few years because Plaid Cymru has failed Wales. Plaid Cymru’s dithering and obsession with single-issue politics over the past 40 years has served England’s interests better than it has served ours. 

~ ♦ end ♦ ~

Leave a Reply

142 Comments on "Welsh Independence Referendum"

Notify of
avatar
Sort by:   newest | oldest
Jonathan Edwards
Guest
Quick fire comments Agree that Plaid has missed this boat – the take-over by the National Left in the ’80s produced this result, predictably. Narrowed Plaid’s base too far. Agree that we need the best form of devolution. Statehood ie we hold an elected Constitutional Convention and end up with something like Dominion Status (on offer 110 years ago). Not independence, not sure if we run Defence, but a heck… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest
A master class (mistress class?) for Leanne maybe in the quiet but firm confrontation you’re talking about? (if you’re in a hurry just jump to the closing remarks, say 40:00). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mrkpk4llquU Forgive me, not trying to boast, but I never thought a cynical bugger like me would ever be moved by a politician, but this address did it. BTW if Wales goes to the dogs everyone is welcome to come… Read more »
sibrydionmawr
Guest
A very timely piece Jac. I think that an appeal to ‘raw patriotism’ would deliver support for the idea of Wales amongst those who express their Welshness through the very safe means of their football or rubgy allegiances. It’s not something that appeals to me, (I haven’t a clue what the appeal of watching two groups of grown men running around chasing a ball is) but it is a reflection… Read more »
drsallybaker
Guest

Sibrydionmawr, your comment has reminded me to ask something that someone asked me the other day that I was unable to answer ie. where does Plaid’s funding come from? I’m sure that most of the readers of Jac’s blog know this, but I’m in the dark. Could someone enlighten me please?

Big Gee
Admin
If you click HERE you’ll get the info. The reality is that their funding is made up of what’s called ‘Public Funding’, grants, loans and membership fees. In fact on paper they don’t appear to be solvent. I remember a time when they had a donation from some union (I can’t remember which one). There is also a tale that they made a pilgrimage to Libya in 1976 (on Prof.… Read more »
drsallybaker
Guest

Many thanks Big Gee, that link will be very useful.

Big Gee
Admin
For me, it’s too complicated and complex an issue to make a definitive comment on at this stage. There are also too many variables that can’t be predicted. What you’ve written is probably a fair reflection on the situation. THAT alone makes me feel even more depressed about our possible future. The one thing you didn’t factor in is the relentless increase in the number of foreigners from the other… Read more »
dafis
Guest
The number of Anglo +similar arrivals as an annual %age of native residents must be reaching the level of EU nationals arriving in UK ( England). Now that EU migrant figure caused one hell of a rumpus yet the figure for those crossing Clawdd Offa is treated as a cold fact and nothing to “worry about”. Yet the truth of the matter is that many of the immigrants arriving in… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
No General likes to fight a war on two fronts. England is fighting a war on 6 Fronts if not more: 1: EU 2: Scottish Independence (loss of oil revenues and scottish whiskey exports = permanent austerity) 3: Reopening of N Ireland troubles (possible unification) 4: Negotiating trade deals with the rest of the world that will take up to a decade. 80% of UK GDP is Services, a fall… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin

An excellent post, lots of food for thought there!

Red Flag
Guest

sign that the UK economy is sound is CREDIT FUELED GROWTHAll growth is credit fuelled.

How do you think houses are bought.

How do you think companies expand.

How do you think governments finance themselves

Brychan
Guest
The majority of the people in the valleys vote Labour as a defence against the Tories in Westminster. That shield no longer exists. Plaid Cymru need take up that cause, in the same way as the SNP has in Scotland. Time for an independence referendum in Wales. Do you want to be ruled from England by Tories, or home rule by Plaid in Wales? Labour have left the park. Simple… Read more »
CambroUiDunlainge
Member

We’ve just seen them pretty much throw one of their own under the bus for doing exactly that.

