Jun 272016
 

THE REFERENDUM RESULT

In my previous post I set out my reasons for voting to leave the European Union. I didn’t think I’d be on the winning side, but there you are.

On Thursday night I’d planned to watch the results programme for a bit and then head to bed around midnight. My expectations of defeat seemed to have been met with the announcement of a substantial rise in the value of the pound and bookies telling us that one of the horses in this race was en route to the knackers yard. It wasn’t long before Nigel Farage conceded defeat.

But then a different mood began to take hold as news filtered through that pollsters, bookies and other self-appointed interpreters of the public mood might have got it wrong. For it seemed that up in north east England, in Newcastle, and Sunderland, the unwashed were in revolt. Then the results started to arrive.

Newcastle, where the Remain campaign had expected a substantial majority, was 50 / 50. (Were they blaming the EU for the Toon getting relegated?) Then came Sunderland, where Leave achieved 61.3%. (But the Black Cats escaped relegation!) Some pundit reminded us that Sunderland has a big Nissan car plant, located there to access the European market, so why were people voting Leave. Cue for much tut-tutting and superior mutterings about voters being ‘uninformed’ (i.e. stupid). It wasn’t long before Nigel Farage ‘unconceded’, and had a celebratory pint.

Nissan Sunderland

As more results became known a picture emerged suggesting that results could be predicted with near-certainty by checking an area’s indicators of wealth – poor areas were voting to Leave, rich areas voting to Remain. There were of course exceptions, such as Liverpool (58.2% Remain), a result some attributed to the pro-Leave Sun newspaper being boycotted in that city. This may have played a part, but let’s not overlook the fact that Liverpool has received billions in EU funding, perhaps more than the Valleys. What’s more, in Liverpool people can see what the funding has been spent on, and by and large they approve.

Perhaps the divide in England was summed up with this article in the Guardian by John Harris headed, ‘If you’ve got money, you vote in . . . if you haven’t got money, you vote out’. The picture in Wales was almost identical; and yet, just a few short months ago Plaid Cymru was hoping for a substantial Remain majority to contrast Wales with England. (Making me wonder yet again what ‘Wales’ this lot claims to be the party of.)

During the night itself, the voice that stood out for me was that of John Mann, the MP for Bassetlaw in north Nottinghamshire (to the east of Sheffield). Mann made it clear that the referendum had been largely won for Leave by Labour voters in the ‘forgotten’ post-industrial regions of England (and Wales) of which the metropolitan elite knows little and cares less.

A few others also saw the true picture, but these were a minority. I found this article from the Guardian by Mike Carter compelling, it details a meandering walk from Liverpool to London.

The picture in Scotland was the one we’d expected. Even so, it was strange to hear English Remain supporters blame the SNP for not getting enough of its support out, which – it was argued – might have swung the whole UK result. The claim seemed to be that because everyone knew which way Scotland would vote, many Scots Remain supporters stayed at home. In Glasgow, the largest authority, the turnout was just 56.2% (66.6% Remain), whereas in the September 2014 independence referendum the turnout was 75% (53.5% Yes).

In the North of Ireland the picture was rather more difficult to interpret because the two Unionist parties followed different courses. The Democratic Unionist Party (the party of the late Rev Dr Ian Paisley) urged its supporters to vote Leave, while the Official Unionist Party favoured Remain. Both Sinn Féin and the Social Democratic and Labour Party wanted to Remain. And of course, hovering over any political debate in that part of the world is the wider consideration of relations with Britain and the Republic of Ireland.

The result for the whole of the Six Counties was 55.8% Remain, telling us that many Unionists voted with nationalists and Republicans to stay in the EU. Though it’s unlikely that many of them would allow their referendum vote to be seen as support for a re-unified Ireland, which seems to be how Sinn Féin is choosing to interpret the result. Yet almost everyone views the return of a visible, patrolled border with the Republic as a dangerously retrograde step.

REACTIONS AND FALL-OUT

The chaos that has ensued is being attributed to a number of factors, with ‘uncharted waters’ being among the favoured analogies, and not just with those of a nautical bent. Of course it’s true; no one has ever been in this situation before so no one is quite sure what happens next. Certainly our politicians seem to be lost.

Though it’s significant that those who led the Brexit campaign – Farage excepted – seem to be backtracking. Strange behaviour for victors. They remind me of a gang of young tearaways who went to start a fire in their school but didn’t mean to burn the whole place down.

We can now divide the Brexiters into two camps (as indeed they split themselves during the referendum campaign). First, we have those who want to disengage from the EU but regard ‘losing’ Scotland and Ireland as too high a price to pay, hence the backtracking. These can be regarded as BritNats. While on the other hand we have those who want to go the whole hog and have an England independent of the EU, independent of Scotland and Wales, independent of just about everybody and everything. We could be unkind, but let’s call these the EngNats. They include the twat in this article who believes that Catholic Croatia is not part of Europe.

Brexit taxi

But what really struck me about the reporting of the referendum and its result was the uncomprehending anger of London commentators, luvvies and others who know less about the lives of people in Sunderland and Swansea than I do about yak herders on the Eurasian steppe. ‘How could they be so stupid?’ was their cry.

The BBC – wedded to the US-NATO-EU line I wrote of in my previous post – didn’t actually call those who voted Leave ‘stupid racist bastards’ . . . it was marginally more nuanced. Perfectly illustrated with the picture below for an article on the BBC website.

BBC Brexit graduates

Some of course did not hold back. Among the more offensive Remainers I encountered was a John Niven; apparently he’s a Scottish writer now living in some Buckinghamshire slum. I can’t say I’ve read anything he’s written, and I certainly haven’t troubled Amazon since reading this asshole’s tweets.

Tweet John Niven

The message from infuriated Remainers was consistently offensive, insulting and intimidating. This is the liberal elite at its worst – still feeling superior but angry and confused because its collective will has been thwarted by the untermensch. Summed up rather well by his article by Brendan O’Neill in the Spectator, The howl against democracy.

The ironies and paradoxes abound. Here we have a group that has for months demonised and belittled others as bigots, yet if poor whites qualified as a minority then the commentariat would be equally guilty of bigotry!

When the BBC wasn’t telling us that thick bastards non-graduates voted for Brexit, it was consulting opinion among groups thoroughly representative of the population. One such group was those attending the Glastonbury Festival, an event covered to an excessive degree by the Beeb. Unsurprisingly, the sons and daughters of the Corporation’s bigwigs and their friends were simply ‘devastated’ at the referendum result.

Brexit Glasto

Just put yourself in the position of a single mother on hearing those views, perhaps a young woman bringing up two or three kids on a sink estate or a flat above a moneylender on a decaying High Street in a forgotten town. Will they make her regret voting Leave? No, but I’ll tell you what it will do, it’ll make her feel angry, hearing people who have so much, and can look forward to so much more, condemning her for her desperation.

Yet another example of hypocrisy. For while the liberal elite and the Leftists accuse those who voted Brexit of causing divisions it is they, who largely control the media, with their patronising bullshit about stupid poor people racists, that risks turning social divisions into yawning chasms.

Another popular theme was that of the young being deprived of their futures by selfish old gits. The Wasting Mule got in on the act with this piece from its Saturday edition. Dan Baker is nineteen years of age and studying in Paris. He believes that we who voted Leave have “succumbed to ignorance”. But then, Dan is 19, and knows everything.

So there you are – you’re stupid and racist for voting Leave, while the ‘more mature’ among us are thoroughly bloody selfish for not dying off pronto, as we would if we really cared about Dan and other deprived youths.

As in England, the insults were flying here too. One my attention was drawn to was a comment from an Englishman making a living out of covering Wales with wind turbines. (This link to his LinkedIn profile no longer works as the page has been removed. Possibly connected with Smith being reported to South Wales Police for a Hate crime.) Not only does he think the country that gives him a living is a pimple on the buttock of his homeland but he also re-tweeted another insult about us deserving a Darwin Award, given for stupidity by the kind of smart-arses who are now lashing out in all directions.

Jeremy Smith

UPDATE 29.06.2016: Around 6pm on the 28th this appeared on Smith’s Twitter account.

Tweet Jeremy Smith apology

I’ll conclude this section with another piece that appeared in the Mule, this one by regular columnist Carolyn Hitt. Now in the past I might have been a little unkind to Carolyn Hitt, lumping her with Jason ‘Jase’ Mohammad and the other bollocks-spouting muppets in our very own Cardiff bubble.

Carolyn Hitt wanted to tell us that she grew up in the Rhondda, an area that attracted migrants from all over, and that the referendum result had “shaken to the core” her “sense of self as a Welsh person”. Serious stuff. But then she goes and blows it all by arguing that in voting to leave the European Union “the majority of Welsh voters threw in their lot ideologically with Middle England”.

‘Middle England’, be buggered! Middle England voted to Remain. The kindest thing I can suggest is that Ms Hitt had not checked the map, or the results, before rushing into print.

THE POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES

Since the referendum result became known the UK has been in a state of political chaos. the only politician who seems to know what she’s about and what she wants is Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Prime Minister Cameron stood down soon after the result was known and now there’ll be an election to choose his successor as Tory leader. As the new leader will lack a mandate he or she will almost certainly call a general election. The original hope seems to have been that this could be done at a leisurely pace without interfering too much with everyone’s summer holidays, but pressure from the EU seems to have speeded up the process and the new leader is expected to be in place by September 2nd. Boris Johnson is the front-runner, with Theresa May as the ‘Block Boris’ candidate.

We’ve always known that the Conservative Party in Westminster is split on Europe, but what this referendum exposed is how detached from its traditional support the irredeemably metropolitan Labour Party has now become. Made obvious by the fact that those areas that voted most heavily to Leave are areas where Labour has dominated for decades.

Now the prospect of a general election before the year’s out has concentrated Labour MPs’ minds and they have turned on their hapless leader Jeremy Corbyn who, they believe, could never win an election . . . which would of course result in many Labour careerists losing their seats. The problem is that while Corbyn may lack support among MPs he has the backing of party activists, many of whom are Leftist agitators and activists who took over the Labour Party around a year ago to elect him leader.

So we have the Labour Party itself split between members and representatives, with a third element being the Labour voters who chose to leave the EU last Thursday against the advice of the party. These disillusioned voters have no truck with the comrades and little faith in the MPs. Consequently, the Labour Party is in one hell of a mess – and I haven’t even mentioned Scotland, where the Labour Party, for so long dominant, is almost dead and buried.

The picture is different in London, where the vote to stay in the EU was 59.9%. This can be explained by greater wealth, the presence of the liberal elite / Leftist types who now control the Labour Party, plus of course large numbers of immigrants. London may have provided good news for the pro-EU campaigners but it also tells us how divided England has become.

