Packages, Codes and Interpretations

As I’m going away for a few days I didn’t want to leave an old story on my front page, so here’s a little something to tide you over until I return.

You may recall that a few times recently, such as in the recent post, Cymrophobia and the Many Identities of Jacques Protic, I’ve referred to ‘the package’, and explained it by inviting readers to ask themselves: ‘How many people do I know who are rabidly hostile to the Welsh language but favour greater devolution?’ the answer is of course few, if any. For an individual’s views over a range of seemingly disparate topics will inevitably be consistent when those topics are in reality linked.

Over the years this has been brought home to me in a number of ways. One I recall was the ‘Bring Back Pembrokeshire’ group. On the face of it those involved in this group were likeable old rustics cruelly deprived of their birthright by callous and unthinking bureaucrats. Then came another round of local government reorganisation in 1996 and they got their wish. But it didn’t end there . . .pembrokeshire1

For the truth is that the BBP crew, concentrated south of the Landsker, were uncomfortable in Dyfed for a specific, but unspoken, reason. Having to share the county with those buggers in the north was bad enough, but being lumped in with Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion was just too much to bear. Dyfed was just, well, too Welsh. I was reminded of this a couple of years ago when I first saw the county flag.

A luminary of the Bring Back Pembrokeshire campaign was Councillor Peter Stock. That victory won, in 1997 Cllr. Stock turned his attentions to leading Pembrokeshire’s Just Say No campaign. As you might have guessed, Stock was also involved in devising the Pembrokeshire flag. Now I’m sure that Cllr. Stock and his gang would argue that this was all motivated by nothing more sinister than love for their native sod. Possibly, but another interpretation has to be that what we see here is a consistent rejection of things that are Welsh, or ‘too Welsh‘.

The attitudes of Peter Stock’s gang in Pembrokeshire comprise a ‘package’ exhibiting itself consistently over decades. Revealing its true nature through seemingly disparate issues that are in reality – and, especially for them – linked. This is due to their mindset being fixed, to the point where their responses can be predicted. Those who wanted to break up Dyfed because it was too Welsh were guaranteed to be opposed to devolution.

While Pembrokeshire provides this excellent example of a ‘package’, I’m now going to move on and consider the ‘codes’ mentioned in the title. These can sometimes appear reasonable and even of some merit, until they are ‘decoded’. Further consideration exposes the fact that very often what is being argued is nothing but a defence of England’s interests. Much of what remains can be dismissed as insulting twattery. Let’s look at a few examples.

Starting with a post I wrote earlier this month, The Trouble With Devolution . . . , prompted by a stupid remark made by Governor-General, David Jones. Ostensibly addressing the prospect of devolving responsibility for stamp duty to the ‘Welsh’ Government Jones argued that we should consider the “implications” of such a move on the UK. In other words, on England. More specifically, English Tory voters with holiday homes in Wales. In fairness, Jones was pretty honest about his priority, others are less so.

A story regularly regurgitated by our media is that of rising house prices and large numbers of English moving to our rural and coastal areas, without making the connection. This is then presented as something to be welcomed on the grounds that a) rising property values is a sign of increasing prosperity, and b) we Welsh should be flattered that so many English want to move to our country. A double insult, completely overlooking the fact that fewer and fewer of our people – trapped in a low wage economy – can afford these properties.

Staying with housing, here’s another gem: ‘If we weren’t building (big, expensive) houses in the countryside young Welsh people would have nowhere to live.’ This one was much favoured by Dai Lloyd Evans, former hetman of Ceredigion council. Insulting nonsense with a dollop of personal greed thrown in when uttered by profiteering landowners like Dai Lloyd Evans.

‘Better off together’. This posits the view that we Celts are better off being ruled and robbed by England than by being independent. The statement itself is such obvious bollocks that it constitutes an insult to the intelligence of anyone to whom it is addressed. The real exposure comes when the person uttering this nonsense is simultaneously agitating for UK withdrawal from the European Union.

Water is a natural resource, it would be immoral to charge for it’. Overlooking the obvious fact that oil, gold and countless other valuable commodities traded globally are also ‘natural resources’. Twattery spouted solely to defend England’s interests.

‘I’m not opposed to the Welsh language’ . . . just the ‘compulsory’ teaching of the language, or the ‘expense’ of bilingual forms and signs, etc. Translation: ‘I hate the Welsh language and I wish it was dead, but obviously I can’t say that publicly’.

‘I’m a good / proud / patriotic Welsh person’. As a rule of thumb, anything that follows such a preface can usually be dismissed as a load of anti-Welsh bigotry.

