It seems we are in great demand these days! Nick Bourne, leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, has called on Plaid members to join the Conservatives. They are doing their best to become the Party of Wales. To tell the truth, there is only one Party of Wales and that is Plaid Cymru.
The philosophy of Conservatives is very different from that of Plaid Cymru, quite apart from the fact that they are a British Party directed from Westminster. Conservatism is based on capitalism and the profit-motive, a policy which the Labour Party has come to espouse. It is less concerned with the welfare of the community and more with the advancement of the individual and his egocentric ambitions. Plaid Cymru on the other hand has more in common with the ideals of international socialism , the creation of a fair and egalitarian society where people are concerned for one another and not solely for their own interests. Its outlook is radical, progressive and classless rather than class-ridden, and it has inherited these principles from the very roots of Welsh tradition and its co-operative community values. Plaid Cymru remains the natural Party of Wales and any members who are tempted to political conversion by the siren call of Nick Bourne will be renouncing their Welsh heritage and betraying the whole ethos of their nation. It is a prospect that no self-respecting Cymro would contemplate.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
It seems we are in great demand these days! Nick Bourne, leader of the Conservatives in the Welsh Assembly, has called on Plaid members to join the Conservatives. They are doing their best to become the Party of Wales. To tell the truth, there is only one Party of Wales and that is Plaid Cymru.
The Conservatives say they are raring to go; the Liberal Democrats have been raring to go for some time; the Scots Nationalists are positively raring to go; Plaid Cymru is absolutely raring to go; the (British) Labour MPs are asking one another whether or not they are raring to go.
So what are we waiting for? Where is the announcement from Gordon Brown? The electors are raring to make a difference. Plaid Cymru in government is already making a difference. The SNP in its first 100 days has made a tremendous difference. Now the Flemings in Belgium want to make a difference. Why is it such an issue that the national ethnic groupings in Europe are voting for self-determination within the European Union? Make no mistake, this is where it is all leading.
Independent national entities with the EU.
Yes, bring on the election - life is getting interesting. Devolution spelled with an "R".
Posted by Alan Jones at 10:52
Saturday, 29 September 2007
PUT WALES FIRST - VOTE PLAID
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:09
Wales' hopes were dashed and the Fijians proved their mettle and their strength but all is not lost. If there is one thing which brings out the spirit of a Welshman it is the game of Rugby. It focuses the consciousness and stimulates the national fervour like nothing else does. Now that Wales is out of the competition where may all this energy be directed? Here is a suggestion - that the Welsh public now turn their attention to the cause of greater devolution, to a Welsh Parliament, and onward to Independence. If all the energy that goes into cheering on Wales at the rugby venues were directed into the national politics and support for Assembly government as opposed to the controlling tactics of Westminster how much greater would be the momentum towards self-determination for the nation?
Posted by Alan Jones at 13:37
Friday, 28 September 2007
How many times do we have to hear the voices of long gone politics and nostalgic references to Britain's greatness? Great Britain disappeared with the end of the Victorian Era and its fate was sealed at the end of the Second World War. We grew up in a world where Britain was a pale shadow of its past, with former colonies one by one declaring their independence - one of the first being Ghana. Now all that remains of a once-glorious Empire are the Falkland Islands, saved for posterity by an Iron Lady, now the mentor of GB - Gordon Brown. But GB does not live in a GB - a Great Britain. He lives in a small but relatively prosperous country which is a member of the European Union, a union made up of 26 other nations. Factually "Great Britain" is not a nation, but a composite of nations which have yet to gain their independence from this former colonial power.
GB (Gordon Brown) is like King Canute (Knut), a Danish King of England who foolishly thought he could hold back the tide. He failed of course. Gordon Brown believes he can hold back the tide of devolution which is greater than was envisaged by the men and women of Westminster and has taken on a life of its own. This is why I quoted the allusion to Pandora's Box - forces have been unleashed which will not be turned back.
Wales and Scotland are on their way to independence and have the bit between their teeth. Already the majority, not all nationalists, will vote for a Welsh Parliament, and later we will see what we will see!
Posted by Alan Jones at 14:13
A British Nationalist is a very strange and peculiar creature. A British Nationalist actually believes that there is such a thing as a "British Nation". He/she considers him/herself British, but then goes on to declare him/herself Welsh or Scots or Irish. One cannot logically be both at the same time, as there are groupings which are nations within Britain, but Britain is not and cannot be considered a nation. There is no such thing as "Britishness" as Gordon Brown tries to con people into believing. The Union flag does not represent the peoples of the United Kingdom and should be discarded as having no relevance to the true facts. So is Britain a lie? Have the history books got it all wrong? Have those generations that have been brought up on the feats and exploits and glories of the British Empire been duped? Is it so bad that this anomalous situation should be rectified and that the constitution should be radically overhauled? Until these issues are resolved there will be no solution to the question of identity and nationality within these islands. It is a situation that demand redress. The way forward is to look at the truth and the existential realities of the circumstances which led up to this confusion and attend to the aspirations of the people of the various nations within Britain.
Posted by Alan Jones at 01:55
Thursday, 27 September 2007
Let's face it, and there has been much talk about this notion of Britishness in the blogs and in the Labour party conference, there is no such thing as a British nation. In fact if it exists at all the British nation is the Welsh nation. It is the Welsh and Cornish, the Bretons, the Cumbrians, and the people of Strathclyde who are the true Britons and whose descendants can lay claim to the title of the British nation. All the rest are interlopers who happened to adopt the label British and make it their own. These people are the descendants of the Teutons - Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings and Normans (who were themselves of Viking descent), who invaded these islands during and after the Roman occupation. The Celtic peoples, the true Britons, were pushed northwards and westwards into those mountainous areas which they were able to defend with varying degrees of success.
So when Gordon Brown proclaims his Britishness he is perpetuating the illusion. There is no British nation nor has there ever been, in stark reality. Britain is a grouping of nations under one highly unrepresentative flag known as the Union Jack. It is time these wool-gathering politicians confronted the truth and discarded the distorted versions of history which were embedded into the minds of credulous schoolboys for generations, and were later expressed in terms of loyalty to Britain and the British Crown. Logically there cannot be a British nation if there exist the nations of Scotland, Wales and Ireland. There can, however, be an English nation to stand alongside its Celtic neighbours. No longer will these proud nations be dominated and made subject to their restive former ruler. National consciousness among these nations has been awakened and will no longer be stifled, and the politicians of Westminster, whatever their persuasion, will not succeed in capping and containing this Pandora's Box.
Posted by Alan Jones at 13:53
NEW LABOUR = BLUE LABOUR
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:27
Gordon Brown doubled the tax rate for the lowest paid earners - from £10 to £20.