Here in Wales, Cardiff, which has long sought mini London status, grabbing all the goodies for itself, achieved that ambition last Thursday when 60% of its voters chose to Remain against a national figure of just 47.5%. Two capitals unrepresentative of the countries that support them.

March on the Assembly

The vote in Wales so outraged the youth of Cardiff that many thousands a few dozen were persuaded to take part in a ludicrous march on the Notional Assembly, among their demands were a second referendum (and a third if that was lost), tattoos on the NHS, and votes for foetuses (possibly eggs). Though I didn’t spot Dan Baker among them. Perhaps the poor boy is in his Paris garret drowning his sense of betrayal with glass after glass of pastis.

It only remains to discuss Plaid Cymru. When the full horror of the defeat dawned on the party leadership the immediate response from leader Leanne Wood was to propose a Labour-Plaid coalition. A response typical of those for whom Plaid Cymru is an alternative socialist party rather than a nationalist party. This suggestion was quickly dropped as opposition from within the party mounted.

Though on the weekend immediately following the referendum, when we might have expected the Plaid Cymru leadership to be monitoring and debating a constantly changing situation and planning ahead, Leanne Wood and Jill Evans MEP, were attending a two-day feminist event in Cardiff, and there were other Plaid wimmin there as well.

The latest news seems to be that Plaid is belatedly trying to emulate the Scottish National Party, but it may be too late. I say that because the SNP has for years been appealing directly to the Scottish people, in direct competition with the Labour Party, to the point where it was eventually able to supplant Labour; whereas Plaid Cymru has farted about with Greens, ‘feminists’, and other cross-border ‘progressives’, only focusing on Labour and Wales when forced to do so at election times, and then, almost apologetically.

LOOKING AHEAD

There will be no clean break with the European Union, things will get very messy from now on, and for the obvious reasons. There may be no break at all.

Just about every pillar of the UK establishment supported the Remain campaign, and they won’t give up without a fight. (A fight most of us will not even realise is happening.) So we can expect increasing calls for a second referendum, perhaps after the general election. (It will be interesting to see what is in the manifestos.) And already we are being reminded that the referendum result is not binding, it was a ‘consultative’ exercise. With most MPs in favour of EU membership that opens up another route for the Remainers.

Even so, there will still be dangerous divisions and tensions between London and the rest of England, tensions that have been obvious for some time, prompting initiatives such as HS2 and talk of a ‘Northern Powerhouse‘, which as we know plans to absorb and assimilate northern Wales. Initiatives that might benefit Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds – all of which voted Remain (though only just in the case of Newcastle and Leeds) – but will do little for Hull, Plymouth, Carlisle, Peterborough, Barnsley, Isle of Wight, Stoke, Dagenham, Wolverhampton, Doncaster, Dartford, Blackpool and countless other smaller cities and towns that voted decisively Leave.

northern-powerhouse-1000x290

I have already dealt with the divide between England and Scotland. While UKIP and other EngNats might be resigned – even glad – to see Scotland go the BritNats will do all in their power to hang on to the country. So expect to hear promises of a ‘federal structure’ for Britain, which might – as with devolution – see Wales offered the same as Scotland to avoid showing fear of the SNP.

It seems that politics in Englandandwales – as in the USA and continental Europe – is moving to the Right. For few of those who voted Remain did so for the noble and altruistic reasons the metropolitan elite and the commentariat ascribe to themselves – most voted to stay in the EU out of perceived self-interest. City traders in their Cotswold retreats who voted Remain and former steel workers in Ebbw Vale who voted Leave were driven by a very similar impulse.

The next general election could be a choice between the English Centre Right and the English Extreme Right, BritNats and EngNats. Scotland will of course be insulated by the SNP and slowly extricating herself from this threatening mess (perhaps helped by the EU). Wales’ defence however will be limited to a rump Labour Party made up of careerists and mediocrities, a temporarily resurgent Hard Left, and Plaid Cymru. Which is really no defence at all.

So I say, yes, by all means capitalise on the current chaos, but what Wales really needs is a national movement promoting independence for the right reasons, rather than some ad hoc alliance formed in reaction to Brexit that will fall apart once the threat passes. A national movement unconcerned with the views of metropolitan ‘progressives’ and concentrating solely on defending and promoting Welsh interests.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ END ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 

  105 Responses to “Brexit, Wexit: Things Can Only Get Better!”

  1.  

    nice article Jac, sums up the picture in all its complexity nicely. I don’t have anything to add right now as I have spent last few days having a dig at various issues and people, so I’ll adjourn and pay a visit to the Iceland website and order some ice cubes for some of those English fans who are nursing bruised egos, that win last night made my week.

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      postscript – curiously enough I’ve read a couple of good insightful articles in the Guardian online – they seem to have writers who are happy not to toe their usual putrid line. It’s great to read the shitty comments that some of the readers send in, some of these wankers really believe they have a god given right to dictate everybody’s life choices. I’ve enjoyed popping in the odd reply just to stir up the pot a bit and get some sanctimonious pinko twitching.

  2.  

    Farage doesn’t have to backtrack on any of the Leave promises because he is not an MP and won’t have to play a part in picking up the pieces of all this. I foresee a career as talk show host and stand up comedian.

    I found it was the Remain propaganda that made me closest to actually voting Leave, but didn’t think I could because I didn’t see any real vision of Britain that I could agree with among those advocating Brexit. The messages on the Remain leaflets saying that the economic, political and cultural establishment was backing Remain probably made more people vote Leave, in anger at those in power than swayed anyone who wasn’t already intending to to vote Remain.

    I made some maps of my own: skrifennow.blogspot.co.uk/2016/06/mapping-result-of-eu-referendum.html

  3.  

    Good synopsis and links Jac.. I voted Remain, after much agonising at the last minute – well, three hours – not only because I wanted to see Boris Johnson implode, but also because I thought there might have been a very, very slim chance of Wales voting to Remain against a majority UK OUT vote. For me this would have been the most preferable outcome, as it would have given us more of a tangible rational as to why Wales should be independent from England. I realise that we shouldn’t cloak ourselves in the EU flag simply to justify our cause for independence, but I fear that overwhelming demographic changes during my lifetime have already scuppered my hopes of ‘what Wales really needs is a national movement promoting independence for the right reasons’.

  4.  

    Very interesting to read your analysis, Jac.

    It seems to me this was intended to be a mock contest to satisfy Cameron´s election pledge, with his old mate Boris fronting a sort of mock opposition, just for the look of the thing, don´t ya know? Then combine that with the festering discontent in the Places that Westminster Forgot leading to a protest Leave vote, and we´re left with a result no-one really wanted or can live with.

    Good can come out of this for Scotland, there´s been a massive sea-change with ´staunch´ NOs crossing the line in the sand almost in a stampede, so probably no going back there. Ireland? Maybe, don´t know enough about the complex situation there, but maybe it will at least get people to consider reunification as a real possibility.

    The EU itself has had a very nasty scare, so this might (who knows?) lead to a more transparent and democratic union — we can but hope, Europe isn´t going to go away however much Nige stands there insulting them.

    What becomes of the Westminster political elite when all the backstabbing, backtracking, winding-up and climbing-down is over I can´t say and don´t much care.

    But what´s your vision for Wales? EU funding gone, hardly to be replaced by the Tories/Kippers who will simply pocket most of the savings.Llike the scorpion it´s just their nature. I see there are already calls to put aside all this limp progressive devo stuff and return to good old traditional all-out independence. Fighting talk and possibly effective. But what kind of movement can unite the rural Welsh West and North with the discontented of the Valleys, not to mention the thinkers and strategists you´ll need. I truly wish you well since the alternative is a Britnat/Engnat/Ingsoc West Anglia.

    So who has the vision and the ability to pull that off? There is a window of opportunity, but it won´t stay open for very long.

    •  

      Northern Ireland voted almost exclusively on sectarian lines but with a bit of a twist this time at class level.. The Catholics voted Remain. The middle class protestants sided with them and the working class protestants voted Leave. Any attempt at re-unification would result in the middle class protestants joing their working class fellow unionists.

      And have you ever considered that the Republic itself would rather stick pins in it’s eyes than inherit the North? It’s an economic basket case kept alive by public sector employment which is in excess of 27% of the working population. The Republic can’t afford that – not even when it was booming.

  5.  

    You are not correct to suggest that one of the reasons why there was a high vote to remain in the EU in London is that there is a high level of immigrants living there.

    EU nationals do not apply for UK citizenship and they had no vote in the EU referendum. The Tories, Labour and Plaid Cymru voted to deny the right of EU nationals working and paying taxes in the UK to vote in the referendum. Only the SNP voted against the 2015 referendum Act in the Westminster House. Those, immigrants in London who did have a vote were from the old British Empire and more likely to be hostile to the EU. The reason why London voted to Remain, is because for the last 20 years both Labour and Tory governments, aided by Boris Johnson as mayor, have been embarking on a process of racial and social cleansing. Any “white trash*” in a shell suit has been systematically removed from the streets of London and dumped in places like Sheppey, Thanet, Dagenham, Southend, even as far away as Yarmouth (and Rhyl?). These are the places, which voted Leave in the South East of England. The true ‘shires’ voted to Remain, along with a socially cleansed London.

    *=a racist term often quoted by the liberal elite in the US to describe a similar process, for those who went Trump.

  6.  

    Jac, your article doesn’t mention immigration once. And I thought that was the ONE issue that won it for Leave. Genuine question :what motivated the right wing newspaper owners to be so pro-Leave? Seems they might have a lot to lose in a recession.

    •  

      I dealt with immigration in the previous post. Immigration is also dealt with in the articles I link to and obliquely in dealing with the attacks on those who voted Brexit. This piece was more about the referendum’s aftermath, the political fall-out and where we go now.

  7.  

    Labour M.P’s are in manic-panic mode and are desperately lashing out in Corbyn’s direction in what suspiciously looks like a game of blame-deflection and hand washing? They’re trampling over each other to get to the lifeboats so they can save their seats.

    Now call me picky? But? The Labour party did rather carry on the work of good old Maggie Thatcher by further strengthening/widening her beloved economic partition of North and South England whilst (utter travesty) unbelievably?……………….Doing exactly the same in Wales. Cardiff has prospered whilst the rest of ignored Wales has been told to well and truly piss off. Is it any wonder Labour are now panicking? A sophisticated Scottish electorate sussed them out years ago and now England and Wales are starting to catch up and wise up also.

    Oi Labour wake up! Your past and present policy of deliberately keeping regions poor in the false belief that the people/electorate will continue to vote for you and will always vote for you is political kamikaze stuff. Don’t blame Corbyn for the Brexit result. Blame yourselves for the predicament you’re now in. The Brexit map is evidently showing decades of disgraceful U.K partition by both Tories and Labour, it’s there for all to see!

