Thursday, 7 January 2010
Making the Right Choice
Independence is the natural goal of any nationalist movement. Following the end of the Second World War and the collapse of the British Empire which became known as the British Commonwealth a number of countries declared their independence, and not only from British rule - India, Burma, Ghana etc. - but from German, French, Dutch, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese rule also. Other countries with smaller empires were Denmark, Belgium, Japan and the United States.
Independence movements have used a variety of means to engage in their quest for freedom. They have, at different times, used armed rebellion (Ireland and the US), civil disobedience (India) and parliamentary representation (Wales, Scotland) with differing results.The Soviet empire disintegrated as a result of the spread of communications and the failure of the communist economic system and following the aborted revolts in Hungary and Czechoslovakia. In East Germany and North Korea the borders were sealed in an effort to prevent the escape of the citizens but in the end it is the will of the people that triumphs.
In Wales, most nationalist movements have coalesced into a single political party, Plaid Cymru and its youth wing CymruX, as these days there is little support for the Welsh Republican Army. The events in northern Ireland have shown that violence begets violence, and government has come up with a new solution - devolution of powers.
Plaid's political programme is basically socialist, radical, reformist and progressive but the Party of Wales welcomes members of every political hue, from right wing conservatives to left wing socialists, though it has no sympathy with anyone with extreme views, particularly British nationalists and the BNP. Nor does it see eye to eye with UKIP on Europe. The closest fellow-travellers are deemed to be the Greens.
The reality of the situation as it is today in Britain is as follows. At the Welsh Assembly, in the Northern Irish Assembly and at the Scottish Parliament there are nationalist parties - Plaid Cymru, the SNP, Sinn Fein and the SDLP, and then there are Unionist parties, the main ones being the Conservative/Unionist Party, the Labour Party and the Liberal Democratic Party. No unionist party, up to now, is willing to grant independence to Scotland and Wales or to unify Ireland. The most they are willing to do is to confer powers of devolution gradually, and at times reluctantly, to the various administrative institutions.
Leaving political convictions aside, it seems to me that if independence is the cause and the eventual goal for the nations of Britain the voters at the coming election must ask a simple question: "Am I a nationalist and do I desire national autonomy for my country or am I a unionist and support the present union of Great Britain and Northern Ireland?" This view has been described as "simplistic", but let me explain.
Any person who considers him/herself to be a nationalist may vote Plaid Cymru, SNP or Sinn Fein/SDLP. They all have their social and economic programmes, even free prescriptions and so on, and whether one agrees wholly or partially or disagrees with their policies wholly or partially one should pose the question: "Which is the most important issue? Is it freedom or subjection?" For subjection it is, when a democratically elected Assembly or Parliament is told what it is allowed to receive.
It is something to consider when election day finally arrives. "Which is my country, what do I want for my country and which party will bring about real democratisation and representation for my country? Do I want to make a difference or am I content to take more of the same?" What it comes down to is this: " Am I in favour of an independent nation in Europe or a dependent nation within a Unionist nation-state in Europe?"
Leave aside for the time being the matter of right and left wing politics, come together and unite in the cause of independence.
Read this: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/blog/talking_politics/article/86644/
Fixed Term parliaments are requested Mr C.