‘The nations and regions of the UK’ is a term used by the BBC and other organisations and it fascinates me for a number of reasons. Primarily I suppose because I can readily identify the former but I’m confused when I read about the latter, especially in a political context. Do you know where these mysterious ‘regions’ are? Let’s start with the relatively easy job of identifying the nations.
There are four nations in these islands. Apart from us Welsh there are the Scots and the English with the three of us making up Britain; and then there are the Irish, with the greater part of Ireland being independent. Northern Ireland is a part of the UK, but as the Troubles made clear, there are two communities there; one that shares its cultural background with the citizens of the Republic of Ireland, and can be called Irish, with the other identifying with Britain, or more particularly Scotland, and insisting it is British.
Which is confusing, because there is no British nation. There is certainly a British state, but that’s a constitutional arrangement. To confuse matters further ‘British’ is a term that was used for centuries by English writers to describe us Welsh and our language, in recognition of the fact that we were the original inhabitants of this island, before the post-Roman Germanic and Irish settlements. (Though this connection is less likely to be made nowadays, for the same English nationalist reasons that ‘Iron Age Britain’ has replaced ‘Celtic Britain’.) So are these people in the northern part of Ireland who claim to British some lost Welsh tribe?
Despite this division into two mutually hostile camps it serves British interests to regard Northern Ireland as one of the nations, on a par with Wales, England and Scotland. Is it not, it is simply a devolved administration, and at some point in the near future it will re-unite with the rest of the island.
I think that settles – for the time being, at least – the nations element of this little piece. Let’s move on.
It seems obvious that if we are looking for the BBC’s regions, then we’ll have to look for them in England. But these regions are arbitrary geographical units, most of which seem to be named after compass points, I see nothing closer to a nation, a geographical area of England where people say – preferably in a distinctive accent – ‘This is my region, I am a native of ————-‘.
At this point you might be tempted to put down your porcelain cup of Darjeeling and wonder aloud, ‘What the fuck is he is on about, why is he writing about the regions of England?’ but please bear with me, for I shall now explain how I believe this is relevant to Wales.
Last Wednesday saw a ‘taskforce’ meet in Cardiff, a gathering of great Labour minds hoping to give the impression that their party has a cunning plan for a new constitutional arrangement post-Brexit.
In attendance were our own Carwyn Jones, former PM Gordon Brown, leader of ‘Scottish’ Labour Kezia Dugdale, ex-deputy PM John Prescott, some bloke named Jon Trickett (described as a strategist’), and among the spear carriers were Christina Rees MP and Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle council. While in the chorus we find the Labour candidate for Mayor of Greater Manchester, his counterpart for the Liverpool City Region, etc.
Clearly, ‘handing more powers down’ is an attempt to cut off the SNP at the pass, by giving Scotland more powers so that people there will say, ‘See you, Jimmy, we dinnae need independence the noo’. (I bet you read that and thought, ‘Bloody hell! Some Scotsman has taken over Jac’s blog’.)
And in the hope of disguising that this is all about preventing Scottish independence Labour must come up with what looks like a more general plan for all “the nations and regions that make up the UK”.
Which is a bit tricky when we can’t locate these regions, which brings us back to the original problem.
THE LESSONS OF HISTORY
Clearly, England does not have established and distinct regions like France, let alone Germany, where many of today’s länder were independent states well into the nineteenth century. It was a similar situation in Italy, though few today mourn the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
By comparison, England was unified by the middle of the tenth century, with London the capital and major city. When William of Normandy invaded in 1066 he only needed to win one battle, kill Harold, and march on London to be ruler of all England. I can think of no other European country of the time that would have fallen so completely, so quickly.
Consequently, what passes for regions in England today are nothing more than broadcasters’ shorthand – the West Country, East Anglia, etc. And yet, there was a time, a brief window, when England was organised into separate kingdoms, or at least, those parts of England that weren’t still under Welsh control.
It was known as the Heptarchy, or Seven Kingdoms, and those of you of a Time Team disposition will go all a-quiver at the mention of the term. It was that period from (roughly) the early seventh century to the early tenth century, and is illustrated in the map. The western areas, coloured in darker green, were the areas still ruled by our ancestors.
