With Nicola Sturgeon reaching out to the majority of Scottish inhabitants apprehensive about leaving the EU by outlining plans for a second bite at the independence cherry, it was obvious that the whispers of Welsh independence would undoubtedly, once again, emerge.
The other day, a friend of mine posted a status along the lines of ‘Who would vote for Welsh independence?‘
A few hours passed and around 20 comments emerged on the post. Aside from myself and two others, the rest of the comments simply said ‘No.’
The initial feelings of advocators of Welsh independence at this point might be disheartened and frustrated but, for me, I’m nothing but optimistic.
I mean, technically, three in twenty is 15%…. that’s 12% more than the BBC’s estimate!
Facebook is a tender site. It is, whether we like it or not, a window into our lives. What we post, like and share mirrors who we are. Furthermore, judging by the discontent shown by my university friends when we posted unwelcome status updates on their profiles without their knowing, people are definitely wary of its content.
The aforementioned Facebook friend – not your average poster of political statuses, may I add? – went out of their way to raise the question. This can only be a good thing in Wales’ quest for self determination.
And to think, imagine just ONE of those not in favour of Welsh independence then took a quick moment to read a blog or an article or a tweet or a meme supporting the cause….
Whether their opinion subsequently warmed to Welsh independence or not, that person empowered his/herself with a level argument…. well, an argument more level than was previously had.
And that’s the key. In honesty, the only valuable debate that can be forged regarding Welsh independence can only be had by those who realise every coin has two sides. Surely?
As supporters of Welsh independence, we have, at some point, sympathised with Britishness. We have been proud of the state’s sporting achievements. Its music. Its politics. Its whatever! Some to a greater extent than others, of course.
Then, after much deliberation and weighing up of the pros and cons of British AND Welsh nationalism, advocators of the dream that is Welsh home rule have subsequently come to the level-headed opinion that we, as residents of Wales, are better off as an independent nation amongst the world community.
This at the very least proves that, for whatever our reasons, supporters of Welsh independence are entitled to their view.
At this point it seems imperative that being a supporter of Welsh independence does NOT mean they despise Britishness. Anyway, who says an island of equal states can’t work closely as friends outside of a political union? Canada and the USA have a fantastic relationship without having to add a maple leaf-shaped star amidst the 50 present stars of the US flag!
I’m no politician. As it stands, I do not wish to be. I don’t have the answers to many questions regarding what an independent Wales would look like. If we take Wales’ population to be 3,000,000, I’d put money on the fact that there are a good, say, 2,999,999 who have a better and clearer view of how Wales should shape her own path as an independent, self-determining member of the global community.
I simply, as one who has listened and appreciated both sides, have to come to the conclusion that our nation is best led by those who reside in it. When (and I whole-heatedly mean when rather than if) Wales wins her freedom, I will not stand for President or Tywysog or Arlywydd. That job is admittedly for one a lot savvier politically than yours truly. So until that time I merely hope that I can convince people to open their eyes to the arguments put forward by pro independence campaigners.
A fortnight or so ago I wrote about Welsh independence perhaps being thrust upon us rather than won through a referendum. I based this view on the fact that, with prospective Scottish independence and Irish unity, the people of England could just as well wish to forge their own path in the world – subsequently forcing Wales to fend for itself. This, of course, is totally hypothetical but my point was that Welsh independence may well take us by surprise. For this reason alone, debating this potential situation is a wise thing to do.
At the very least, empower yourself with both sides of the debate. That goes for independence supporters too. For without information, debate is worthless.