LAST Saturday, an old friend and I made the long trek down to Merthyr Tudful in the Welsh Valleys to take part in the third rally for Welsh Independence.
It proved to be a long and tiring trip for the two fifty-somethings from Caernarfon, which entailed almost eight hours on the road, there and back in a day.
But, both the “old rebels with a cause” agreed it was all worthwhile to be part of such an uplifting and encouraging occasion, which saw 5,000 people congregate in Sgwar Dic Penderyn, to call for Welsh Independence.
Eddie Butler, the ex-Wales rugby player and BBC rugby commentator proved to be the stand-out performer, with some soaring rhetoric and brilliant delivery about the potential of Wales, and the essential unity of its people despite all the differences that exist here.
It was very encouraging to hear a non-Welsh speaker highlighting the importance of the Welsh language, not only for those who speak it, but in its unmistakeable influence on the English spoken by so many people in Wales today- which instantly marks them out as Welsh people wherever they are in the world.
Politics is of course a huge turn-off for people these days, and the continuing circus of Brexit has stretched people’s patience with this field of endeavour to breaking point.
People seem to have given up on political parties and politicians of all hues after so many years of broken promises, their disdain for the electorate who pay their wages and all the self-serving agendas which appears to be de rigeur within the political environment of today
But, I think that the message of the Merthyr trip was- Don’t give up on politics entirely folk!
Because in Welsh Independence, we have a cause which transcends conventional politics, politicians and political parties.
It is a cause which goes beyond the usual grubby business of politics: seeking power, maintaining power and exercising power. Which so often attracts the most ruthless and machiavellian characters in society who revel in all the power games involved.
Independence has the potential to galvanise ordinary people and encourage them to dream about something BIG in life. And to dream about achieving that along with other people.
We are all too aware of the multiple problems that Wales faces today: unemployment, broken communities, a drink, drug and gambling epidemic, young people leaving in droves to find a better life, and an impotent government down in Cardiff Bay, hamstrung by the fact that all the power levers are still reserved by Westminster.
But perhaps the worst problem of all is the hopelessness and despair about both the present and the future which is all too evident in communities right across the land. As could be seen all too clearly on Merthyr’s high street on Saturday, with its array of closed and boarded-up shops, and general air of malaise.
In effect, these problems are too deep-rooted and long established to be solved by any politician and any political party in reality
Perhaps indeed these can only be resolved by an awakening amongst the people themselves. A spiritual awakening in effect.
And in the land of revivals itself, who’s to say that this can’t happen in 2019?!
Such an awakening could amount to a realisation that this has got to be achieved by all of us in Wales working for something beyond ourselves and beyond our individual lives.
This working together, both as Welsh-speakers and Non-Welsh speakers, could be just what the doctor ordered to allow us to escape from the general alienation and loneliness that afflict so many today.
Politics as purpose?
Now, that’s something we can all support!