That was then, and since then the problem of delineating England’s regions has taxed many great minds, but there was always resistance to formal regions on the grounds that there was something foreign about them, foreign and divisive. Perhaps because her imperial history had taught England how to exploit divisions. So if – God forbid! – some foreign Johnny ever invaded let him find himself faced with a united country. (Though as we’ve learnt, that was England’s weakness in 1066.)
And this resistance to regions persists, so you’d think Labour would have known better after the abject failure of the party’s Regional Assemblies (Preparation) Act 2003. (What do you mean, you ‘don’t remember it’!) This was intended to pave the way, through referendums, for assemblies in northern England. Just one referendum was held, in the north east, in 2004; but the Geordies, Mackems, Smoggies and the rest rejected the offer by 78% to 22%. The whole project was then abandoned.
As I mentioned, one of those attending the taskforce meeting was former deputy prime minister John Prescott, and the northern assemblies project was his brainchild. So this is either a case of some people never learn, or, a good idea is worth persisting with. Take your pick.
WHY IT WILL NEVER WORK
The idea of regions and regional governments is unattractive to most English people; they will probably have an affection for their town or city, the wider locality, maybe their county, but after that it’s England, or Britain. A region is an odd and unnecessary layer to insert.
And yet, if English politicians, and their Unionist allies in Scotland and Wales are to save Britain then they must pretend to believe in devolution, or even federalism, but the problem remains England, it’s just too big. Federalism works in the USA or Germany because no matter how big and rich California and Bavaria might they’re still out-gunned by the rest.
So the only way to sell federalism to Scotland is to suggest breaking England up into regions . . . that the English don’t want. But even if you could get enough English to buy into regions that would still leave the problem of London, infinitely richer than any of the other ‘regions’, and it would almost certainly be the seat of the federal government.
And look at the North West region. Liverpool, Manchester and wealthy Cheshire in the south, and in the north . . . lakes and holiday homes? Come to think of it – where’s Cornwall? Will our Cornish cousins accept being subsumed into a South West region run from Bristol?
The Scots would be foolish to listen to Labour’s overtures, or any promise of more devolution. Ask yourself what would happen in the unlikely event of the Scottish Parliament accepting federalism but the English refusing to accept regions – will the UK government force regions on the English? No.
The second reason for rejecting Labour’s proposals is that we’ve been here before, very recently, in fact, just before the independence referendum in September 2014. Remember ‘The Vow’? In the closing stages of the referendum campaign Cameron, Miliband and Clegg, the leaders of the three main Unionist parties ganged together to promise Scotland something within a whisker of independence. This promise may have guaranteed the No vote, and it was then reneged on.
Thirdly, this taskforce is drawn from the Labour Party, which is unlikely to be in any position to offer anybody anything until around 2025. And just look at who’s in the taskforce; Brown, Prescott, Jones, Dugdale – would you trust any of that lot?
I have faith in the SNP. They know that England and England’s Unionist allies in Scotland are not to be trusted. It must be independence; no more crumbs, no more half measures, no more lies.
It would be nice to report that Wales is on the same path. But she’s not. I fear we’re headed in the opposite direction.
56 thoughts on “Jerusalem Unsundered”
Jack, good read. You have you eye on the ball, as they say. The last paragraph in this article – “It would be nice to report that Wales is on the same path. But she’s not. I fear we’re headed in the opposite direction.” – seems like a teaser to me. Can we assume this will be the subject of your next article?
It might have been, but a few things have cropped up that I can’t let pass without scrutiny.
Whoever contacted me re a certain fund-raising issue please get it touch again with contact details. This needs to be exposed. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Of course, English devolution is a nonstarter, federalism would never work, but it’s a distraction and that’s its value particularly in Wales to an apathetic electorate, Labour can pretend to have a discussion on ‘more powers’ that never goes anywhere and won’t ever be delivered. Even Scottish unionists don’t see it as the way forward anymore, they know the debate is either independence or total roll back of devolution.