JE Lloyd
Guest
I happen to agree with you in supporting Brexit … but the constitutional position of the British state in the EU is far stronger than that of Wales, Scotland and NI in this British “Union”. There are significant protections in the EU to prevent the biggest states from imposing their will on smaller states. On some matters, unanimity is required. On others, there is Qualified Majority Voting. In the British… Read more »
Nic
Guest
I also feel that time is a luxury we may not have. How long will it be before the % population of people living in Wales but born in England reaches 30, 40 or 50% What if NOW is all we have, or the next 5 or 10 years is the only window of opportunity? If we categorically knew we had 20 years before independence became an impossibility because, by… Read more »
Keith Parry
Guest
Plaid Cymru held an internal enquiry into the results of its 2011 Cardiff Bay Election. I told that enquiry Plaid Cymru needed to learn two lessons from the SNP. One fight for independence. Two. Have nothing to do with the Labour Party. If there is low demand for independence it needs to be created. Daz washing powder did not exist at one time, demand for Daz was created by advertising.… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
The proposition for Wales joining the EU as an independent state (like Ireland, Slovenia or Estonia) is easier than that for Scotland, because… (a) There is no ‘currency’ issue. Wales would qualify to join the Euro, and it being only 70% as wealthy as Scotland or England, it would actually benefit from leaving the pound zone to join the Euro. (b) There is no ‘head of state’ issue. Unlike Scotland… Read more »
The Earthshaker
Guest
I’m as skeptical as you that Welsh voters will ever wake up and put Wales first, but rather than constantly wasting energy throwing rocks at Plaid Cymru the answer is to create a well supported, grass roots non party campaign in every community in support of Welsh Independence that will eventually drag Plaid Cymru’s current lackluster leadership kicking and screaming to support the cause of welsh independence. As if by… Read more »
SteCymru14
Guest

Diolch for sharing my video 🙂

Big Gee
Admin

Fidio ardderchog SteCymru14.

An excellent video – keep it up – we need lots more to help the uninformed understand the situation.

Ianto
Guest

An excellent video indeed – my partner was listening to it earlier and was impressed by it. This one might be getting out of date, but maybe still of interest/use https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fw5tyCUHYmg&t=4s

Big Gee
Admin
The first one was excellent, this one is even better! Thanks Ianto! Jac you really ought to embed these videos permanently in a prominent place on your blog’s ‘front page’. I for one am sick of having to explain things like this to the uninitiated, and sometimes downright stupid contributors who insist that we can’t be independent because we’re 1. Too small a nation (a very popular myth based on… Read more »
Martin
Guest
Alot of nonsense on here to be honest. Not Jac’s post but some of the comments. The idea the Welsh would vote to join the Euro is fairly mad. Let alone the 20% of Wales who are English. I do expect it’ll recover its credibility as a currency within the next decade but come on, don’t try and say that there’s some kind of valleys majority for joining it. The… Read more »
Rob morgan
Guest
After reading the for and whys regarding all issues regarding the break up of UK, I cannot believe there are so many people think that ANY part of the UK can stand alone. Independent means NO funding what so ever from uk government. If SNP think that Scotland has enough income to support them standing alone is fooling themselves, and that goes for NI and Wales. Wake up.
Big Gee
Admin

Read my previous comment on a previous blog post. Click HERE

You poor misinformed and brainwashed person – it is you that needs to wake up to reality instead of the age-old propaganda that you’ve consumed blindly..

