AFTER a chaotic weekend for the national movement, a positive move forward is still possible.
A ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on the new YesCymru constitution will be revealed later today after the extended voting period for members ends.
The EGM meeting over the weekend ended in chaos and confusion after the original votes had to be cancelled and details emerged that there were in fact only 8,000 members on the books not the 18,000 commonly cited.
This hugely embarrassing admission was only revealed to the gathered on-line delegates of the EGM at the meeting itself, which then had to be abandoned to all purposes.
It’s been officially explained as an administrative glitch in updating the membership status of members, many of whom were unaware that their yearly membership had lapsed.
It’s hoped that many of the ‘disappeared’ members will renew their membership to be able to vote by tomorrow’s deadline.
A spokesperson for Gwlad said it was high time for the movement to get the show back on the road after months of paralysis and in-fighting.
“It’s been such a shame to see all these internal distractions which have prevented YesCymru from engaging with the people who really matter, the ordinary people of Wales” he said.
“With Westminster such a cesspit of corruption and mismanagement, people here are crying out for some strong positive messages for Wales to be able to navigate its way away from all that.”
He added that Gwlad supported the new constitution as it reaffirmed YesCymru’s original non-partisan position.
“We also welcome the new constitution’s emphasis on not pre-judging what kind of Wales should be outlined by YesCymru, and that they will leave the exact form of our future to the democratic choices made by voters in a Welsh election” he said.
Despite some optimism that a ‘Yes’ will carry the day tomorrow, it’s clear that some serious questions have to be asked of the two ‘managing’ entities of YC since the summer, i.e the accountants, Azets, and BaK, a social media and PR company.
It seems incredible that accountants would fail to raise the alarm that 10,000 members had ‘disappeared’ with the subsequent loss of thousands of pounds for the coffers.
And if they were sleeping on the job, it’s also perplexing why a PR company was also not aware of the huge damage to the brand in losing so many members in such a short space of time.
Members will be asking whether paying these two organisations handsomely to ‘run’ YesCymru until the EGM was really an effective use of the movement’s money.
Others might also be asking whether the ‘terms of reference’ provided to these two companies by the departing Central Committee, were actually designed to hamper the work of the Gweithgor – the body tasked with the work of coming up with the new constitution.
With the Gweithgor members, apparently, totally unaware of the calamitous fall in the membership numbers until the EGM itself.
This line of thought is also fuelled perhaps by several social media posts by supporters of the old set-up claiming the 10,000 ‘disappeared’ members were actually those who had walked away in protest since the central committee was forced out in May.
Although a more logical argument would seem to be that a good portion of the ‘disappeared’ are those who were just fed-up of all the internal sniping and arguing full stop.
Whatever the result tomorrow, some kind of further clearing the air is surely needed before the movement can regain its credibility in the eyes of its own supporters and the wider public in Wales .
And perhaps the movement also needs to think outside the box, alongside its new commitment to be officially non-partisan in its public declarations.
Whether it’s 8,000, 10,000, 18,000 members or more, it’s always going to be difficult to keep everybody singing from the same hymn book all the time.
In view of that, perhaps they could scope some internal work whereby different sections could be tasked to come up with some alternative visions for Wales’s future: a left-leaning, a centrist and a centre-right future perhaps.
With an understanding that all these ideas and positions are to be discussed internally in a spirit of full engagement and honest debate on all fronts.
One unified message about the concept of Independence could still be presented to the public – whilst allowing healthy discussion to be fostered internally amongst the members.