Off topic and following today’s defection by Mark Reckless, the Tories are now the official opposition replacing Plaid Cymru. Plaid can either be a pointless third party or if they had any sense and a spine they should take this opportunity to strategically withdraw from the Senedd and focus on building up local parties, campaigning for welsh independence and watching the Brexit train wreck unfold while making maximum political capital out of it.
Plaid’s AM’s could still attend plenary sessions to quiz Comatose Carwyn and his Cabinet and the odd Committee to grab headlines and ensure they’re still be representing the people who elected them, but apart from that they should stand back and let the Labour/Tory/UKIP Brexit mess in Wales unfold over the next few months and years, while building an independence movement and be ready to step up when Wales needs them.
Doubt I’ll happen, but we can hope that Welsh voters are questioning some of what’s going on in the Bay bubble.
You know my position: Plaid Cymru was serving no useful purpose anyway, so now that they aren’t even the official opposition, why bother . . . except that now there’ll be people in Plaid deluding themselves that Labour needs them ever more.
Reckless was a regional list A.M member sitting under the party nomination. It appears that the odious Hamilton is correct that he should now surrender his seat to whoever was the next whacky UKIPper on their list. Reckless is not mandated to sit as a Tory nor as an Independent. Surprised Elin Jones missed this as she is normally very good at small print, just doesn’t get the bigger picture.
I was reading something that they built the great rail-roads of the US with an eye on creating a nation. They knew they had to have good transport links to create this new nation. Our rulers know that the last thing they want is a well linked Wales with north and south joined to form one nation. The much prefer east to west links. The object is to keep us divided economically, politically, geographically and culturally/linguistically. It’s quite simple really.
That was exactly what Dr. Beeching had in mind when he sliced up our rail links in Cymru. No one can convince me that it was just an economic decision. He was working to a preconceived plan to keep the north separate from the south, whilst encouraging west – east connections. It’s obvious to a blind man, all you need as a tool to discover that is a road map!
more propaganda today on WalesonLine ref electrification of the South Wales ( Cardiff end ) to Paddington line. This huge CapEx will lead to a 14 minute saving on journey times !, assuming of course that there aren’t any wet leaves or dead bodies ( humans, cattle, etc ) on the line.
This, like HS2, sucks up huge dollops of capital which might have been used to seriously good effect by making journeys between our communities a bit easier. Try filling in the potholes to stop my car becoming a wreck within its first 7 years, get bits of overtaking space on the A470 if we cant afford or don’t need dualling, and loads of other links that need sorting out now that the newest piece of the Cardiff Bay Boulevard is about complete.
Check out that link on Jac’s tweet column to the piece written by a Welshman now living in OZ. They have a road running N > S, 1700+miles of track of variable width, down the middle of the country linking tropical to temperate zones, yet our silly tossers can’t put together the remaining 150 or less between CefnCoed and Llandudno. Makes me want to slice and dice some A.M’s and their useless civil servants just to check whether there’s any life or brain in there.
There was a very interesting discussion on welsh independence yesterday on the radio station Voice of Islam of all places http://voiceofislam.co.uk/podcasts/drive-time-podcast-05-04-2017/
It did make good listening. It was almost all positive. Lee Richards (or Leigh ?), Sid Morgan and Rhun Ap Iorwerth all put forward good solid arguments in favour while a woman whose name I didn’t get spoke for about five minutes giving the impression that she didn’t have a clue what she was talking about.
NEWSFLASH. Election Latest. Resolute Anti-Welsh campaigner Jacques Protic, is not standing in the Aethwy Ward – Ynys Mon County Council, in May 2017 election.
In 2013 he was trounced ; he finished at the rear of the group ; he was last ; hindmost ; bottom of the poll ; he was at the back of the pack ; bottom of the pile ; he was the candidate with the fewest number of votes.
Could this be the end of his brief, yet spectacularly unsuccessful, political career ?
Perhaps he’ll stand as ‘J Jones’ or one of his other aliases?
