welsh flag

On Being Welsh and Against Independence

Welsh people, of which I am one, are fiercely nationalist until confronted with the alarming prospect that we might have to actually, you know, be independent. We’re alright where we are to be honest with our Bara, Cawl, leeks, sheep and valleys.

There would be too many issues with Welsh independence because

  1. The language is not standard across the country. Even the light carefully neutral welsh of Hinterland caused dissent and argument. Half of us don’t speak it, the other half spend most of their time arguing about it (in English). And to be honest – we just make shit up, double up a few letters, drift off at the end of a word add an assertive “See” or “Ny” to the end of every sentence and dare the listener to challenge. Even with my poor Welsh I can spot my relatives making up a word for something like “wind turbine” and furtively glancing around to see if the newly made-up word has been delivered with enough confidence.

  2. The North / South divide is deeply ingrained. It’s possibly even genetically hard wired in. For me as a North Welsh person, Wales ends at Aberystwyth and becomes some sort of vague no-mans land. Cardiff and Swansea are in England. My Southern country kin probably think Caernarfon and Llandudno are in Merseyside. Chester is in Wales, all of it, which is a good thing as my Welsh “too many English in the village” Mother lives there. As for the Mid, well that depends, if it’s good they’re in North, if it’s bad they’re in S.Wales/England. Llanidoes is like the island from Lost, floating in some cloudy ether between North and South Wales. We do come together for some common matters of pride, Rob Brydon, our alleged ability (a) to sing, rugby and scones.

  3. There are not enough of us so after the vote regardless of how it turns out, when half the country hates the other half, we’re probably related and this could cause catastrophic family break downs. This is my worry for Scotland; the vote seems it’s going to be such a close run thing, whatever happens the country ends up divided.

  4. We Welsh like moaning about England. Actually, we just like moaning full stop. For a lot of Welsh people  bleak and dour is our default setting. Even the most chipper conversation in a room full of Welsh people will manage to find some miserable aspect. “Rhodri’s won the lottery” “Duw! And his bank is two bus rides away. Two!” If being morose was a sport it wouldn’t just be rugby we excel at...

  5. I don’t need a border and economic/political independence to be Welsh, which is where I think some Scots Yes voters are getting distracted. It is possible to have a strong cultural identity without being politically separate. Looking at non-indigenous communities proves that.

    The arguments with government will not go away because of some independent Utopia but will just be with a different government. That smug feeling won’t last long and England will not be there to blame anymore.

  6. I keep reading the Yes campaign stating that this is a chance for Scottish people to have a say in how Scotland is run. I don’t understand what will change with independence that gives the ordinary person a louder voice. I can’t see Jones the Political listening to me any differently once he’s had my Yes for Independence vote. I’m just not convinced by the campaigns that claim “we the people of Wales have the right to a say in how our country is run” I don’t think “we the people” will have any more or less of a say. For example – Wales has free prescriptions, which is great, but there are some who would have preferred that money to go into something else equally great. There was no “we the people decided” it was “some of the people” liked what a “handful of the elite decided”.

  7. A lot of us Welsh live in England, and a lot of English live in Wales. Happily. What of our real immigrant population, our Indian, Caribbean, Chinese, Eastern European people who may be 2nd, 3rd generation. They must look at some of the “sod off back to England” campaigning and wonder where on earth they fit in. If we turn on our own indigenous people after so many years of apparent harmony what does it say to them and their place in the UK. I have a sense that dismantling borders is more progressive and inclusive than building new ones unless communities just can’t live together and it all kicks off.

  8. It all looks a bit starry eyed to me, a romantic view of what national identity means. I may fly the Fflag (b) Cymraeg see, but I have no intention of moving back to Wales in the near future. I certainly don’t hate the English or England. However if there is a push to independence will I feel some sort of pressure to go back, if only to secure my No vote that I don’t want the land I love to throw herself to isolated ruin.

  9. The Independence campaigners also strike me as hostile and adopt the very attitude they claim to want rid of. Welsh Independent campaigners rant about how the English silence us but then proceed to silence any voices who do not agree. You only have to glance at twitter to see the aggressive reaction from Yes voters towards No or Neutral voters.

  1. (a)I’m not so sure we can sing, I think we are good at giving singing our best uninhibited shot (think Jones, Bassey, Tyler and the shouty woman from Catatonia)
    (b)I went to google translator to check the Welsh word for Flag and immediately had an argument with the screen as it insisted that Finor was the correct word. So off I went to a north Welsh translation site and got a similar answer, told it to f-off (in English) and continued to use Fflag.  

I am finding this both entertaining and thought provoking. The shouty woman from Catatonia is called Cerys I think, I quite like them.
Me too, on the entertaining and thought provoking. Cerys Matthews? She pops up a lot on Radio 4 and talks quite a lot of sense.