Westminster isn’t working for Wales. Not right now. And something needs to change.

The National does not support any political party. But we do champion this country and make no apology for that.

We established the title to help create a stronger Welsh media and, in a small way, a better Wales. We celebrate Welsh culture and tell its stories. We hold power to account and scrutinise decision making, locally and nationally.

And we are a platform for debate and discussion of ideas. At this moment, Wales needs to have a national conversation about its future. Because things aren’t working.

Since the creation of the Senedd, we’ve never had the Conservatives as the largest party. Yet for much of that time, we’ve been governed by Conservatives in Westminster. That’s our system as part of a larger union but it’s a system that only works when the different layers of government have either clearly defined boundaries or mutual respect.

That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. The behaviour of the Boris Johnson administration has shown how fragile the devolution settlement is. The power is not held with the people of Wales but at the whim of the largest party in Westminster.

We have lost the millions in funding that came from Europe, in favour of a handful of scattergun projects under the Levelling-Up banner, despite promises to the contrary. Our Welsh government has the power to shutdown the economy during a national health emergency, but not the fiscal tools to provide adequate support for those who would be impacted by it. Such levers would only be pulled based on judgements made for England’s Government, not Wales’.

This is not an attack on the Conservative government in Westminster, but a statement that the current system is not delivering as it should. Relations between Wales and Westminster are broken.

The Labour administration in Cardiff Bay is quick to use Westminster as a distraction from its own failings. Over a number of years, the Welsh Government has failed to tackle poverty, failed to build a strong economy. Would Wales do better as an independent nation? We don’t know.

Despite polls showing support for independence reaching new heights in recent years, an appetite for it has not been demonstrated at the ballot box. Plaid Cymru has so far proved itself influential over policy, but ineffective at winning the argument for an independent Wales. Last April we ran a front page on our print edition asking ‘is this the independence election?’. The answer from voters was a firm ‘no’.

So what is next? Are we stuck in the status quo? There is growing frustration but no direction.

We want to help make a national conversation happen. In the coming weeks and months, we’ll be featuring arguments from all sides about the future direction of Wales. We will explore whether Wales can or should go it alone, whether there are other options, and how any change can be achieved when those in Westminster simply aren’t interested.

We don’t have the answers but we can start by asking the questions. Through a lively and engaged national conversation, hopefully we can find a way forward.

While that debate rages, The National’s small team will continue with our mission to be ‘for all of Wales’. Support us by becoming a digital subscriber.