Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Wales Is Not Represented

So let us then stay out of this cobbled union

Life In The New Republic

(With compliments to Plato)
Are we assuming that Wales will some day be a Republic, as Ireland is? Or is it possible that the people will opt for a Princedom, and search for the descendants of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd or Dafydd ap Gwilym to hold court and open the new Parliament? Or again, would the majority of people accept the present prince as the Prince of Wales, and upon ascending to the throne of England, then accept his eldest son? The latter is rather doubtful if we consider the circumstances of the investiture in Caernarfon in 1969. If we are to be realistic and take note of the age in which we live, and sense the mood of the people, and look deeply into the history of Wales from the time of King Edward I it would appear that the first option is the most appropriate. Scotland is leading the way, and although Alex Salmond appears to be on very good terms with the Queen, it is not hard to envisage the creation of a Scottish Republic on the lines of the Irish one. Where Scotland leads doubtless Wales will follow. The first step will be a parliamentary democracy and full Parliament for Wales. Already the National Assembly is flexing its muscles and adopting the parliamentary role, as well as taking steps to implement its extended law-making powers. There will be greater communication and co-operation among the nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and these new links will be forged for the benefit of all the western Celtic peoples of these islands. There will be no antagonism towards England lest the English people are apprehensive about the likely outcome of these alliances. All nations of Britain will enter into a new era of collective responsibility towards their own citizens, towards Europe and the world. England will have a national Parliament, and there will be a Federal Assembly to co-ordinate the nations' collective affairs.
So what will life be like in the new Republic?
Not a great deal different from the way it is now, except that there will be a more open and active and vibrant society, with festivals and concerts and cultural entertainments, eisteddfodau, sports events, and agricultural and horticultural shows, international conferences and environmental debates, youth activities and community regeneration activities, carnivals and fairs of all kinds, including trade fairs organised and held as a shop window to the world. There will be new infrastructure, roads, bridges and tunnels ensuring fast and easy access and an expansion of public transport services to lure people away from reliance upon the automobile. There will be no nuclear power stations, but emphasis on alternative energy sources, sustainability and micro-economics. Globalisation will be kept in check, and while trade between countries will be encouraged, there will be a trend towards reliance upon one's own sustainable resources. Garden allotments will come back into fashion. Produce which is out of season and expensive will be replaced with home-grown organic produce, and consumed when in season. Greater and better use will be made of land resources. Housing will be affordable and developers such as those purchasing, for example, 50 dwellings in Treorchy for letting as personal investment will be prevented from doing so. Second homes will be severely discouraged by means of taxation. The good of the community will come before the good of the individual, yet every individual will have his/her rights and basic benefits in order to lead a comfortable and productive life. This will lead to a more just and equitable society. Surely this is the way forward in the new Republic of Cymru, formerly known as Wales?

Monday, 30 July 2007

Is Britain a Sham?

Let us consider the British constitution and examine the entity named 'Britain'.
Britain has a flag - the Union Jack. Wales is not represented.
Britain has a Monarchy - Wales is not represented on the Royal Standard. Yet Wales has a Prince.
Wales, Scotland and England are nations, within Britain. Britain is also called a nation.
Scots have opted out of flying the British flag. They have their own flag, the saltire.
Wales is not part of the Union. It is included with England as England-and-Wales.
Wales was united with England under the Statute of Wales, passed on 19 February 1284. Union with England was entrenched with the passage of Acts in 1535 and 1543 whereby parliamentary taxation was extended to Wales, and English common law applied in the principality.
The Union is the Union of England-and-Wales with Scotland.
The Isle of Man has its own Parliament - the Tynwald.
The islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark are not part of the Union.
Are there not serious deficiencies and defects in the British Constitution?

SEE PETER COX'S ARTICLE ON HIS BLOG AT http://www.peterdcox.me.uk

The Issue of Flags and the Union

Alwyn ap Huw makes a point about this contentious issue.

Wales ain't part of the Union!

Peter Hain and Huw Irranca-Davies (Ifor Huw Davies), pissed off with Cardiff Labour going into coalition with Plaid, against London Labour's wishes, are about to embark on a Summer Offensive to extol the advantages of the Union.

Chware teg, it's something to do during this rain swept summer and it beats swimming in the sea off Barmouth with the threat of killer sharks basking in Welsh waters!

Huw and Pete have a basic problem to address before they start their campaign, however:

Wales is not part of The Union.

The Union is a union of the Kingdom of England, the Kingdom of Scotland and what's left of the Kingdom of Ireland. Wales doesn’t come into the equation. Wales isn't on the Union Jack, or the Royal Standard because Wales isn't part of the Union. Wales is in the Union because it is included in the term Englandandwales. For Wales - see England, is Wales' status in the Union

Before offending us all summer with the benefits of the Union perhaps Pete & Huw should begin by explaining why Wales should be part of Englandandwales, rather than a full member of their Beloved Union that excludes Wales!

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Scotland Given Special Flag-Flying Status

The report specifically exempts Scotland & N.I.. This extract is from the BBC website

Flag plan will have Scots opt-out

The union flag is currently flown only on certain specified days

Proposals to fly the Union flag every day on public buildings are set not to apply to Scottish Executive sites.

The government published the plans last week and they follow Gordon Brown raising the issue of celebrating Britishness in January.

The SNP said Justice Secretary Jack Straw assured the policy would not cover executive buildings.

SNP leader Alex Salmond, now first minister, previously said Britishness "went bust long ago" in Scotland.

Royal birthdays

An SNP spokesman said Mr Straw's comments came when he visited Scotland earlier this month.

The spokesman said: "Jack Straw agreed there are different considerations in Scotland than there are in England.

"He agreed that the issue of flags is best left for us to decide. In Scotland, the Saltire will fly each day, although on 18 special days the union flag will be raised instead."

A consultation paper proposes giving government departments the freedom to fly the Union Jack every day, instead of just a few days a year such as royal birthdays.

People's views

Culture Secretary James Purnell said: "The Union flag is a powerful symbol of both our heritage and modern, diverse Britain. It brings us together in solidarity and shared identity.

"We want to hear people's views about whether government buildings should be allowed to fly it every day."

