OVER recent months, the membership of YES Cymru has soared to over 5,000.
Now, the, organisation has decided to appoint a part-time ‘Diversity and Inclusion Officer’ – presumably funded by the monies rolling in from the extra members.
It all sounds very honourable on the surface.
After all, who could refute their argument that the movement needs to be sensitive to diversity and inclusion in modern Wales?
Even so, there are a number of troubling issues associated with this move by YES Cymru’s central committee.
Firstly, they say the move has been sparked by the recent public debate over diversity; which one takes to be a reference to the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
A question has to be asked whether the need for such a post has actually been driven by the response of ordinary members here in Wales, and whether indeed the members have been consulted about it.
There is the worry that YES Cymru have been corralled into this decision by all the publicity garnered by the protests, and the agenda of those associated with the protests.
Secondly, it is slightly concerning that a voluntary movement is now taking on the guise of a modern corporate entity along with all their favourite buzzwords.
It’s the idealism and passion of the grass-roots members which makes YES Cymru the force that it is at present. This voluntary element could well be diluted by a drive to ‘professionalise’ the movement along the lines of a modern-day employer.
Thirdly, it could be argued that such a post is a distraction from the raison d’etre of the organisation itself, i.e Independence for Wales.
There’s always a danger that such a post – purposefully designed to find examples of lack of diversity and inclusion – could lead to YES Cymru having to follow several hares, which could pop up all over the place in the form of pet projects pushed by some of the recent entrants into the organisation.
With the core issue of independence then pushed to one side, by the demands of these other issues.
Diversity has become an industry in itself over recent years.
But we should always remember that the most important diversity of all in society is diversity of thought.
YES Cymru need to be careful that they don’t pin their colours exclusively to what could be seen as a left-wing agenda.
People with centrist and centre-right views also need to be persuaded that an Independent Wales is a desirable destination.
That requires a pragmatic, ‘big tent approach’, where all viewpoints are acknowledged properly.