Most news reports and other commentators seem to be focusing on the decline in the numbers and percentages of those speaking Welsh revealed by the 2011 Census results released today, which is perfectly understandable, because for many ‘The Language’ is their primary concern. Though this approach can deny the observer the fuller picture of the state of Wales today.
To avoid this more narrow interpretation we must accept that the decline in the use of the Welsh language is an effect, not a cause; and the language is doomed to a slow and lingering death until we address the underlying reasons for its decline. These reasons can be found in the other figures released today. But they also have historic causes. (I shall not quote specific figures, that’s been done well enough elsewhere, and they’re all available here.)
Wales is a rich country with poor people, its natural resources having been exploited over centuries by what was largely English (sometimes Scottish, or even native) capital and entrepreneurs, with few benefits for the great majority of the Welsh beyond low paid and dangerous employment in the extractive or manufacturing processes. With the decline of these industries Wales – after a period of throwing vast sums money at so called ‘inward investment’ – began to sink towards a condition of very low wages and benefit dependency. Throughout history, and across the globe, this situation has resulted in a falling population, as the more ambitious leave to take up work elsewhere.
Yet here in Wales, and despite too many of our brightest and best leaving, we see the glaring anomaly of economic decline go hand in hand with a growing population! This – unless accounted for by a very high birth rate (which does not apply to Wales) – is rare, if not unique, in Western history.
What the hell is going on? People are moving to areas without work! People of working age are moving to areas where they will never work! With sparse and inadequate medical and other facilities large numbers of the elderly and those needing specialist care are moving to Wales! To the extent that today, as shown by the 2011 Census:
- Wales has a higher percentage (18%) of people over the age of 65 than any region of England.
- Wales has a higher percentage (23%) of people with a long term health problem or disability than any region of England.
- Wales has a higher percentage (26%) of people without a recognised qualification than any region of England.
The explanation is quite simple – Wales is undergoing a comprehensive form of social engineering. An English population is being brought in to serve two purposes: a) keep up population levels b) anglicise Wales (and thereby minimise any threat of ‘creeping’ secession). What’s worse, the greater part of this influx – especially to rural areas and former mining communities – belongs to the categories listed above.
So an already poor country of three million people, the greater part of it qualifying for EU structural funding, is willingly allowing, or actively encouraging, the movement into the country every year of thousands of people who will contribute nothing beyond making the statistics read even worse on age balance, economic activity, health and disability. Why? This is economic insanity!
The Welsh language is an indicator of the general health of the nation. Therefore, to believe that the language can be dealt with solely by fresh legislation, or more schools, divorced from its social and economic context, is self-deluding nonsense. Yet legislation and education are the false idols that have been worshipped for decades by those claiming to have the best interests of the language at heart. This was always the easy way out because it avoided confronting the real problems – a weak economy and English colonisation.
Yet despite this obvious, glaring, problem the Welsh Government supports and encourages those very agencies that bring into Wales more elderly people, more workless undesirables, more people with ‘problems’ needing care. This makes the Welsh Government complicit in the anglicisation and the impoverishment of the country it claims to serve. It also makes that shower down Cardiff docks perhaps the most incompetent administration in history! And while the Labour Party may be in power, the other parties cannot be excused, because they have remained silent and complicit.
I have dealt ad nauseum with these issues and I’m damned if I’m going to waste more time on another long list of what needs to be done. It should be unnecessary, for I get the feeling that an increasing number of people can see what’s wrong in Wales. One doesn’t need to be a nationalist to see the economic problem, and its causes. Tackling the reasons behind economic decline will aid the language.
From now on we need a new approach to how things are done in this country. Welsh people must have priority in housing, employment, education, grant funding and other benefits. No Welsh agency will provide housing, benefits, employment or any other services to any person lacking strong Welsh connections. And if the politicians refuse to legislate then they – along with the media and our other enemies – must be ignored by those who are prepared to defend Wales.
Wales for the Welsh? No, not exclusively so. But we certainly shouldn’t tolerate a ‘Wales’ without the Welsh; nor any corner of Wales without an overwhelming Welsh majority. Yet this is where we are headed unless action is taken soon. And it must be action, for words have clearly failed.