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said the consultation extended to government buildings in Scotland but not Northern Ireland.

However, the Scottish Executive and Scottish Parliament will decide flag flying arrangements for their buildings.

Anybody wishing to comment on these proposals can do so in writing or by e-mail to:
Samantha Turner,
Architecture and Historic Environment Division
Department for Culture, Media and Sport,
2-3 Cockspur Street,
London SW1Y 5DH


The deadline for responses is Friday 9 November 2007.
So why does Scotland have special privileges on the flying of flags and not Wales?
A question for the National Assembly of Wales.
Brought to my notice by Alan Jobbins, Plaid Cymru Credit Union

Coming Soon - "Life in the New Republic"

Sorting Out Britain

A Welsh Nation - "Cymru" with its own Parliament
A Nation for Devon/Cornwall (reconstituted Stannery Parliament)
A Scottish Nation with its own Parliament
An Ulster Nation with its own Parliament
An English Nation with its own Parliament
A Federal Assembly to co-ordinate affairs of mutual interest and support and security.
National MPs, European MEPs
The Queen as head of the Federation of Britain and the Commonwealth, or not, as the case may be.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

What is a Nationalist?

A nationalist is someone who believes in his/her country as a nation, and not a part of another dominion. The duty of a nationalist then is to work for the recognition of the nation as independent and free from external controls. Nationalism is not the sole prerogative of Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales. Nationalists are to be found within the ranks of labour, liberal and conservative parties, and among those who do not subscribe to any of the political parties. So let us be clear that a nationalist is a person who agrees with the view that his/her country is a nation, in this case Wales/Cymru, and that there is no other "nation" which has a claim to his/her allegiance.
I think that this argument lays to rest any dispute as to whether there is in reality any such nation as "the British nation".

Dependence, Independence and Interdependence

We live in a complex world and in a complex society. In order to make sense of this complexity it is necessary to stand back and see the full picture, as it is and as it could be. There are so many anomalies within the structure of Britain and its political and economic organisation, and some of these need to be revised or dismantled. We have already mentioned the flag, which is unrepresentative of its constituent members, Wales being left out. We have spoken about the government, which is split between Wales and Westminster, the anomaly of A.Ms and MPs, some of whom have been working at cross purposes, and not for the good of the Welsh people. Then we have the anomaly of Wales being a nation, and Britain referred to as a nation, which is a contradiction in terms. As we have said it is now the function of the National Assembly to administer government in Wales. Yet after the passing of laws by the Assembly with its "increased powers", these laws have to be approved in Westminster and this takes several months, resulting in a long delay in enacting these laws. It is still possible that these laws cound be amended or overturned. We question why Wales has to be dependendent on Westminster government for the administration of its affairs. With regard to services England is dependent on Wales for its water supplies, and now a pipeline is being built across south and west Wales to carry fuel to supply England. Leaving aside the fact that these services are practical and necessary, is it not taken for granted that these are in the interest of and for the benefit of "Britain", rather than "England" or "Wales"? To clarify the point I am making, there is a need for countries to be interdependent without infringing on one another's national sovereignty, and we must change people's attitude from Britain being a constitutional institution which overrides national differences, to the realisation that there are four distinct and sovereign nations within British hegemony. Each of these nations has its rights and responsibilities. They are, in fact if not in law, nations within Europe. We need to address these constitutional issues and not assume that Britain will continue in its present form for evermore.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

Getting The Message Across

The question arises : what is Britain, and what is its relevance to Wales?
The fine old castles which dominate the skyline at Aberconwy, Caernarfon, Harlech and other places in the north, and Caerffili, Chepstow, Newport and other sites in the south are reminders that Wales was once a part of an expanding Empire which colonised France, Ireland, parts of Scotland and Cornwall, long before the British Empire came into being. Scotland, Ireland and Wales suffered years of oppression and subjection to the English kings, to whom their leaders were forced to pay homage, or suffer the consequences. A great deal of blood was spilt on all sides before the countries were reluctantly united and given the grand title of the United Kingdom of Great Britain. This was, as we have said, a grouping of nations held together in a common purpose, and that turned out to be the conquest of a third of the world and the exploitation of human and economic resources. Thus Britain became rich and powerful until the First World War signalled the beginning of the end. In order to understand the present we need to look back at the past, and learn the lessons of history.
So what relevance does this have to Wales at the present time? The Empire has gone, and independence has been granted to those former colonies and protectorates. But what of the nations that make up the British Isles? Do they not deserve to be freed from the stultifying influences that comes from London, and the humiliating situation of having to ask permission or gain approval for measures to be taken and laws to be enacted for the people of Wales?
The purpose of the Welsh Office is to oversee and administer this procedure, yet it has very little relevance as a political institution. The National Assembly is the legitimate governing body of Wales until the Welsh Parliament is voted in. This Parliament for Wales is long overdue, as Scotland has had one for several years and it is seen to function successfully. Wales is no less a nation, even though it has no place on the Union flag. This so-called flag of the union symbolises England - the flag of St. George, Ireland - the flag of St. Patrick, and Scotland - the flag of St. Andrew - yet there is no flag for Wales. So if Wales is not recognised as part of the union let Wales stay out of the union. It has it own flag, which flies proudly on buildings and back gardens across the land. Let it be flown far and wide as the symbol of pride in the nation, and the means of showing to the world that this flag of the dragon is the only flag of Wales. Yet when Parliament is created and the Welsh MPs are in session, there will be another flag to complement the dragon - the flag of Glyndwr, who set up the Parliament in Machynlleth many centuries ago. Parliamentary democracy is not new to Wales.

Thinks! ;-)

Does the fact that very few comments are received on these postings mean that people are in agreement with what is stated? Comment if you wish.....