    •  

      You’re absolutely right about it being a rich / poor divide, both in Wales and England. But the beneficiaries of this divide would rather attack the poor as being racists than face up to the reality of the division many of them have caused and from which most of them benefit.

      •  

        I’ve watched numerous news reports and have yet to hear a single Labour person sound remotely aware of the current situation and the way Labour have significantly contributed to it! There seems to be a complete and utter lack of honest appraisal, reality, humility, honesty, decency etc, etc, etc.

        To many it’s ALL Corbyn’s fault! All that self-righteous “not-me-guv” complacency and arrogance is especially sickening to ex-Labour loyalist voters like myself.

        And yes you’re right Jac about the racist lie. When extremely pissed off individuals are disgracefully labelled racist many then take vengeance on those accusers at the ballot box.

  8.  

    Very rational and succinct assessment of the situation. You assume that the new leader of the Conservative party will call a general election relies on the premise that integrity and respect for the democratic process still exists, does it ? Personally I have my doubts, the current political environment equates to self – interest conquers all. Incidentally this former steelworker did not vote leave, neither did I vote remain for that matter either. I had no motivation to involve myself in a faux process which sought to resolve EU dissent inside the Conservative party. Cameron has now destroyed his legacy with such poor judgement, chaos reigns, north- south divide is now nationwide and he has decided to walk away from the mess he created. Coward or honourable, you tell me ?

    •  

      I can’t blame anybody for being cynical but I think the new Tory leader will call an election, if only to take advantage of the chaos in the Labour Party, which ain’t gonna go away any time soon.

      •  

        I’m almost surprised Cameron hasn’t called a general election already to coincide with the fresh premiership, I did read it could be 13th October. Seems like the obvious thing to do considering the state of the opposition at the moment. I think that the labour party deserve all they get considering their recent behaviour, ways and means and all that, then I quite like Corbyn, seems to be a straight up person

        •  

          I’m no lover of the Labour Party in Wales or Westminster but in trying to get rid of Corbyn by an obviously orchestrated campaign of death by a thousand resignations they have gone about it the wrong way. Public sympathy of most of the new Labour grassroots and those that believe in democracy and decency outside their Party is moving more and more towards Corbyn. They have tried to bully him into quitting because they know by challenging him in a fresh leadership election they will probably not get the result they want. That’s not democracy. That’s sidestepping the Party rules to ensure the career polticians get what they want whilst the plebs get shat on again. I’m even tempted to join a Party for the first time in my life and give Corbyn my vote if it gets that far, but I’m now in a dilemma because Jac has tweeted he’s standing for election himself!

          •  

            But I’ve also said that I’m available for the Tory leadership, it’s all up in the air at the moment. I’m just waiting for the call.

          •  

            Ah, the penny has dropped at last with me. YOU are the person that couldn’t be identified in that “Bullingdon” photograph.

          •  

            If only!

  9.  

    “A national movement unconcerned with the views of metropolitan ‘progressives’ and concentrating solely on defending and promoting Welsh interests.”
    At the moment most voters in Wales see the nation as being Britain ( even if that Britain is on it’s way to becoming a Britain without Scotland) and they see their interests as British interests. That holds true whether they are the liberal elite or the underclass or anwhere in between.

    I think the odds are, that Wales becomes more closely and firmly enveloped by England. As part of the British national interest which we’ll be told automatically means it defends and promotes Wales’ as well. Not impossible to overcome but I think it will need a quite extraordinary series of events and actions.

    •  

      “At the moment most voters in Wales see the nation as being Britain” In the last Census 58% Identified as Welsh Only and 7% Identified as Welsh and British Only. Hence your “most voters” are a minority in Wales.

      Without tempting fate what if the following scenarios play out:
      1: Independent Scotland = the end of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. This could trigger the unilateral disarmament of the UK as no one knows where in England to store Trident and with an impending economic recession where will you find 100BNGBP to fund it.

      There is also the issue of a seat at the UN Security Council. The second world war washington post consensus will have to be revisited – you can see Frances seat becoming the EU seat and England being kicked off and being replaced by an emerging market country.

      The UK has already gone from being the Worlds 5th largest economy with a GDP/capita that ranks it at number 27 (I think) to being the Worlds 6th largest economy with the pound taking a beating post Brexit. Post Scottish Independence without Scottish Oil, Food and Drink exports gone what state do you think Englands Balance of Trade is going to be in. England is an importing nation Scotland and Wales (believe it or not) are exporting nations. So will England still be the 7th, 8th largest economy of the World? There is the small matter of the G7/8? if England and Wales slide to being the 10th largest economy in the world do they deserve membership to this club. So in one fell swoop you’ve exited the EU, put your Security Council seat and G7 membership at risk.

      2: The Unification of Ireland – if Englands finances worsen what are the chances that Ulster will prefer to be an autonomous region (like Quebec or Pais Vasco) in a prosperous United Ireland with access to the EU and its Objective One funding now that Scotland has left the Union as they know full well nothing will be coming from England. Remember the relationship between Northern Ireland and Great Britain is one of Ulster Scots with Scotland gone whats the point of loyalty to England.

      So that leaves the Kingdom of England and Wales? If you think Westminster is going to defend the interest of Wales when it can’t even defend the interests of those living in North England you obviously have not been paying much attention. More importantly if Scotland and Northern Ireland jump ship the Barnet formula WILL be reformulated. There’s no more Oil money from Scotland, no more Objective One funding from Europe and England is just pulling out of a recession how much money do you think Wales is going to get?

      Wales will unfortunately be poorer in the foreseeable future which will lead to even worsening migration situation as the young leave to seek better opportunities, perhaps elsewhere in Europe or Canada, hoping the panacea is Mother England will take care of us is wilful ignorance (before I get accused of sneering) just as much as framing an independence debate around economics – If you have spent the last couple of years telling people that we can’t be Independent until we reach a certain level of economic prosperity well Nige and his merry band of supporters and Brexit have kicked that can down the road for the next couple of decades. If you haven’t recovered from the pit closures the question in every ones mind is will we recover from Brexit! Imagine Ghandi telling his supporters we would like Independence from Imperial Britain but we can’t we’re too poor! The prospectus for Independence will have to be formed around identity and dignity, because quite frankly Wales does not have any money!

      •  

        I agree entirely that the “prospectus for independence will have to be formed around identity” and a view of Welshness. But such thoughts terrify Plaid Cymru which probably envisions some arm-in-arm, rainbow collective of ‘progressives’ dancing off towards some bright tomorrow.

        Further, Plaid Cymru is only talking about independence now because of Brexit – where the hell has it been for the past thirty years!

        As I suggest in this post, the prospect of Englandandwales, resulting in the assimilation of Wales into England, and the death of Welsh identity, has to be the reason for pushing now for independence, not revulsion for Nigel Farage. We need a new and broader Welsh movement.

        This final push – for that’s what it is, lose this and it’s over – cannot be left to a political party that refuses to discuss identity, that has ignored the colonisation of our rural areas, and is more concerned with ideology than identity.

        •  

          Good Lord, this is all a bit of a blast from the past. It reminds me so much of the stuff, very inspiring stuff for all that, that your language activists were writing back in the ´70s. Now or never, last ditch appeals. I never really discovered what became of those initiatives and movements. One important strand however, which could do with being resurrected I think, was the attempt to take many of the ´progressive´ ´green´ ´radical´ ideas of the time and integrate them (perhaps on a selective basis) into traditional Welsh culture and thinking. Showing in fact that many of them were actually quite familiar strands in Welsh culture and history, simply expressed in ´alien´ ´trendy´ language.
          Dunno. Just a thought. But any successful renewed Wales will surely have to be outward-looking and progressive in its own terms. An isolationist backward-looking ´Cymru Fechan´ would be even worse perhaps than the ´Little England´ we all fear.

        •  

          “prospectus for independence will have to be formed around identity”
          It’s difficult, there are three quite different Welsh identities and all these identies can now be found in the same street or village. The current view in “British Wales” and “Welsh Wales” is we’re no less Welsh than those in Y Fro Gymraeg. We’re asking people who are comfortable and partisan about their identities to unite as one.
          Something or things have to be put forward that all three groups whatever their identity can buy into and most importantly take ownership of and whatever it is it has to be clear to everyone that it is due to project Wales and not project GB/UK/ Progressive left/ working class/ poverty/ green/ etc/etc.

          •  

            ” . . . it has to be clear to everyone that it is due to project Wales and not project GB/UK/ Progressive left/ working class/ poverty/ green/ etc, etc.”. Correct, and I think that a growing number of people realise that, and understand where Plaid Cymru has gone wrong.

      •  

        So what that boils down to then, in your opinion at least, is a choice between being Poor First-Rate Welsh Citizens vs. being Poor Second-Class English Subjects. Both are hard options, but the choice itself is very easy, I think.

        But my question remains unanswered : Who will stand up and speak up for Wales amid the present confused, but potentially advantageous situation?

        •  

          Wales (Cymru) will need its own Jeanne D’Arc. ie someone who is not in politics or involved in unions who is not contaminated by Cardiff Bay or have any links with big business who that is, is anyone’s guess. It will be a curve ball, a total and complete left field option.

  10.  

    “There are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks where decades happen”.

    Lenin’s pithy quote sums up the current situation in these isles. The British establishment is on its knees, and I can’t think of a more auspicious moment for the Welsh national movement in my lifetime( I’m 52), despite all the negativity and doom and gloom expressed here since last Thursday.

    Last week’s Leave vote was the best thing to happen to the movement for a generation, since it has really forced people to face up to the very real England and Wales nightmare that faces us if we don’t mobilise ourelves as a nation. I agree that we need a movement based on the Welsh identity( both Welsh speaking and English speaking) and to defend the Welsh national interest above all else.. That will be our only defence against the kind of reactionary Tory/UKip partnership which will dominate England for the foreseeable future.

    As an aside, it appears that the reason that the Blairities are so keen to depose Jeremy Corbyn is the imminent publication of the Chilcott report. From what I understand, Corby intends to issue an apology on behalf of the Labour party for the Iraq War and the horrific fall-out from that war which is all to live an issue even today. That would truly be a momentous moment and one that all the people of these isles deserve to hear. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that actually led to a huge surge in support for Corbyn-maybe that’s how he can remain so confident with all these MP’s resigning around him. Little wonder then that David Cameron was so vicious in calling upon him to go today. But whether Corbyn will have a functioning Labour party at that stage is another point entirely.

    •  

      Quite obviously I have little time for Corbyn, he’s too Left wing for me and he reminds me of the hippy Left I recall from the ’60s.

