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Tomos Williams

Tomos Williams

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David Williams Cairan Prior Catrin Williams Ben D
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  • Why England Should support Welsh and Scottish Independence

    At first glance this may seem preposterous. For many, the notion that England and Westminster should approve of divesting itself of the most loyal and longstanding servants of the Great British project is absurd.

    It is time to question this belief? Just because something is longstanding or ‘has always been that way’, is no reason at all to assume that it is still the best way forward, more so given that the foundations upon which the union was built no longer hold sway.

    It is certainly the case that Great Britain is far from being the powerful international force and wealthy nation it once was. 

    This decline is apparent to all, as the UK plummets down the international wealth rankings and increasingly finds its voice side-lined, reduced to a squeak in the halls of global influence. 

    Its decline and transformation underlined and defined for history by the death of its longest serving monarch, Elizabeth II, whose reign encompassed the slow post-war unravelling of Empire to the fast-moving Digital Age.

    It is a decline evident in our daily lives as more and more hardworking professionals struggle to make ends meet in a country where per capita disposable income has hardly increased for 15 years. A fact which itself breaks the implicit understanding within a voluntary Union that cooperation is intended to improve the lot of all. The union is failing England, Scotland and Wales and its end will benefit us all.

    Clearly, now is the time for reinvention. Now is the time to ask ourselves why we remain in this Union and how it serves our best interests?

    Proponents of creative destruction must surely already be on board, what better way to revitalise the fortunes of a crumbling, decaying, vestige of Empire by breaking it apart? Tired assumptions can be broken to make room for innovations and to build anew with existing resources and energy.

    For England to thrive it should cut Wales and Scotland loose, with a generous leg up to send them on their way, so that all three nations can grow and flourish together in partnership. A thriving island on the edge of Europe, culturally vibrant, innovative and creative - generating wealth for all of its inhabitants whilst also adding to the rich, cultural, diversity and wealth of Britain. 

    Make no mistake, in this scenario Britain will still exist, just as it existed as ‘Prydain’ long before it became a single political entity. Let history come full circle and adapt the island of Britain to suit the era of instant global communication and connectivity born of the Digital Age.

    The Union was forged to exploit and now should be consigned to history. Let England be a positive and proactive part of this change. In partnership rather than in union, Wales, Scotland and England can forge a new path for a modern, innovative, international Britain. Punching above its collective weight globally by being distinct and separate whilst geographically entwined and bound by centuries of shared history and culture.

     

  • Westminster veto of Scottish Gender Bill an ‘attack on democracy’ - YesCymru CEO

    ‘Whatever your opinion on this law itself, this is an attack on democracy in Scotland that makes a mockery of Devolution. Only Independence can protect our rights to make our own laws’

    The CEO of  the Welsh pro-independence movement, YesCymru, says Westminsters’ veto of the Scottish Gender Bill is fundamentally an “attack on democracy”.  

    Gwern Gwynfil, made the comments after Westminster government ministers confirmed that they are vetoing the Scottish legislation, in defiance of the support it received in Holyrood (including the votes of two Conservative MSPs). 

    He argues that independence is the only way to enshrine democracy in Scotland and Wales. 

    "This move by the Conservative government in Westminster sets a dangerous precedent. Whatever your opinion on this law itself, this is an attack on democracy in Scotland that makes a mockery of devolution. Only Independence can protect our right to make our own laws here in Wales. 

    “We must make it clear to all that until we secure our goal of Independence, Westminster will always have the power to ride roughshod over any decisions taken here in Wales. 

    “Whether they do so for political point scoring, for cultural reasons or to prevent Wales from expanding its economic reach is no matter, the very fact that they can, means that they will do so when Wales displeases them. Independence is our only route out of this patriarchal, exploitative, authoritarian and anti-democratic relationship.’’ 

    “Whatever your personal opinion on any given law, it is the essence of democracy to abide by the decisions of duly elected representatives in a majority. We can, and should, protest loudly and actively where we disagree, but veto by imperial diktat is simply unacceptable and an affront to voters. In this case in Scotland but it can happen to us in Wales at any time, over any matter,’’ Gwern added.

  • What would Welsh Foreign Policy look like after Independence?

    It is extremely unlikely that, as a nation, we would wish to follow our English neighbours and parrot their foreign policy. We have no interest in the legacy of the Empire, the Commonwealth or in projecting military power across the globe. As a small nation, Wales could opt out of the big global policy scene.

    No one would criticise us for doing so but let us consider what we could achieve with ambition, determination, planning and intent.

