Friday, 10 August 2007

A Different Kind of People

There is a certain arrogance in the view that we are all one people in this island of Britain. We are one in our shared humanity no doubt, but we are not the same in terms of temperament, custom, attitude and mentality. The idea that we are all British is an idea only, and it has no substance or relation to the facts. The facts are that we are three separate and distinct peoples living in the same island, the Cymry, the Saxons, and the Scots. There are subdivisions, Welsh/Cornish, Angle/Saxon/Jute, and Scots/Pict. British is a convenient label for these disparate groups.

We are the descendants of these peoples, along with an admixture of Norman French (Vikings), and the later waves of recent immigrants from other lands. For centuries there have been migrations of people mainly moving in a westerly direction, and Britain has been the recipient of them all, the end of the road as it were. The distinctive differences of character remain to this day and the English embody the characteristics of their Saxon forefathers, a certain arrogance which some Germanic people of today still display, a certain haughtiness and autocratic manner, and a social stratification exemplified by class distinctions.

The Welsh retain their Celtic disposition, a leaning to music and poetry and the arts, a closeness of community and the values of the hearth, an innate sense of equality and justice and a natural unaffected modesty and co-operative attitude to one’s neighbours and society. These attributes were codified in the laws of the tywysog Hywel Dda. True, these are generalisations and there are differences within the groups, but they are still identifiable in the make-up of large numbers of the population. The British are noted for their tenacity and obdurateness in the face of danger, yet these characteristics come from the original British, the Cymry, who would never give in and would fight to the end to preserve their culture and beloved land. “ Britons never, never, never will be slaves” is the fundamental nature of the Cymry and the Scots, who were forced to defend their land and their homes against foreign invasion and colonisation.

The fact that there are these differences among the peoples of these islands adds colour and variety to the various groupings within society. Let us not forget that these people make up separate nations within the island of Britain but still await the constitutional recognition of their existence. Wales is swallowed by England (1535) and Scotland is swallowed by the Union(1707). Thus they became part of a Greater England which called itself Great Britain. Let us then celebrate the differences and fly the national flag of each and every nation within these islands, and remember the poignant words :”dros rhyddid collasant eu gwaed”.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Look Wales is obviously a nation and it should have self-determination, no-need for all this mumbo-jumbo.

alanindyfed said...

But we have to show people that it *is* mumbo-jumbo, and they must wake up and realise it.