Posted by Alan Jones at 07:39
True Labour = Blue Labour
Posted by Alan Jones at 07:35
"GORDON BROWN IS THE NATURAL HEIR TO MARGARET THATCHER" - Norman Tebbit
Posted by Alan Jones at 07:35
"I WONDER WHAT IT IS THAT MAKES MEN OPPOSE HOME RULE IN THE LAND OF THEIR BIRTH?"
Posted by Alan Jones at 07:31
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
Don't be fooled by Gordon Brown's ambivalent attitude towards the holding of an election! The snap election will be called for the end of October as predicted long ago on this blog. There are a number of indicators to substantiate this conviction.
1) The polls are running strongly in Labour's favour
2) The Conservatives are in disarray if not in dispute within their ranks
3) The Liberal Democrats are considered of little consequence
4) Gordon Brown is seeking a mandate for the next ten years
5) There is no better time than now
There are factors which also come into play regarding the resurgent nations of Scotland and Wales, and Labour is heading for trouble in both these countries. Labour will not do well in either place. In England, however, they will show their strength.
The reason is that the Scots are becoming increasingly nationalistic and large numbers will support the SNP. In Wales, there is a dislike of "New Labour", which is a pale pink form of Socialism, and Welsh sentiment is predominantly socialist and progressive. Therefore Plaid Cymru stands to benefit and will gain votes across the country and not only in the north and west. This is why Rhodri distanced himself with his "clear red water" from the staunchly Unionist and retrogressive Labour MPs in Westminster. But as the election is now imminent he is concerned to present a united front along with Gordon Brown and Peter Hain in order to gain the most Labour votes and preserve some kind of party unity. The problem with Labour is that it is party-centric rather than people-centric which a truly socialist party would be.
I will now print an extract from the blog Tartan Hero which supports the view expressed above.
These are some of the reasons given for Brown going now:
- An autumn election is about giving Brown a mandate, not on his record
- The Conservatives are not ready - Cameron has not had long enough
- "Give him a chance" is a compelling narrative
- The Murdoch press is broadly onside
- The economic clouds are gathering even though the storm is of Brown's creation he looks a steadier and more credible pair of hands to see us through than Cameron & Osborne (who looks out of his depth)
- The government is clearly thinking short term politically, see the panicked and knee-jerk reaction to the pictures of queues outside Northern Rock branches. If they were not thinking of an election they wouldn't have panicked
- Buggers up the Conservative (and the SNP) conference
Against an Autumn Election
- Lack of EU referendum will cause a stink and bad timing with the forthcoming EU ICG (not exactly on the minds of most punters)
- Polls may be wrong a la 1992 and overstating Labour support as a reaction to the thank god Blair has gone public feeling
- Will Alex Salmond and the SNP bring trouble for Labour at the polls?
So what do you think?
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:38
Monday, 24 September 2007
In his speech at the Labour Party Conference Gordon Brown mentioned "Britishness" 71 times.
Just what is he trying to prove?
It appears that Gordon Brown is now playing down the issue of devolution and keeping silent on the subject. I wonder why?
Posted by Alan Jones at 22:40
I have been tagged by Alwyn ap Huw to share with you and my fellow bloggers my earliest political memories so now I will launch myself into a potted autobiography and hope that it meets with approbation if not unstinting acceptance of my views and my political development.
It all began with the Dragon, that mythical, mystical creature which overshadowed my early years and still plays a subtle and pervasive part in my consciousness. I was born in the Chinese Year of the Dragon. Dragons are popular in China as well as in Wales, and dragons represent the earth spirit without which there would be no life or creative imagination. There is more to the dragon than meets the eye. In China you see them alighting on the roofs of the temples and in Wales they adorn the national flags. Can you imagine the flag without the dragon? A plain green and white flag without the red dragon to enliven it would be soul-less and quite uninspiring. In my childhood I read about dragons, in fairy tales and even in Rupert cartoons in comics and in the pages of the "Daily Express" newspaper which my Conservative parents insisted on taking for their daily read.
Everything changed when I came to Carmarthen and entered Trinity College - Coleg y Drindod - as a trainee teacher. It is there that I became radicalised. I had been learning Welsh from "Welsh Made Easy" by 'Caradar', and had read the books of George Borrow, including his book "Wild Wales". I had also read the books of a vivid writer of the time, Richard Vaughan - "Moulded in Earth", "Son of Justin", "Who Rideth So Wild", inspiring books about life in the Welsh mining valleys, on a par with the writings of Richard Llewellyn and Alexander Cordell.
It was there that I met Gwynfor Evans, an inspiring and commanding figure in Plaid Cymru, dedicated to the cause of self-government for Wales. There I campaigned for Hywel Heilyn Roberts, even travelling in the van which held the illegal radio transmitter which broadcast on the television wavelength after 11 p.m. close-down, and kept the public informed of the activities of the party, keeping the flame of independence alive. At that time Plaid was regarded by Westminster as a subversive organisation. And so it was, working assiduously against the attempts to undermine and destroy the Welsh language and drown the Welsh valleys (Tryweryn) to create reservoirs for the benefit of Birmingham and the English Midlands. Then, Islwyn Ffowc Elis published his book "Wythnos Yn Ghymru Fydd".
These were causes worth fighting for!
Another movement which played a part in my political education at that time was C.N.D.. There was a well-justified fear of the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Sixties and the clock was ticking inexorably towards a Doomsday scenario when all hell would break out, and the earth would become vitually uninhabitable following a nuclear holocaust. Bomb shelters were being built everywhere (I saw the entrance to one in Seattle), and television broadcasts were being beamed explaining what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion - hide under the table and other useless advice! There were marches from Aldermaston to London and rallies in Trafalgar Square addressed by Michael Foot MP and Bishop Trevor Huddleston.
After 47 years I returned to find a different Wales from the one which I had left. Gone were the coal-mines and unsightly coal-tips like the one which dominated Aberfan. The Swansea valley had been cleaned up and sanitised yet the unanswered question remained. How much longer does the dragon have to wait before the people of Wales reclaim their nation and vote for their own Parliament for Wales? Without that mythical beast all would have already been lost and trodden under. Wales without the dragon would be impotent. That is the reason why this symbol is so prized and valued by the people, and why the flag is flown across the nation and is a ubiquitous presence throughout the land. It is also the reason why this blog is written, for without the dragon there would be no "Independence Cymru" to nudge the reader and remind him of our noble destiny.
Posted by Alan Jones at 06:53
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Mr Canavan, who stood down from the Scottish Parliament in May, said: "My bill to make St Andrew's Day a national holiday received the unanimous approval of the Scottish Parliament with support from all parties, including the SNP."