      That said, he is unquestionably a man of principle, a rarity in politics these days. And when I look at some of creatures trying to kill him off – like Dai Smith’s boy – I see the worst of modern politics, utterly fucking selfish and self-promoting. So I hope he triumphs over these bastards.

      That said, the reason they want him out is that Corbyn is never going to win a general election, which means ‘Welsh’ Labour will lose votes because of him, and let’s be honest, Labour in Wales can’t afford to keep losing support. This is therefore good news for Wales.

      And with the prospect of near-permanent Tory government there will be calls for more power to be devolved. The argument then has to be made that if more devolution helps then the best defence of all has to be independence.

      But the promotion of independence has to be for better reasons than a reaction to Brexit, or a dislike of the Tories, and that’s where we must play the ‘national’ card.

      •  

        Don´t underestimate the effect Chilcott will have, due out finally I believe in less than a fortnight. Like you Jac I have serious doubts about Corbyn´s effectiveness in the particular rôle of Labour leader, OTOH who better to stick it too the Blairites and the Establishment generally when the time comes for moral leadership?

        Anyway, look on the bright side, half a dozen or so more Labour defections and the SNP will be the official opposition by the rules of the House. I.e. they´ll have more MPs taking their whip than Labour. Now face it, you would have to laugh if that happened 🙂

        •  

          Your closing scenario raises a chuckle, but really it does reflect the grim state that London centred politics has descended to. Ms Sturgeon may bring about more fractures in the UK but her affection for Brussels as it stands, no need for changes/reforms, sounds a bit unpalatable, and she too will need to revisit the reality store for a top up.

          Corbyn, on the other hand is just the guy to shove it right up the remaining Blairites, cos Blair won’t be around to have it shoved up him, when this damning report emerges. Last night’s tame BBC on Basra/Iraq was mildly damning but when some real shit emerges I think a whole new set of diversions and distractions will be unveiled which should reinforce Corbyn’s position as party leader, though may bring him no closer to winning a General Election. Maybe then those limp wristed pseudo socialists like Smith’s boy and Kinnock jnr will come to realise that they need to get real and ditch most of that ill defined garbage they have been spewing since 1997, or a new round of deselections and other moral crusades will be unleashed upon them.

          •  

            Well, ¨politics is the art of the possible¨ and Scotland needs all the friends it can get. The standing ovation given to a Scottish MEP in the EU parliament was heartwarming to say the least. (Where the **** is Wales? Who is speaking up for you, no bugger it seems, such a pity!) NS has received a mandate from the Scottish parliament to negotiate with the EU, foreign governments, and anyone and everyone on the nation´s behalf. Labour didn´t oppose, the Tories are in a corner and can only glower (something Ruthie does to perfection — LOL). Anyway this actually means that Scotland is embarking on its own foreign policy and bugger Westminster. It´s not supposed to do that, but the only way to be independent is to act independent and hope to be recognised as such. At least someone is trying. Interesting times 😉

  11.  

    Sorry, Anonymous, but I’m not clear on your two comments, perhaps because the first doesn’t contain quotation marks? First you say: At the moment most voters in Wales see the nation as being Britain (is that from Jac’s blog?). In your second post you say: In the last Census 58% Identified as Welsh Only and 7% Identified as Welsh and British Only. Hence your “most voters” are a minority in Wales.

    I must admit I looked at the last two Census Reports a while ago and although I can’t quote statistics at the moment, I was deeply shocked at the changing demographics. My reading was that a larger percentage of ethnic minorities were able to describe themselves as Welsh within the context of British/Asian/Black, whereas people from England were more likely to describe themselves as English, with some claiming English/British identity.

    Also, as far as I remember, the demographics of places such as Ynys Mon and Powys had moved progressively towards more people describing themselves as either British or English than in the past. Correct me if I am wrong, I’m also not sure when all these definitions were first introduced.

    However, in general, I believe that most Welsh people would accept there has been a large wave of immigration from England within the last twenty to thirty years, and that it is different to previous mass immigration here from the rest of the British Isles, In this context, if Welsh independence is going to be fought on identity, I can only see that time is running out.

    From my experience and observation at close quarters, this dilemma, is not best compared with Tibet – as it has been in the past – but with Inner Mongolia. Close to the centre of power, yet culturally and linguistically different, I believe the dominance of the Han is now irreversible, as do most of my Mongolian friends.

    And when Welsh friends in Ynys Mon say that Wales is dead as nation and we have an Education Secretary who wouldn’t even support Welsh language at her local High School, (Aberhonddu) I begin to wonder : Where are the foot soldiers going to come from?

    •  

      Without the foundation of nationhood there’s no point in regarding Wales as in any way different to England. And there’ll be no basis for a movement pushing for independence. It doesn’t need to be expressly and continuously stated but, as with the Scots, it has to be understood and taken as read.

      Where Wales differs from Scotland is in the colonisation currently taking place. This has to be tackled for the obvious reason that when you have areas in which the Welsh are in a minority – such as where I live – then the struggle becomes even more difficult. But I wouldn’t overstate the threat posed by colonisation. What I mean is it’s not a population comparable to the indigenous population.

      The indigenous population is ‘balanced’, in terms of age groups, employment, education levels, etc., whereas the English population is disproportionately in the older age brackets (therefore not breeding), non-working and consequently has an influence on society and local life below what should be expected from simply looking at the bare numbers. In addition, there are a few who ‘go native’ and many more who realise the ‘delicacy’ of their situation and defer to indigenous tastes and mores. Or just keep to themselves.

      But there are also the colonial types, the pushy, loudmouths who want to impose Englishness and dictate to locals. People like Kate Clamp and this woman do more for the cause of Welsh nationalism than Plaid Cymru. They are a godsend! But the ‘ammunition’ they provide must be properly used. Plaid Cymru would prefer to ignore these people.

      You ask about foot-soldiers. Foot-soldiers are nothing without leaders to plan, direct and lead, and it’s the officers that Wales has lacked, not the foot-soldiers.

      The struggle is not yet over, but for any future campaign to be successful it needs to be properly focused, it must be open and honest about both the problems and the solutions, and it needs leaders.

      •  

        in your comment I find one ray of light, where you say……older age bracket ( therefore not breeding)…..
        Thank god for that, I say. Although that absence of new “output” is more than offset by that number of dysfunctional family units shipped in from troubled metropolitan England to various parts of Wales who often appear to have a capacity for breeding that puts rats and rabbits to shame. Can’t have it all, I suppose.

        Off topic I see today that Lord Hain has added another board appointment to his list of nice earners. Now joining a retired General & others at Rhino Doors/Cyrus Group, and they do not produce any tanning products !, well not yet anyway. Nice to see a Tonna boy doing so well.

        •  

          ¨family units shipped in from troubled metropolitan England to various parts of Wales who often appear to have a capacity for breeding that puts rats and rabbits to shame¨

          Can you back that statement up with statistical evidence? If you said such a thing about Poles or Pakistanis it would be racist. How is it not racist when the English are on the receiving end? Does it not occur to you that these folks might in fact be victims, people who at the very least deserve the chance of a new start? So much for the wonderful caring Welsh society. Just another self-satisifying myth then?

          •  

            Now don’t be a silly boy, you know as well as I do that statistical evidence of that kind is not available, it would be too embarrassing, so we have to rely on anecdotal and other evidence.

            My son lives and works in Machynlleth. Next door to him is a larger house reserved for larger families. About six or seven years ago a couple with five or six kids turned up and moved in, I believe they came from Kidderminster, certainly somewhere in central England. Powys County Council spent a great deal of money ‘adapting’ the house for them. Since then the council has spent more money on repairs and further adaptations.

            Neither of the parents works yet the husband drives around in a 6.3 litre, 4 x 4 Chevrolet Escalade. They now have nine children and were recently moved to a large house in Newtown on which the council had, again, spent a great deal of money.

            My son’s ex-wife and children live in Tywyn. Next to a house they were living in a while back lived another family of ‘breeders’ from over the border. Neither of the parents worked and the kids ran wild. The eldest child, a girl, followed in the family tradition and started breeding herself around the age of 15 or 16. No doubt her offspring will be an asset to any community.

            Staying in Tywyn, my grand-daughter was being bullied in school by an unpleasant little bastard from an equally unpleasant family. This family arrived in the area, again from England (fancy that!), rented a trailer home in winter, complained that they were in unsatisfactory living conditions and shot to the top of the queue for social housing. Renting a dilapidated caravan – even living in a tent – is a well-used ploy to be given a house.

            “Does it not occur to you that these folks might in fact be victims, people who at the very least deserve the chance of a new start?” you ask. Even if you’re right, and they are victims of something other than their own irresponsibility, why do they have to come to Wales? England is a much bigger and wealthier country, and these people are, after all, English?

            “So much for the wonderful caring Welsh society. Just another self-satisfying myth then?” you sneer. Though for once you may be right. There is a weakness among Leftists and liberals to want to be seen to be caring, which means taking in rubbish such as I’ve just described.

            Another problem is that there is a financial incentive for councils and housing associations to take in just about anybody – and the more ‘problematic’ the better – because exaggerating the workload, the difficulties being faced, results in more funding.

            The only long term solution to avoid our communities being disrupted by such people, and to avoid wasting Welsh public funding, is to insist on a locals-only allocation policy for social housing.

          •  

            the evidence is there in front of you if you walk around communities. Oddly enough we don’t have this problem with those Poles who came here to work, the Portuguese who came here to work, the Asians, Africans and others. It’s generally Anglo dysfunctionals that turn up in all sorts of places ill equipped to deal with them. They have no wish to adapt or integrate, merely inflicting themselves on local communities. So why don’t their communities of origin help them overcome their problems as no doubt they have “budgets” to deal with those issues. There is certainly very little budgetary recognition of this transfer of a problem in the health, education and care sectors despite the creation of a 3rd sector industry to deal with their accomodation needs and quite frankly I would prefer that they remained back in whatever big city they came from.

            As for the “caring Welsh” quip, it’s hard enough caring for our own self generated social problems without setting up a cross border service for all comers. I’d love to get our own problem units helped on their way in life before taking on a load of others.

            Now there may be some degree of problem with those other migrant groups, mainly that they have come here to be Brits i.e English ( most know no better ), but that is an issue which we Welsh can and should be tackling for ourselves by informing these groups, helping them understand and assimilate, and wherever possible showing them that there is more to being here than being good Brits ! Tough challenge but we should confront it positively. Sad that Labour and Plaid feel so unsure of their identity that we couldn’t get wholehearted support for such initiative.

          •  

            I appologise for sneering, if that´s what I did.

            Some people are arseholes regardless of origins. If I say ¨moslems are terrorists¨ or ¨Taffy was a thief¨ that´s racism, or at the least tarring a whole group with the same brush, even though there are some moslem terrorists and I don´t doubt a few Welsh thieves. In the present climate such statements are dangerous, how long until some ´patriotic´ Welsh warrior tries to burn some of these people out, going from mere incendiary language to incendiary bombs? And how will that reflect on your cause?