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

The New Dynamic in Politics

Much as been said, and most on this blog, about the politics of yesterday. The politics of yesterday is exemplified by the attitude of Welsh MPs at Westminster towards greater powers being given to the National Assembly. There are those who believe in devolution for the United Kingdom, but would rather that government be conducted within certain bounds. Thus, the governments of Wales and Scotland are forced to govern with one hand tied behind their backs. The fear, of course, which motivates the men and women of yesterday, is the eventual break-up of the union, and the decline of Britain as a world power. The days when Britannia ruled the waves, and Britain ruled the Commonwealth are dead and gone. The jingoists of yesterday, and their cohorts within Wales who proclaim their British identity with pride are out of tune with the "new dynamic", a phrase coined by Ieuan Wyn Jones in the weeks leading up to the emergence of a Plaid/Labour coalition government for Wales. Change is in the air and those who love Wales and seek a better life for the people of Wales are making a difference. The "new dynamic" is a reality. We are demolishing the myths which have been disseminated, and which are enumerated on another post, the myth that Plaid is propping up Labour, the myth that Wales is too small to go it alone, the myth that Wales cannot support itself, and so on and so on....... and no doubt there will be more myths to come. This can be regarded as a rearguard action by the people of yesterday, as they cling to the out-dated political conventions of the past, along with all the pomp and circumstance of it. As we have posted previously, Britain is a union of nations, with their own distinctive culture and heritage. It cannot be regarded as a nation in itself as some would lead us to believe. Power has for centuries been centralised in London and only now is it being reluctantly devolved. The national risings, led by heroes such as William Wallace, Robert de Bruis (Bruce), Prince Llywelyn and Owain Glyndwr all failed to stop the inexorable anglicisation of the Celtic nations which surround England (Angle-land). But because of the tenacity of the Celtic peoples, the Irish, the Scots and the Cymry, their culture and their language survived. We are now witnessing a revival in consciousness towards the language, the culture and the national identity. No longer is it inevitable that this unique and rich culture will be submerged in the sea of anglicisation, or dominated by those who proclaim their "Britishness". As we have said, the Welsh and Cornish are the true British in these islands.
The "new dynamic" in politics, as expressed by Ieuan Wyn, is firstly a method of discarding antagonistic political debate and an acceptance of consensus politics, and secondly a move towards a new and exciting future for the nation of Wales (Cymru), a future when Wales will take up the reins of power within its territory, extending from the Dee to the Severn. This is the bright new future which the new dynamic heralds. Those of us who have shaken off the shackles of yesterday look forward to that day when history will once again be made, a day which will be commemorated in the annals of the Welsh nation for evermore.

Wealth Statistics

People in London, the southeast and southwest of England own 2 trillion pounds worth of assets.
This disproportionate amount of wealth is not solely down to high house prices, as people here also have a high share of the nation's savings at 46 percent.
In contrast, the Scots and Welsh collectively own just 10.6 percent of national assets, despite comprising 14.2 percent of households.
This is despite the fact that the Scots have amongst the highest levels of savings.
Two-thirds of personal wealth is in the hands of the over 55s, while the under 35s own less than a tenth.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Where We Stand

This blog is entitled : Independence Cymru.
You may ask independence from what?
Independence from "Britain" and its present form of constitution.
In a sense, every country is, and has to be, interdependent. Gwynfor Evans saw Wales as being a nation among nations, not an appendage of Britain, or united with it constitutionally.
He saw Wales as a free and independent nation among a family of nations, the United Nations. Wales is seen to become a nation within Europe, as Ireland is, free to trade with other nations. It is separate now, swallowed up in Britain, and therefore is neither independent nor self-determining. It governs itself with one hand tied behind its back. This is not healthy for Wales. "Healthy" means "Whole", from a similar Saxon root-word. Independence is wholesome, and stands side by side with interdependence. The Cornish motto is "One and All". It could well apply to the "Welsh" of Cymru, as well as the "Welsh" of Cornwall ( = Welsh of the Horn).
For more on this read Scaremongering Myths below, where Gwyn Hopkins defines independence. The path towards independence is clear and fully justified. We are not talking hot air, but are serious and committed and have a mission to bring about the conditions for the advent of independence. We are not all commentators, as some bloggers are; we are activists, working for Wales. We should not need reminding, but Plaid Cymru is the one and only party representing Wales, and its raison d’etre is the cause of independence. There is no self-interest here - only Wales first. As with Sinn Fein, politics is just a means to an end.

Up to now Independence Cymru has received visits from the following countries:

Wales, England, France, Canada, Finland, Russia, India and Arizona,USA.

Wales in America

Anyone interested in finding out about the Welsh activity in Arizona can look at the following site : click on http://www.welshleagueofarizona.org/news.html
Wales is big business in America these days.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Dispelling Groundless Scaremongering Myths

I now publish an account by Cllr W. Gwyn Hopkins on the myths perpetrated by irresponsible politicians.

We live in a world where all countries are interdependent to varying degrees. The FIRST MYTH is that Plaid Cymru wishes Wales to become “independent” in the strict sense of the word, i.e., “isolationist”, not engaged in trading with any other country and having no relations with them – “separatism” as our name-calling opponents brand it, with the deceptive purpose of alarming people. This is absolute nonsense. On the contrary, we believe that it is in Wales’ long-term interest to aspire to a “self-governing” status equivalent to that of Malta (population 379,000) and Cyprus (759,000). Both these small countries are members of the EU, the Commonwealth and the UN. They are, of course, very much interdependent with respect to other member states of these organisations. However, they are often referred to as “independent” countries, where the word “independent” is understood to be used as a short, convenient “label” to describe their particular “self-governing” status. This is the accepted legal word for it and in this short paper we use the word “independent” and “independence” in this sense. Plaid Cymru would not dream of trying to impose independence on the people of Wales even if it was possible for it to do so. No political party can do that – it can only happen if, and when, the people of Wales vote for it in a referendum. It is obvious that, at present, the majority of the people of Wales are not in favour of this option (and may never favour it) so that as far as we are concerned “it is on the back-burner”. However, there is a dire need for a political party dedicated to fight for the interests, well-being and prosperity of the people of Wales that gives its undivided loyalty and attention to Wales, unfettered with competing demands from parent parties based at Westminster. Plaid Cymru alone fits this bill, fully justifying its name “The Party of Wales”. The “British” parties most certainly do not.

