WELSH independence, Welsh Sovereignty, Welsh Nationalism, Free Wales, Yes Cymru, Nation Cymru, Constitutional Change and a number of other words and organisations to describe the same goal, a Wales as a nation in charge of its own destiny, its own resources and its own decision making joined together at a rally held in Merthyr Tydfil today, Saturday, (Sep 7).
Those calling for change came together to march through the town led by the Cambria Band. Flags representing numerous organisations and political representations were flying high. Meanwhile in a meeting room at the Castle Hotel, former MP for Carmarthen Gwynoro Jones was setting out an agenda, which if followed up could see many of the people demanding a free Wales coming together with a well thought out academic proposal for constitutional change.
Speaking to Wales News Online Gwynoro Jones said: “The inaugural meeting of a Wales Constitutional Convention is key to a ‘national conversation’ in Wales and a catalyst for the way ahead and I am happy to be the facilitator in its early development. Of course, as the months progress it is hoped that it will become a much more significant body with Westminster and Senedd politicians, local government, academics, voluntary organisations and a wider representation of Welsh civic society participating. It is imperative that our approach is diverse and all-Wales in design.”
The former MP continued: “The aim is to, methodically and sensibly enable participants to discuss and share opinions as to the best constitutional future for Wales. The first meeting discussed aims and objectives and a paper was presented on the various options available to achieve sovereignty and self government. . Exploration is required of areas such as: • Internal workings of Wales as a nation state within a range of possible constitutional options available, including various applications of sovereignty • Institutional relationships within these constitutional frameworks • Allocation of powers, rights and laws • Fiscal decentralisation and economic performance • Social impacts.”
Concluding the former MP said: “I was particularly pleased that Sion Jobbins from Yes Cymru and Ben Gwalchmai fron Labour4Indy Wales were in attendance and others like Aled Edwards who offer a different perspective on the priorities to consider.”
The next meeting will be held in Wrexham within a month where detailed discussions will begin and further papers be presented.
Many at the rally expressed their belief in Welsh Independence solving the nation’s ills. Some acknowledged that this was also a rise in Nationalism. The message was clear. ‘We don’t want to be given our nation back, it has always been ours’. Many were calling for a referendum for independence. Others said that it was important to have their voices heard and to say that Westminster was just not working for Wales. The pervasive view was that Wales needed control of its own destiny.
After all the speeches and flag waving someone somewhere will have to come up with a way forward, which will take at least the majority of Welsh people with them. Nationalism may not sit well with some people who would rather hold on to the existing arrangement, which sees Westminster giving Wales a share of decision making powers but not all. The issue of Brexit has split the nation and there will be a lot of work to do for any nationalist alternative to convince those who feel betrayed. That said if the UK does leave the EU Wales could be left as the only home nation conjoined with England and the Westminster Government.