Monday, May 22, 2006

Congratulations Montenegro - Llongyfarchiadau!

Congratulations to Montenegro on becoming the latest member of the international community. This beautiful country - the last constituent republic of Yugoslavia - voted to restore her independence after 90 years of waiting.

Of course, there's the usual unsubstantiated rubbish that Montenegro is 'too small' (around 600,00 inhabitants – 20% of the Welsh population) to become independent and won't survive 'by itself'.

Why do those against independence for smaller nations always say this?
Does the UK 'survive by itself' - does the UK grow its own bananas and build all her own cars and TV sets?

No doubt when the US citizens were fighting for their independence there were unionist and Brits saying the US 'couldn't survive without Britain'.

Take a look at the facts boys, the small 'uneconomic' nations of Europe are doing quite well - Luxembourg, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Slovenia, Estonia... - you get the point. It's just cod-economic and prejudice that says Wales or Scotland wouldn't do well too.

The Montenegrins over came the EU's gerrymandering 55% threshold too, which made every vote for independence worth less than one against. The independence vote got 20% more than Labour got at the last election.
People, well Brit Nats and French Nats, may complain about 'too many countries' in Europe. What's the problem?

A diversity of nation states shows a healthy diversity of respect for different language and cultures. It's a sign of Europe's strength and democracy that so many states exist. Brits may patronise the 'Balkans' and their 'ethnic wars' but what was the First and Second World War?

Ethnic boundaries? Isn't every boundary in Europe an 'ethnic border' created by war? North and Southern Ireland, Germany and France, Germany and Denmark, France and Italy etc. And for all their talk about 'ethnic hatred' there isn't one East European language which is facing extinction such as Breton under the French state and Scots Gaelic and Welsh in the UK.

Good on Montenegro - an example to us all. Can't wait to see the tourist brochures - looks like a beautiful country.


wonkotsane said...

I think you'll find that when people say Wales can't survive outside the UK they are probably referring to the fact that the country receives several billion pounds per year in subsidies from English taxes to break even. I wonder if Montenegro was a net receiver in their union like Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are.

Good luck to them I say. Hopefully this sets a precendent and we will soon see the rest of the UK declare its independence and stop relying on English taxes.

pads said...

"several billion pounds"?

Can you give actual figures for your claim? Or are you just making an assumption?

wonkotsane said...

It was around £5bn last year if I remember rightly. The figure is expected to rise to £7bn by 2008 I think. I would have to trawl back through the BBC archives to find the exact figures.