Imagining an Independent Wales
The Welsh/Cymraeg movement for independence from the UK state has been growing significantly across the country over recent years, writes Mike Picken.
Speakers from across the independence movement addressed marchers about the failures of the Tory-led UK state, including many public figures from the cultural movement.
There has always been a strong movement in Wales for independence, rooted in the Welsh language and cultural movement, but what has been significant in recent years has been the growth in discussion particularly among the left, about the importance of political independence and what type of state a future independent Wales needs to be. New left wing organisations such as the Welsh socialist organisations Undod, Labour for an Independent Wales and the Welsh Underground Movement (previously Valleys Underground) have emerged and are working alongside the left in Plaid Cymru.
It is particularly significant for those of us in Scotland that the Welsh Labour Party leadership have accepted that independence is a legitimate constitutional demand and that not only are supporters of Independence openly tolerated and even adopted as candidates by Welsh Labour, but that the question of independence should be examined by the new Constitutional Commission established with the support of Welsh Labour in Senedd Cymru. Not only that, Welsh Labour government in Senedd Cymru has a cooperation agreement with independence-supporting Plaid Cymru covering a range of topics but especially action on the climate crisis. This is the complete opposite of Scottish Labour, where supporters of Independence are hounded out, and despite Keir Starmer’s claim of “No Deals with the SNP” disastrous agreements with the ball-wrecking Tories in several councils, including Edinburgh, have been made by Scottish Labour.
The topic of what sort of independent Wales is needed was discussed at a meeting on the eve of the 1 Oct demonstration, under the heading “Imagining an Independent Wales“. This meeting was called by another newly formed organisation Melin Drafod – which means ‘Think Tank” in the Welsh language – and is devoted to discussing ideas about progressive social change within an independent Wales. Among the speakers was former leader of the Plaid Cymru political party, Leanne Wood. This meeting and discussion was recorded and has now been published by Melin Drafod. The meeting like all meetings organised by Welsh independence activists is bilingual, but for Scottish readers the comments of Leeanne Wood are entirely in England.
You can read more about the position of marxists and Fourth International supporters on Welsh Independence in the following documents:
- The submission by Anti Capitalist Resistance, supported by ecosocialist.scot, to the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales
- ‘Disunited Kingdom’ an analysis by Terry Conway following the elections in Scotland, Wales and England in May 2021
- ‘Whispers of a Forgotten Nation’ by the late Ceri Evans, marxist writings by a leading Fourth International supporter about Wales, the national question and related issues