When we are young we find it easier to be ambitious, to be brave and to be confident in the promise of a bright and hopeful future. Easy to recognise that to achieve this we must have fundamental change.
Easy to see that the world has changed dramatically as we transition from an industrial age to a digital era of instant connectivity on a global scale.
Recent polling reflects this, showing a growing and consistent majority in favour of Welsh independence amongst 18-34 year olds in Wales.
Not all pollsters are up to date with the recently enfranchised 16-18 year olds in Wales.
Perhaps some amongst older generations are defeated by cynicism, inertia and fear. Curiously the data shows that it is the 45-54 year olds who are least likely to support independence.
Of course the over 65s are also less likely to support independence. They will have grown up at a time when the UK was more tightly bonded, when there was a sense of shared enterprise and affinity, when it was part of the bulwark against the Soviet Union, and still a relatively wealthy and influential country.
Change is daunting when life’s long lessons have to be unlearnt. New technology, new social attitudes, new enthusiasm for fundamental change so that a brighter future can be built for generations to come.
The UK overall is in decline, becoming poorer overall relative to the world. Some of the figures are staggering – seven of the ten poorest regions in Europe are in the UK; the UK has the largest wealth gap in Europe; quality of life has plummeted; there are too many people in food poverty and a wholly unacceptable level of deprivation for our children.
The UK may still nominally be one of the wealthiest countries in the world but this is not the lived reality for all but a relative minority.
Time for more of the middle aged and older generations to take note of the unconscious wisdom imparted by the youth of today. For those who already support independence the challenge is to open the eyes of their peers who remain blind to the hope, vitality and renewal it will bring.
We must open our minds, persuade others to open theirs, and bring a confident, brave and ambitious independent Wales to life. A fair and equitable Wales, in control of its own resources, a democratic nation, outward looking, culturally rich, economically vibrant, lively and content.
Let’s write our names in history as the generations that freed the future children of Wales to live on their own terms, proudly, as citizens of their own nation.
Since 1944, and Iceland’s independence, a further fifteen European nations have restored their sovereignty. It is our turn now.
Unlike Scotland, we have not tied support for independence to a specific political vision or party. We are free to come together as a nation and make it clear that we are ready to take back control of our own affairs, to set our own priorities, to look after our own children, to create and fulfil our own vision of what we want Wales to look like.
Support for independence in Wales has grown incredibly over the last decade. As well as already having 36% support for independence, a further 31% state they would be more likely or significantly more likely to support Welsh independence if Scotland voted for independence.
But, why wait?
All polling data taken from Redfield & Wilton 14-16 July 2023Written by YesCymru CEO, Gwern Gwynfil. Another version of this article was published by Nation Cymru on 20thJuly 2023.