            Why do they come to Wales, you ask. Then you go on to answer your own question, because of particular local government arrangements, funding practices, central government priorities and so on. Hardly the responsibility of the families you mention. Arseholes they may be one and all, but they´re hardly to blame for their relocation. In that respect they are indeed victims, however unsavory they happen to be.

            What lies behind all of this is of course the opposition of two viewpoints. One being that Wales is a nation in its own right, which btw I support. The other that it´s just a part of Englandandwales, or to some simply ´England´.

            By voting Leave, you and many others have helped cement the England(andwales) viewpoint, although I accept that was probably not your aim. What is it they say about good intentions? 🙂

            The question now though is where do you go from here?

          •  

            They don’t need to be here. They shouldn’t be here. And to regard them as victims is wrong. Yes, some are ‘dumped’ here, but not all. One of the examples I used chose to rent a caravan in the Tywyn area knowing his family would then qualify for social housing. The Chevrolet-driving neighbour of my son chose to come here through some house swap scheme.

            The area I live in suffers this problem because many people from central England come here on holiday, there is a rail link from Birmingham to Aberystwyth, Machynlleth, Tywyn, Barmouth, Harlech, Porthmadog, Pwllheli. So when your debts get too high and the heavies start calling round, or for other reasons you need to make yourself scarce, this coastal strip is often the obvious choice. Unimaginative, but there you are.

            Brexit has nothing to do with it, and it wouldn’t stop if Wales had voted to Remain.

          •  

            If Wales had come out for Remain the split would be England vs Everyone Else. The Little Englanders isolated and pathetic. As it is Wales is indistinguishable from England, so your assembly has an uphill struggle to assert Welsh identity, assuming they even want to …

          •  

            There was no possibility of Wales voting to Remain because – in marked contrast to Scotland – too many working class people, in ‘forgotten’ communities, turned their backs on Labour without transferring to Plaid Cymru.

            Or, to put it another way, Why did the working / non-working class in England and Scotland, living in similar, post-industrial communities, vote differently? The answer is obvious – the presence of the SNP.

            Wales voted Leave because Plaid Cymru isn’t even a pale imitation of the SNP, and the reason for that is that Plaid hasn’t tried. Simple as that, so don’t try to complicate it.

            If Wales had a party to compare with the SNP there would have been a Remain vote. Unless we soon have such a party, or by-pass electoral politics entirely with a broader movement, Wales is fucked.

          •  

            I agree with you entirely. (Now how about that — lol!) We could of course discuss where Plaid went wrong till the cows come home, no doubt books will be written … But the real priority now is what can be done to save the situation.

          •  

            had we elected to Remain it is quite plausible that this shift of problem families would be seen as part of the “free movement” policy even though many of them don’t do much work – why should they when benefits culture abounds ?

          •  

            P.S. – or has dependency culture developed to the extent that it welcomes anyone with a hard luck story ?

          •  

            The ‘free movement’ you speak of is a middle class elite sort of ‘Blairite’ interpretation, that was placed into UK legislation that affects only England and Wales. The actual EU treaty states ‘free movement of labour’. This is why in other EU countries it’s workers who cross borders. I think I’m right in saying that the individuals Jac tells us about in Tywyn did not arrive to take up gainful employment. This is the issue. I don’t think Jac has issue with the German engineers who have migrated to Tywyn to build those super efficient fridges. It’s the scum ‘dumped’ upon the community from England who not only make no contribution to the community, but are corrosive to it.

          •  

            I’ll bet my bottom dollar that there is no EU treaty with a section headed ‘Freedom to Dump your Undesirables on Someone Else’.

    •  

      There’s more than one Anonomous so I’ll sign di-enw!

      My take on Welsh identification in postindustrial South Wales on censuses, even when excluding the British option is that overall it’s closer to a sports nationalism than an indication that people feel they aren’t British.

      I think there are now so many variables at work, so many imponderables that predictions of what’s going to happen are not much more than pot luck. Some will get it right but in a similar way that lottery winners get it right.

      •  

        I wouldn’t dismiss the Welsh identification found in the south and the north east as being entirely “a sports nationalism”. For many it goes deeper than that, but Plaid Cymru, because it is seen by too many as a party for Welsh speakers has never been able to tap into this latent patriotism.

  12.  

    I think it would be useful if English people who love England could actually express this sentiment without the urge to colonize, and the rest could do things like learn other peoples languages (especially if you’ve moved to their country), they could also when voting, reflect on where they actually live rather than thinking of old blighty.

    The failure of any Welsh politician to frame the debate in a Welsh context has resulted in a Welsh vote for Brexit, which although I didn’t vote for I see as an opportunity to leave the Union.

    We need to get out of this begging bowl mentality, we need to use the limited tools we have to 1. Build a Welsh economy 2. Introduce citizenship as a concept for people living in Wales, this should be state sponsored. 3. encourage an independent Welsh press and media.

    We need leaders, and I hate to say this because the man is an idiot; but a figure like Nigel Farage who is not seen as a member of the political class and establishment to lead this movement.

    We have to be less polite and call a spade a spade. if the trend of English Immigration continues we are looking at WestAnglia not Wexit.

    •  

      I agree, apart from the anti-English sentiment. At the risk of repeating myself, who is speaking up for Wales? Where are your politicians? The Welsh government has just put out a statement saying it will use the powers it has to compensate for spending cuts resulting from Brexit. What powers exactly are those then?

      Just look at this, yesterday´s Scottish First Minister´s Questions. Dip in here and there, or go straight to 33-20 — 35-02. How´s that for pushing the envelope? (Also the following question which shows a marked difference between Scotland and Wales). But more to the point, compare any of this with the monkey-house antics of Westminster PMQ´s. These are the wild uncivilised hair-airsed Scots remember.

  13.  

    Believe me – I know from the inside. There is a serious division developing within Plaid at party level between those from urban poor areas and former industrial areas – who voted Leave, and the Plaid ‘traditionalists’ who voted Remain. There are three distinct groups now within Plaid – a working class socialist element, a middle/professional class social democrat ‘luvvie’ element and a rural socially conservative element – and they are starting to despise each other.

    I predict a bloody battle for the heart, soul and future direction of Plaid and I don’t see it being more than a few months before it starts. And Leanne Wood had better be a juggler extraordinaire if she wants to keep her job.

    It wasn’t the way Wales voted that shocked Plaid, it was the way a lot of Plaid’s voters (and even members) voted and why. They don’t really know what to do or which way to turn or what to say – because whatever they do they will only succeed in alienating part of their voter base – which isn’t that large anyway. For example, they had great ambitions in the valleys and the poorer parts of Cardiff and the run down towns of North Wales and were building support in them- in turn those areas voted Leave and now they run the risk of losing those supporters if they become to pro-EU. (Labour Wales has the same problem)

    And it’s starting to dawn on some of the hierarchy that Leave voters were motivated overwhelmingly by one thing and one thing only – to get out of the EU. Immigration, funding, the NHS etc etc were very very distant side issues. The Leavers would have vote Leave even if it promised to nationalise elephants and teach them to ride unicycles.

    •  

      Plaid Cymru tearing itself apart would not generate many tears.

      •  

        You should see and hear some of the invective being hurled between party members over this.

        •  

          Unfortunately PC is the only nationalist party you have at present. It would take years maybe decades to build up a new party from scratch and in the meantime Wales would be dismantled by the BritNats and Little Englanders. Better surely to join Plaid and bang some heads together. I admit I don´t know quite how it was achieved, but the SNP managed to pick up most of the disillusioned traditional Labour vote while at the same time hanging on to its existing ´conservative/liberal´ rural support. Which proves it can be done given a broad enough inclusive vision.

          Pob hwyl, does dim mwy o amser ar gael …

          •  

            Wales will survive but braindead English trolls like Marconatrix won’t be welcome.

            I’m fed up with your SNP worship bullshit. I’m with Emrys ap Iwan, Scotland isn’t a real nation… it is a Norse-Gael-Angle amalgamation. There is no Scottish DNA. The Welsh and Pictish elements have always been ignored. Scotland is an extension of Northumbria full of socialist idiots. They are just as English as the bible bashers of County Antrim and the Tories residing in the home counties.

          •  

            O ba le ydych chi´n dod nghyfail i? Mae llawer o bobloedd wedi dod i´r Alban dros y canfrifoedd, run beth â phob wlad arall yn y byd, yn cynnwys Cymru i ddweud y gwir. Y point pwysig ydy i ddod i gyd i siarad a gweithio fel un wlad a chenedl unedig. Rhaid gweithio â´r sefydiad a´r bobl sy´n gynnon ni nawr, nid mewn rhyw orffennol pur dychmygol.

          •  

            Rwy’n Cymro i’r carn, bach. Pam wyt ti’n ysgrifennu yn Gymraeg? Yn amlwg rwyt yn Sais wrth-Gymreig. Smo’r Alban yn genedl o gwbl, rhyw gymysgedd o Saeson a Gwyddelod ydynt. Mae’r Alban yn wladwriaeth sy’n llawn dop gyda phobl sy’n gaeth i’r wladwriaeth. Mae’r Cymry yn genedl go iawn. So fuck off you daft pseudo-Cornish wannabe, we’re not interested.

          •  

            Sut mae pobl yr Alban yn ¨gaeth i´r wladwriaeth¨? Maen nhw wedi ethol lywodraeth sy´n barod i sefyll amdanyn nhw, yn San Steffan ac yn Ewrop hefyd. Ydi´r un beth yn wir am y rhai yng Nghaerdydd?

            Daeth y Gwyddelod i Gymru yn y gorffennol, i Lŷn ac i Benfro yn arbennig. Dach chi´n gwbod fod ´Llŷn´ run air â ´Laighin´ sef Lein(ster)?

            Excuse the Welsh, those of you who don´t understand it. The Green Dragon called me an anti-Welsh English Troll etc. and insulted the Scottish nation to boot. Somehow my response just came out in Welsh. He claim to be a Welshman to the core, saying that the Welsh are a genuine nation whereas the Scots are a mongrel swarm and so not a nation at all. I´ll leave you to figure out what ideological POV our friend is coming from and reach your own judgement.

          •  

            Draig, I tend to agree with you on many things but your rejection of the scots identity is not something I buy into. True they have evolved from a mix of invaders and migrant tribes, but so have we. The identity issue is important, in Wales the language remains a far bigger component of that identity mix than in either Scotland or Ireland, and as a Welsh speaker I want that to continue. However I don’t exclude anyone who wants to identify as “Welsh /Cymro ” but they cannot hide behind the blather that the language doesn’t matter. It’s just that they don’t have it, but must accept that there is no consent to piss over those who use the language. As for the Scots, I admire their momentum especially as it is based on a healthy mix of drivers and long may that continue. I remain a touch wary of Ms Sturgeon because she does harbour many of those values that we deplore in Metropolitan pseudo socialist types, and I can see why Ms Wood finds it easier to seek to imitate her rather than draw on original and relevant thought.