CambroUiDunlainge
Member
Highlighting the possibility or permanent Tory rule if/when Scotland goes. That is what you’d have to stress with the Valleys in particular – I think a lot of people vote to keep the Tories out and when the day comes that they are unable to do so then the usefulness of Labour will drop dramatically. Media. I know people say that is the key but I don’t think its an… Read more »
Y Fuwch Goch
Guest
Partition is the answer. We will become a minority, so the priority should be further provincial devolution within Wales and a formal creation of ‘Y Fro Gymraeg’ with a view to resettle this territory with patriots from Glamorgan, Gwent and Clwyd. We’ll do a swap… the goodlifers, gimmegrants and coffin dodgers can move to places like Fochriw and us lot down by yur can have their nice cottages with a… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
I like that Y Fuwch Goch! It sounds exactly like what we were saying in Cymuned back in 2002. The only BIG problem is that Y Fro Gymraeg was shrinking alarmingly then, by now it may be past the point of no return. It’s an old idea born from Iwerddon. The Ghaeltacht is a word used to denote any primarily Irish-speaking region. In Ireland, the term Gaeltacht refers individually to… Read more »
dafis
Guest
Yes indeed Gee, and that type of enclave/reservation means we’ll all dress up in feathered bonnets (or whatever now passes for Uncle Sioni and Anti Jen attire ) when there’s paying tourists around. By all means have Y Fro Gymraeg but only within a Cymru Rydd. To formalise it while under the rule of London and the Bay quisling set would only facilitate the long slow death so favoured by… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
As an Englishman, British who has Norman heritage if we go back far enough, I have chosen to live in Wales for the last 28 years, as has my wife who has English and Welsh heritage, we have brought up three children in Wales, one of whom was born here. All three could choose to play for Wales at sport if they had the sporting talent and probably would. My… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
You say lots of marginally ‘nice’ things, but I detect that what you are really trying to project to the typical reader of this blog is that you’re a fence sitter (a safe place to hide). Someone who does not have the courage to say exactly what they really think & feel. Lot’s of nice fluffy things about independence, a polite rejection of physical resistance. I would remind you of… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest
OMG I’ve just had the “shed their blood” argument thrown at me elsewhere by a raving BritNat calling the SNP traitors to all those who died “fighting for the flag they want to destroy”. Not really productive in this day and age, and faced with a ‘fence sitter’ should you not be winning him over rather than antagonising him? Paul. My question to you is that having long ago centred… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest

Yes and Yes

Brychan
Guest
A Mr Paul Lucklock stood as a Labour council candidate in Vauxhall ward, Liverpool in the early 1980s. He joined Militant, but Mulhern and Taffe reckoned he was working for Maggie Thatchers intelligence agency. Trouble was, MI5s interest in Liverpool was more to do with the Irish community and safe houses for Provo’s. No matter, Lucklock went on a mission to compromise a Scotsman called Tommy Sheridan by stinging him… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin

Brychan YOU are a STAR & a HERO!

I’m quite good at picking up odd vibes from the occasional contributor, but you are in a different league when it comes to nailing them.

Anonymous
Guest
In respect of Scotland only, why is an independence referendum required ? SNP have a majority in Scottish parliament, they take the position of being “dragged out of the EU against their will”. So why not set a date for a UDI before the next general election (2020 at the latest), if the people of Scotland don’t want it then they can vote for other parties, not the SNP. Simple… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
Oh I think Sturgeon and the SNP are VERY serious about independence. However I agree that their reason for a referendum at this point in time is misguided. They need to break away from London rule by the English, as we and the Irish do, but as I pointed out in an earlier comment I made, what they would be in danger of doing by their current action is to… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest
Yes the SNP are in dead earnest, they just take the softly softly approach to bring along as many Scots as possible. Every time May refuses a perfectly reasonable request, support for indy grows. We are a ‘thrawn’ people, thwart us and we’ll move heaven and earth to spite you! When May thought Sturgeon was bluffing she made a big big mistake! BG, I don’t quite go along with all… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
So what do you make of letters like this then Marconatrix? “Europe’s nations should be guided towards the super-state without their people understanding what is happening. This can be accomplished by successive steps, each disguised as having an economic purpose, but which will eventually and irreversibly lead to federation” Written to an associate by no other than Jean Monnet the ‘founding father’ of the EU on April 30th 1952. “World… Read more »
JE Lloyd
Guest
I agree that the SNP are very serious about independence, and I am confident that they will achieve it within the next decade. The SNP know that Scotland needs friends in the international community in order to realize their goal of independence. In my view, that is a large part of the reason for their support for the EU — which is tactical and short-term. If I lived in Scotland,… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
How do you know they won’t, Anon? The countries most likely to support Scottish direct entry to the EU are – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands (the Wilderds phantom died last week), Slovakia, Slovenia and Croatia (they remember tanks), Sweden, Finland and Denmark (Scotland is a provisional member of the Nordic alliance). Belgium (won’t like to loose a direct debit). Not fussed – Portugal, Poland, Austria, Hungary, and Italy. France will… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest

Spain will back Scotland to stick it to London over Gibraltar 😉

Neil Singleton
Guest
Brychan’s purported schedule of countries which might or might not veto a Scottish application to join the EU may conceivable require some slight amendments. Sturgeon’s approach to try and remove a potential Spanish veto, may be to sacrifice fishing rights to the Spanish fishing fleets. Like Jac has commented re: Gibraltar however, this is unlikely sway Spain to risk losing Catalonia and the Basque Country. Briefly, France is likely to… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest
Well it’s late and I’ve just got here, having been tied up wading through the flood of Scottish material over the w/e, so this is my immediate response to your article without so far having read any of the other reactions. Jac, time is definitely NOT on your side, so I doubt if your long drawn out strategy would work. It’s more a case of “If ’tis done then when… Read more »
Myfanwy
Guest

Joining forces with the other Celtic Nations is a logical step towards Independence, it would also quite tidily, fulfil the alleged prophecy of Myrddin.

Marconatrix
Guest

Which one was that Myfanwy, can you quote it, it might be useful, inspiring or at least a bit of fun to cheer the troops. Btw was this the Myrddin who lived in what is now the Scottish Borders?

dafis
Guest
Lots of Myrddins around, mate. Check out Caerfyrddin where there was a town full of them, one even had to live in a tree. Seriously though, don’t get too hung up on 1500 year old myths but focus instead on the modern reality. That myth was spun out of the grim realities of an earlier era where folk saw the arrival of assorted Germanic tribes and thought “we better sort… Read more »
Myfanwy
Guest

As dafis says, probably best to keep it in the modern context, but here are some references here:

‘Geoffrey of Monmouth’ prophesies of Myrrdin by Bernard Meehan

Prophecy, politics and place in Medieval England by Victoria Flood pg 28

https://books.google.dk/books?id=iZDgDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA52&lpg=PA52&dq=myrddin+prophecy+politics+and+place&source=bl&ots=mVZtRV8hN0&sig=Lu9Aj-aQoQNsLdAgUREfWmUlZ8Y&hl=da&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjK2drjzOfSAhWEDCwKHfnnCeMQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=myrddin%20prophecy%20politics%20and%20place&f=false

Armes Prydein

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armes_Prydein

Big Gee
Admin

An interesting read that Myfanwy. It’s that kind of material that should form part of the history lessons in a ‘Cwricwlwm Cymraeg’.

Martin
Guest

Been thinking about this more and decided the multiple option referendum as proposed by ‘Yes Cymru’ isn’t a bad idea. Arguing that Wales should have no referendum at all when Scotland and Ireland do would be very odd for nationalists. Strikes me that you’d need 31 AMs to agree in order to hold one. So one of the unionist parties needs to agree?