A spokeswoman for the executive said Mr Salmond had spoken to Dennis Canavan, who was "very happy" with the reassurance given to him.
"This government has very ambitious plans to encourage the people of Scotland to celebrate St Andrew's Day and what it means to be Scottish - and we believe that having a holiday will support this approach," the spokeswoman said.
She added: "We are building on the holiday provisions in Dennis Canavan's bill to make the most of Scotland's national day and create a winter festival stretching from St Andrew's Day through Hogmanay to Burns Night." This year, Scottish Executive staff will be allowed a half-day off on 30 November - if they swap it for an existing break.
What is it that inspires this reluctance in Wales to declare March 1st, St David's Day, as a National Holiday? This day is a significant one for the nation and in any case Wales lags behind many other countries in the number of holidays it celebrates. Take Spain for example. The work ethic takes precedence over all, it appears. Let us have cause for celebration. We shall certainly reserve a holiday for the advent of Independence for Wales!
Posted by Alan Jones at 12:18
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Independence Cymru forecast over two months ago that there would be an October General Election. All the indications pointed to this possibility, and now it appears to be becoming ever-more certain. Now, today, we sense that Labour is beginning to close ranks. Labour is waking up to the realisation that there is a widening gap between "Welsh" Labour and the Labour of Westminster and the leading figures are hastening to patch it up. Rhodri Morgan, who represents Labour in Wales and Peter Hain who represents the parliamentary MPs are now joining together to present a united front with the prospect of a coming General Election. No doubt this is the cause of an attack on Plaid's adherence to the goal of Welsh independence, and the renewed insistence that Plaid is "separatist". Plaid would counter with the argument that it is not "separatist" but is inclusive and outward-looking, but towards Europe and the wider world and not to the Union. Presumably Plaid would also advocate the grouping together of the nations of Britain for their mutual benefit and co-operation in different fields, those relating to the economy and security for example. These matters could be dealt with by a federal assembly composed of the four or five individual and free sovereign nations.
Be this as it may, the days when Labour ruled the roost in Wales are rapidly coming to an end, and the people of Wales, with a renewed feeling of confidence and hope, are moving forward and are putting the interests of Wales, their nation, before the self-interest of the traditional (British) political party which has dominated Welsh life for generations. In the view of this blog, it is Labour which is out of touch and out of step with the mood of the people of Wales and it is Plaid Cymru, the Party of Wales, which leads the way and to whom the future belongs.
Posted by Alan Jones at 00:20
Friday, 21 September 2007
Hosting a comment by Matthew on proposals to film epics on the fight for freedom :
Davies and too many others like him have that same mental disease that so many other colonized people have had-- they absorb so much of the propaganda of an occupying power, that they come to identify with them and hate their own identity. Same animal with different stripes.
One of the things that Wales needs IMHO, to solidify its identity and help Welsh autonomy to move along, is a Welsh variant of Braveheart-- focusing in the case of Cymru obviously on Owain Glyndwr, his inspirational resistance and his relative success.
IOW, a national epic focusing on their national hero and representative of their independence. And done, of course, in the Welsh language (with subsequent subtitling and dubbing as needed).
My understanding is that the Irish are already doing this, there seems to be at least some stirring to do an Irish film about Hugh O' Neill, the truly brilliant and spectacular Irish resistance leaders who defeated the genocidal armies of Elizabeth I in the late 1500's, repeatedly. He even had the satisfaction of outliving the Queen herself after having repeatedly defeated her forces, successfully prosecuting a guerrilla war against the English attackers until King James I came to the throne, desperate for peace. Despite his subsequent participation in the Flight of the Earls, it was O'Neill's example of resistance and especially, his military success that continued to fire the spirit of Irish independence in subsequent centuries.
Needless to say, the Irish are applying the "Braveheart" example and currently in the planning stages to create a film, in Irish Gaelic of course, about Hugh O'Neill and his remarkable performance against the genocidal and hateful Elizabethans, as bad or worse than Edward's killers who attacked Scotland and William Wallace.
It's difficult to estimate the power of these sorts of national epics, especially if done in the national language, to fortify the heart and provide a reference point for an independent land. It's done wonders for Scotland (and Scottish Gaelic). (The English of course have their own example in the person of Henry V, who helped to solidify English identity in opposition to the French, Normans and Angevins.) The gradually developing plans for the Hugh O'Neill epic in Ireland are already energizing the Irish to better assert their culture and their language.
Wales has a similar heroic figure in Owain Glyndwr, and his story is extraordinary-- like O'Neill, he was both brilliant and successful as a military underdog against a more powerful enemy. He's an inspiration for free people everywhere, and it would be a credit to Wales to undertake a Welsh-language national epic dedicated to him and his accomplishments.
BTW, someone earlier had written something about encouraging the Celtic nations of Wales, Scotland and Ireland to start publishing more international tracts in non-English global languages such as German or French. That's a very smart idea and a classic technique used by oppressed peoples to thwart a colonizing power, even as they reach a global audience. One of the great advantages we now have in the EU, is that we have a choice of "big languages" besides English, and I already know of cases in Celtic-speaking eastern Canada for example, where scientific or other academic authors have taken to writing in French or sometimes in German for their articles. I guess it's a kind of way to help prevent an Anglophone cultural attack on their own fragile Celtic culture there. Makes sense to me.
Posted by Alan Jones at 12:56
As published in the letter columns of the "Western Mail"- Tuesday, 25th September 2007
Yet again we witness the bleatings of the Welsh MPs at
Posted by Alan Jones at 05:45
Thursday, 20 September 2007
What is it that gives rise to nationalism, and is nationalism justified in the case of Wales? Surely, nationalism arises from oppression and injustice perpetrated on a people who have common purpose and identity. If we consider the previous posting by Gwyn Hopkins and the one on the struggle of Guiseppe Mazzini in Italy, and if we think of the history of the people of Ireland we can see that these two factors - oppression and injustice - are predominant and instrumental in the movements which we term nationalism. Nationalism takes different forms, and it is not necessarily the bogeyman which detractors of these movements often claim it to be. The type of nationalism which grew up in Wales in the second quarter of the past century under the direction of Saunders Lewis, Lewis Valentine and D.J. Williams was inspired by the desire to end the oppressive and unjust treatment received by Wales from an uncaring and insensitive government in England.
It developed into a movement based on socialist and egalitarian principles based on community values and traditional culture. Later, under the principled leadership of Gwynfor Evans, it proclaimed its advocacy of non-violence and assumed an international outlook, which saw Wales as a free and unbridled nation taking its place among the other nations of Europe and the world. It espoused the values of Welsh community life and vowed to safeguard the language - "o bydded i'r hen iaith barhau".