          •  

            Do you consider Welsh who speak only English, as Welsh as Welsh speaking Welsh? If identity is a key component in establishing nationhood do you think the English speaking only Welsh identity should have more focus, considering there are many more in number? Is the historic experience of Welsh speakers more relevant to Wales and more rooted than English only speakers?

            From my experience there are many Welsh speakers as well as English only speakers who enjoy their perceived security blanket of unionism. As an English only speaking Welshman who will probably never be able to speak the language, should I be more concerned about Welsh speakers retaining the language, which was not passed on to myself, or more concerned about trying to make a living in a poor country? I don‘t hear concern from Welsh speakers for the Welsh who lost the language.

            There is much more than just a Welsh speaking Welsh identity. I would also argue that speaking Welsh does not mean one has loyalty to Wales or makes someone more Welsh, and is not be a pre-requisite for Welshness.

          •  

            Too true, as you say, there is more than just a Welsh speaking Welsh identity. There are many Welsh speakers who happily consign themselves into the full on dependency culture that has been spawned and spread over the last 50 years or so.
            I am not prepared to exclude anything from a definition of a “fit for purpose” Welsh identity but would seek either a competence in the native language or positive goodwill towards the language as a baseline. Too many of our enemies, even the passives, dismiss the language as useless or unnecessary. That only serves to dismiss its speakers as useless or unnecessary.
            And the same goes for the world of business and work. A healthy native economy would give our people scope for earning a living in or around their own community if they so wished. With its wealth of natural resources I remain optimistic that we can dig ourselves out of this impoverished hole with its dependency on begging bowls in London and Brussels. A change of focus would help, pursuing real commercial development of innovative technology instead of falling back on 3rd sector pseudo-economics and the greed trap of its leaders who manage to fill their boots and leave the mass of the people no better off. In this vision the public sector would continue to operate but in that capacity of public service which was its original purpose rather than the self serving mechanism that much of it has become.

          •  

            I agree there is more to being Welsh than being able to speak it, on a good day I might argue there is more to being Welsh than being born here too. To me it’s about embracing the country and its heritage/culture, for example Mike Parker, an Englishman who lives and breaths Welshness, very welcome in my book, certainly more Welsh than a Welsh speaker who shuns their native country and embraces the ways of that foreign land over the dyke.

            I do believe though that the language should be promoted strenuously and the children of those choosing to live here should be educated through the medium of Welsh through primary, then bilingual in secondary education and even though the medium of Welsh at higher education level at their own choice. It is no crime to speak the native language in your own country, it is a crime (in my eyes) to force the speaking of a foreign language in any country.

            It’s an important link to Jac’s previous post about why he was voting out; the current trend for globalisation will eventually amalgamate many countries into a group of states much like the US but on a much larger scale. There will be a concerted effort to unify cultures to one damp mixed up mess, in these times it is important for all individuals in any country to embrace their own nationality. Britain took a giant leap last week voting to leave the EU, now each land within the UK needs to take that one step forward and proclaim an independence from each other. I’m rapidly going off topic but you get what I’m saying even if you don’t agree.

          •  

            well said. You write a lot of sense.

          •  

            It isn’t a crime to speak your native language in your own country but it is wrong to make non Welsh speakers feel responsible for its continuance if it is not relevant to them. It is up to Welsh speakers to keep it going but I don’t think it is a national concern at this time because of the simple fact that so many Welsh speak English only.

            If a non Welsh speaking identity isn’t established as a legitimate benchmark for Welshness then there will be no power base to form a nation. I get the feeling that many Welsh speakers would prefer this predicament, while it is the English only speaking Welsh who are truly disenfranchised in non-identity, non-nation limbo.

    •  

      The biggest threat to the Welsh nation is immigration. Now that we’re out, an independent Wales would be able to control who settles here.

      The EU is finished… the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden will be off soon and we can form a northern European trading bloc similar to EFTA. If bloody Iceland can survive on their own, then so can we.

      Welsh nationalism needs to be defined by the Eurosceptic post-industrial areas of Glamorgan and Gwent. Gwynedd and Ceredigion voted Remain due to their universities, high English population and unprofitable farms. There is no such thing as Y Fro Gymraeg, rural north and west of Wales are now far more Anglicised than southern Wales. Time to move on, it’s 2016 not 1916. Welsh is dead as a community language but a sense of Welsh identity survives down south. The spirit of Cymraeg is alive in the English spoken here.

      Sadly many Plaid members reject working class Welsh culture in favour of English middle class culture and claim that only Cymraeg distinguishes us from our neighbours.

      •  

        I wouldn’t give up on Cymraeg yet, but I agree that going down a route of focusing on “Y Fro Gymraeg” would be a mistake, since the Gaeltacht hasn’t worked well in Ireland from the perspective of failing to re-establish the Irish language, because Irish language issues can be parked in the Gaeltacht and made irrelevant to most of the country

        •  

          I’m all for the Welsh language but we need to be honest and admit that these so-called heartlands don’t exist anymore. I spent a week on holiday in Gwynedd recently and only met a handful of Welsh people. The future of Welsh nationalism lies in places like Blaenau Gwent and Merthyr.

    •  

      Leanne Wood should go in my opinion, she has shown so much indecision this last week, hardly the stuff of strong leadership.

      As for an independent Wales in Europe, how does does that become a realistic agenda for Plaid? A second line party in a country with a large population of migrants (from far and not so far), a large population who have no desire to seek a separation from the loving arms of London tying to get back into the EU in a country where a majority voted to leave. Next she’ll cure the common cold and dementia. Go woman and let someone with a bit of common sense have a go, better still let another party have a go.

      Stuff the EU, there are other countries to trade with if they want to get stroppy, India and China are better than getting fucked by that lot! What is the point of getting out of Britain only to get swallowed up by Europe?

    •  

      There are as many ‘fault lines’, in a geological sense, within Plaid Cymru as there are within the population of Wales. That is expected and indeed, necessary, for it to be representative of our country. It is not a new concept. I’m sure some recall the Plaid of the 1980s remember the ‘traditionalists’ and the ‘progressives’. It should be noted that that decade was also the one of an electoral low-ebb, and a Labour Party similarly split. So why did the SNP emerge stronger and Plaid weaker? The answer is simple. The SNP was not afraid of laying the blame for the woes of the their nation securely upon the British state, rather than some amorphous concepts as ‘class’, and ‘socialism’ on the one side or ‘language’ and ‘economy’ on the other. The reason why Wales suffers is simple. It’s because of the British state. We have a colonial subjugation to England, a kind of indentured nationhood. That is what the SNP exposed and placed itself firmly in a position of ending that relationship. Now is the opportunity for Leanne to plant that flag, and I’m encouraged by the recent statements from Jonathan Edwards and Neil McEvoy in this regard, both from different sides of the ‘fault lines’ which precipitate the nation.

  14.  

    #’ vc2

  15.  

    Some points to ponder from a Deutsche Bank analyst.:-

    “The shockwaves and consequences around Brexit will resonate for years. It’s probably an understatement to say that most in financial markets regret the UK’s decision to leave but we should respect the forces that have been pushing us towards what has always been an inevitable political accident sometime soon. I wasn’t sure whether the Brexit vote was the one but I was pretty convinced one was coming and this is probably not the last. Spain yesterday started a general election cycle (more below but relatively market friendly) of the largest 5 euro-area economies (Spain, Holland, France, Germany and Italy) over the next 18 months or so, not forgetting the US this November. Throw in the crucial senate reform vote in Italy in October and you’ve got plenty of opportunity for rebellion against the establishment that haven’t managed to produce satisfactory enough growth for the lower paid/lower skilled to offset the forces of globalisation and immigration.

    “It’s worth looking at the voting split in the UK’s EU referendum based on polls compiled by Lord Ashcroft to get an idea of the disenfranchisement. (of those that voted) In terms of socio-economic groups, 57% of ABs (upper/middle class – professional/managers etc) voted Remain (43% Leave), 49% of C1s (lower middle class – supervisory/clerical or junior management/administrative) voted Remain (51% Leave), 36% of C2s (skilled working class) voted Remain (64% Leave), and 36% of DEs (Ds – semi & unskilled manual workers. Es – casual/lowest grade worker or state pensioner) voted Remain (64% Leave). So there’s no escaping the fact that this is a class war.

    “Whether its globalisation, immigration, inequality, poor economic growth or a combination of all of them it’s quite clear from this and other anti-establishment movements that the status quo can’t last in a democracy. Eventually you’ll have a reaction. This is one such major reaction and given that the UK growth rate has been ok of late, it would be strange if pressure didn’t continue to build elsewhere where growth has been lower for longer.”

  16.  

    just watched that old dinosaur Heseltine on BBC News getting all frothy about things like betrayal, disloyalty, deceit etc etc. Well, he should know as he was a key contributor to the original 1980’s and 1990’s editions of the major text book on the subject. Now seeing his pet project going down the swanny but he couldn’t give a damn about ordinary people’s needs and views. So fuck him !

  17.  

    Jac.
    Nothing to do with Brexit – but thought you might be interested in seeing this, if you haven’t already.

    https://raptorpersecutionscotland.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/mass-raptor-poisoning-in-wales-location-revealed/

    •  

      Unbelievable! I shall do my best to take this to a wider audience.

      •  

        It would be rather peculiar for the GlanUsk estate, or it’s game shooting operation to indulge in poisoning of raptors. The main predation on the pheasant stocks on the estate, by far, is motor vehicles, as the A40 cuts through the land. I can assure you, from personal experience that fresh pheasant collected from the radiator grill in the early hours is delicious, perhaps Ms Murray can recommend a suitable wine from the ‘pink’ restaurant?

        The most likely culprit is a poacher killing raptors for trophy taxidermy, a lucrative and internationally financed trade, which includes egg snatching.

        It is also unlikely to be an errant farmer, who would have access to much more effective methods of poisoning. All the poisoned baits were found outside the GlanUsk estate. It is also incorrect for the RSPB to assume the police investigation only started when the charity campaigners were informed. The police have no requirement to inform the RSPB of their intelligence or progress of investigations, which the police said started in 2012. Often, the RSPB can compromise a successful prosecution due to their amateurish ‘animal rights yah’ activities, often contaminating a crime scene.