Addressing his candidates before the great battle of Cymruberg, Ab Lincoln said”That we are more highly resolved, that this nation under God shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the Welsh people by the Welsh people for Welsh people shall not perish from the Earth.”
Plaid Cymru managed to pass a motion in the Senedd last night demanding that powers returning from the European Union return to to Cymru. Carwyn’s Donkeys slept through the event.
An interesting tidbit was under Henry VIII when the North was governed by the Council of the North, Cornwall and Devon were governed by the Council of the West and Wales which was governed by the Council of Wales and the March (The North and Wales were both established by Edward IV). Gradually the devolution of powers ended… I remember reading about this because Thomas Cromwell was its advocate – and although the West did not last long… the North came to an end because of the Civil War (so bookended by Cromwells really). Council of Wales and the March came to an end due to the Dutch invasion which displaced the Stuarts for the second and final time.
I don’t imagine that the Scots want to be the equivalent of an English region anyway. The Scots will still be out-voted by the English whether they balkanise England or not. So Dugdale and Brown are flogging a solution that is unacceptable to both the English and the Scots,
I’m totally comfortable with devolution within England, but it has to be under the auspices of an English parliament and government. I don’t want separate legislative jurisdictions within England, and nor do I want a postcode lottery England – I want a National Health Service, not a regional one; national educational standards, not regional standards. Devolution should be to meaningful areas that people identify with: counties, cities. If those authorities want to combine resources for service delivery efficiency or for large infrastructure projects then they should be free to do so. Regional committees within the English parliament can help facilitate such cooperation.
I agree totally; I am of the opinion that England needs a devolved English Parliament just so that the press in foreign countries will be forced to distinguish between the ‘English Parliament’ and ‘British Parliament’ and the ‘English First Minister’ from the ‘British Prime Minister’, when I was in Brittany in 2014 it drove me mad the number of times I had to try to explain that England wasn’t Britain. With England’s separateness from Britain finally obvious, it will be easier for the rest of the world to know that Wales exists.
I’m with you all the way on that one Mabon! That’s in Brittany of all places – which is just a stone’s throw away! Little wonder we’re often confronted with Americans who habitually ask: “Wales? What part of England is that?”
The British/ English mess-up has been total – in all corners of the earth. Little wonder we don’t exist in most people’s eyes. That is thanks to the media, more so than the Anglo-Saxon government.
I don’t usually watch shity MSM news, but for some strange reason I did tonight (too lazy to get up for the remote). I watched the ITV news. When it came to the ‘Welsh News’ you could easily get an idea for a new party game. They were interviewing people on the streets for some items. The game would be “Spot the Welshman”. Anyone who tries to convince me that this is not a planned strategy is a frigging idiot!
It’s creeping genocide by progressive liberals, under the guise of multicultural political correctness. On the subject of P.C. Did anyone see the fuss about an obviously tongue in cheek, light hearted remark that David Moyes made to a female reporter? She laughed at his quip (obviously a balanced girl with a sense of humour – she didn’t even complain to anyone), he was smiling, here’s a clip:
FFS! Are we living in a real world with proper flesh & blood humans or programmed humourless robots? The poor sod had to do a grovelling apology to save his job! That was after some ‘man hating feminist” insisted that he was threatening the reporter with VIOLENCE. That’s when the media decided this was going to be their next ‘ballooned’ (nothing) story that merited air time on the main news!I guess Leanne will be out with a placard tomorrow defending women’s rights instead of fighting for our disappearing identity! This is the mad world that’s being created for us and we have to live in it.
Oh it gets worse when you look at the different languages. There is the Great/Little Britain problem. In Irish Wales is called ‘Little Britain’ whereas in Scots Gaelic and Cornish ‘Little B.’ is Brittany. In Breton ‘Britain’ means Brittany and Great Britain is, well, ‘Great Britain’, but Cornwall is ‘Great Cornwall’ since they have a little Cornwall all of their own down there. Welsh has a funny old name for Brittany while the Scots in Gaelic these days call Wales ‘Cuimrigh’ (now where could they have got that from?)