When arguing for Welsh firms to be given contracts in Wales and Welsh workers jobs, to have this vehemently condemned as Racism. This response clearly prioritises the interests of England and the English, while also traducing the term ‘racism’. Doubly ironic when heard from the likes of those who oppose ‘them immigrants coming ‘ere an’ takin’ our jobs’.

‘Wales is too small and poor to survive on her own’. Of course she is. So is Switzerland, and Finland, Norway and many other small countries. (Once the Jocks realise this they’ll definitely vote No.) When you hear crap like this you have ask yourself, ‘Does the person saying this believe it? If so, then you are confronted with an idiot. If not, then a liar. Either way, ignore them and move on.

I’m sure those reading this can think of many more ‘codes’ that I haven’t mentioned. One would obviously be the suggestion that devolution is doomed to fail and independence would be a disaster because we Welsh are somehow less intelligent than other peoples. Obviously this cannot be stated openly, so what’s the most imaginative way you’ve heard it phrased?

P.S. As I don’t have a laptop, tablet, iPad, or fancy mobile phone, I may be late in allowing or answering comments. Must find one of them buildings with books . . . what are they called? Or one o’ they fancy caffs.

21 thoughts on “Packages, Codes and Interpretations

  1. Welsh not British

    I’m always amused by the subsidy claims. It’s an amazing economic paradox. England are able to subsidise the rest of us whilst simultaneously having to borrow hundreds of millions of pounds each and every day. The UK is now trillions of pounds in debt and yet Wales is “too poor” to be independent. What a gullible lot we are.

    1. It is, as Mr Spock would observe, totally illogical. The reason being that Wales of course is NOT a drain on the UK’s revenue and resources. The ‘subsidy’ bollocks is simply economic reality subordinated to the service of a political imperative.

  2. D Morris

    The people of North Pembrokeshire are vastly different in culture to those from the South, perhaps the northerners should have their own flag too. I dislike the English looking Pembrokeshire flag, it was designed by a group of royalist conservatives.

    Could it be the Pembrokeshire flag was intended to be a covert Brit union symbol to make the colonisers feel more comfortable in their adopted land? The mind boggles at such a thought.

  3. Daffy

    I’m originally from north Pembrokeshire myself and of course we are vastly different in culture to those from the south. But there are places in the north which are now changing quickly such as Trefdraeth/Newport which I was told had over 60% of it’s houses as being second homes. Difficult to believe isn’t it? Then of course, you have places like Glandwr and their hippy colony and I believe Mynachlog-ddu which have seen a lots of in-migration. Crymych…being not that attractive a place and experiencing the worst weather for miles around during most of the year has survived as a beacon of Welshness. There are quite a lot of kids now travelling from the south of the county to Preseli school in Pembrokeshire. It’s time they opened some Welsh medium schools down below so that they may be saved. 🙂

    1. It is a fact of life in modern Wales that towns and villages in scenically attractive locations will see their Welsh populations expelled by a wealthier English influx. This as a direct consequence of tourism, the biggest lie ever perpetrated upon our people.

      We Welsh have been cowed into accepting this bloodless variant of ethnic cleansing as normal, even desirable, and have further accepted that to speak up for the survival of our national identity is ‘racist’. We have been told how to respond and too many of us obey. We are cowards ruled by genocidal scum who have persuaded themselves they do no real harm because no Welsh die in this process, nor are any forcibly expelled.

    2. anonentity

      North Pembrokeshire good? South Pembrokeshire bad? Don’t see that myself. Yes there are linguistic differences but as far as Welsh identity goes, not a huge difference. If you look at Tenby in the recent census A. 64% born in Wales – B. 50% identifying as Welsh only. B as a % of A = 78%
      Compare with Fishguard A born in Wales 70% – B 58% identifying as Welsh only. B as % of A = 83%.

      Wales isn’t just about the Welsh language, important as that is. No-one would risk that kind of argument with an Irishman. Of course you’re going to get a bunch of unionists who trumpet about “Little England Beyond Wales” and it doesn’t help if some Welsh-speakers agree with them.

      1. Can’t argue with your figures. The correlation between Welsh born and Welsh identifying is observable nationally. So what’s the position in Solfa, St David’s, Newgale and other places that have ‘enjoyed’ the benefits of tourism?

        As for my using the north / south divide this was done to to explain the resentment of a group in south Pembrokeshire who felt overwhelmed by ‘Welsh’ Dyfed. People forever reminding us that south Pembrokeshire is ‘different’. They hoped to diguise their true motivations, and pretend this was a county-wide issue, by having one or two dupes from the north.