        There have also been poisonings of raptors in Cwm Dare and Cefn Coed, Merthyr Tydfil, most likely by the same or related trophy hunters and completely unconnected to the GlanUsk estate. If ‘anon’ is asking contributors to this blog to choose between the outraged middle class English who see Brycheiniog as a rural leisure park and the ruling class English aristocracy supplanted in the area hundreds of years ago, then I choose neither.

        •  

          I don’t doubt that motor vehicles kill a hell of a lot of game birds, but we are dealing here with uncontested cases of poisoning. Also, we have the gamekeepers with previous convictions brought in from Herefordshire.

          Trophy hunters is an interesting introduction, but is there any guarantee where the poisoned raptor will die? And if it was done for taxidermy, surely the birds need to be collected and preserved fairly quickly, yet a number of these birds were found stuffed into sacks.

          But even if you were right, we are still dealing with the largest case of wildlife poisoning in Wales, so why the news blackout?

          I know what you’re saying about some animal rights people, but this time I think they’re onto something. And for me it goes beyond poisoned birds.

          •  

            Trophy hunters will stake out the nest. Set poisoned bait, and when the parent bird does not return to the nest as usual, a hound is used to locate and pick up the trophy. To get a successful prosecution, you need not just a dead raptor but also the hound employed, as evidence, which collars the criminal.

            It is possible that the ‘estate’ has deliberately taken a convicted poacher (having served his time) as a person with the skills to prevent the crime on the new masters estate. A person with a criminal record would usually be arrested as an easy way of ‘eliminating them from enquiries’, a kind of short cut, and can lead to the real suspects. The CPS has not bought a prosecution due to lack of evidence, and there’s nothing stopping the fleece jacket brigade (well resourced with third sector funding) RSPB bringing a private prosecution, if they have more evidence. Also, I do not believe the Rural Crimes Unit of Dyfed-Powys Police to be ‘in’ on a conspiracy.

            From a political point of view, I want international wealthy tourism to supplant the candyfloss Brummies in Wales, fewer footfalls with bigger turnover, and Welsh people having well paid, all year round employment. The kind of tourism developed by estates such as GlanUsk is much better than dappling our rural majesty with seasonal caravan parks, a particular blight in that part of Powys.

            As ever, I’m sure the very able ‘investigations’ so able who contribute to your blog, Jac, will uncover, the truth and the political issues involved. Sounds like a subject for a future blog post. I look forward to it.

          •  

            I don’t buy into the ‘trophy hunters’ theory, not in this case anyway.

            Though I agree entirely with you about wanting more high-spending overseas tourists and fewer, far fewer, “candyfloss Brummies”. (Nice phrase.)

            Where this case interests me is the royal connections, the non-prosecution and the media blackout. These are connected. Worse, they make me wonder what else is being withheld from us.

            I have written a post, and it will go up later tonight or tomorrow morning.

  18.  

    Unbelievable indeed. When you think of the effort to save and re-introduce the Red Kite back into Wales and the joy it brings anyone who sees it, especially groups of them at feeding stations, it beggars belief that in the same area of Wales poisonous bait is being put down that is killing them and other wildlife including the Buzzard – both these birds feeding off carrion so an easy target. Unfortunately where we see so called “management” of the land to allow gentlefolk to bag a brace or more of pheasant, or Red Grouse (in Scotland) we nearly always find poisoning and persecution of wildlife that might compete with these bird species and lose a few quid for the estate owners/managers. There has been quite a fuss recently about Natural Resources Wales leasing public land to private interests who then run shoots of “farmed” pheasant on these lands at a more than tidy earner. Conservationists abhor this practice because of its effect on indigenous flora and fauna, but more than that I’m sure most people would prefer not to see birds bred purely for the purpose of the (usually) rich to have sport shooting them out of the sky – especially on public land.

    http://www.animalaid.org.uk/h/n/NEWS/news_shooting/ALL/3376//

    If the Legg-Bourke estate story has deliberately been kept out of the public eye I would not be at all surprised. Shooting pheasant is hardly the pastime of someone that relies on a foodbank or even that shops in Sainsbury and Marks and Spencer. Definitely a Waitrose person at the very least. My bet is there have been well known and important people attending these shoots who would be highly embarrassed if we found out, particularly with the poisoning issue to boot. Chief Constables/magistrates/lawyers/politicians/Royal family???

    The Glanusk estate has today tweeted something completely useless about this story – about poisoning being unacceptable or the likes, but shedding no light at all on how it happened on their land. Sorry I’ve not got the link to hand.

  19.  

    Is it me or are the current ideas of independence within the EU a bit optimistic given the Welsh majority voted out and the Welsh majority probably want to stay part of the UK (and I hope I’m wrong there)? Shouldn’t they be trying to get out of the UK first and splitting the battle up into winnable chunks rather than setting themselves up to fail from the start? It will all end in a miserable failure through lack of interest and Plaid will be trying to suck up to Labour again to try and get a little power. Maybe I’m getting too old or something but bloody hell!

  20.  

    It’s interesting that around a third of Plaid and SNP voters actually supported Leave. I’d call them the wheat of the independence movement. Meanwhile the majority of nationalists voted Remain ie they chose a different apron to cling on to, because independence in Europe, especially for small nations, is no independence at all. I’d call them the chaff of the independence movement.

  21.  

    Jac and others in Swansea might be interested in a pro-independence meeting to be held in Maritime Museum Cafe at 2pm Saturday July 9th

    •  

      I’ve always been in favour of independence, but I’m a little suspicious of the current wave of enthusiasm because it’s linked with opposition to the EU referendum result. What happens if Brexit is not implemented, will the enthusiasm evaporate?

      •  

        The meeting in the Maritime Museum (or rather, what’s now called the Waterfront Museum – a newer, much bigger, more impressive building with far less interesting exhibits than the old one) is very definitely for people just interested in Independence for Wales, rather than “Independence for Wales in Europe” (Or indeed, out of Europe). Everything’s up in the air and blown wide open now, it’s just a chance for people to get together and talk about what we can do. And nice to do it face to face instead of over the web.

        It’s not connected to any party or group besides people with an interest in Independence. It’s wide open, just meet up, talk and take it from there.

        Interest in the subject of independence has obviously increased since the referendum – because a lot has changed, there’s chaos in government, people are uncertain as to what is happening and Wales needs to stand up for itself now whatever happens. Certainly some people have used it as a way to call for another referendum/call for the referendum to be ignored/complain about the referendum, but the meeting is just for people to share their information and ideas about independence face to face, to hopefully help put it on the agenda with people in Swansea.

        I wouldn’t have dreamt of starting it if it were confined to the idea of the Independence of Wales in Europe. Or confined to anything else.

        But yes, hopefully people of all opinions will be there. Or it might just be three people and a dog. No idea. Not that they allow dogs. And I’ve no idea whether enthusiasm will evaporate if Brexit is not implemented – maybe, hope not. But this group is just for people to get together and discuss Independence as a possible solution to situation we are in, how best we deal with our relationship with the rest of Britain, and the rest of the world – where the terms of those relationships should be up to Wales. To discuss what would be best and if there is anything we can do to achieve that – as a group or as individuals.

      •  

        Even if Brexit is implemented enthusiasm will evaporate, the task ahead is too big for those involved to see through. Before you know it Plaid will have changed their minds again and be seeking some other patch of greener grass with Labour. As you know I want our independence as much as anyone but I honestly think those involved are trying to bite off more than they can chew like I said above. Instead of trying to change many peoples minds on one issue they are determined to try and change the minds on two issues at once. I voted out of the EU like the majority in our country but I’ll be fucked if I want to get away from one master only to jump into bed with a bigger and possibly more sinister one, I’d rather stay as we are

        •  

          True, but isn´t it a choice between given up 10% or your sovereignty to the EU, vs. 110% to the UK (¨Power devolved is power retained¨, remember).

          •  

            The majority of people in this country voted to leave the EU, I believe the majority of people would rather we stayed as part of the UK, make a venn diagram out of those statistics and that’s an awful lot of people that would need convincing. From their point of view it would be more sensible to split the task into manageable chunks, such as #1 go for an independent Cymru. #2 offer a referendum to the subsequent independent country to rejoin the EU and campaign for that then. Wars are fought one battle at a time, Hitler lost because he chose to fight on two fronts. This will probably be our last chance for us to regain our independence, this is way beyond plain politics. Churchill chose Montgomery to lead his armies, there was a reason he didn’t choose Vera Lynn, popular as she was

          •  

            Good point, like it was said last time around with indy ref #1 in Scotland that once independence was attained we could then vote as a nation on EU/NATO/Monarchy … yes or no.

            The current problem though is one of logistics. Scotland is trying, and may very well succeed, in leaving the UK without leaving the EU (so not having to go through years and years of disadvantage and tedious negotiations to get back in). It will either quit the UK before the UK leaves the EU due to careful timing and clever footwork, or else with the goodwill of Europe be consigned to a special kind of legal limbo, neither in nor out, while all the loose ends are tied up.

            It might just be possible, in theory at least, for NI and (even more theoretically?) Wales to come along for the ride. At least continued EU membership with all the funding and other benefits, would be a good carrot to bring people around to an independent Wales, assuming that was the only way you could stay in. But if I understand you correctly you want to separate Welsh independence from EU membership. The sequence would then be :
            1. Get thrown out of the EU with England;
            2. Campaign for independence;
            3. Vote on rejoining the EU (or not as it suits you).

            But, how will you achieve (2) without the ´carrot´ to sway a large swathe of voters? And even then there´s no certainty of (3), once you´re out you´re out, and who knows how the internal politics of the EU will shape up several years in the future. There´s no guarantee that they´ll want Wales to join, or may simply demand unacceptable conditions of entry.

            As I see it the root of all this is that over the past decades Scottish independence has slowly progressed, using the devolved parliament as means to advance the cause, with an SNP government behaving more and more like an independent country and challenging Westminster. Whereas in Wales a tame Labour government has simply acted as a colonial administration. Plaid have simply failed to grasp the initiative and use the assembly to their advantage. I can see it´s all a bit chicken-and-egg, but they haven´t really inspired enough of the electorate.

            Which BTW I think is a great pity, and I worry for the fate of a Wales shackled to LittleEngland.

      •  

        The best outcome IMO would be for the English to drag their feet and prevaricate as long as possible over Brexit before finally having to either remain with a few token concessions (but Europe is already fed up with British exceptions) or enter into a Norway type of realtionship, i.e. nothing really changes, all the old rules still apply but the (r)UK is excluded from the EU´s political processes, so again nothing really gained accept a bit of false pride and face-saving. However if the delay is long enough then Scotland has a good chance of escaping the UK, There are some encouraging noises already coming out of Europe and Scotland could do very well out of being IN while England is OUT having at the very least lost a few important existing concessions.