And that’s just some of your fellow Celts. I dread to think how it would go in all the different European languages …
It may be worth recalling how decentralised everything was in England half a century or more ago. Every county and county-borough ran its own education system in its own way, had it’s own police force and head cop, its own fire service, ambulances etc. Even vehicle registration was done on a county basis. The rather ad hoc lumping together of most of these functions and others over the following decades has produced a sort of messy ‘regionalisation’, but originally at least people identified with their city or county and then with England as a whole, with no emotional or practical links to anything in between. Hence any modern ‘regions’ feel like the artificial bureaucratic constructions they really are.
That’s exactly what I’ve written, but this loyalty/sentiment never extended to regions.
Whenever I hear some unreconstructed English nat asserting that Gwent, or rather “Monmouthshire”, is historically part of England rather than Wales, I refer them to the maps illustrating Marchia Wallie showing vast swathes of the modern English border counties that were pinched from Wales at the time of the Acts of Penal Assimilation (1535-36), the prevalence of Welsh place-names through most of those areas, the Wales of the Tripartite Indenture of 1405 (see: http://www.owain-glyndwr.wales/tripartite_intenture.html), and the area of the historic Welsh kingdom of Ergyng in which Welsh continued to be widely spoken well into the 19th century.
IIRC the confusion over Gwent arose because of court circuits. When Wales was incorporated into the English legal system, two new circuits were established for North and South Wales, but for purely practical reasons Gwent was incorporated into one of the existing English circuits. Since for many centuries there was little else to distinguish Wales from England it’s not difficult to see how the confusion arose.
Agreed, but the real question is whether the following areas be returned to Wales, all of which were filched between the 16th to 19th centuries and which retained Welsh-speaking populations well into the 19th century (and, in the case of Coesoswallt, to the present day)?
Croesoswallt (Oswestry), Bryn-y-Castell (Gobowen), Caus, Llanffynhonwen (Chirbury), Colunwy (Clun), Wigmore, Kington, Tref-y-clawdd (Knighton), Llanfeuno, Ewias (including Clydog / Clodock, Pontrilas ), Ergyng (including Llanddewi Cil Peddeg / Kilpeck, Llandewi Rhos-Cerion / Dewchurch, Bagwyllidiart, Llangarron, Hên-llan / Hentland, St. Owen’s Cross, Pencraig, Llangystennin Garth Brenni / Welsh Bicknor, and Rhos-ar-Wy), St. Briavels, … ?
In his History of Wales, John Davies describes these lands as “Cambria Irredenta”.
Enjoyed that Jac a throughly good read. Not least of all because it reinforces many of my own opinions. Promises of more devolved powers are just another helping of the Unionists favourite dish, carrott followed by a big stick. SNP are now wise to this tactic and tthankfully that ship of pacification sailed long ago. Carwyn’s constitutional think tank is nothing more than a bunch of has beens and have nots attempting to look credible and relevant, trust is not a word that you would readily associate with these red Unionists.
What made this blog different to every run of the mill nationalist one was how it drilled down into a current issue to the point where it had politicians sitting up and taking note.
Labour will be chuckling to themselves that Jac has changed tack and has decided to preach to the converted with favourable history lessons and predictable opinion.
So you’re arguing that me writing about a meeting that took place last week, outlining (what passes for) Labour Party thinking, is not a “current issue”? Put that way, it makes you look a bit silly, doesn’t it?
Every few weeks, some establishment up-sucker will be allowed onto the website of the ‘Institute of Welsh sic Affairs’ to yap on about ‘federalism’.
Every time someone does this (if, of course, I can be arsed going up and down those bloody steps again), I respond to make much the same points as you’ve made.
‘Federalism’ is a dead letter with regards to the so-called ‘United Kingdom’ for the most obvious reason possible: one member of that putative federation outweighs all the others combined by a ratio of more than 5:1. Such a ‘federation’ would merely be a continuation of total English state dominance under another name. I can’t imagine such an arrangement protecting us from having our valleys flooded for factories in Formby, and certainly not allowing us the total control over our water resources which is our inalienable right as a nation.