The Earthshaker
Guest
Just as I thought welsh independence supporters we finally becoming organized to mount a serious challenge under a none aligned umbrella of YES CYMRU along comes a multi option referendum to ruin it – sadly you were right Jac, it looks like it’s be hobbled before it really got going. I apologise to anyone who joined or followed YES CYMRU on social media because of my recommendations, the only option… Read more »
Martin
Guest
Why so dramatic, when any decision to hold any referendum needs 31 AMs? People are ignoring a bloody massive elephant in the room, the composition of the Assembly. People here have enough of a problem with Plaid Cymru, so don’t expect Labour and Tory AMs to give us a referendum! Perhaps we think MPs will call one for us? I am skeptical the Tories will get rid of Welsh devolution.… Read more »
The Earthshaker
Guest
Sorry you’re being incredibly naive and im being realistic not dramatic. Your 31 AM’s argument for a referendum is pie in sky, Wales will be screwed well before 2021 when we get to vote in an Assembly elections. How do i know, every senior Whitehall mandarin is preparing for a UK unilateral withdrawal of the EU either at the end of this year or early next year. May and her… Read more »
Martin
Guest
Don’t apologise! Of course it’s pie in the sky- that’s the whole point. There isn’t a choice, we need 31 AMs to pass a motion to hold a referendum. Maybe 40/45 if the Assembly expands in size. We need a unionist party. IF Yes Cymru’s proposal is to get a unionist party to approve a referendum, it is sound. The idea ‘Wales has to campaign for full independence’ is the… Read more »
Martin
Guest

OK. Devolution is a distraction, but it is still the legislative arena from which a referendum would be called/triggered.

So how does that work?

Ignore devolution altogether?

You’ve got to realise at some point that to hold a referendum we need a nationalist government, or a joint nationalist/unionist government where the unionist component allows a referendum.

Otherwise we’re just arguing on a blog.

Marconatrix
Guest
“… the only option for Wales post Brexit is full independence nothing else should even be discussed” Agree. If anyone is in any doubt whatsoever on this point then I recommend they look into the history of The Vow, the Smith Commission and how to put it bluntly the whole thing was sidelined and kicked into the long grass. At least it had the effect that nobody will believe anything… Read more »
Ianto
Guest
YesCymru (including Sandra Clubb) is, in my experience, campaigning for Welsh independence. Calling for a referendum to include independence is not campaigning for any option other than independence – (whether calling for a Yes/No referendum or any referendum at this time is a good thing or not are things which many people differ on, as shown not least by the original article). It’s not even arguing against a yes/no referendum… Read more »
welshnotbritish
Guest

Even if a no vote was a foregone conclusion the first indy ref in Scotland boosted support for independence by around 20%. It also helped show the Labour party for what they truly are.

If the same could be achieved here then, despite a no vote, the result would be totally worth it.

Martin
Guest

Decent point. The reason some people want a multi option poll is so you can have independence debated without risking a “no” vote being interpreted as a mandate to remove powers/direct rule.

Revising my opinion, my support depends on what the multi options are. Also, if multi option is a scheme to get unionists to support holding a referendum (we need 31!), I would go with that.

Ianto
Guest
I completely agree. A multi-option referendum would, in my view reduce votes for independence and not increase the debate about it enough to overcome the disadvantages of “losing” it. However, opinion is divided on the matter, and there was discussion about a multi-option referendum in Scotland – and the SNP weren’t completely opposed to that, if it meant a referendum. From Alex Salmond in 2009 for example – (Financial Times)… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
I hardly need nailing all my writing and blogs is out there under my name, I have NEVER said, written or done anything anonymously. Brychan, Big Gee and Jac I do not have a clue what your first or surname is, I certainly will not be doing any investigating, in the great scheme of things it is irrelevant. You are willing to engage in public discourse so that’s fine. I… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
Paul – I do not recommend an ‘independence march’ to the seat of government of Wales, at least not yet. The A470 is a five hour drive, let alone on foot. Even the most experienced fell runner would be lucky to make Dinas Mawddwy. Let’s assume that you are NOT an English good-life patronising retiree on the Costa del Conway, and your comments are genuine. Don’t be surprised if you… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
A very reasonable challenge to my commitment. A Plaid led Conwy Council supported by Labour and “Free Independents” are carrying out bedroom tax evictions locally surely my energy and yours would be better used here and then the good people of Lysfean or Bodelwydden or even Abergele would be encouraged. An Independent Wales will not be Cardiff centric I truly hope or based on thinking one leader as most of… Read more »
Brychan
Guest
The bedroom tax is the reduction in elidgability for housing benefit effecting unemployed people or those on a low income. Someone in the Conwy Council area walks into the job centre, they get offered jobs like part time cleaner in a hotel in places like Craig-y-don, zero hours, or a set roster to run from May to September. The cash earned in the summer is offset against eligibility for benefits.… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
I am in no dispute with you about one of the reasons, out of many, that people find themselves at risk of losing their home another even more common is when children leave home and the costs the bedroom tax cannot be met. I am not in dispute re your second point either but there are also young people in my community earning a good living working for companies here… Read more »
Keith Parry
Guest