This Welsh nationalism rose above purely ideological considerations and reached across the barriers which had been set up by years of indoctrination and conditioning. It is a very inoffensive, yet determined and persistent, variety of nationalism, and it seeks to achieve its goals through argument and persuasion, not violent struggle as depicted in the Irish model. The epic struggles of Owain Glyndwr ceased many centuries ago after it was understood that the nation was faced by insuperable odds. It is in this present age that a new spirit of nationhood has imbued the people of Wales and drawn the nation together in a renewed effort to press for self-government. We now look forward to the prospect of a full Parliament for Wales.
To his devotees, Saunders Lewis’ legacy is immense. Alongside his literary output - he wrote plays, poems and novels - he had a profound influence on 20th century Welsh politics. A founder of Plaid Cymru, he was a hero to nationalists while remaining equally unloved by those who did not share his views. Lewis was born in Cheshire in 1893 and brought up amongst the Welsh community on Merseyside. But it was his experience of the First World War, especially fighting alongside Irishmen, that seems to have had the most significant effect on him. It helped to shape his convictions about the importance of Welsh national identity although - unlike hard line Irish republicans - he stopped short of advocating violence against representatives of the British state.In 1936 Lewis, together with two other activists, set fire to the new RAF base at Penyberth in Gwynedd. They gave themselves up to the police, claiming justification on nationalist and pacifist grounds.In the aftermath of the Penyberth arson, Lewis lost his university lecturing post and in controversial circumstances went on trial at the Old Bailey in London. He was sentenced to nine months imprisonment.In a radio lecture of 1962 he said "Restoring the Welsh language in Wales is nothing less than a revolution. It is only through revolutionary means that we can succeed." The broadcast led to the creation of Cymdeithas Yr Iaith Gymraeg (Welsh Language Society) and inspired its campaigns of direct action over the following decades.Cymdeithas protests undoubtedly played a part in the establishment of S4C, the Welsh language television channel, in 1982 and the Welsh Language Act of 1993.
Twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, Lewis was a deeply religious man and a convert to Catholicism. Not even his sternest critics would deny his lasting impact on the intellectual debate over the future of Welsh society.
Lewis Edward Valentine (June 1, 1893-March 1986) was a Baptist pastor, author, editor and political activist.
He was born in Llanddulas, Denbighshire, son of Samuel Valentine, a limestone quarryman, and his wife Mary. He began studying to go into the ministry of the Baptist church at the University College of North Wales, Bangor but his studies were curtailed due to the First World War.
His experience as a medical orderly during the First World War made him a Welsh nationalist and a pacifist. He became the first president of Plaid Cymru and its first parliamentary candidate in the 1929 General Election, when he stood in the Caernarfonshire constituency. In 1936, along with Saunders Lewis and D. J. Williams, Valentine took part in the symbolic burning of a bombing school at Penyberth in north-west Wales. He was sentenced to nine months in prison for this action.
As a pastor he served church in north Wales and edited the Baptist quarterly magazine, Seren Gomer, from 1951 to 1975. He also wrote of his experience in the war in Dyddiadur milwr (=A soldier's diary), 1988.
He is also famed as the writer of the hymn Gweddi dros Gymru (=A prayer for Wales), usually sung to the tune of Jean Sibelius's Finlandia Hymn, and generally thought of as the second Welsh national anthem.
He died in March, 1986.
D. J. Williams (David John Williams) (June 26, 1885–1970) was one of the foremost Welsh-language writers of the twentieth-century. He was also a prominent Welsh nationalist.
Williams was born in Rhydcymerau, Carmarthenshire. He studied English at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and Jesus College, Oxford. For most of his life he taught English at the grammar school in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.
A socialist, he was one of the founders of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh National Party, in 1925. He took part, with Saunders Lewis and Lewis Valentine, in the symbolic burning of a bombing school at Penyberth in north-west Wales in 1936. As a result he spent nine months in Wormwood Scrubs prison.
Williams was a short story writer of renown and also the author of two volumes of autobiography. All his work is inspired by his vision of his native locality, of a close-knit community where common values give worth to all.
He died in 1970 at Rhydcymerau, Carmarthenshire.
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:38
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Here is a letter by Cllr Gwyn Hopkins which illustrates why elements of Welsh opinion are opposed to independence for Wales:
The effectiveness of relentless, long-term, intense and unbroken indoctrination is truly astonishing. In Wales such a process has been proceeding continuously ever since the conquest (1282), culminating in 1870 with the imposition of an Educational System designed entirely with the needs of the children of England in mind. Regrettably, its legacy still prevails. By personally experiencing it, I – like many others – can testify that from start to finish, a very major feature of the system equated to intense pro-England and pro-English indoctrination. The Anglicization of the Welsh people was one of its key objectives.
This system totally concealed the History of Wales from us. Wales was thus very effectively marginalized and the idea that Wales was a non-entity was implanted in its children’s minds at an early age. History meant the History of England! The poets and writers of England constituted the staple diet of “literature”, with those of Scotland, Ireland and Wales – such as Robbie Burns, James Joyce and Dafydd ap Gwilym – conspicuous by their absence. In Geography major emphasis was placed on the Geography of England. Scotland was not mentioned and certainly not Ireland. The school ethos and curriculum decisively steered one to identify with England. The expectation that one should pay due reverence, deference and loyalty to England was the unmistakable message. The inevitable consequence is that the vast majority of the people of Wales are astonishingly ignorant of virtually all matters relating to their own country, knowing far more about England.
Welsh – our indigenous language – was banned on pain of physical punishment until 1910 and then given an extraordinarily subordinate role, often ridiculed and disparagingly afforded the status of the least important school subject often taught for only one half-hour lesson per week. This was uncivilized linguistic discrimination – nay, oppression – with a vengeance. Of course, virtually all of Wales’ schoolchildren were totally oblivious to what was happening. It has largely achieved its desired effect of producing many people that are only semi-literate in their first language with the majority having no knowledge of Welsh at all.
As if this was not enough indoctrination, from about the same time (1870) we have been subjected to much the same conditioning by a daily barrage of English newspapers, designed – not for the people of Wales but - for the people of England. Indeed not one of the London dailies has a correspondent, or even a reporter, in Wales.
Heaped upon all this we have received an overwhelmingly England-oriented radio and TV service since the early 1900’s. These have relentlessly carried the same message that we really should to a large extent have loyalty to, and identify with, England and accept, or better still support, her continual control and dominance over Wales as the normal state of affairs.
This letter was published in the Llanelli Star on 30/9/2004.