Faced with this insurmountable obstacle, the ‘federalists’ then move on to pootling about talking sub-dividing England into ‘regions’ whose existence is, as you point out, vague to the point of invisibility. I then have to point out that – leaving aside the question of what area (or ‘bro’, if you like) people in England identify with – can you imagine the screaming from the Scum and the Daily Heil if it ever looked like being proposed in all seriousness?
Besides which, it would be a racing certainty that those ‘regions’ would vote as a bloc in every crucial decision when the interests of their ‘colonies’ was on the table and stood in contrast with their own requirement;. again, a continuation of Westminster’s stitch-ups by other means. The only remotely plausible (and then not by much) way of trying to obviate that would be by fiddles and fudges like Qualified Majority Voting. But, then, where could the threshold possibly be drawn when England would have seven or eight votes against three?
Theirs is a fraudulent argument, but – so wedded are these people to the Brit mindset – that they seem genuinely baffled that anyone in ‘progressive’ circles (that’s me…sorry!) could possibly wish to send their favoured steed to the knacker’s yard where it belongs. That fraudulence needs to be exposed, and exposed whenever it shows its face.
To cap it all we have the latest myth peddled by the National Trust and the Snowdonia Society. Turns out that a 1500 year old sword has been uncovered, last month, near the banks of Llyn Ogwen. The metal smelt has been dated to 1600 BP. The press release from the National Trust bangs on about ‘Excaliber and King Arthur’. What bollocks.
We know that at that time the King of Gwynedd was Rhun ap Maelgwn. We also know that Elidyr, a brythonic king of the north, defined today as Cumbria launched an invasion of Gwynedd with allies from Gododdin and Manaw Gododdin.
Elidyr, their leader was slain at Aber Mewydus (Cadnant). This part of Welsh history is recorded both in the annuls of churches in modern Strathclyde as well as in the “Bonedd Gwŷr y Gogledd” in Welsh records. The sword is most certainly a relic of that conflict, and far from being some ‘offering to the Gods’ as if the Welsh at that time were spiritualist savages.
It was customary in the 6th century to throw the swords of opponents into lakes as a token of victory. Nothing to do with drums, rain dances or barking at the moon.
No doubt we’ll see the sword artefact in some museum soon, with no mention of the true history of Wales. Just some bizarre splurge about the Excalibur myth and a few drawings from Ladybird History for Boys circa 1960, paraded by men in beards who dress up on weekends as medieval knights for the National Trust.
No need for real archaeology when there’s Disneyland Wales?
I chuckled when I read that news story as I really thought it was a misfired April Fool stunt. It takes a massive leap of faith ( or gullibility) to attribute any specific ownership to a relic that’s possibly been in the ground since the 5th or 6th century. Surprised also that it didn’t have a little label attached to it with some Latin scribbled ( all posh literate people wrote in Latin back in those days ! ) or better still typed in some archaic font – If found please return to Camelot, luv Arthur Rex ! Still it’s all in a good cause stimulating interest among those touristy types who’ve already been to Tintagel and found it somewhat less than interesting, sniffed around Glastonbury but couldn’t find any traces of Avalon, and watched all those weird films and TV series depicting the King and his warrior knights.
Sickening is not a strong enough word for this crap is it? The small minded ignorant TWATS!
Fancy writing a strong worded open letter to them Brychan? Via a medium that would glean the most circulation. Count me in as a signatory if you fancy it.
In the ‘Jerusalem’ (east) context, the message that needs to be put out is:
WE ARE ‘CYMRU RYDD’ – NOT ENGLAND’S WEST BANK!
p/s: And thank you for doing this. I am sure sometimes it feels soul-destroying. I hope you will keep on writing, especially with the knowledge that somebody at the other end of the world looks forward to read your post every time it comes out.
Sir, I was and still am fascinated by the diversity of English dialects/accents. I didn’t why I was drawn to it back then but deep down I knew it very important to note them. Recently it all began to make sense. I was digging around Welsh history particularly the Marches era. I was intrigued due to the conflicting claims that Oswestry was/is Welsh. On viewing some youtube videos (I know, unscientific but hey I am in Malaysia…very slim chance I’d set foot in Oswestry) I concluded that the Oswestry accent is at the very least much closer to the Welsh in general.