        So you tell me, how can Wales take advantage of these developments, and who is coming forward to fight your corner (as Maggie might have put it)?

  22.  

    The current constitutional crisis does offer a huge opportunity for the national movement in Wales. But surely it has to start with where we are? 53% of the population voted to leave the EU in the referendum. It is an interesting thought whether that situation would have been different if we had our own national media, rather than a situation where the right-wing Daily Mail/ Express and their fervid anti-Europe line sell the most papers here, but even so, we are where we are.

    It was a bit worrying that the pro-independence rally in Caernarfon on Saturday, attended by 400 people, had as it’s title “Cymru Rydd yn Ewrop”( A free Wales in Europe). Are these people deaf or what? A majority of the Welsh population voted to leave the EU. Now, it seems we will have a campaign which willfully ignores that clear message which will only antagonize those particular voters from the outset! Surely the focus should now be solely on Independence for Wales? That way we can appeal to both the leave side and the remain side of the argument, and we can leave the European element until a later time.

    Wales’s slowness off the blocks in this respect could prove to be beneficial. You can contemplate a situation where we could actually wait and see what happens in the two other countries in Britain: England who will be outside the EU, and Scotland, who will probably remain within the EU, before deciding whether we should re-apply for EU membership. My guess that the EU in its present guise will no longer be in existence in a few years time. Who knows what the new set-up will look like, but as everything is likely to be up in the air, it makes sense for Wales to stay its hand at this particular point.

    Let’s hope that the various independence initiatives which have sprung up since the Brexit vote can coalesce around this foundational idea of Independence for Wales first and foremost.

    •  

      I agree with almost everything you say here. I’ve made it clear a number of times since June 24th that a certain section of Welsh political society suddenly getting the hots for independence because of the referendum result is hardly the way forward, and won’t get my support.

      Many of those who voted Leave, like me, are not influenced by the Sun or the Daily Mail (I never read them), we voted against a cumbersome and byzantine organisation that seems to offer Wales few benefits. We hear of all the money received from the EU but where has it gone, on what or whom has so much of it been squandered spent? This was a revolt of the poor, and in areas like the Valleys they certainly didn’t vote Leave because they’d bought into a resurgent English nationalism.

      Any serious re-evaluation of Wales’ relationship with England – by those who voted Leave and those who voted Remain – is far more likely to come about from developments in Scotland than from any change in the UK’s relationship with the EU. If Scotland achieves independence, and we are stuck with Englandandwales, then THAT will provide a far stronger incentive for Welsh people to think seriously about independence.

      England, and our relationship with England after Scottish independence, must be the issue, not our relationship with the EU.

      It is these considerations, Scottish independence and the reintroduction of a border in Ireland (guaranteed to arouse Republican sentiment), that are responsible for Gove, Hannan, Johnson and so many others backtracking on their demands of just a few weeks ago. They wanted Britain out of Europe; but a Britain falling apart is too high a price to pay. As I’ve said, on that side of the argument the only ones still genuinely demanding Brexit are hard-line English nationalists.

      So, as you say, let’s see what develops; and if the SNP does go for independence then everyone who wants Welsh independence should be up there supporting the campaign. Because Scottish independence, not EU membership, is the key to breaking down resistance to Welsh independence.

    •  

      Good though that the corresponding rally in Cardiff was titled as being in support of simply Welsh Independence- but that one was started at least by people “on the ground”, without any previous experience of such stuff, not members of any groups or political parties.

    •  

      I was at the rally in Caernarfon. Many things spring too mind. Clutching at straws. Living in a dream world. Failing to grasp reality. etc etc.

      The whole premise was that somehow, independence can be gained from a UK inside the EU or should the UK leaver, EU membership can be granted the same time as independence. That is impossible. Sturgeon has even been told that is impossible and given her softening of stance, even she now accepts what the EU are telling her.

      There are only two scenarios:-

      a. Wales becomes independent from the UK while the UK is still in the EU. In that scenario, Wales is automatically out of the EU and must apply for membership ONCE IT IS INDEPENDENT and not before. The application process cannot be started until AFTER you are an independent nation. It would take several years, during which Wales would have to stand entirely on it’s own two feet in the world, with no central banking system, a hostile immediate neighbour (rUK) and a largely indifferent EU. Once it satisfied EU membership criteria and was accepted, it would then presumably hold a referendum on joining. Given that by then it would be stable and economically viable, why on earth would it’s citizens join the EU?

      b. The UK leaves the EU then Wales seeks independence with an aim of joining the EU. Again, it would have no central bank, this time it’s immediate neighbour would be indifferent as would the EU, and again if Wales weathered all that would it’s citizens then decide to join?

      There is a singular lack of ability to accept the reality. No matter what the UK does, for Wales to be independent it must leave the EU first and then apply to join in it’s own right. That is the only deal on the table and the rally in Caernarfon showed that the organisers are refusing to accept that and thus living in a fantasy.

      •  

        Let´s for a moment think the unthinkable. You are currently in a union with England, Scotland and NI. If that union fractures into two or three pieces need it be taken for granted that you will stick with England. Why not demand to remain with Scotland (and NI??) Europe is fast coming around to the idea of seeing Scotland as the UK´s successor state, which means in effect that it´s England that will be leaving the UK. Why not stay with Scotland and be in the rUK (comes with added EU benefits). Now that would really turn the tables on Little Engerland 🙂

        •  

          Europe is fast coming around to the idea of seeing Scotland as the UK´s successor state, which means in effect that it´s England that will be leaving the UK.

          That is total sphericals and makes you another denier of reality. England is not trying to leave the UK. The UK (which is de facto England because of it’s pure dominance) is leaving the EU. The only people that wish to leave the UK are Scotland. Wales may or may not, but at the moment doesn’t. Parliament decides who does and does not leave the UK – and England has no desire or intention to leave it. Parliament even controls whether you can have a vote to leave the UK. And England controls Parliament.

          As for Northern Ireland, you obviously included them for a laugh. The voting pattern in the referendum almost exclusively reflected the sectarian divide, but in this instance with a twist of class definition. The Roman Catholics voted Remain (in order to avoid the union by using the EU as a watering down mechanism) supported by the Protestant middle class (in order to support their wallets). The Protestant working class voted Leave (in order to avoid a situation where they had to look at the Republic as equals). In a vote to join the Republic, the Protestant middle class would revert back to their working class Presbyterian brethren and vote to remain in the UK (not forgetting that the Republic doesn’t actually want the north – it is an economic basket case in near-Venezualan proportions, with just under 28% of the working population in public sector jobs – and the Republic is most definately not going to pick up the tab for that). You would have to be a total spanner to try and fit the north in this EU debacle. (especially being as Greater Manchester has a larger population and a larger economy and that’s just a ‘county’)

          •  

            If WM tries to block a second Scottish indy ref, then Holyrood will veto any attempt by London to set in motion Section 50 (or whatever it´s called), so they´ll be a stand-off and much head-scratching over the finer points of constitutional law and the Acts of Union. What fun 🙂

          •  

            Scotland cannot veto Article 50 – they have already been told that by both Westminster and Brussels Scotland is not a nation in the eyes of the EU – it is merely a region of the UK and it’s the UK government that makes all decisions regarding the EU – not devolved areas.

          •  

            No, you´ve got the wrong end of the stick here. Brexit would obviously have far reaching implications for many of the Scottish government´s areas of competence, so the argument goes, Art. 50 cannot be activated without Holyrood´s agreement. This all falls within the UK domestic constitution and doesn´t relate directly to the EU. It will come down to picking apart the details of the devolution settlement and beyond that the Acts of Union between England (incl. Wales and NI) and Scotland. Remember the Scottish Parliament at its opening, declared itself to be a continuation of the pre-UK Scottish parliament, and this afaik has never been questioned. Under the Scottish constitution ultimate sovereignty lies with the people, not the monarch. And the Scottish people voted Remain. So the government is duty-bound to defend that position by whatever means.

          •  

            Errr no, you have it wrong and the Attorney General and the Law Lords have already again said – this is a sovereign UK matter and outside the frame of devolution and nothing to do wit devolved governent, which under the temrs f their devolution accpeted thathey wer subordinate to Westminster in all matter and that Wesminster can overrule and decsion made at devolved level at any time it so wishes, without giving reason..

            In fact, Article 50 is not even a parliamentary matter. the Lisbon Treaties are Sovereign Treaties and the right to invoke Article 50 lies solely with the Monarchs appointed representative – the Prime Minister.

          •  

            Scotland has its own legal system, it was never unified with the English system. This is quite different from the situations in Wales where the native legal system was entirely abolished and Wales became and still is legally a part of England. Anyway, as I understand it, there are grounds for arguing that the Scots can object to Brexit, at the very least it would require Westminster to modify the devolution settlement, and as most MPs are anti-Brexit …
            So even if they win eventually in a strictly legal sense, it certainly won´t be plain sailing and the political cost both in England and in Scotland could be very high.

  23.  

    Comment – August 2018 – “Borthlas”, aka John Dixon, has pointed out that the Westminster Government has “strenuously denied that the army is on standby should there be a no-deal Brexit”.

    https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/30/no-the-army-isnt-on-standby-in-case-we-have-a-no-deal-brexit-7779102/

    There is speculation that if there is a ‘no-deal Brexit” there could be a need to augment the food and fuel supply, use the MoD estate to evacuate vulnerable people away from a crisis hit SE England.

    A the report says “A return to a 1950s or 60’s pre-EU ‘British’ era of food is unlikely. Churchillian romantics who see Brexit as an opportunity to relive Imperial or wartime days go silent if the culinary era of tinned peaches and spam are mentioned.”

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/brexit-uk-food-supply-eu-report-sleepwalking-crisis-2017-7

    Thing is, one third of all food consumed in the UK is imported from the EU, yet Wales is currently more than self sufficient in food, a net exporter to England.

    Food price inflation in the UK has already hit 7% more per year compared with other EU states since the Brexit vote, and a no-deal Brexit will inevitably accelerate this trend. It may well be good for Wales in rebuilding its own internal ‘local market’, as long as, the British state does not impose a forced supply chain.

    Will be see corporals driving milk tankers or Welsh farmers striking gold?

    http://c.files.bbci.co.uk/A5F8/production/_86388424_hi028377215.jpg
    Pic (ITV). “Operation Stack” on the M20 during a French strikes in 2015.

    In 1845, a famine year in Ireland, historical records show that 3,251,907 quarters of corn were exported from Ireland to Britain. That same year 257,257 sheep were exported to Britain. In 1846, another famine year, 480,827 swine and 186,483 oxen were exported to Britain, enforced by the deployment of the British Army.

    Isn’t the REAL reason why Whitehall is hording agricultural market legislation from the EU and snatching it away from the devolved administrations because there are concerns about food supply and price inflation?

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?

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