The SECOND MYTH is that Wales is too small to be independent. As there are 53 independent countries in the Commonwealth with 32 of them (60%) having smaller populations than Wales (2.9 million), this assertion is clearly absurd. Moreover, these 32 countries have become independent from the UK since 1960 and none have since campaigned to revert to their previous “dependent” state nor have any asserted that they cannot afford independence. The same is true of other small states that have in recent years become independent from other imperial powers such as Lithuania (from Russia) and Slovenia (from Serbia).

The THIRD MYTH is that Wales cannot afford to be independent. This myth is often perpetuated in London daily newspapers (published solely for an English readership) and displays a classical imperialist mentality with the clear implication that Wales is subsidised by England. It is never accompanied by any evidence other than one or two highly selective figures that, in isolation, appear to support the myth. There is certainly never any attempt to show a comprehensive, detailed and objective balance sheet of all resources flowing into and out of Wales. The only attempt to examine the Welsh Economy in a thorough, authoritative, objective and detailed manner was conducted by Edward Nevin, former Professor of Economics at Swansea University (not a member or supporter of Plaid Cymru). It covered the period 1948 – 1962 and the final report, entitled “The Structure of the Welsh Economy” by E. Nevin, A.R.Roe and J.I.Round, was published in 1966. It totally demolished the claim that Wales is subsidised by England and there is no evidence that this position has since changed in any significant way. On the contrary, there would be very significant financial benefits for Wales if it became independent. Like the Irish Republic, the people of Wales would almost certainly choose not to possess exorbitantly expensive nuclear weapons (Trident renewal alone will cost £25bn+) nor have a costly navy or air force and would maintain only a small army for internal security, saving almost all our annual tax contribution of about £2bn to the current UK defence budget. This policy would also mean that none of our young men and women would lose their lives in illegal, disastrous wars on other people’s soil, such as the Iraq war.

There are six large reservoirs in Wales dedicated to supplying England with many millions of gallons of free water daily – an act of state-sanctioned theft. An independent Wales would surely negotiate a fair price for this absolutely vital resource. This would equate to a very substantial annual income. All taxes collected in an independent Wales would go to a Welsh Treasury. These would annually include several £billions in taxes from many large business and industrial organisations based here. An illustration of the extent of this benefit is the fact that £2.5 billion in combined annual taxes are now paid by the “Chevron” refinery in Pembroke and the “Total” site in Milford Haven to the London Treasury (see Western Mail 12/10/2006) - instead of to a Welsh Treasury. Furthermore, it is no accident that all of Western Europe’s small independent countries are considerably more prosperous than Wales – Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland and Andorra are just four of more than a dozen examples. These countries would probably enquire as to the mental state of the questioner if they were asked whether they can afford independence. We are very confident that an independent Wales would become equally prosperous.

Gwyn Hopkins 12/5/2007

A Welsh Party

Peter Hain says that Plaid Cymru (which he detests) should be a Welsh Party and not a Separatist Party! Another scare-mongering myth that the Labour reactionaries (Yesterday's Men) are perpetrating. Plaid Cymru, as everyone knows, is the only Party of Wales, and his comments bring shame and discredit raining down upon him. Needless to say, he does not realise this.
Why does a South African represent Wales? Unadulterated personal ambition.
More on scare-mongering myths later. Watch this space!

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Disturbing Reading

Please log on to :
and read their postings (especially "please take time to read this....").

Back to the Flag, but which Flag?

In the blog British Nationalist Watch, Nicholas Morgan proposes that the flag of Wales be flown 365 days a year at every public building in Wales, and that no Union flags should be flown there.
Every true nationalist, and indeed Welsh man or woman, would agree with his suggestion.
It is not appropriate to follow Gordon Brown's wish that the Union flag be flown at every public building in the UK, particularly as Wales is not represented on the Union flag. The countries represented include only England, Scotland and Ireland. Therefore, to fly the Union flag in Wales is to remind people of the domination of the London-based government over Welsh Affairs. We do not need to be reminded of this fact which has no basis in our view of reality. The reality is that there are four nations in the British isles, and some would say five if Cornwall is included. If that is so, how can there be such a thing as a "British" nation? Britain is but a grouping of interdependent nations. Even the term "The British Isles" is suspect, as one of the nations comprising Ireland is not British. As I said in a previous post, to my knowledge there is not one Union flag being flown in the Irish Republic today.
So let us examine and reflect on this spurious term "Britishness", which has been coined to mean the indentification of some with the unethical union of British nations in these islands. There is an idea of Britishness but it means little to the loyal people of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall. Nevertheless, we must face the fact that it means a great deal to those who cling to the past, to the glories of the Empire, and support the policies of politicians who send out men and women to fight in vain foreign wars a la Thatcher and a la Blair/Bush. These ill-conceived adventures should not concern the people of Wales and Scotland, for they have no interest in imposing democracy on other sovereign nations and otherwise interfering in their affairs. Wales and Scotland seek their place in Europe, in the European Union, which is the real arena for discussion, on decisions to be made and actions to be implemented. We must all consider exactly where our loyalties lie, and to whom we give our allegiance, to Wales or to Britain - it cannot be to both. If one gives allegiance to Britain one is rejecting the fact of Welsh nationhood and paying fealty and homage to the British establishment and all its ramifications. Yet if one claims to be an English nationalist and rejects the term "British" one follows an authentic course. More and more we see the flag of St George being flown in England, and good luck to them, I say. Let us reclaim our inheritance. The Welsh are the true British.

Friday, 20 July 2007

Wales and The Worm

There is a wonderful little story about two monks who lived together in a monastery for many years; they were great friends. Then they died within a few months of one another. One of them got reborn in the heaven realms, the other monk got reborn as a worm in a dung pile. The one up in the heaven realms was having a wonderful time, enjoying all the heavenly pleasures. But he started thinking about his friend, "I wonder where my old mate has gone?" So he scanned all of the heaven realms, but could not find a trace of his friend. Then he scanned the realm of human beings, but he could not see any trace of his friend there, so he looked in the realm of animals and then of insects. Finally he found him, reborn as a worm in a dung pile... Wow! He thought: "I am going to help my friend. I am going to go down there to that dung pile and take him up to the heavenly realm so he too can enjoy the heavenly pleasures and bliss of living in these wonderful realms."
So he went down to the dung pile and called his mate. And the little worm wriggled out and said: "Who are you?", "I am your friend. We used to be monks together in a past life, and I have come up to take you to the heaven realms where life is wonderful and blissful." But the worm said: "Go away, get lost!" "But I am your friend, and I live in the heaven realms," and he described the heaven realms to him. But the worm said: "No thank you, I am quite happy here in my dung pile. Please go away." Then the heavenly being thought: "Well if I could only just grab hold of him and take him up to the heaven realms, he could see for himself." So he grabbed hold of the worm and started tugging at him; and the harder he tugged, the harder that worm clung to his pile of dung.
Do you get the moral of the story? How many of us are attached to our pile of dung?

