Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rhys Williams 2

The more I think about it, the more I believe Plaid Cymru should have made a political issue of Rhys Williams's article in Barn.

At the time I believed that it was best that Plaid let the matter rest, content that Rhys had given himself enough rope. There is also the matter of free speech and of an avoidance to go back to poisonous cesspit which was Welsh politics in 2001/02 when Labour pounced on any comment, and with faux horror and no irony, turned them into some supposed Nazi/racist spleen.

In fact, Rhys Williams, for all his hatred of Plaid Cymru and nationalism (that's the Welsh version not the British version of the Labour party), should go on his knees and thank Plaid for not playing sixth form politics with his silly comments. But were Plaid wrong to be so magnanimous?


Rhys Williams's comments, which belie the deep-felt feelings of many Labour people, is in the same intellectual tradition which allowed Stalin to unleash his man-made famine on Ukraine, the Holodomor. It's right for Plaid to point the direct line between Rhys Williams's thoughts and Stalin's actions.

The deep-set prejudice is all there: dislike of 'peasantry' or country people; a feeling of superiority of the 'intellectual', forward thinking urban society as set against the 'conservatism' right wing of the country folk. A suspicion that these country people speak their own language (Welsh / Ukrainian) to cut others out of their closed society. Their inability to see the enlightened benefits of Labour/International Communism/Stalinism. Their supposed counter-revolutionary insistence on keeping a language and culture which is used to undermine this enlightenment left-wing movement.

Armed with this intellectual certainty inherited from the communist and socialist high-priests, Stalin could starve the Ukrainian population, safe in the knowledge that the phase of dehumanising them had already been done through hundreds and thousands of books and pamphlets extolling the virtues of the urban proletariat against the supposed selfish, religion-obsessed conservatism of the country people - those kolkols not sensible enough to see the virtues of collectivisation. Stalin killed millions all in the name of equality, internationalism, modernism and anti-nationalism of course.

Stalin's effort to wipe our the bourgeois middle-class of the smaller nations of the USSR (see crachach in Labour speak) is also part of William's strategy. He attacks the Welsh middle class but doesn't suggest changing them or putting anything in their place. The strategy is to eliminate a self-conscious Welsh-speaking middle class (' bourgeois intellectuals' in Stalin speak) because of their threat to communist/Labour hegemony. Leaving us with a middle-class which is identical in culture and political outlook to the accepted metropolitan 'norm'.

Rhys Williams's is perfectly in line with the beliefs which underpinned Stalinism. For some reason this is conveniently overlooked by Plaid whilst all discussions by Labour of Welsh nationalism, from keeping Welsh a living community language in Gwynedd, to Welsh medium education in Cardiff, has that 'knowing look' that Welsh nationalism is but one step away from cattle-trucks and gas chambers. Labour really hasn't moved on. Worse still, gets away with this by a compliant BBC.

Rhys isn't Stalin, but his prejudice towards the Welsh speaking community and especially that of rural Wales belies the same pathology and hatred which was the warm sea in which Stalin swam. There's no use pointing out the contradictions and mistakes in Rhys's world view.

His rather bizarre section in the article which implies that urban people (an idealised version of the Valleys of his youth in this instance) are more egalitarian than country folk is contradicted by all social report which point to the fact that the South Wales Valleys are very socially as well as economically conservative. The line that rural societies are right wing when his government has been hand in glove with the greed of the City is beyond a joke. It's an irony which communist nomenklatura habitually threw up to smear any meaningful discussion on economic reform and power-structures.

Plaid; Elin Jones, Adam Price, should have made the link between Rhys Williams's pathology and Stalin's. Only then will we start to see some humility, some realism and some common sense in Labour's discussion of Wales and Welshness. As it is Labour can get away with the big lie that Welsh nationalism is but one train-stop away from Nazism willfully ignorant of the common link between their prejudices and Stalin's atrocities.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

hmmm? i think this issue was been resolved already right? thanks for your post and keep up the writings..

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