Friday, October 26, 2007

Sir Emyr Jones Parry

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Sir Emyr Jones Parry was chosen to lead the convention to prepare the way for a referendum on further power to the Assembly.

I don't know anything much about him or his political leanings. They say he's Welsh-speaking, but my guess (and I could be wrong) is that after a career in London and abroad his Welsh must be a little rusty. Yes, Plaid and Labour should have had the good grace to consult the Tories and LibDems, but it still seemed a good choice and one which gave status to an important process.

But then, I'm not anti-Welsh language. Funny how Brit Nat Don Touhig called Emyr JP a member of the 'crachach' - never heard him say that about Lord Richard - but then Richard was a well-known Labour supporter, and more importantly, couldn't speak Welsh.

Funny how Crachach seems to be the only Welsh word Brit Nats know. It verges on racism to my mind. Most countries would have been glad to have a former UK ambassador fronting a debate on devolution. I dare say, were Emyr JP not a Welsh speaker, and didn't have such a Welshie name, then Touhig would have no problem. I dare say, coming from Carmarthenshire, aged 60 old, then Emyr JP didn't have much choice about being able to speak Welsh or not, it wasn't his choice; same as it's not someone's choice if they're born black or not. I suppose he could redeem himself by unlearning Welsh and giving himself an English name - a sort of linguistic Michael Jackson with the Uncle Tom cringe like so many past Labour MPs have done.

Crachach - it's just sheep dog whistling for 'Welsh-speaker', same as 'Muslim' can be used for 'Paki' isn't it?

Terrible thing eh - Welsh Assembly, in Welsh capital chooses Welsh person, who knows Welsh history and culture (in both languages) to front open debate about that referendum which would give Wales more power and which both governing Welsh parties have signed up to support. Yes, you can be too Welsh in Wales and if you don't like people who are too Welsh, then you join the Labour party... and Labour can't work out why their vote collapsed among Welsh-speakers in the May election?

Terrible thing eh? Labour MPs, all bar a few, will be totally forgotten in a few years time, can't bare to see the power slip from their hands. Wales is changing and the Brit Nats can't take it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Scandinavianisation of Britain

Found this on an English nationalist forum... couldn't have put it better myself:

Scandinavia, a region of five countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland and Finland), has seen its constituent countries form different unions with each other from the Middle Ages to 1918, until Iceland became the last independent nation. They share similar cultures and similar languages, but have remained separate sovereign nations ever since.

So for a lot of people, a possible break-up to the United Kingdom is something they fear, believing this would cause many problems and challenges. The prospect of this raises many questions. However, one only has to look towards Scandinavia to realise all these questions have already been answered:

Would the home nations be economically viable?
The Scandinavian nations top all tables on average wealth per person. Size of country has no bearing on economic success. No reason why the home nations can’t be economically successful too.

Isn’t Britain stronger together? Wouldn’t England, for example, have a lower standing in the world than Britain?
If enjoying a high standing in the world means participating in numerous foreign wars, who needs that? Does a Swede, who lives in a wealthy nation, and has not seen his country fight a war for 200 years, envy our status? I seriously doubt it. Perhaps countries like the USA, Russia and China dominate world markets, but their citizens don’t enjoy the same wealth per person as in the Scandinavian countries. And if a lower world standing also means not sending men into space or topping an Olympic medals table – then I can live with that.

Would there be passport/border controls between the home nations?
No. There are no border controls between the Nordic countries.

Many Scottish people have relatives in England and vice versa. Doesn’t this make independence difficult?
Not when there’s free movement of people between nations as per Scandinavia.

What would be the constitutional position with the monarchy?
In Scandinavia, some countries are kingdoms, some are republics. It’s up to each home nation to decide their constitutional position.

Wouldn’t there be problems if England was a member of the EU, but Scotland and Wales weren’t?
Denmark and Sweden are in the EU, but Norway isn’t, and there are no problems.

And wouldn’t it be difficult for Scotland and Wales economically, when they have a much larger economic neighbour in England?
Hasn’t affected Denmark, who share their border with Germany.

Would the break-up of Britain lead to problems with security? Especially if England has an independent Scotland on its northern border?
Why? Is there a problem with security in Scandinavia? Is England likely to do something that will prompt an invasion of a foreign army? If Scotland did, would that automatically mean this army would move onto England? Even in the dark days of WW2, when Germany invaded Norway and Denmark, this didn’t spread to Sweden.

But on a small island, there must be issues where there needs to be co-operation?
Indeed, and this is true in Scandinavia. However, these issues are dealt with by the Nordic Council, without impairing any of the nations’ sovereignty.

I don’t know if I’ve listed all of the questions regarding this issue, but I’m sure if you need an answer – look to Scandinavia.

Northumbrian - Newcastle upon Tyne

It's time we started to talk about the Scandinavianisation of Britian and not allow the Brit Nats to scare people with silly words like the 'Balkanisation of Britain'. We can create an island of mutual respect and cultural plurality... what's so extreme about that?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Welsh Signs

Just a quick posting following on from the posting below on Super Brit Nat's problem with Welsh having status in its own country .

It's also to lay to rest any difficulty people in general may have with bilingual sings, especially some rather dull drivers in the Swansea area who aren't able to read Welsh (after living in Wales all their lives! Yes, they have a God-given right to speak just English and never ever to be contaminated by Welsh).

The Assembly commissioned £53k report (yes, they could have built a children's hospital and a new school for that) to find out the effects of bilingual signage. And just to make sure it was impartial, the research was undertaken by people in that Welsh-speaking bastion - Leeds.

The conclusion, well, people really aren't as thick as some Labour Brit Nat members think they are. Just think... they'll have to find another fig-leaf to cover their views.