    As with domestic policy, Welsh priorities do not align with those pursued at a wider UK level today, and they certainly won’t align when the Union ends. Wales will be seeking its own path and pursuing its goals on the international stage.

    No doubt England will work incredibly hard to keep the permanent seat on the UN Security Council exclusively to itself as the Union breaks up. It’s hard to imagine any separation agreement which would allow Wales to keep some influence here after Independence, as this would amount to an effective Welsh veto on any votes or proposals made at the highest level. We would join the UN but merely as ordinary members. This alone would be a satisfying outcome for Wales. 

    Unbeknownst to many is that one of the original progenitors of the ideas and efforts that led to the League of Nations and, subsequently, the United Nations was the Welshman Henry Richard, MP for Merthyr Tydfil ( aka the ‘Apostle of Peace’). Henry tirelessly crisscrossed Europe in the 19th century sowing the seeds of international cooperation.

    So, what can an independent Wales offer on the international stage?

    Soft power.

    We have a great hand to play, following in the footsteps of Henry Richard. We neither pose a threat to any nation nor are we in a location where others would threaten us. Neutrality and mediation have often been the real power brokers, and this type of power beckons for an Independent Wales.

    With a highly-skilled, small, consistent, and cohesive team of diplomats to mediate and negotiate selflessly and objectively, Wales could assert itself as a safe space for sensitive discussions and negotiations. Under the radar, yet working with all sides to resolve conflicts and disagreements even when the main players, for political reasons, are intransigent with each other.

    An Independent Wales will not be a new and volatile nation but an old and venerable one, newly minted and released from bondage, with global connections and a history spanning centuries.

    Did you know that many of the early American Presidents were Welsh and that there was

    considerable Welsh American input into the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776?

    As you can see, we are already a nation with a deep historical connection with one global superpower – the USA. And then there is China, with whom we have a shared national symbol, the Dragon. This might seem trivial, and little upon which to build a diplomatic relationship of trust and integrity. Still, symbols are hugely important in the far east, and China is no exception.

    Realpolitik would certainly recognise the merit of a third-party forum with no vested interests.

    Simply put, Wales could act as a safety valve and conduit for communication when official direct channels have broken down or when domestic sentiments for the relevant players demand political posturing that may not necessarily align with long-term interests. 



  • YesCymru CEO accuses Sunak of "trampling" on Welsh workers' rights

    YesCymru CEO accuses Sunak of "trampling" on Welsh workers' rights with "immoral" anti-strike legislation

    The CEO of YesCymru has accused Rishi Sunak of "trampling" on the rights of Welsh workers with the "immoral" anti-strike legislation. 

    Gwern Gwynfil, who heads up the pro-independence group, made the comments after Tory ministers announced the planned crackdown on unions. He argued that independence is the only way to secure "a better future for Wales and all of her people"..

    Under the legislation, which would be imposed on Wales from Westminster, employers will be able to sue unions and sack staff who take strike action.  

    The legislation will enforce “minimum service levels” in six sectors, including the health service, rail, education, fire and border security. 

    They will force a proportion of union members to continue working to maintain those “minimum service levels”, which would mean that strikes would be deemed illegal if unions refused to provide them.

    Gwern Gwynfil YesCymru CEO said "The Sunak government’s attack on workers rights undermines the freedoms and values enjoyed by the Welsh population today. This Tory government has no democratic mandate in Wales and their action is deeply immoral and simply cannot be justified. 

    "We value our people properly here in Wales, we don’t just clap for them when it suits us, these are our brothers and sisters, our neighbours and friends, mothers and fathers - all of whom deserve a reasonable quality of life and should not be expected to struggle constantly both at home and in the workplace. We must insist on Independence so that we can build a better future for Wales and all of her people. No more of Westminster trampling our rights and exploiting us for their own ends".

     

  • published Templates for Groups in Infographics 2023-01-12 12:08:09 +0000

    Templates for Groups

    Template images for YesCymru groups.

         
         
         
     
  • published A word from the Chair in Latest 2023-01-05 12:04:47 +0000

    A word from the Chair

    It has been an honour to Chair the National Governing Board of Yes Cymru since March and to have worked with a dedicated group of Directors, our new Chief Executive and the team.  It has been hard work, but one of the greatest achievements of last year was to steady the YesCymru ship that had sailed perilously close to the rocks at the end of 2021.  

    It is not exciting work sitting in meeting after meeting making sure the finance, governance and internal structures are fit for purpose, but the end result is a satisfying one. We can be confident entering 2023 that YesCymru has strong, deep and firm foundations upon which to grow and expand its membership, its activities and its effectiveness. This is what we have achieved this past year and I believe the working NGB can be justly proud of all their efforts. YesCymru is powerfully poised to have an even more significant impact on the Independence debate and movement over the coming years.

