#GE2017 & #indyWales

Cymru’n gwrthod cael ei hanghofio

Fel un o’r mudiadau sifig sy’n tyfu gyflymaf yng Nghymru, mae YesCymru wedi croesawu’r ffaith y bydd Etholiad Cyffredinol ledled y Deyrnas Unedig yn digwydd yn fuan, gan ddweud ei fod yn gyfle newydd i roi Annibyniaeth Cymru ar yr agenda wleidyddol.Meddai Iestyn ap Rhobert, Cadeirydd YesCymru: “Mae Brexit wedi newid popeth. Mae’n debygol mai Llywodraeth Geidwadol fydd gyda ni eto am gyfnod hir – llywodraeth heb ei hethol gan Gymru, yn gwanhau datganoli yn lle’i gryfhau, ac yn cyflwyno polisïau sy’n groes i werthoedd Cymru. Mae brys newydd i’n hymgyrch dros annibyniaeth i Gymru.”

“Rydyn ni’n gwybod y bydd Annibyniaeth i’r Alban a chreu Iwerddon Unedig yn faterion pwysig yn yr etholiad hwn. Er mwyn sicrhau nad yw Cymru’n cael ei hanghofio, bydd YesCymru yn gweithio yn ystod yr ymgyrch etholiadol gydag aelodau o bob blaid – a rhai di-blaid – sy’n cefnogi annibyniaeth i Gymru. Rydyn ni’n galw ar bob plaid wleidyddol i edrych eto ar annibyniaeth yn lle cadw at syniadau hen ffasiwn sy’n mygu ein potensial fel gwlad.”
“Bydd YesCymru hefyd yn ymgyrchu ar y cyd gyda grwpiau o blaid annibyniaeth yn yr Alban a Gogledd Iwerddon i wneud yr achos ehangach bod angen creu strwythurau gwleidyddol newydd ar draws Ynysoedd Prydain ac Iwerddon.”
Wales must not be left behind

As one of the fastest growing civic movements in Wales, YesCymru has welcomed the UK general election as a new opportunity to put Welsh Independence on the political agenda.

Iestyn ap Rhobert, Chair of YesCymru said: “Brexit has changed everything. The likely prospect of another lengthy UK Conservative government – not elected by Wales, chipping away at devolution and introducing policies inimical to widely-shared Welsh values – gives added urgency to our growing campaign for national independence.”
“It is already clear that independence for Scotland and Irish reunification will be big issues in this UK election. To ensure that Wales is not left behind, YesCymru will work during the election campaign with members of any party – or none – who support Welsh independence. We are calling on all political parties to look afresh at independence instead of sticking to dated ideas that are stifling our potential as a country.”
“YesCymru will also campaign jointly with pro-Independence movements in Scotland and Northern Ireland to make the wider case for new political structures across both Britain and Ireland.”

A response from Ifan Morgan Jones to #indymedia regarding Nation.Cymru

Unfortunately, I can’t be there because of teaching duties at Bangor University, but Sandra has asked me to write a few words about the plans for Nation.Cymru.

All of us understand the need for an independent Welsh media that can be a platform on which we can conduct a national conversation about the nation’s future.

Wales suffers from a democratic deficit. Most of the population are completely ignorant of what is going on in Welsh politics, through no fault of their own.At the moment, most people in Wales read or watch British media that refers to the entirety of the UK as one national community, and make almost no mention of Wales at all.
Whether you agree with Brexit or not, it’s clear that the discussion took place within the context of what was best for England rather than what was best for Wales.
Wales needs to be woken up. The national movement which you represent is the means of doing so.
But a successful national movement cannot grow without a national media which serves as a medium through which its message can reach the masses. 
I’ve maintained for a long time that a national Welsh media should be goal #1 of the national movement. It’s the cornerstone – without it, nothing else is possible.
That is where Nation.Cymru comes in. It’s our chance to build up a national, independent media platform alongside the growth of the wider national movement.
We do however need to be realistic about what Nation.Cymru will be when it launches and what it can achieve to begin with.
If we set expectations too high at the start, there’s a danger than enthusiasm fizzles out. If we’re going to make a success of this, we’re in it for the long haul.
At the moment Nation.Cymru has raised a little over £4,000. Running a semi-professional news site with frequent updates would cost at least £75,000 a year.
No one can run the news site full-time for no income. We all have jobs or responsibilities and families to feed beyond the national movement and there’s only so much that individuals can do voluntarily.
This will have implications for what topics the site can cover. Explosive investigative journalism requires not only time and money but also a very well-paid lawyer!
So, to begin with, at least, Nation.Cymru can’t aim to offer the same kind of service as a professional news site.
What we can offer, however, is regular news stories and opinion pieces every week, aimed at challenging the dominant narrative about Wales’ politics and prospects.
We must aim for quality over quantity. One article a week that goes viral on Facebook and draws people’s attention, and changes minds, is far better than 30 articles a day that no one reads.
Our target audience needs to be the normal man and woman in the street. For too long discussions about independence for Wales have circulated in intellectual circles and not got much further.
We need to craft a Welsh national movement that is palatable to everyone – in the valleys, in the north-east, and below the Landsker. 
We need to show everyone in Wales, wherever they were born, whatever language they speak, that they have something to gain from joining a Welsh national movement.
Launching Nation.Cymru will be easy. Plenty of similar sites have launched over the years, but have drifted away due to a lack of enthusiasm.
My hope is to launch Nation.Cymruduring the summer. Or, if May does call a general election, perhaps a little earlier!
But the challenge will be not to start but to keep going.
I hope all of you will consider contributing to Nation.Cymru, with money if you have it – and thanks to those who already have! – but more importantly perhaps with time and effort.
I hope you have a good time down there today, that your discussions bear fruit, and I look forward to meeting you all soon.

Best,

Ifan Morgan Jones

Indy Media Fringe – Golden Cross, Cardiff 29th March 5-7 pm

It’s a truism that Wales has a huge media deficit. Most people here get their politics from London-centric sources, which hardly recognise our existence, let alone respect and report us. Even under British Devolution, with increasing competences for the Welsh Government and the National Assembly, our contracting media structure is creating the dangerous paradox of Andrew Jackson’s “government without newspapers”. The National Assembly has debated the problem many times but failed to find a viable solution. The IWA has organised a major conference this Wednesday to again address the current crisis. But this – like Assembly inquiries – is dominated by current major actors whose primary goal has to be to protect their producer interest and State norms, not our actual national interest.

If the above is true of Cardiff Bay politics today, the media platform for the very discussion of Independence is akin to a mirage – with some honourable exceptions. But using the IWA event as a hook, Yes Cymru has organised a ‘fringe event’ to resolutely promote the construction of a totally-new and autonomous #IndyMedia. It will NOT address ‘devolutionary angst’ taking place in the Radisson Blu but analyse and plan the actual development of new multi-media outlets to promote Independence. While these will necessarily engage with the #IndyCurious to expand popular support, these new platforms will be uncompromisingly #IndyConfident, focussing on achieving that goal without other-political diversions. 

Key speakers will set the scene – where we are, what’s in the pipeline – then facilitate open discussion on the practical delivery of new or enhanced entities. Matters to be resolved include structures, funding, expertise, audiences – and more.

Success will be benchmarked by the actual creation or accelerated development of an #IndyMedia and the continued existence of a successful pro-active network in lock-step with #YesCymru. Failure will be engagement with anything associated with current, contracting media structures.

Syd Morgan, Yes Caerdydd