Is not the above factually correct and does it not demonstrate the attempts made to systematically eradicate the history, the language and the national consciousness of the Welsh people in order that they may be good loyal British citizens?
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:21
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
GIUSEPPE MAZZINI, (1805-1872) Italian nationalist and patriot, who, together with Giuseppe Garibaldi, Camillo Benso di Cavour, and Victor Emmanuel II, is considered one of the "patron saints" of the Italian Risorgimento. While still in his teens Mazzini committed himself to the cause of Italian independence and unity. Forced into exile in 1831 for his revolutionary activities, he began to recruit followers and organize uprisings against the rulers of the various Italian states. His association, Giovine Italia (Young Italy), founded in the 1830s, attracted adherents throughout the peninsula and among Italian political exiles everywhere. With the exception of Giuseppe Garibaldi, no other Italian Risorgimento leader enjoyed greater international renown than Mazzini in his time. His revolutionary vision extended beyond the limited objective of Italian national unity. Mazzini's primary goals were the end of Austrian hegemony in Italy and of the temporal power of the pope, Italian unity, republicanism, democracy, and the liberation of all oppressed peoples. Imbued with a messianic zeal, he believed that, united under the banner of "God and people", Italians would succeed in ridding themselves of their various rulers and establish a democratic unitary republic with its capital in Rome. This new Italy would lead other subject peoples to freedom and liberty and embody a "third" Rome, successor to ancient and papal Rome. A new Europe, controlled by the people and not by sovereigns, would replace the old order. By the 1840s Mazzini had become the recognized leader of the Italian nationalist revolutionary movement. His appeal to Italians, restive under oppressive governments, was unrivaled, if not unchallenged. Intellectuals and artisans, men and women, all responded to him. Many lost their lives in abortive revolts inspired by his teachings.
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:27
Devolution has given to Wales an enhanced sense of nationhood, and has assisted the movement towards a Welsh Parliament along the lines of the Scottish model. Wales, as Rhodri says, has certainly grown up as a nation, and there is a renewed confidence and pride at large throughout the country. It is now the duty of the Assembly to bring about economic and social cohesion and unity throughout the regions, and address the conditions in north Wales in particular with regard to access and provision of health services, as well as employment and affordable housing. This will involve decentralisation of administration which should be devolved from Cardiff Bay and the south-eastern corner for the benefit of the areas of the country which suffer deprivation.
Posted by Alan Jones at 04:58
Monday, 17 September 2007
It is the 10th Anniversary of the narrow plebiscite which set up the National Assembly of Wales.
But it is clear that the majority of people in Wales do not want the National Assembly - they want a full Parliament for Wales on the Scottish model. They see how Scotland is managing its affairs, free of the restrictions which the Assembly suffers from Westminster and they wish for a similar state of affairs. Support for "Britishness" has declined over the years and people are becoming more receptive to the notion of independence, and this view has wide support in Scotland even more so than Wales. It is even gaining credence in England, as the English shrug off the mantle of "Britishness" and fly the flag of St George. "The people of Scotland rubbished the idea of Britishness years ago" -Alex Salmond.
Posted by Alan Jones at 22:52
Reprinted from the Western Mail
by Tomos Livingstone, Western Mail
SUPPORT for a Scottish-style parliament in Wales has doubled in the 10 years since the country voted in favour of devolution, a new opinion poll will reveal tonight.The research, undertaken by the Institute of Welsh Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, shows a dramatic decline in anti-devolution sentiment since the knife-edge referendum 10 years ago.The findings, to be shown on S4C documentary Datganoli tonight, come on the eve of the 10th anniversary of the referendum, which saw a tiny majority of just 6,721 – or 0.3% – voting to create the Assembly.Since 1997 the institute has carried out regular surveys of public attitudes towards devolution, always asking voters to state their preferred constitutional solution – independence, a Parliament, an Assembly or no devolution at all.Support for independence has hovered at the same level for a decade, 14% then and 12% now, while an Assembly had the support of 27% polled in 1997 and 28% today.But the big changes are in support for a legislative Parliament, similar to the one in Scotland – up from 20% in 1997 to 43% now – and the decline in the anti-devolution vote: 40% then and just 17% now. A further analysis of the date shows an age-divide, with the under-35s far more likely to support a deepening of devolution.More than 50% of 18-34-year- olds support a Scottish-style parliament, compared with 35% of those aged 65 and over.By contrast, only 14% of those aged between 18-34 are opposed to any form of devolution compared with 24% of over-65s.The data will delight supporters of a new referendum on whether to move from the current Assembly to a full Welsh parliament.The One Wales coalition document agreed by Labour and Plaid in the summer contains a commitment to hold such a poll before 2011 – subject to votes in favour in Cardiff and Westminster.The agreement also commits to an assessment of the likelihood of a “Yes” vote before a poll is triggered.Backers of a parliament will take heart from the Aberystwyth data, but several Labour MPs and many Conservatives will remain deeply sceptical about the merits of further change..A halfway-house system, whereby the Assembly can legislate with the permission of
The Aberystwyth research also shows an increase in support for devolution amongst women, a reversal of the situation in 1997. Women were 5% more likely than men to be anti-devolution in 1997, but are now 5% less likely to answer the question in the same way.Dr Richard Wyn Jones, the director of the
The first part of Datganoli is shown on S4C tonight at .
Posted by Alan Jones at 06:46
Sunday, 16 September 2007
We see the widening gap of poverty between Wales and England. Britain, one of the richest countries in the western world suffers from poverty, with the gap increasing every year between the rich and the poor, and this is under a Labour government, a government which is no longer socialist, but which adopted the principles of Thatcherite Conservatism and called it "New Labour". It is not surprising that the Prime Minister welcomes the Iron lady into his new residence in Downing Street. She is his mentor. Across the Celtic Sea lies a land where poverty has been eliminated within one generation. That country is Ireland. When I visited Ireland in 1964 people, many of them children, were begging on the streets of Dublin. It was as if the clock had been put back a hundred years. Today, along with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Ireland is free from poverty and wide discrepancies in income and wealth.
What have these countries in common? They are all relatively small, egalitarian and industrious. They do not all have natural resources but they have enterprise. They are a fine example of what Wales could achieve once the political shackles are removed. In answer to those who say "Wales cannot afford it" (independence) I put it to you that Wales cannot afford not to.