    This year we have also worked with AUOB, with YesCymru providing most of the finance as well as significant organisational support from our Directors and volunteers, in delivering two very successful marches - in Wrexham and in Cardiff. Between these two events it has been estimated that close to 18,000 attended.

    This  year will be an exciting year, with further marches already in the pipeline but also our first ever conference to be held over a weekend in Aberystwyth in mid June. An opportunity to strengthen personal links within the organisation across Wales, to learn from each other and to improve our fundamental skills as a grassroots campaign organisation. Our biggest challenge remains in moving support for independence up from its present level, at around 30%, to the next stage of over 50% - the best way to achieve this will be by converting the support we already have both within Wales and across the Welsh diaspora, into active membership. This will not only help to finance the campaigning, research and visible marketing we need to ensure prominence for the debate at all times but the weight of membership itself can be a tool to create more political pressure in favour of Independence. 

     

    Elfed Williams

     

    The Article image is of Elfed Williams, the existing Chair of the National Governing Body on the left, with Sion Jobbins, a previous YesCymru chair on the right.

  • published Hen Galan greetings from our CEO in Latest 2023-01-05 12:04:34 +0000

    Hen Galan greetings from our CEO

    Although there has been a great deal to do, a great deal to learn and a great deal of groundwork for a successful 2023, the first 19 weeks in post have been rewarding. Getting to know the current NGB and discovering that they are bright, productive and astonishingly capable has been wonderful. Having the opportunity to address the vast crowd at the Cardiff march was a very special (if incredibly nerve wracking) moment. Working with the Board, firstly to create a vision for the future of the organisation, then to begin the process of implementing that vision, has been productive, challenging and successful. 

    Fundamental to that vision is the knowledge that we may soon find ourselves in a situation where the United Kingdom has already ceased to exist. Northern Ireland is shaping to reunite with the Republic of Ireland, an inevitable outcome of the Good Friday Agreement but one which has certainly been accelerated by Brexit and Westminster’s creation of the NI protocol. Meanwhile, Scotland is now consistently polling a majority in favour of Independence, with an overwhelming majority amongst those under the age of 50 - it is only a matter of time. Wales may soon find itself staring at a future as nothing more than an adjunct to England, no longer part of an union of nations but just one small nation forcibly tied to an overwhelmingly larger and dominant neighbour. A neighbour who consistently demonstrates little or no regard for its very junior partner. There is no bright future for Wales in this relationship, it provides no ‘insurance’.

    Right now, as an organisation, YesCymru is not ready. We do not have robust campaigning structures in place at any level. We do not have effective and resilient internal communication channels. We do not have enough reach or impact in our external communications. This is not surprising as we remain a relatively young and fresh organisation. Nonetheless, it is disappointing. As an organisation we have had to evolve rapidly, have suffered growing pains and have now undergone a period of rapid transformation to reassert our focus on our core goal. Over the next 6-18 months that transformation and growth must continue at pace. We have to become a lean, effective, coordinated campaigning body with active members and groups on the ground in every corner of Wales. We have to become the platform which unites the entire Indy movement and gives it a much more powerful collective voice. Mean Undod mae Nerth.

    This is how we win the Independence debate, this is how we persuade the population of Wales, this is how we achieve our goal. At the community level we must engage as often as we can with individuals to discuss the future of our country. Everyone will have a reason to support Independence and we, as individuals and as an organisation, must help people on their journey to discover that reason. 

    Over the next six months we will be working hard to establish new groups, to reestablish dormant groups, to get existing groups to be increasingly active in as many ways as possible - from participating in local events, to holding their own community activities, to communicating with existing members and supporters across the area that their group covers. National campaigns will build on these local foundations and we will have an effective campaigning machine.

    Achieving Independence is possible when those of us who believe passionately that this is the best way to create a brighter future, for Wales today and the generations to follow, contribute consistently in our hundreds, our thousands, in a myriad of small ways, to make it happen.

    The conference in June will be our opportunity as groups, as volunteers and as a movement to come together. Here we will share information, learn from each other and establish new, personal connections to strengthen our network of active support across Wales. 

    Before the conference we will also have our Swansea march for Independence, we will be urging as many members as possible to come to this from across Wales but, more importantly, we will be asking everyone who comes to try and bring one, two, a handful, of family, friends and acquaintances, who may only be mildly Indy curious, with them. The measure of the success of that march will not be in the numbers who attend, the affirmation of support and shared goals for those of us who are already passionate about Indy, or even in the media spotlight that it brings. Its success must be measured through how many people it brings that step closer to full throated support for an Independent Wales, in how many individuals it pushes to take that ultimate step in declaring their support and joining YesCymru, in how many leave with a new fire in their bellies, ready to proactively campaign for Independence.