Yes Cymru, of which I am a member, I expect to campaign for an independent Wales and nothing less. If it is diverted in to supporting Devo-max or a Federal Britain and other unionist nonsense it might as well disband now.

Ianto
Guest
If you look at some quotes from the letter – http://yes.cymru/2017/03/20/welsh-referendum-appeal-carwyn-jones/ “do we want to be part of an “England and Wales” state? or, do we want to see Wales as an independent nation?” “We have the right to be an independent nation; Westminster has no natural right to reign over us.” And from the story on the YesCymru Website – “YesCymru’s aim is to gain independence for Wales, in… Read more »
trampie
Guest

I must say a very interesting piece by Jac and some excellent comments to follow.

Myfanwy
Guest
The fallout from Brexit continues, the Labour Party is imploding and Plaid Cymru should be using the momentum from all of this, to make a strong call for independence. It is not enough to appeal to 20 percent of the populace, there has to be a radical change, which is inclusive of people from all backgrounds in Wales. Perhaps Jac was right, that Plaid Cymru was infiltrated and compromised during… Read more »
drsallybaker
Guest
Talking of compromised politicians Myfanwy, I read very recently that the police investigation into George Thomas, who has been mentioned in passing on Jac’s blog before, has ceased. I was gobsmacked, I got the impression that there was quite a lot of evidence there and that the investigation by south Wales police had been extended to Leo Abse as well. And of course the Tories under Thatcher were full of… Read more »
dafis
Guest
dr sally, you may well ask what on earth is going on when we suspect the lengths certain organisations go to protect the reputation of the “not so good” despite them having shifted off this life years ago. Leo Abse did a lot of work on legalising homosexuality way back in late 60’s. I once attended an event where he recalled it, couched very much in the context of having… Read more »
Myfanwy
Guest

Yes drsallybaker, it’s interesting to consider, what exactly united the supposedly socialist George Thomas, with the far right Enoch Powell, but their correspondence show what friends they were. I wonder what they had in commen? They will try to cover it all up, as they always have done, they know it would bring down the establishment.

https://mobile.twitter.com/ciabaudo/status/666740360039788548

Gethin Gruffydd
Guest

Jac. you talk about taking to the streets, why not the mountains too as Mynydd y Gwair to take back our land from RWE and the Duke of Somerset or are you just all talk as most nationalists these days. Gethin,

dafis
Guest
just read on golwg that Carwyn been out spouting all sorts of platitudes about Martin McG this morning, going on about building bridges etc etc. Well it’s time he sat down and dwelt long and hard on the Martin McG example. If a hardened militant can come in from the cold and play a key part in stabilising his country, one deeply divided by secterian and other issues, then why… Read more »
gaynor
Guest
Whatever your views on Mcguiness And SF, you have to admire them for their political acumen and nous , If Plaid want an independent Wales, look to the Sinn Fein campaign book , Ie grassroots /community politics and campaigining from the streets up . There will be no change until this strategy is grasped and practised on the streets of the valleys and towns of south and north east Wales.… Read more »
Myfanwy
Guest

Totally agree with you gaynor!

Red Flag
Guest

McGuiness wasn;t a hardened militant, he was a hardened mass murderer who personally killed more children than Myra Hindley.