Posted by Alan Jones at 09:44
Saturday, 15 September 2007
Today is the day to celebrate the life and deeds of Owain Glyndwr, a fighter for freedom and an academic and intellectual who set up universities in Wales and established the first Welsh Parliament and - to date - the last. We are determined, and should unite to achieve it, to set up the new Welsh Parliament in place of the National Assembly which, though it is the seat of government, has limited powers and cannot legislate for Wales in every field of governance. Most complaints laid against the Assembly relate to the fact that its hands are tied and it cannot carry out thoroughly the functions of government. Although it has recently been devolved further powers the fact remains that every law has to be approved and ratified by Westminster and the process is long, resulting in a delay of several months before the new law is put into force. This situation is not only tiresome - it is humiliating. It is the duty of every Welsh patriot, of whatever political complexion, to unite and campaign for a parliament for Wales - the People's Parliament.
Posted by Alan Jones at 22:39
Independence Cymru supports Adam Price's campaign for total control of all broadcasting services in Wales. It is scandalous the today (Saturday) there is no coverage of the Plaid Cymu Annual Conference in Llandudno. Adam Price will speak there today and we cannot watch him or listen in. Concerning Adam's suggestion that Plaid should form a coalition with Labour in Westminster I admit I have doubts and serious reservations, but am open to being persuaded. The arguments in favour had better be pretty cogent and convincing.
Posted by Alan Jones at 01:42
Friday, 14 September 2007
Sunday 16th July will be the commemoration of Owain Glyndwr Day. Not since the year 1402 A.D. has Wales experienced such a growth of a national consciousness that has come into fruition and has been expressed today at the Annual Conference of Plaid Cymru in Llandudno. Ieuan Wyn Jones, leader of the Party of Wales and the Deputy Chief Minister in government gave a speech which was truly magnificent and inspirational.
The hwyl which has resonated across the centuries was present at the conference today, and there is no stopping Wales and the Dragon from fulfilling its great and noble destiny.
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.
Posted by Alan Jones at 00:14
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Today a bronze statue of Owain Glyndwr, the most famous Welsh freedom fighter and patriot, is to be unveiled at Corwen, his birthplace in Denbighshire. This is three days before Owain Glyndwr Day, September 16th, which should be declared a national holiday. Let us now step up the campaign for a national holiday on St David's Day and also on this special day to commemorate our greatest Welsh hero.
Posted by Alan Jones at 22:34
I wish to reproduce in full the posting from Tartan Hero. This is truly scandalous.
Just watching the Dispatches programme on Channel Four which is exposing the real cost of the 2012 Olympics and how the rest of UK is paying for London's games. The Olympic Cash Machine is the aptly named title of the programme. Both the Telegraph and the Guardian have run stories on this on Friday last.
- The London Olympics costs have spiralled to £9billion (originally £2billion)
- London benefits to the tune of £5.9billion in public expenditure
- The rest of the UK loses £4billion in central resources
- Lottery Fund loses millions
- Many associated with running the Games will benefit financially from their involvement
Her tactics appeared to backfire as Kate Hoey, a Labour MP and ex-sports minister, rebuked Miss Jowell for interpreting constructive criticism as an attack on the London Games themselves.
And after it's all finished, London and the Lottery bodies will collect the receipts from the sale of the Olympic assets.
Posted by Alan Jones at 14:36
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
There are a number of campaigns for the Celtic Dot domain, dot.cym, dot.ker and dot.gal to name three proposals and now the campaigns within the Celtic nations are linking up. There is strength in numbers, and collaboration and solidarity among these nations can only be a good thing. Here is a posting from Cornubian on the Cornish Democrat blog :
So what about a ".ker" or ".cor" internet domain name for the Duchy?
Taken from the eurominority website.
Penygroes, Sunday, 12 August 2007 Une contribution de Huw Jones
The dots join up! Web domain campaigns to work together
Campaigners for web domains for Brittany, Galizia, the Basque Country and Wales are to meet in September in Santiago de Compostela (Galizia) to look into the possibility of a coalition of bids to the administrators of the Word Wide Web.
They have been inspired by the resounding success of the '.cat' domain for Catalan websites. There has been a 33% increase in the use of the Catalan language on the web since it was established last year, with over 22,000 websites using '.cat'. The leader of the '.cat' campaign, Amadeu Abril, has been extremely active in supporting and advising the other countries.
The campaigns in Brittany, Galizia and Wales have all succeeded, not only in gaining considerable support, but also in their aims of being non party political and inclusive. All three have avoided the controversy which often occurs when countries who do not have their own state attempt to gain forms of independent status.
Nearly 15,000 signatures have been collected by the Breton '.bzh' campaign and Nicolas Sarkozy has come out in favour. In Galizia the Partido Popular (The Spanish Conservative Party) have lent their support to '.gal'. Although the campaigns have been voluntary the applications will not succeed if there is opposition from governments.
In Wales all parties in the National Assembly support '.cym', and the London government's Department of Trade and Industry has stated that they "do not see any reason for opposing the application" so long as steps are taken to prevent cybersquatting - the malicious practice of setting up web names that are similar to those of well know companies or brands.
Wales has won official status for her language over the past 30 years, but there is concern regarding the way in which many Welsh speakers take for granted that English is the only language of information technology in the same way English was considered to be the only language of education, broadcasting and government in the past. According to Dewi Bryn Jones of the Welsh Software Association the hope is that '.cym' will "add to peoples' expectations of seeing Welsh on the screen". (Eurolang 2007)
Web Domain Campaigns:
Administrators of the World Wide Web:Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers: www.icann.org
Posted by cornubian
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:54
English nationalism, not Scottish, may decide the fate of the union
Just as Scotland is beginning to tire of the latest flurry of nationalist speculation, based on a couple of rather optimistic opinion polls, England has rediscovered perfidious Caledonia. Last week, the London press was full of challenges to Scotland to go for autonomy - if you think you're hard enough. Here's Simon Jenkins in The Guardian: "I would not lose any sleep if the Scots voted to repeal the 1707 Act it would do Scotland nothing but good to learn that public money does not grow on English trees." According to David Aaronovitch in The Times, the English "might moan about the passport man getting on the train near Berwick, but - with traditional complacency - would otherwise soon get over it".
Prospect magazine has been running a lively debate about the merits of independence since it ran a cover story last month about the apostasy of Scottish Tory historian Michael Fry, who has promised to vote SNP in May. The consensus is that it's only a matter of time.
Tory columnists such as Michael Portillo and Max Hastings have long been arguing that the Scots need to be taught a lesson by having the subsidy tap turned off at source; that England could survive and thrive without Scotland - now the oil has mostly run out - since it only constitutes a 12th of the UK population.
This is becoming close to a consensus among the commentariat. Curiously, it was left to a Scottish journalist, John Lloyd of the FT, whose lone voice made the case for the union on The Guardian's internet forum, commentisfree.