        1. anonentity

          No we agree Jac. The majority of Welsh people identify as Welsh only and that goes for South Pembrokeshire as much as for Gwynedd. The big problem isn’t Welsh people ditching their identity for Britishness, it’s – as you highlight week by week – the over the top in-migration of English people into rural and increasingly de-industrialised Wales. We need to be united, English and Welsh speakers alike against what is, in essence, a form of ethnic cleansing.

          The local people in South Pembrokeshire seem to have opted for a Welsh identity. Of course a few unionists want to push a Pembrokeshire is English agenda, hence the flag and the invention of the landsker as some kind of historic ethnic divide. I wonder how many realise that this word, which appears in virtually every article about the county, was first used in 1939.

          Look at surnames in the south and Welsh names are in the majority, interestingly the few Flemish surnames that have survived are mainly found in the north.

  4. D Morris

    Solva, Newgale & St Davids was lost decades ago, these
    communities are now crammed with self-proclaimed artists, poets, hippies & posh
    dog walkers in green wellies.
    Newport (Pembs) is fast becoming the next victim of the Brit/English colonisers, in fact it might have already have lost.

  5. Welsh not British

    Another good one is that we need all these wind farms we’re dumped with because of all those nasty fossil fuels we burn in Wales. Of course if we mention that we export much of our energy (I say export, it’s stolen) to England we are branded as racists or NIMBYs!

  6. Glyndwr

    Good work, Jac, making clear the false syllogisms of all the fake Welsh who are always spitting their lies to trick the Welsh about what is the best for a Not English Wales.

  7. Glen

    I see our wonderful Welsh Government in the shape of John Griffiths, Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development is determined to push ahead with plans to open up all of our countryside to ‘adventure sports’ with a particular emphasis on our rivers and streams.

    http://www.countryside-alliance.org/ca/campaigns-fishing/outdoor-tourism-survey-ignores-fishing-and-shooting

    Some background stuff to this long running saga here.

    http://seatrout.proboards.com/thread/1631/canoes-announcement

    1. Has anyone asked the ‘Welsh’ Government why the questionnaire does not cover anglers. And why it’s so keen to push ‘adventure sports’, with their appalling record for not employing locals.

      1. Glen

        Probably because traditional country pursuits like fishing and shooting are almost entirely practiced by local Welsh people not tourists.

        80% or more of angling rights on Wales rivers are controlled by local angling associations, some more than 100 years old – originally formed by groups of miners and quarry men to provide game angling (salmon, sewin) for local people at a reasonable cost.

        While rivers in Scotland and much of rural England are largely in the hands of wealthy individual land owners and game angling is only for the privileged few, in Wales it’s open to anyone at a very reasonable cost.

        You’d think the Labour Party would applaud such a ‘socialist’ initiative but as we all know the Labour Party hates the countryside and the people who live there, particularly if they happen to be Welsh and country sports like angling aren’t seen to be PC.

        It comes to something when a body like the very English Countryside Alliance are doing more to protect the interests of Welsh people than Plaid who seem quite happy to see Wales rivers and countryside opened up to all-comers, both Leanne Wood and Rhodri Glyn are big supporters of ‘open access’.

        Many anglers contacted their AM’s about the biased survey and it was actually pulled a day or so early.

        The WG’s vision for our rivers.
        http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh175/Ogmore_2008/Conwy_zps584fb624.jpg

          1. Glen

            The photo was lifted from a canoeing message board a few years ago.

            The sign was erected by a community council in the upper Conwy valley as visiting groups of unauthorized canoeists were regularly disturbing services in a nearby chapel with their rowdy behavior and inconsiderate parking of their vehicles, there was also complaints about them getting dressed/undressed and urinating in full view of the chapel goers.

            The bunch of militants in the photo had come there that day deliberately looking for a confrontation and to show their contempt for the locals.

            This is the sort of confrontation they were hoping for.

            http://www.simondawson.com/phseiont.htm

            1. nonny

              Yep the canoeists are a bunch of vandals, happily disturbing spawning beds. Anti-nature scumbags

  8. This comment came by e-mail from Dewi Prysor as he preferred not to use Disqus. “Just outside Tenby, on the small road towards Monorbier (if I remember
    correctly), you will come to a sharp corner upon which is an entrance to a
    substantial caravan park. At the entrance there are three flagpoles with three
    large flags flying. Two of the flags are Union Jacks and the one in the middle
    is this Pembrokeshire flag. The statement is obvious: ‘This is not Wales. This
    is Great Britain (Greater England)’.”

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