How many of us are afraid to let go of out-dated beliefs and take the step which will bring us to the promised land, the other shore?

Thursday, 19 July 2007

A Call to Arms (see Valley Mam blog - "Rant...")

If we in Wales want a just and equitable society we need to have our own DWP department.
We also need our own immigration service and Home Office.
How do we achieve these things?
By a persistent and sustained drive to independence. People need to be convinced of this so let us spread the word, whether or not we belong to Plaid.
General Election in October 2007? Watch this space!

The Celtic Diaspora

Alain Stivell, the renowned musician from Brittany and collector of Celtic music, sang in Breton, Cornish, Gaelic and Cymraeg. He played a variety of Celtic instruments, which included the pipes, the harp, the whistle, the fiddle and the guitar, and he was a great entertainer. He symbolises the common musical and cultural traditions which unite the Celtic nations of Western Europe. I must hasten to mention Galicia and Asturias in Spain, where Celtic culture is still alive. The Celts also spread across Europe as far east as Galatia in modern-day Turkey. They are all our ancestors.

They were a highly civilised people, not woad-covered marauders as they have often been depicted, and were skilled craftsmen and artisans. Their technology was the best of its age. They kept cattle and sheep and drank mead made from barley and honey.

They called themselves the Cymry, and the Cymry of Wales retained the best of their Celtic heritage, along with the people of Dyfnaint (Devon) and Kernow (Cornwall).

They were known as Brythons, differentiated from their Celtic cousins the Goidels, or Gaels, who occupied southern Brittany, and later Ireland, from whence they migrated to Scotland. Yes, the Scots settlers were the Irish, and they took with them their kilts, their pipes and their tartans, and other accoutrements such as the dirk (sgian dhu), the beret and the sporran.

The Cymry in Cumbria became separated from their kinsfolk in the south and west. In Dyfnaint and in Kernow the Cymry were hard-pressed and many of them migrated back to Brittany where they kept alive their language, Breton. Cornish was spoken in Cornwall up until 1777, when it died with Dolly Pentreath, the last speaker.

The three Brythonic languages were identical until fate divided them and they acquired their own distinct characteristics. As noted in the letter published below, there are efforts to revive and use the Cornish language once more. In Ireland, however, the Gaelic language survives in pockets around the country, notably Co.Waterford, Co.Clare and Co. Donegal. The government has not made quite the effort that Wales has done to stimulate the spread of the language.

Now that we are experiencing the upsurge of national consciousness in the Celtic nations of Wales, Cornwall, Scotland and to an extent N. Ireland and Brittany, and particularly as one influences the other through its devolutionary process, it behoves these nations to come together in celebration of their mutual heritage and traditions, and to work together for the benefit of the pan-Celtic federation. This is happening with the first tentative approaches, and meetings, between Alex Salmond, Ieuan Wyn Jones, Martin McGuiness and Ian Paisley. There is a growing awareness of their mutual interests and the feeling that their respective nations will benefit from maintaining a united front.

Going for Gold

And I am not talking about expanding mining operations in Dolaucothi.

Now that the new Welsh government is in place, the Assembly Coalition is all set for the task of developing and implementing the programmes and policies hammered out between Rhodri and Ieuan. The key areas of attention will be Health, Economic Development, Transport, Housing, Education and the Welsh Language. In order to gain (Plaid) and regain (Labour) trust and credibility in the political process and policy implementation in Wales the two consenting partners have now to work responsibly and consistently for the success of Welsh governance in the exclusive interests of the people of Wales. I am optimistic that this will be the case. There is no place for scepticism and pessimism in this new political environment, and the people of yesterday have no place in the new progressive venture of Welsh politics. The atmosphere needs to be one of trust, respect and co-operation for the benefit of the people of Wales. This will result in the creation of a country to be proud of, with an enhanced self-assurance and a leader in social and economic innovation.

Breaking News - 4 Plaid Posts

Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, has accepted three cabinet posts in the new Welsh government, three ministers and one junior minister. Elin Jones (Rural Affairs) and Rhodri Glyn Thomas (Heritage) are included in the cabinet. Jocelyn Davies is the junior Housing minister.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Letter From A Cornishman

A Alan Jones ker

I am a Penryn born Cornishman from the United Kingdom and a growing Cornish and Breton speaker. I have been raised by a family and community that has endowed me with what can be best described as a Cornish national identity, another way to look at it would be of Cornish ethnicity. Like many Cornish folk I left my home to find work. I now live in Paris and I am involved with a number of different organisations that work for the rights of national and linguistic minorities.

The Cornish are a Celtic ethnic group and nation of the southwest of Great Britain. We have our own lesser used Celtic language (Cornish), sports, festivals, cuisine, music, dance, history and identity. Cornwall also has a distinct constitutional history as a Duchy with an autonomous Stannary Parliament. This Celtic Cornish identity was recognised and described in the April 2006 edition of National Geographic.

The results from the 2001 UK population census show over 37,000 people hold a Cornish identity instead of English or British. On this census, to claim to be Cornish, you had to deny being British, by crossing out the British option and then write Cornish in the others box. Additionally the decision to collect information on Cornish identity was extremely badly publicised.

How many more would have described themselves as Cornish if they did not have to deny being British or if there had been a Cornish tick box? How many people knew that it was an option? How many ticked British but feel themselves to be Cornish British?

Cornwall Council's Feb 2003 MORI Poll showed 55% in favour of a democratically-elected, fully-devolved regional assembly for Cornwall, (this was an increase from 46% in favour in a 2002 poll). The Cornish Assembly petition was signed by 50,000 people, which is the largest expression of popular support for devolved power in the whole of the United Kingdom and possibly Europe.

