Friday, 14 September 2007

Are the Welsh an Ethnic Minority?

The answer to the question is in the affirmative if we accept the fact that the Welsh people are a part of a so-called 'British nation'. If this is so then the Scots, the Irish, the Indians, Pakistanis, Poles, Jamaicans and so on and so on are members of ethnic minorities within Britain. The Welsh suffer from this status, as the others do, due to the attitudes and treatment meted out by the majority of the British peoples, namely the English. The Welsh have been affected more than most because the Welsh are the people who have been associated with Britain the longest, since the acts of annexation and incorporation in the 16th century.
Britain is a 'melting pot', a multi-ethnic society, and it has welcomed newcomers from all over the world who flee injustice in their own lands, or wish to find a better life, having believed the story that the streets of London are "paved with gold". Despite the integration of these peoples the English have always retained their predominance and their class-conscious attitudes which infiltrated into the psyche of the peoples of the island. Many Welsh people too have succumbed to the influences and the temptations which surround them, or have been induced to adopt an inferiority complex in relation to the forces of anglicisation. It is therefore not surprising that many of their number have reactions to the return of cymricisation in respect of traditional culture and language matters in Wales. Although Welsh is the natural birthright of the Welsh people there are those who denigrate the language and state that those who use it in daily life are 'brain-dead'. These are the people I am referring to, those who proclaim their illusory "Britishness" and forsake their Welsh identity, a separate identity from that of their English neighbours. As I have said before one cannot logically be both Welsh and British, and neither can one state there is a 'British nation'. It is an absurd concept when it is accepted that there are a number of nations which make up the composition of the island of Britain. 'British' is a blanket term which covers them all, simply that.

The way forward, and this is now proceeding apace, is to recognise these anomalies and make the necessary changes in the constitution to give recognition and equal status to the nations of the British Isles. This will include greater devolution, the creation of Parliaments and ultimately independence to the Celtic nations. England will also be included in these changes as it assumes its true status as a nation and not a dominant entity in Britain. Britain will then revert to being a geographical term only and not a constitutional one. When independence arrives (not 'is granted') and Wales assume its true place in the wider world, the Welsh people will no longer be an ethnic minority. They will be an ethnic majority within their own land. This move will make a huge difference to the psyche and ethos of the people of Wales and will release energy and instil a greater sense of confidence which will be a creative force that will infuse and enliven the communities of the nation. Those who oppose these forces today may yet come to celebrate the emergence of a reinvigorated Cymru.

3 comments:

ryan said...

I don't think it right to talk of the Welsh as a minority of a certain race. Wales is made up of people from all over the world, not just from the old Princedoms of Gwynedd and Dyfed.

alanindyfed said...

I am saying that the Welsh are an ethnic minority in Britain.
After independence they will be an ethnic majority in Wales. That is the point.

Tomos Burton said...

My gut reaction is to agree with you. On one hand the majority of us are white, like me, on the other hand the term ''white'' carries a lot of connotations to black and Asian people and a lot of them don't really apply to Welsh people. I would laugh if I was called a cracker, because it's only a word, but I certainly wouldn't tolerate a black person telling me that I deserve ''payback'' for things that Celts didn't do. If anything, I think Welsh people should be able to get on with any non-English speaking foreigner.