An idea struck me; I juxtaposed some historical maps onto the dialects ones. Lo and behold…the dialects correspond to the historical borders. This is particularly true in England and especially pronounced in the North. Those living beyond the Hadrian’s Wall and the Danelaw I believe, due to the invasion and the fixing of the said borders, somehow were substantially altered in their psyche and way of outlook of the world. Thus they became distinct from the South. I suppose that is why Northerners will always insist that they are different from the Southerners. In every English rebellion that had occurred, you can bet there was a Northerner involved.
As you have put it, the regional differences have been subsumed into Englishness. I personally believe this is deliberately done over the centuries in order to strengthen the unitary state. If not, why would BBC insist that the “proper” way of pronunciation is RP?
Dialects are markers of distinctiveness. They remind some, of things that should be forgotten/suppressed. That is why I will always say from now on, a) speak the dialect and b) Oswestry rightfully belongs to Wales.
I have always wondered why regional dialects in the continental sense are not as common in England as in other countries, but maybe I’m wrong? If England was like France, you’d have a language called ‘Northumbrian’ for a start. Here is a video that might interest you on the long-gone dialects that once existed in south east england: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPJxS43ByYE&t=180s
Northumbrian English became “Scots English” (So Scotland has English, Scottish Gaelic and Scots as languages). The thing with English is… if you look at all the dialects still around Britain compared to how many written English dialects there are you’ll see its contrasting… but we’re all taught to read and write in one English: Queen’s English. That limits the diversity of those dialects as well acting like a kind of anchor. But yeah Queen’s English (Little England English) gained its dominance through the printing press and the King James bible… its till pretty dominant… I remember learning from Heienmann books in school which are also used in Australia and Canada. Linguists would call English a predatory language… because for any nation to progress and be able to use higher education their people need to be able to speak it.
Aren’t the regions in England the EU recognised ones that are MEP constituencies and EU administrative zones.
UKC. North East
UKD. North West
UKE. Yorkshire and the Humber
UKF. East Midlands
UKG. West Midlands
UKH. East of England
UKI. Greater London
UKJ. South East
UKK. South West
Imposed from above, not having grown organically from below over generations. I wonder what feelings of commonality someone in Carlisle would have with someone in Alderley Edge, or someone in Hunstanton with somebody in Sarfend, for example.
Going back to Jac’s original remarks: the reason for ‘Nations and Regions’ is that the BBC would really have liked to refer to the non-English bits of their majestic realm as ‘regions’ (and, indeed, they did for quite some time), but came to realise latterly that they’d get their heads kicked in in Scotland if they did. We, as ever, were brought along for the ride.
Remember the BBC’s claim that their West region (covering Wales and the SW counties of England) “reunites the Kingdom of Arthur after centuries of separation by the Bristol Channel”. The days of that idiocy are returning …
I like the map – the one with all them green bits down the west side and bulging somewhat into Mercia. Using Maggie May’s tactics viz EU, our opening shot from now on ought to be “reclaim the turf of 650 !” After all it’s only a fuckin’ date like UK’s claim for Gib dates from 1713 or thereabouts. Don’t know whether the Scots would be too happy about Edinburgh, Caer edin – Caer Edwin ( some kind of Nordic/germanic invader ) reverting to English Northumbria but that’s their issue to dispute.
I wouldn’t worry too much. Some English(wo)men (at least the wacky ones with a bad sense of geography) are talking about rebuilding the Wall. If they are planning to give away a huge chuck of Northumberland and a bit of Cumberland, I am sure the Scots are happy to receive it. Solves the Berwick question at the very least.
If you like maps associated with our historical roots, then I would highly recommend the web-site ‘HISTORY FILES‘ to you dafis.
The information contained in it should be included in a future ‘Cwriciwlwm Cymraeg’ so that our children understand where they came from and where they belong.