A recommendation by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the 'concept of nation' has been backed by the European Parliament regional and minority language Intergroup. The PACE recommendation stated that, "Everyone should be free to define themselves as a member of a cultural 'nation', irrespective of their citizenship". In response, the Intergroup commented that "Council of Europe member states should avoid defining themselves in exclusively ethnic terms, and should do their utmost to help their minorities, a source of enrichment, to flourish". Today, both the French and the British Governments still deny people from some of the Celtic countries to legally describe themselves in terms of their Celtic national identities in all areas of life. Intergroup leader Dr Csaba Tabajdi, Member of the European Parliament, said that, this recommendation is of utter importance, representing a paradigm change in the protection of minorities in Europe. It contains a new, elaborate concept of nation. The recommendation states that: The term 'nation' is deeply rooted in peoples, culture and history and incorporates fundamental elements of their identity. It is also closely linked to political ideologies, which have exploited it and adulterated its original meaning.

Furthermore, in view of the diversity of languages spoken in European countries, a concept such as nation is quite simply not translatable in many countries where, at best, only rough translations are to be found in certain national languages.

The UK government has so far failed to recognise the Cornish people under the Council of Europe's framework convention for the protection of national minorities.

The UK government has failed to give the people of Cornwall the democratic referendum on greater autonomy and a devolved assembly that they have shown a demand for.

In fact the UK government has refused to release information on its decision making process concerning the above two issues even when requested under the freedom of information act.

I would like to know your opinion on the subject of national and linguistic minorities in the UK. I would also be interested to know if you have any contact with civil and human rights organisations that work with national minorities such as the Celtic League, Federal Union of European Nationalities, Cymuned (the Welsh language and community pressure group), Eurolang or Eurominority.

Further information on the Cornish question can be found on the website of the Cornish Stannary Parliament (CSP): http://www.cornishstannaryparliament.co.uk/ Please note the CSP website now carries a link to your website.

This includes details of the case they have logged with the European Court of Human Rights that will examine the unwritten constitution and the absence of a statutory guarantee of equality before the law in English law: http://cornishstannaryparliament.co.uk/csp2006.doc

I look forward to your response and please do not hesitate to contact me if you would like any further information on issues raised above.

Yours faithfully

Philip Hosking

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Making a Difference

Bore Da,

I publish a letter below from Elin Jones A.M. which outlines the way in which the new government of Wales will make a difference, according to the wishes of the general population.

Dear friend,

I’m writing to update you on developments in the National Assembly following the elections on May the 3rd and the formation of the One Wales Government which Plaid Cymru is proud to be a part of.

In the weeks following the election we negotiated with every party as we had promised during the election. Our aim was to secure a stable arrangement for the life time of the Third Assembly and implement progressive policies which would benefit all the people of Wales.

I believe we have achieved these aims with the One Wales agreement.

In health we are already delivering by scrapping the proposed hospital closure and downgrade programme. We will strengthen our health services by creating a distinct Welsh NHS, ending the internal market; eliminating the use of private sector hospitals and ruling out costly PFI schemes.

The One Wales Government will introduce an all Wales approach to economic development, bringing prosperity to every part of our country. In education we will develop a distinctive curriculum that is appropriate for Wales.

The environment will be put at the heart of government, setting reduction targets of 3% per year in areas of devolved competence. In housing the One Wales Government will give Councils the ability to secure 100% affordable housing on development sites to meet local need in areas of high housing pressure. Crucially we will also empower Council’s to control the conversion of full-time dwellings into second homes.

Pensioners will be given added help with Council Tax payments and we will reinstate the Post Office Development Fund to try and curb the effect of Westminster’s closure programme.

In transport the One Wales government will invest over £50m to improve road links, and reduce rail travel times between north and south Wales.

Underpinning all these policies is a commitment to secure a referendum on full law making powers for Wales. For the first time, a new Welsh language Measure will guarantee linguistic rights in the provision of services. Also, a new Welsh-medium Higher Education Network – the Federal College – will be established in order to ensure Welsh-medium provision in our universities.

The people of Wales voted for a change of approach on May the 3rd. This third Government of Wales embodies the progressive traditions of Wales. I ask for your support as we begin to build a new kind of governance in Wales, one in which everyone of us will have an important part to play in building a progressive future for our communities.

Yours sincerely

Elin Jones – Assembly Member for Ceredigion

Yes, Minister

Rhodri and Ieuan are choosing their new ministers.
Suggestion :
1) A Minister of Foreign Affairs.
2) A Home Affairs Minister
3) A Welsh Chancellor

"Oh, I Believe in Yesterday...........!"

So runs the Swan Song of "Yesterday's Men", and another one of these eminent MPs spoke up today, with his extraordinary plea for Welsh to be the second and not the first language of the railway announcements. This time it was Alun Michael who said his piece, using the argument that English is spoken more widely than Welsh in certain areas of Wales. No matter that Welsh is the natural and native language of the nation, which happens to be Wales and not England, or that Welsh is a living vibrant language which is widely spoken nowadays and which is reputed to have the oldest living literature in Europe. From the tenor of the comments received by phone-in on Radio Wales, it would seem that the majority of people were astonished by the suggestion, and did the Welsh MPs have nothing better to do than to bring up this absurd proposal? What of the urgent and pressing needs of the Valleys, they said? What of the fact that so many live below the poverty line and what of the deprivation of the children of Wales, the real issues which should and must be confronted?
No, the function of the majority of Welsh MPs at Westminster is disfunctional, and they are an irrelevance. It is the Assembly which governs Wales today, and the MPs apparently have nothing better to do than carp on the sidelines of political debate and bring forth inane suggestions.
Like that of Alun Michael, a Man of Yesterday.
Note: according to Alwyn Hughes this statement on train announcements was contrived by anti-coalition Welsh MPs to derail and undermine the accommodation between Labour and Plaid Cymru. It has not worked.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Bhutan and Cymru

The King of Bhutan, a country much smaller than Wales in population, and the land of the thunder dragon, has no use for GNP (gross national product). He advocates GNH (gross national happiness). How does he achieve this idyllic state of being and put smiles on the faces of his people? For one thing, nobody is allowed to earn more than a certain amount of money. There is a cap on the amount anyone can earn. There is a report in the news today about the widening gap between the rich and poor in the UK, the widest for 40 years.
Does this say something about the society we live in? Does this widening gap auger happiness for some and misery for others? It does not, of course. Money cannot buy happiness. Poverty does not necessarily produce misery. Happiness is a state of being, an attitude of mind. Yet, in an egalitarian society there is more cohesion, more stability and presumably more happiness. This was a characteristic of society in Wales for centuries until the advent of the industrial revolution. As Wales moves into a new phase in its development it is time to reflect on the kind of society we have and examine the factors which divide the community, particularly the factor of inequality. What is our vision for the Wales of the future, the Cymru fydd?

