Real Independence

Leanne Wood

The best decision makers are those who are directly affected by
those decisions: that should not be controversial.

Except, that is, if Westminster and Whitehall’s benches and halls of privilege are your natural home.

People in Wales face a number of problems and challenges that cannot be solved by our current power-limited Senedd. Nor can they be resolved by Westminster where Wales is never a priority.

There is no question that becoming an independent country will empower the people of Wales. But beyond the headline, it’s time for us to examine what it will really mean.

As ever, Raymond Williams’ thinking – introducing his concept of
‘real independence’ – was far ahead of his time. It’s approach that goes much further than just national constitutional arrangements. A call for a freedom characterised by a broad-mindedness and confidence that people have when they have
been politically and economically empowered to decide the direction of their own lives.

After too much time as a one-party state, it’s time to give geographical and economic equality and community empowerment a chance. That community-led, devolved socialism will be a clear break neo-liberal approach at the United Kingdom level.

As a national movement, our aim is not to bring more powers to Cardiff. If economic activity and public investment continue to focus on the area around the M4 corridor in south east of Wales, we will be emulating the British state on a smaller scale, while neglecting communities in and around the capital as well.

We will have the opportunity to do our politics differently, ensuring that policies suit the needs of our communities.

What is needed is to encourage people to engage in the process of thinking about how we can solve our problems together and to inspire people to take part in local initiatives that build the resilience of their communities.

What is needed is a program that presents a set of values and principles and policy ideas to empower and end our economic dependency.

This process has already started: as activists succeed in convincing more and more people to agree with the principle that decisions that affect Wales should be made in Wales.

Raymond’s real independence is in touching distance, and the intense debate about the plan to get us there is underway.

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