Why Independence as a "Long Term Aim" is wrong

When Simon Thomas was an MP he suggested that Plaid should aim for an independent Wales by 2050, because I am already well into my sixth decade, voting for a party that promises independence by 2050, would be an altruistic act for me, the chances of my living until 2050 are minimal. In an article on Wales Home Adam Price suggests 2036 as the date that the party should advocate for its long term policy, when I may be a sprightly 77 years old.

Plaid Cymru has seen generations of activists shuffle off this mortal coil knowing that they would never live in an independent Wales, why should I expect better? Shouldn't I too campaign for independence as a long term aim that will benefit my children and my grandchildren after I am gone?

Possibly, but probably not!

I am a realist, I know that Independence has hovered around the 10% +3 -3 margine of error in opinion polls for the last 30 years, so there isn't a great appetite for Independence in Wales at the moment. One of the reasons for this stagnation is that nobody has made the case for independence. And therein lays the problem of kicking independence into the long grass. If we see independence as a long term issue that can be ignored for another 20 30, 50 years, Wales will never be independent!

For either Adam or Simon to be right, for independence to be achieved in 2036 or 2050 we must campaign for Independence Today. Ignoring the issue as something for the long term just puts off making the case for independence until 2036 or 2050 or 2075 or 2974 or 3465 or for eternity!

If there is a case for Welsh independence it should be made today by all who believe in the cause. Postponing the argument as something for the long term is both duplicitous and dishonest!


  1. Agreed, without that vision we can't make progress, we have to make the practical case why independence is right, how the current union is a failure and how we can, with control of our own destiny really make a difference.

  2. While I agree that Independence in the short term is unlikley - the further away the target the less likley it is to be reached.

    I believe that 2020 should be a realistic target, and we should plan a roadmap with milestomes to be reached along the way. It is much easeier to focus and achieve nearby targets - like the recent powers referendum - than it is to look forward to some undefined utopia. Some of these milestones will slip which will put the final date back, but it does give us the opportunity to move forward - something like:

    2012 Devolution of policing & criminal justice 2013 Devolution of economic powers, water supply, power generation and supply
    2014 Transfer of tax raising and collection
    2015 Move to Reserved powers model (as Scotlnad today
    2018 Move to full federal status - Devomax
    2020 Full Independence

    Aim for one achievable step at a time but always keeping an eye on the final destination. Each step achived makes the following ones easier.


  3. Exactly Alwyn. Nobody ever makes the case and so the case is never made.

    Please, can we have some leadership, some guts, some clarity, some research, some articles and get the ball rolling? 100% of the population will never want independence, but then, not 100% want to be part of the UK, but we're still a part of it. Time to make the case.

  4. maen_tramgwydd20/12/2011, 13:21

    Spot on, Alwyn!

    I too want to see it before I depart this scene of time, and I'm further on than you are by quite a bit!

    The case for independence from this dreadful British State, where the only things they are good at are promoting armed conflicts (but not so good at winning them), wasting money and making the rich wealthier, is a very strong one!

  5. Setting 2036 as an aim is a brilliant step. By that time no one will remember Adam Price or the date, so he can get credit for it now and no blame when nothing happens. Where is this man? Where is his day-to-day commitment to Wales.

  6. I agree, MoF with every word. Like you, 2036 is too far away for me. I will not see it.

    Plaid needs to set out a visionary, credible alternative for Wales, apart from the union with its neo-liberal economics, and only Leanne has the vision, the inclination or the guts to do that, which is why I am voting for her. She also has the impatience of youth, something so lacking in our leadership of late.

  7. So right to push for Welsh Independence sooner rather than later. Let us not forget that the barriers put up to thwart freedom can be swept away in a relatively short time, as in the old Soviet Union and now Scotland.
    The unionists rely on the fear of change to stymie the road to independence, but the barriers they erect are built on foundations of sand. I have no doubt that Leanne has the courage to call the bluff of the Unionists.

  8. Hear, hear, MoF. I remember Simon Thomas making that "inspirational" statement. My reaction was, ok then, call me in 49 years' time and I'll come out to canvass for you again then.

  9. Spot on. That's why botes will go to Leanne and Elin

  10. mairede thomas26/12/2011, 00:46

    why is tax raising, collection and distribution not the first objective? At the moment it is the the harmonisation of fiscal and monetary government which is at the centre of the debate about sovereignty in Europe. And from financial independence will flow all other government policy.

  11. For gods sake most of your leadership disagree with you!!

  12. The paradox is that, to even have independence as a long-term aim, we have to get talking about it right now. If we don't, the idea will be forgotten about altogether and there won't be a long-term.