    On the digital front we will continue the work of improving our platform for members and supporters. More content (read Bendigeidfran’s Blog if you haven’t already done so!), more tools for groups and members as campaign aids, more extensive use of social media across more platforms. In short, in 2023, we will be doing more of everything - focussed exclusively on our core goal of Independence.

    Ymlaen gyfeillion, to Independence!

    Gwern Gwynfil

  • Why every farmer in Wales should support Independence

    If you have some knowledge of rural affairs I expect you think this article will be about the iniquities of the Australian trade deal, agreed in foolhardy haste by a Westminster government desperately trying to validate Brexit economically. Or perhaps you’ll be expecting a diatribe about the incompatibility between Welsh rural life relative to that of England. Or even something examining the cultural differences in Wales when compared with other parts of the UK.

    Sorry to disappoint. These and many other issues are certainly valid. There’s plenty to discuss in terms of the future of rural Wales and the potential offered by Independence but that is not the fundamental reason why every single farmer in Wales should desire Independence instinctively and wholeheartedly.

    Let’s paint a picture.

    Farmers love their land, they always have a deep affinity for it. Whether they have a multi generation family farm or have somehow managed to build a farm business and acquire land from nothing. It is the very nature of farming to care, to cherish and to improve that which you have. This needs long term planning, an often innate conservatism and an understanding of their own holdings which only comes with time and legacy.

    So here we are, with our small but beautiful farm. Full of potential but needing a lot of work.

    Unfortunately, there’s a farm 20 times larger right next door. Worse yet, the farmer next door effectively controls around 80% of everything we can do on our farm.

    They also collect around 90% of the proceeds of everything we produce on our farm,

    They don’t give us an accurate tally of how much this generates for them. 

    They spend this according to the priorities of their huge farm next door.

    Then, ‘generously’, give us money to run our agricultural operations. This they do whimsically, with rules they write themselves. 

    They stop us investing in improving our farm, its infrastructure and our future.

    They probably do love and cherish their own farm, in their own way, but they definitely don’t care for ours.

    No farmer would, or should, ever allow the farm next door to set their priorities for their holdings, their livestock, their crops. 

    This is why every Welsh farmer should stand tall for an Independent Wales.

  • Why Membership is so important for YesCymru

    Why Membership is so important for YesCymru

    Whilst we are a political campaigning group we are not, and never will be, a political party with elected representatives. We must find other ways to make our voice heard in the political sphere.

    In the simplest terms membership gives us weight and influence.

    We need to be the largest political grouping in Wales to decisively shift the scales in favour of Independence.

    In practical terms this means being larger than the Welsh Labour Party.

    This will be a challenge. We need to triple our current membership and we will need to have around ten thousand more members than we had at the very peak of membership.

    BUT getting there throws the door wide open on a multitude of opportunities.

    In media terms we become the most important game in town and have to be given a voice on everything. No more Question Time in Wales without Independence squarely on the agenda!

    It will force the Labour movement in Wales to address the question of Independence head on - no more papering over differences between Labour Unionists and Independence supporters with Home Rule fudge.

    It will give us more resources to campaign, to organise, to contribute to the realities and possibilities of our future Independent nation.

    It will be an unassailable statement of the depth of support for Independence in Wales today.

    The prominence the lead spot gives us will enable us to communicate more effectively and clearly.

    More members will mean more active volunteers, more enthusiasm, more nationwide conversations about Independence.

    The dissemination of information will be broader and faster.

    It is hard to overestimate the impact reaching these member levels could have. The single most important thing that any supporter of Welsh Independence can do is to add their voice to that of YesCymru by joining and pushing the ticker one click higher. 

    Rulers can only rule with the consent of the people and we must gather together as one to make it clear that we no longer consent to Westminster rule.

    We cannot just wait for the world to shape our future for us, we must make change happen. We have history and form in Wales - when communities coalesce we’ve done great things. From the establishment of our first University by subscriptions from across the length and breadth of Wales, to the working men’s institutes and their role in nurturing aspiration, to the birth of the NHS and, indeed, the Labour party itself. Together we can do this again.

    Membership Matters. Independence. Annibyniaeth.