Nicola has invited all and sundry to come and help build Indy Scotland, so feel free to reclaim the Old North. Bits of upper Clydesdale and the Borders still have a very Welsh feel to them IMO 😉
Irredentism forms no part of my nationalist outlook, rather than reclaim territory our priority must be to hang on to what we’ve got.
Lebensraum does NOT translate easily into Welsh ! People would do well to remember that we are the nation of “Croeso” but would also do well not to take too much advantage of our good and kind natures.
“Lebensraum does NOT translate easily into Welsh” Beth am _(G)wladfa_ ???
Hardly, old bean ! While gwladychu is colonialism, Y Wladfa was an attempt to transplant/rekindle Wales in South America. Very much a 19th century solution to a social/political problem – move to another part of the world and take over. USA is just full to the lid with such history, Europeans in 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, Asians in later 20th and Latin Americans currently. Much like some of those people relocating into Wales from England because of “displacement” but our arrivals choose to impose a culture rather than integrate.
I think your version of history rather forgets that anything other than the pretence of ‘Welshness’ was outbred centuries ago.
Perhaps this explains our intrinsic resistance to the matter of independence on so many grounds.
If we really want to divest ourselves of the rest of the UK we need to paint a picture for all our citizens of increasing relative prosperity. Without such, it becomes all too much like a football match.
An interesting opening sentence. Would you care to expand?
And what is to stop Wales becoming a bit more prosperous if left to make its own way in the world, dumping all those vanity projects that give us no gain whatsoever. “Intrinsic resistance” to change is most often found in those comfy mid-range tossers who don’t give a shit about the less advantaged but love talking down to them about the virtues of aspiration, “hard working families” and all that spurious drivel. Most people are currently working hard to stand still while our rulers and their lackeys piss it away like they were up against a deadline.
Don’t forget Cornwall
I mentioned Cornwall.
Not as a nation Jac, and they qualify to be recognised as a nation of the British Isles, as they have their own language, culture, literature and own unique history. It may be diluted to the point where it is ignored and overlooked (as we are heading in the same direction), but it IS a nation. It is recognised by us, and forms part of the family of Celtic nations at our national Eisteddfod. They speak a P-Celtic language which is separate from, but belongs to the same group of languages as Cymraeg and Llydaweg. Manaw is different, because it has the status of independence.
I’ve seen it suggested that Kernow was never formally incorporated into Wessex and so does not technically form part of England, sadly the same is not true for Wales.
Scotland joined with ‘England’ (which already incorporated Wales) by an international treaty to form the UK, and kept its own laws and constitution even after the parliaments were merged. The present Scottish parliament when it was opened was publicly declared to be a continuation of the pre-union parliament, and afaik this declaration was never challenged. Under English law Westminster (technically “the queen in parliament”) is sovereign that is the ultimate authority, but under Scottish law the People are sovereign. The upshot of all this is that there can be little doubt that Scotland is a nation and would be recognised internationally as such.
But things are much more tricky for Wales which never existed as a single united political unit (except I think by accident for a couple of years) and was conquered piecemeal and legally incorporated into England. A mixed blessing for the Welsh who acquired citizen’s rights by virtue of becoming legally Englishmen.
I’m sure the setting up of the Welsh assembly was probably a move to help downplay the re-establishment of the Scottish parliament. But here lies the danger for Wales. Unlike the Scottish parliament which can claim antecedence from a formally independent nation, the Welsh assembly is entirely the creation of Westminster, it has no historical, legal or constitutional foundations that go any deeper than that. And what Westminster cedes, WM can take away on a whim.
Consequently while Scotland is unlikely to fall for this Labour ‘federal’ wheeze (at least I sincerely hope not!) Wales could end up downgraded to a mere region of England, lets say “Westanglia”. Especially once she’s left alone with a sore Engerland after Scotland is free.
Sorry if I’ve said this all before, but please Wake Up Wales! The danger is very real, even Carwyn can see it for goodness sake. (As for the rest of that group they all seem to be has-beens or wannabes, and Dugdale leader of the third largest party in Scotland and frankly little more than a comic turn these days).
Sorry to ramble, but it is the Easter hols. Keep up the good work Jac 🙂