How Cymru Will Be the Catalyst for Scottish Independence
As recently as April 2014 a poll in Wales put support for Welsh independence at a meagre 12%, with those against at 74%. What a difference a decade makes. Today, polls are consistently reporting around a third in favour of independence and around half against.
This is still a hill to climb for the Welsh Indy movement but no longer the mountain it once was. A Scottish indy campaigner recently asked (with some envy in their tone!), ‘how have you increased support so much when you have done so little?’
A fair question. YesCymru was only established in 2016, we’ve held some successful marches and other events but we are only now becoming a professional and focussed campaign group. We remain grass roots and volunteer led, with a very small professional team in place for a year or so, but we are growing in enthusiasm and energy, we are starting to work with structure and purpose. Our political and media capital is evolving steadily.
With the mood in Wales so obviously receptive to the case for independence, think what we can achieve if we had the resources to truly expand our campaign, to increase our visibility, to start the conversation in every household across the nation?
This matters to Scotland. We know that the United Kingdom is in its final chapter. Ireland will reunite, Scotland will find its way to freedom eventually, Wales is the very last of the Empire’s colonies and, it too, will find its way to the exit.
The great unknown is when this will happen.
Wales can lead the way to the exit
A plurality of support for independence in Wales will irrevocably start the countdown to an ordered break up of the United Kingdom. There will be no going back from that point. No doubt there will still be those striving to delay the inevitable, unreconstructed Exceptionalists like Lord Frosty of Brexit notoriety, who’s greatest fear is that independence will be an embarrassment. A position which echoes the absurdity of the man. Large swathes of the international community would in fact applaud and welcome a conscious unwinding of this last vestige of Empire, this tired echo of the superpower that dominated the 19th century.
The very real prospect of Welsh independence will focus minds across the UK, not least within Scotland. With the end in sight, waverers will fall decisively on the side of independence. England will need to think deeply and seriously about its future as an independent nation, about the constitutional structure it will want for itself, about its place on the global map.
The recent report by Dr Richard Wyn Jones and Scotland’s own Professor Ailsa Henderson for the IPPC shows very clearly that there is no deep attachment to the United Kingdom in any part of it. The idea of a new relationship between closely aligned nations of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales will have a receptive audience. Britain will still exist, just as Scandinavia exists. Shared histories will still bind us, open borders are a given - hardly revolutionary in the 21st century. A shared currency initially likewise, we forget that the Bank of England, despite the name, is a shared resource, UK owned. Currency arrangements may well change in time but there will be absolutely no need for that change as we all start our independence journeys.
Despite this, there are many hurdles yet to overcome, some predictable, some self inflicted, some yet to be discovered. For example, both the Scottish and Welsh independence movements are often guilty of neglecting England in their campaigns. Looking down at our own feet, forgetting that the success of our campaigns will have a material impact at a global level, will change the constitutional status of our larger neighbour and give them the independence they also so desperately need.
As we build support within our own nations we must also reassure our neighbour that they will not be losing anything, rather they will gain vibrant and dynamic new neighbours.
To return to Scandinavia, Denmark ruled Norway for centuries but they thrive today, as never before, as two separate nations. Across Europe relatively new independent small nations are blossoming and thriving. They are growing their wealth, their quality of life is consistently improving, they are often innovative. Economically flexible, nimble and proactive, young nations like Estonia and Slovenia are showing us that this is truly the Age of Small Nations.
The digital age upon which we have entered makes all this possible, indeed desirable. For those unfamiliar with the work of the Austrian theorist, Leopold Kohr, now is the time when his ideas ‘small is beautiful’ can truly come into their own.
YesCymru’s most significant hurdle today is a lack of resources. Scotland might give serious thought to addressing this in its own interest. Anyone committed to Scottish independence should consider joining YesCymru and donating, in any way they can, to this organisation which has the potential to be the trailblazer for the end of this broken Union.
Come together and launch YesCymru Alban, make it a thousand strong, and lend that strength to your fellow Celtic Warriors of Indy in Cymru!
Bring your freedom, and ours, closer.