  • published Director Roles - In Their Own Words in NGB 2022-12-31 12:57:03 +0000

    Director Roles - In Their Own Words

    Here’s what our Directors said about this reading role:

    “Helping create and promote YesCymru identity throughout Cymru; everything from campaigns to marches, research to communications, festivals to merchandise - each director has a hand on the tiller that rudders the revolution to indy!” Phyl

    “Working with local groups, AUOB and other independence organisations in planning and arranging independence marches and events . Working with police and council to ensure YesCymru marches and public events are conducted safely and effectively. Providing input to NGB and CEO with regards to finance and merchandise. Assisting other directors and groups, as required to promote YesCymru’s aims and  the course of independence.” Andy

    “I have really enjoyed being part of the National Governing Body for the past nine months.  I have, in the main, been part of the Governance team working on legal and governance matters for Yes Cymru Cyf.  I also work with the teams on Groups and Membership, Merchandise and Sales. I look forward to working with more groups and members and helping develop and grow this area of Yes Cymru.“ Nerys

    “My first year as a director for YesCymru has been busier than expected but very productive and worthwhile.” Elfed

    “Apart from the regular NGB meetings I've also been involved in several different work streams including Legal/Governance, Groups & membership and chairing the Digital Development group. 

    I've been assisting with the communications group with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as launching our revamped website in the summer. 

    I'm also the designated safeguarding lead and took on the responsibility of safeguarding and child safety at both marches held in 2022.” Elgan 

  • published Director Roles and Responsibilities in NGB 2022-12-31 12:52:18 +0000

    Director Roles and Responsibilities

    Director Role and Responsibilities (January 2023)

    As a YesCymru Director you will contribute directly to the development of our campaign strategy.  The Board is also responsible for scrutinising, approving and advising the Chief Executive on tactical implementation of strategic goals. The Chief Executive is in overall charge of executing strategy, day-to-day operations and management of the team, both employees and volunteers. Directors will be asked to take lead and executive roles on specific projects through working groups. The organisation will always strive to align these responsibilities with natural areas of interest.

    There is an expectation that Directors will give freely and generously of their time and be held accountable and responsible for the success of projects where they have the lead role. Many projects will have multiple Directors involved, most projects will have secondary Director support alongside the executive lead Director.

    Directors are required to sit on the National Governing Board which currently meets three times a month - this may reduce as the working group model becomes established with an effective reporting system in place to ensure the wider Board is always well informed. There is currently one all day face to face NGB meeting held on the third Saturday of every month. This is itinerant and held sequentially in North, Mid and South Wales.  

    All directors will be expected to actively participate in one or more working groups answerable to the NGB. The organisation will always strive to ensure these appointments align with relevant interests, skills and experience.

    Existing Directors and the CEO are available to discuss the requirements, potential and obligations of the role - please just ask!

  • Bendigeidfran's Blog - December 2022

    Why Membership is so important for YesCymru

    Whilst we are a political campaigning group we are not, and never will be, a political party with elected representatives. We must find other ways to make our voice heard in the political sphere.

    In the simplest terms membership gives us weight and influence.

    We need to be the largest political grouping in Wales to decisively shift the scales in favour of Independence.

    In practical terms this means being larger than the Welsh Labour Party.

    This will be a challenge. We need to triple our current membership and we will need to have around ten thousand more members than we had at the very peak of membership.

    BUT getting there throws the door wide open on a multitude of opportunities.

    In media terms we become the most important game in town and have to be given a voice on everything. No more Question Time in Wales without Independence squarely on the agenda!

    It will force the Labour movement in Wales to address the question of Independence head on - no more papering over differences between Labour Unionists and Independence supporters with Home Rule fudge.

    It will give us more resources to campaign, to organise, to contribute to the realities and possibilities of our future Independent nation.

    It will be an unassailable statement of the depth of support for Independence in Wales today.

    The prominence the lead spot gives us will enable us to communicate more effectively and clearly.

    More members will mean more active volunteers, more enthusiasm, more nationwide conversations about Independence.

    The dissemination of information will be broader and faster.

    It is hard to overestimate the impact reaching these member levels could have. The single most important thing that any supporter of Welsh Independence can do is to add their voice to that of YesCymru by joining and pushing the ticker one click higher. 

    Rulers can only rule with the consent of the people and we must gather together as one to make it clear that we no longer consent to Westminster rule.

    We cannot just wait for the world to shape our future for us, we must make change happen. We have history and form in Wales - when communities coalesce we’ve done great things. From the establishment of our first University by subscriptions from across the length and breadth of Wales, to the working men’s institutes and their role in nurturing aspiration, to the birth of the NHS and, indeed, the Labour party itself. Together we can do this again.

    Membership Matters. Independence. Annibyniaeth.

  • wants to volunteer 2022-09-11 14:24:03 +0100

    Volunteer