So much for the great crusade to defend the union launched by the Labour Cabinet last weekend. Tony Blair raised the Union Flag and nobody saluted. Simon Jenkins compared the posse of Labour ministers in Oban to "a bunch of Spanish hidalgos racing back from the fleshpots of Madrid to quell a revolt in their home province". English newspapers seemed utterly unmoved by warnings from home secretary John Reid that independence would leave the country vulnerable to terrorist attack and a flood of illegal immigrants.
But why has the union fallen out of favour so dramatically in England? Do all those organs of opinion really want to see Britain broken up? It is of course wrong to make sweeping generalisations about a country's attitudes, when there has been no real national debate on the issue. There may be millions of closet unionists south of the Border just waiting their moment to speak out.
However, I have been acutely aware in recent conversations with metropolitan editors and commentators of a resentment, an irritation with Scotland right now which is as unmistakable as it is puzzling. It is not my perception that Scotland is going through one of its anti-English phases, yet I keep being told the Scots just won't stop moaning and attacking the English. That we ask for more and more subsidies and then claim London is responsible for all our problems. That we "run" the Cabinet and are over-represented in Westminster. Yet, Scottish public spending is in relative decline and Scottish MPs were reduced by one sixth after devolution.
This has little to do with the Barnett Formula or the West Lothian Question. It's personal. Simon Jenkins wrote in The Guardian that: "Gordon Brown, probably the next prime minister, wears his distaste for England on his sleeve, and English voters sense it." That was an astonishing thing to say, when the chancellor has gone to such lengths to stress his love for the union and support for England in events like the World Cup.
There is a note of condescension, even contempt, creeping into a lot of media commentary which is becoming more than a little disturbing. This hostility is reflected in rather more Anglo-Saxon terms in emails and internet comments, many racist and unprintable, on my pieces. When will the Scots learn to stop complaining? Why don't you just Jock Off?
I am beginning to think all this may be displaced resentment about the way race has transformed English culture and society. There is a widespread but largely suppressed concern about the consequences of mass immigration in England. The editor of Prospect, David Goodhart, has been calling for "progressive nationalism", a return to British values and an unwinding of multiculturalism. He warns that unlimited immigration could undermine the welfare state by destroying the social contract that underpins it.
Now, for even suggesting there should be a debate on immigration, Goodhart has been vilified as being racist. A "liberal Powellite" is how he was described by the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, Trevor Phillips. Ironic, since Phillips was recently attacked as a BNP fellow traveller by London mayor Ken Livingstone. Phillips had said Britain is "sleep-walking to segregation" because of misplaced multiculturalism and the failure to integrate immigrant communities.
IT has become all but impossible to speak about identity in British political culture without being accused of racism. "There's a danger", said Phillips, "that increasingly we're so afraid to speak to each other about our differences that nobody can say what they mean." Well, there is one ethnic group about whom English people can say what they mean: the Scots.
When commentators talk of the Scottish "raj", "whingeing Jocks", etc, they can indulge in identity politics without fear of being accused of supporting the BNP. During last summer's footie wars, The Observer ran the front-page headline: "Brown under fresh pressure over Scottish roots". If Brown had been black the story would never have been printed.
This ethnic hostility is rife on the internet. It is an opportunity for English people to get it off their chests, to rant at the non-English, and to celebrate their own values. For one problem about criticising multiculturalism, and calling for a return to British values, is deciding what those values are. George Orwell's warm beer, cricket and spinsters on bicycles usually figure on the inventory of Britishness. But these are essentially English, rather than Scottish, values. It is not easy to have a Scottish "cricket test".
Now, I'm not for a second denying that Scots aren't guilty of this kind of communal hostility themselves. There is far too much anti-English feeling in Scotland which is excused as banter, but is - in its own way - racist. That's not the point.
This identity crisis may be one factor behind the withdrawal of English support for the union, and it is having a blow-back in Scotland. It may be that English nationalism is becoming a more important dynamic of constitutional change than Scottish nationalism. That like the Czech Republic before the velvet divorce from Slovakia, the momentum for dissolution is coming from the senior partner in the union.
Next year's 300th anniversary of the Act of Union is going to be very interesting.
Three hundred years of Union politics is enough; this is the point at which there has to be a major change in the structure of government in these islands. Scotland, Wales and Cornwall will disentangle themselves and form themselves into independent nations within Europe - that is, unless England gets there first.
Posted by Alan Jones at 03:48
Monday, 10 September 2007
Sep 10 2007
by Martin Shipton, Western Mail
Posted by Alan Jones at 01:03
Friday, 7 September 2007
It is time to move on from controversy, get down to basics and look at the problems facing
Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand, or if they do not there is something wrong with society. It is true to say there is a great deal that is wrong with society today, and it is evident all around, particularly in our towns and cities across the land. Society has lost its fundamental values which are there to underpin the structure of the nation. When these values are eroded society crumbles and degenerates, and crime and violence proliferate, together with more minor transgressions such as drunkenness, drug-taking, vandalism and littering. This is the state of our society today, both in
Posted by Alan Jones at 15:08
I have certainly stirred up a great deal of controversy and discussion, as evidenced by my stat counter, which yesterday recorded 199 people logging on to my blog. Then Ceredig devoted an entire posting on the extreme positions taken up between myself and my peripatetic adversary who I have now banned forever and exiled to the solitary wilderness of outer Flatholm.
I now need to make my real position clear to all. I am not as immoderate as Ceredig and others appear to think, though I am certainly for real and have very definite views which I am prepared to defend to the death. It may appear to some (British nationalists and others) that my views are extreme, but you may have noted from my posting that I am very much in favour of bringing people together for the sake of Welsh unity and national cohesion as well as the regeneration of communities and the inculcation of Welsh community values. I do not seek to promote discord but I have to stand for the truth and the restoration of justice for Wales. You see, for nationalists it is Wales that comes first, above everything, and these people, Johnny included, who persist in attacking or scorning Welsh culture, language and traditions need to be put in their place, and shown that they in no way represent the fundamental ethos of Wales.
Ideological considerations are secondary to us (true patriots) and our eventual goal is independence and freedom. Take a boat ride to Ireland and you will see its fruits. What appears extreme to some now will appear quite the normal everyday condition to their children and grandchildren as they bask in the warmth of the new Wales (Cymru Fydd). Think about it.