Sunday, 15 July 2007


What I'd do if I ruled Wales :

Review the immigration laws which curtail and prevent legitimate families of mixed nationality from living together in the country.

Set up an independent Home Office and Immigration Bureau.

Improve the road and rail systems.

Lower business taxes to encourage investment.

Give full biligual status to the Welsh language.

Boost tourism and develop tourist venues by opening up sites of Welsh struggles etc. to tourists.

Outlaw the dropping of litter and the posting of graffiti.

Adopt single place-names (no 'translations'), and correct existing names and spellings.

Issue stamps on St David's Day and declare a national holiday.

Mint a coin on transition to a Welsh Parliament.

Enhance self-contained communities by providing necessary services.

Encourage use of domestic micro-energy devices.

Make Wales self-sufficient in alternative non-nuclear power generation and water provision.

Put sensible structures at the entrances to Wales, not gimmicky sculptures.

Encourage small artisan and craft industries.

Reduce the Welsh 'brain drain'.

Build tasteful community-based affordable housing.

Provide sustainable housing by adopting innovative construction techniques.

Provide parks, playgrounds and leisure centres for all communities.

Establish a 'canton' system like Switzerland has.

Negotiate with England to redraw the border, to include areas once Welsh including those with Welsh place-names.

You are invited to add your own comments and personal grievances (mine is stated).

Alan in Dyfed

Saturday, 7 July 2007

Pictures at an Exhibition

When it's over, it's over. The National Assembly is alive and fully functioning with the predicted YES vote carried overwhelmingly with 225 for and 18 against the Red/Green coalition. Now for better or worse, and with good faith it is the better, Wales has a government, and good sense and wise counselling have ushered in the new political dynamic and nothing will be the same again. This is indeed a victory for the people of Wales.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Time to Fly the Flag

It is all over bar the shouting, and no doubt the shouting will continue, down the dusty halls and corridors of Westminster. The grey men and women of old New Labour will have to accede to the bright new shiny progressive socialism of Welsh Labour, and to be honest, nothing will ever be the same again!
Now begins the alliance between the reds and the greens, that is until the time when the party partisans return to the streets to battle for votes in the next general and assembly elections.
By then Welsh politics will have moved on, and I see a very different complexion emerging from that which has typified the party politics of the past. Welsh Labour is undergoing a transition which in my mind is unstoppable and by 2011 Wales will be a very different place, as a new dawn and a new consciousness begin to take a hold of the nation. Central to this is the flag, fluttering in the breeze, and flown by many throughout the length and breadth of Wales. I have seen it in the gardens, in the streets, affixed to motor cars….
It is unusual and unique, and without the dragon it would be quite mediocre.
The protagonists of devolution ignored this salient symbol. The dragon has stirred, and once aroused becomes rampant. The myths of old have been created as a lesson and a warning, and in this case the warning is that dragons are not merely pretty embellishments. Consider the flag : the dragon is RED, the ground is GREEN and the WHITE symbolises purity and peace. There is more to it than meets the eye. In the morning I am off to Pontrhydfendigaid to see what 07/07/07 has in store.

Addendum : some bloggers are totally misconstruing some of my remarks and are obviously displaying a lack of understanding regarding the dynamics of the new political vision. ;-(
Needless to say, they are posting anonymously.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

A Day of Decision - 06/07/07

Do the right thing, and the people of Wales will reward you.

The New Politics

More prominent Labour politicians are declaring their aversion to the coalition and the new political dawn for Wales. They are being dragged kicking and screaming into the dance of y ddraig goch and y ddraig wyrdd, and are spelling out the suicide of Labour. Yet it is not the death of Labour in Wales or the death of Rhodri and Ieuan's vision for Wales. It is the death of the politics of yesteryear, and good riddance, I say!

Goodwill All Round

I listened to the comments of Rhodri Morgan this morning in answer to phone-in questions on Radio Wales, and found him to be realistic and convincing. With goodwill all round we will see this coalition work for the good of the people of Wales, and not specifically for the good of the Labour Party. Rhodri Morgan, as well as Ieuan Wyn Jones, has grasped the notion of realpolitik.

(rā-äl''lĭ-tēk') pronunciation

A usually expansionist national policy having as its sole principle advancement of the national interest.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

The Politics of Tribalism

Patrick McGuiness, on Radio Wales today, spoke about the tribalism which dominates the thinking of many members of the political parties in Wales and England. According to Adam Price they are "yesterday's men" Another of these "yesterday's men" has spoken out against the coalition. In my view this thinking is archaic and has no place in the changing dynamic of politics and its spirit of consensus today.

No Whys and Wherefores

"Plaid is not interested in how independence for Wales is achieved, or who it is that brings it about, but only that it is achieved and that it comes into being."

Yes to the Coalition

The naysayers should see the writing on the wall, and be aware of the momentum which has gathered pace since the election results of May 4th. My absolute prediction is that both conferences will vote Yes to the coalition, despite the frantic and reactionary comments of the men and women of yesterday, from the Assembly seats and the Westminster benches. There is a new dynamic, as Ieuan Wyn Jones has said, and this will not be diverted. Change is in the air and Wales is moving forward towards its allotted place in history.