Neil Singleton
Guest
According to retrospective investigations, following acts of terrorism in the USA (in particular, Oklahoma) the yanks turned off the money pipe to the IRA. Faced with financial ruination and defeat, Adams and McGuiness resolved to sue for peace, as long as it was brokered by the USA. However, Major,and subsequently, Blair were completely outnegotiated and “snatched defeat from the jaws of victory”. The fruits of this defeat have continued to… Read more »
Big Gee
Admin
“According to retrospective investigations, following acts of terrorism in the USA (in particular, Oklahoma) the yanks turned off the money pipe to the IRA.” I have no idea where you get your information from, but it stinks, and has ‘mainstream media’ fingerprints all over it. I suggest you reinvestigate the Oaklahoma bombing farce. It had nothing to do with terrorism. It was one of the major false flag operations conducted… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
The campaign for a Referendum and Independence continues. A constant theme is the search for competent and inspiring leadership, “a driving force”. The actions of Plaid that drain confidence and energy. I will record part of a report in today’s Daily Post to highlight the challenge without further comment because none is needed, it is beyond satire. “Council Leader’s legacy praised as he announces resignation. The leader of Conwy Council… Read more »
Martin
Guest

Nonsense. Both sides had people released from prison.

It wasn’t about American money but US and EU helped broker the deal. Blair did play a pivotal role. Public had the final say.

Big Gee
Admin
Off on a total tangent (sorry Jac). A bit of a kerfuffle around Westminster this afternoon. Nasty business – I’m sorry to hear about the deaths & the injuries of innocent people – they are always the real victims. Now who was behind it I wonder? If it was a false flag set-up, to get us all frightened and anxious, in order to have an excuse to up the security… Read more »
Marconatrix
Guest

Rather conveniently it led to the suspension of the Scottish Parliament in the middle of a heated debate leading up to the vote to call for Westminster to give them a Section 30 order to hold IndyRef2. So the vote, which was a done deal, never happened. Funny old world 😉

Big Gee
Admin

A ‘funny’ old world indeed! Where you can’t trust anything you hear or see, without having to investigate it to make sure it’s authentic.

Myfanwy
Guest

There are so many things that never add up in these events, it is so important to keep an open mind and not believe everything we read in the MSM, there is a lot of disinformation around. Out of curiosity, why did the single mother of the accused terrorist from Kent, end up living in in West Wales?

https://aanirfan.blogspot.dk/2017/03/london-attack-false-flag.html?m=1

Myfanwy
Guest

Just to add the chickens and cushions, that the once single mother from Kent makes in her “idyllic” rural farmhouse in West Wales, look decidedly ropey. How is it, that everyone and anyone from England has been able to move to live the good life in rural Wales, while many of our families have all had to move away?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/03/24/killers-mother-upset-revealed-sews-cushions-rural-welsh-farm/

Myfanwy
Guest
You were right of course Big Gee, it didn’t take long at all for the Government to call for more surveillance after the London FF. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/whatsapp-amber-rudd-security-access-spy-users-messages-home-secretary-khalid-masood-a7650481.html I’m not sure if you have heard of Ole Dammegård, but he quite uncannily predicted the London “FF” a month before, after seeing clues that were placed in footage of the Melbourne “FF”. He discusses the clues etc, including the presence of the Bilderberg… Read more »
Paul Luckock
Guest
People’s March for a Referendum and Independence. If the leadership of the movement for a Referendum and Indepennce decide to organise a People’s March I for one commit to walk the whole distance from Conwy to the Senedd. I am sure fellow citizens will put people up over night in solidarity and in support of the cause. The March however big or small will provide encouragement to many and grow… Read more »
Gethin Gruffydd.
Guest
Jac. Agree with you fully re Referendum and Plaid Cymru aka ‘Tan 8 Traitors’, ‘Devolution Dilletantes’ and not least Assembly Quislings all those diatribes aside. I think many in here and out there need to ask themselves what they really hope to get out of so called ‘Independence?’ If not Sovereignty, not least land sovereignty then sovereignty for ‘Yr Hen Iaith’ (Though 10 Million Quid to S4C should further make… Read more »
wpDiscuz