Posted by Alan Jones at 02:45
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
The overall effect of these incursions into foreign territory has been little short of disastrous. The training of an indigenous army and police force has been mismanaged, with hundreds of police would-be recruits killed by determined suicide bombers, while waiting outside the recruiting area, when this carnage could have been easily prevented by flying them in to the compound and out again. The government that was eventually set up was a puppet government, unrepresentative of the various political and religious groupings. So now, with the assistance and connivance of
What is the Welsh army doing there, battling under the unrepresentative flag of the
So bring back the Welsh army home to
"As a result of the assumption that a mercenary is exclusively motivated by money, the term "mercenary" carries negative connotations. There is a blur in the distinction between a "mercenary" and a "foreign volunteer", when the primary motive of a soldier in a foreign army is uncertain. For instance the French Foreign Legion and the Gurkhas are not mercenaries under the laws of war, but some journalists do describe them as mercenaries." - Wikipaedia
I have therefore removed it from the text.
Posted by Alan Jones at 14:08
1549 GLASNEY COMMEMORATION AT PENRYN
This was held just a week or two ago and the Grand bard spoke of the Bishop’s expression of regret for the bloodthirsty murders of 10% of the Cornish by the English back in 1549. Crowds attended the event this year and just a few of us posed by the memorial stone for a photograph, kilts, St. Piran’s flags, the flags of other Celtic Nations all on show. I was proud to be there and again realised that despite those who say we must look forward and not back, I say we must also keep an eye on the past, for a house built without foundations will not stand for long. The evening was occupied by a stunning performance by ‘All Folked Up’, Jack Bolitho’s group (visit them here: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=189243579) and we witnessed expert musicianship on the guitar, mandolin, banjo, bagpipes, flute, whistle and others. How Culture SW fails to recognise the fact that we are Cornish not English defies me ! The following day, I went to see my old pal, Graham Hart playing to a very lively crowd in
Posted by Alan Jones at 12:23
In a report by Tomos Livingstone in the "Western Mail" Peter Hain is asking for comments and opinions on the government's policies. So everyone can write to and email the Welsh Office with their views. Let us tell the Welsh Office to disband themselves and leave the legislators in the Assembly to run Wales, and tell Peter Hain to assist in setting up a Welsh Parliament, which is the right of every self-respecting nation. Deeds not words are what Wales needs.
However, all these comments and opinions should give the civil servants at the Welsh Office something to do to justify their unnecessary existence.
Mr Hain said, “Instead of just unleashing a legislative programme on one day, this is part of a process that people can be involved in. People can say what they feel should be in there that isn’t, or which proposals should be adjusted.”
He added, “The truth is that almost every bit of legislation that goes through Westminster affects Wales. Other than those matters which are properly devolved to the Assembly, there are huge numbers of bills – like the Pensions Bill – that are of vital interest to thousands of people.
“The message is, let me know what your views are, because a lot of what happens in Wales is run by the Assembly, but a lot of it isn’t.
“People shouldn’t disenfranchise themselves, they should talk to their MPs, and talk to me.”
Mr Hain said he expected the Wales Office to undertake similar direct-democracy projects in the future. “This is a serious approach to policy making and to parliamentary legislation.”
The first of the citizens’ juries announced by Mr Brown is due to meet in London tomorrow, to discuss children’s and youth services.
Posted by Alan Jones at 03:27
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
From the 'Guardian' poll :
The research compares data from all ICM polls carried out during the 2005 general election with all ICM polls carried out since Mr Brown became Labour leader in late June. The larger sample sizes allow an accurate assessment of each party's core strengths and weaknesses. Labour support has held up well in northern England, the east and the Midlands. During the 2005 campaign Labour averaged 45% in the north, compared with 47% now. Support has also risen in London, where it averaged 41% in 2005 and 48% now. In the south and south-west of England, Labour support is also resilient, at 28% now compared with 27% in 2005.
But the Labour party is struggling in Scotland and Wales, in the wake of the SNP's victory in this year's elections to Holyrood, dropping from 43% in 2005 to 36% now. That suggests Mr Brown may delay an election because he fears losing seats to the SNP (and Plaid Cymru) .
An election may not be held in Ocober - has Independence Cymru got it wrong?
Posted by Alan Jones at 10:35
Monday, 3 September 2007
At this very moment a confrontation is in progress between Cymdeithas yr Iaith and Carmarthenshire County Council in Pontyberem where Ffred Ffrancis and others have changed the locks of the local Welsh primary school which has been scheduled for closure, and have given the key to the community. Closure of the school deprives the Welsh community of its right to Welsh education in a Welsh-speaking community and drives another nail into the coffin of democracy denied. At some point it is apparent that a stand has to be made when uncaring and bureaucratic government rides rough-shod over the natural rights and requirements of a small and vibrant community. Democracy, if it is to function at all, must at times resist the incursions of rampant totalitarianism.
The point has been made and the occupation of the school is now ended.
Posted by Alan Jones at 23:31
Sunday, 2 September 2007
Let us now look at the pitfalls as well as the exciting possibilities, as we progress along this rocky road towards independence and full national sovereignty. As I see it the main stumbling block is winning over the people of Wales to the quest for separation from the union and the realisation that Wales would fare better by going it alone. People - some people at least - have dreamed of this since the year 1409, when it seemed that all hopes of freedom had been dashed forever. But the one great thing about the dragon is that it is indefatigable and resurgent. It is now, in the 21st century, rearing its head once more and twirling its tail in anticipation of what is to come.
The pitfalls and the snares which line the path of the dragon are as follows, as I see it :
1) the stultifying apathy of the people at large, including professed supporters, who have given up the struggle, adopted a fatalistic attitude, and have been cowered into submission by the dead weight of British bureaucracy and ineffectual policy of all Westminster parties towards Wales;
2) the mind conditioning brought about by habit and the assumption that the union is established and cannot be undone, that Britain is a nation of which Wales is a part and that there is an implied duty to support Britain in everything, come what may;
3) an ignorance of true facts and the history of the Welsh nation, and a failure to understand the details of the many struggles which arose from impositions from across the border and the denial of human rights. This includes the attempted eradication of the Welsh language;
4) the myth-making tactics of the opponents of any total devolution of power and those who believe in the superiority of Britain and the British way of life over that of other nations . These
myth-makers include Peter Hain - "separatists and isolationists", and Kim Howells - "separatists and incompetents" - with the backing of Lord Kinnock. These so-called representatives of the Welsh people, from Welsh constituencies, wish to hold back the tide of progress and do their best to impede political and social development.
Despite these pitfalls and snares there is a movement which gains momentum, inspired in part by developments in Scotland, and with Ireland already in place as a model of independent and successful democracy. The path is rockier than the "Rocky Road to Dublin" but the spirit of a resurgent dragon is not something to be ignored. The message goes out to all the opponents of "the new dynamic" in politics and the detractors and denigrators of self-determination ignore it at their peril. Cymru fydd will not be denied this time around.
Posted by Alan Jones at 01:58