Proviso: if for any obscure reason my prediction is wrong I will post a full apology.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Incompetents and Separatists

The Welsh Labour MPs, led by the Huw Lewis and his wife from Torfaen, in company with Kim Howells, are mounting their campaign against Plaid naming them as "incompetents and separatists". These ill-chosen words are reminiscent of the branding of other parties as "inedible and unpalatable" of a few weeks ago. Four Labour AMs have come out against the coalition with Plaid. Unless Plaid is allowed to exercise power how can it be declared incompetent? Neither is Plaid separatist because it has never declared itself to be part of the Union. Brown's plan for Wales, though not spelled out as such, is to lock Wales into a written constitution for Britain. Whereas Plaid's coalition with Welsh Labour is straightforward with goodwill expressed on both sides there are forces which are attempting to undermine these arrangements, from reactionary Welsh Labour MPs and from within the British government led by Gordon Brown.
Plaid should view with suspicion the proposal which has been made for a "British Day" as well as the recent call for Union flags to be flown on all public buildings throughout "the British nation".
The truth is that Britain is not a nation but a composite state, consisting of the three nations of Britain plus Northern Ireland. The government's attempt to promote Britishness arises out of a concern that the independence movements in Wales and Scotland are gaining strength. It goes without saying that should these plans be put into effect there will never be the issuance of St. David's Day commemoration stamps or the declaration of a national holiday in Wales. The induction of the idea of Britishness into the psyche of the people of Britain is a relic of imperialism and the politics of yesterday, and discounts the aspirations of the many supporters of Plaid and the SNP.
Those who are working for the building of a better Wales and a national consciousness should be concerned at these political developments in Westminster and take these warning signs seriously.

Constitutional Changes - Breaking News

Gordon Brown announces constitutional changes for Britain in order to circumvent and nullify the cause of nationalism in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and thereby preserve the Union, and placate the voters alienated by government lack of concern.

Monday, 2 July 2007

"A New Dynamic"

As we had surmised it was a rainy evening in Carmarthen, and the Halliwell Centre was packed, as can be expected when a party leader comes to speak at a momentous time in the history of Wales. This was truly history in the making. Ieuan Wyn Jones spoke of a "new dynamic" in the politics of Wales. He was persuasive and uncompromising. This One Wales Agreement was the best option and the only logical way forward, after the weeks of discussion, negotiation, and agonised decision making. Together with Labour Plaid has achieved the best possible result and has succeeeded in putting its interests forward with cast-iron guarantees on the key proposals in the agreement.
There were, it is true, serious reservations expressed by members of the audience, yet Ieuan dealt with them cogently one by one, with logic, clarity and reassurance, and expressed the wish that they would give him their unqualified support in the forthcoming conference of the National Council. In his explanatory meetings throughout Wales Ieuan Wyn has addressed more than a thousand members and supporters, and is gratified that so much interest has been expressed by the people of Wales in the political process. There is indeed "a new dynamic" at work.

Sunday, 1 July 2007

Plaid in Rainy Carmarthen - 02/07/07

This is the big day in Carmarthen when the present leader of Plaid Cymru, Ieuan Wyn Jones, will address his supporters and explain why the decision was made to go in with Labour in the One Wales Agreement. It was a difficult decision to make, for it risks alienating the supporters on the right of the party, who are mostly from north Wales. It is generally agreed that Plaid Cymru positions itself to the left of centre in Welsh politics, and therefore in this sense it is a natural outcome. Nevertheless, this decision is a strategic one and is based on strategy alone, and not merely on Plaid's political complexion, or the fact that it is, along with Labour, a progressive party of the left. It is something that should be borne in mind by the delegates to the conference next Saturday when the National Council meets to give their verdict, Yes or No.
The pros and cons of going with one agreement or the others has gone back and forth and has been discussed endlessly in Plaid's attempt to find the best solution for the people of Wales. Ieuan has forsaken his desire to become Chief Minister, and to take the lead in a majority coalition with the Lib Dems and the Conservatives, for the good of the people of Wales and for the opportunity to strike headlong for a referendum on a Welsh Parliament. By doing so he has undoubtedly put the interests of the party and the best interests of Wales first, ahead of his own political ambitions.
The stance taken by the leadership of Plaid Cymru should therefore be commended, as the best way forward. Leaving aside political hues and other considerations Plaid is the only party which has adopted wholeheartedly the cause of independence. In fact it is its raison d'etre, the main purpose its its existence. It is the only Party of Wales, as it has declared itself to be, for the other parties in Wales are clones or to a great extent derivations of the British parties whose representatives are elected to Westminster. There is a trend for these British parties to devolve and become truly Welsh parties, and this may be the eventual outcome, but the fact that they are not is highlighted by the recent abhorrence of Welsh MPs to the thought of a pact with Plaid Cymru with its ambitions to withdraw eventually from the Union in its present form. This is why these MPs and others whose habitual thinking follows similar lines have been designated "Yesterday's Men", people who are still locked into the politics of the last century. Change is in the air and it is time to make a difference. We are moving away from polarisation politics to an acceptance of consensus, for the ultimate good of the people and their continued welfare. We are moving towards real democracy and a connection with the grass roots, which are grounded in the sanctified soil of Wales.

All Wales Accord v. One Wales Agreement

The All Wales Accord is posted on Rhodri Glyn's blog :
so now you can compare its provisions with the One Wales Agreement posted by Ted Jones, on my "June blog list" - click on June at the right side.

The Politics of Yesterday

Yesterday’s Men

Alun Michael
Neil Kinnock
Peter Hain
Ron Davies
15 Labour MPs from Wales voted against the amendment on the “Future of EU finances” motion: Nick Ainger (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire), Chris Bryant (Rhondda), Wayne David (Caerphilly), Denzil Davies (Llanelli), Paul Flynn (Newport West), Win Griffiths (Bridgend), Peter Hain (Neath), David Hanson (Delyn), Alan Howarth (Newport East), Kim Howells (Pontypridd), Ian Lucas (Wrexham), Alun Michael (Cardiff South and Penarth), Mark Tami (Alyn and Deeside), Don Touhig (Islwyn), Betty Williams (Conwy). The remainder of the Labour MPs did not attend. All MPs from England voted against the Plaid Cymru/SNP motion.