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Wings Over Scotland


Looking up with envy

Posted on November 21, 2013 by

Visiting Scotland by train has always been an uplifting experience for me. There’s something very special about crossing the border into Dumfries and taking in those spectacular vistas as the train rumbles northwards. I’ve always considered this wonderful and spirit-enhancing landscape to be a metaphor for Scotland itself, full of glorious potential just waiting to be realized.

dumfries

This journey also takes us through the lands of “Yr Hen Ogledd” (the old north), the heartland of the old Brythonic language, the prototype of modern Welsh and the seven kingdoms which established themselves in the intervallum of several centuries after the Romans left these shores in 400 AD.

The old Brythonic names of these kingdoms such as Ystrad Clud (Strathclyde), Galwyddel, (Galloway), Aeron (Ayrshire) and Lleddeiniawn (Lothian), are instantly recognizable to a modern-day Welsh speaker, and being confronted with a cultural link which stretches back over well over 1,000 years cannot fail to touch one deeply.

The motif of a Scottish journey is also quite apt, bearing in mind the lead-up to next year’s independence referendum. Far from being the dry, constitutional issue that some feared it would be, what strikes this keen Welsh observer is the sheer vitality and creativity of the grass-roots nature of the YES campaign.

It’s turning out to be much, much more than the process of political independence itself. It’s about re-imagining a country, re-imagining what sort of communities can be built within that country, and ultimately re-imagining what individuals themselves can be and become in such a new country.

It must be fantastic to be living in Scotland during such a heady and epoch-making period. Spare a thought then for your very envious Celtic cousins here in Wales.

The coalition at Westminster has just declared that Wales must now hold a referendum to achieve a small modicum of tax-varying powers for the Senedd. Even more depressingly, the political class in Wales seems to have meekly accepted this unionist diktat, with very few dissenting voices. Furthermore, Labour First Minister Carwyn Jones has kicked such a proposal into even longer grass by declaring that he doesn’t believe that such a referendum could be won at this point in time.

This situation – Scotland actively moving towards independence and Wales trailing hopelessly behind – is of course a reflection of wider historical factors. Wales lost its independence at the end of the 13th century, whilst Scotland remained a nation state for a further 400 years, enabling the Scots to build up national institutions in areas like education, law and media, forging a strong and enduring Scottish identity.

The modern civic nationalism presented by the SNP is firmly grounded in this identity, enhanced by a common language appropriated as a Scottish language for several centuries. Compare this with the fragmented nature of Welsh identity. Having had to share such a porous border with all-powerful, invasion-happy England, with no means of forging its own political institutions, the idea of Wales only managed to survive at all because of the cultural continuity provided by the existence of the Welsh language.

One of the great Welsh poet RS Thomas’s abiding themes was the ever-present threat of cultural annihiliation, suggesting in essence that all of Wales is border country. The further internal divisions within Wales was also well summarized in the Three Wales model outlined by political commentator Denis Balsom in the 1980s.

This model argues that Wales can be divided into three parts; Y Fro Gymraeg (the Welsh-speaking heartlands in the west); Welsh Wales (the old industrial areas in the valleys, strongly Welsh identifying, albeit through the medium of English); and British Wales (parts of north-east Wales, southern Pembrokeshire, and the two big cities in the south, Cardiff and Newport, areas which have traditionally identified themselves as more British than Welsh).

senedd

Since devolution in 1999, politicians and opinion-formers have hesitatingly attempted to construct a Civic Wales project, seeking to unite these disparate areas in order to move Wales forwards. There are however some major problems with this approach. The Civic Wales project is fast marginalizing the Welsh language (currently spoken by around 23% of the population), in order to achieve a pan-Wales consensus through the medium of English. It pays lip-service to the idea of a “bilingual Wales”, while shying away from any real measures to tackle the growing anglicization in Y Fro Gymraeg.

Furthermore, it could be argued that the Civic Wales project is a really no more than a regionalist approach driven primarily by the tribal needs of Welsh Labour to maintain their vice-like grip on Wales and retain the comfort blanket provided by Westminster. Under this vision, Wales is really no more than a convenient administrative unit, which poses no threat to the British status quo.

Plaid Cymru, the Welsh national party, obviously has to be part of the Civic Wales project, but in doing so, there’s a danger of the party being co-opted into the project’s utilitarian rationale. Over the past few years, Plaid has modelled its approach on the SNP’s vision for Scotland, aiming for independence, but also emphasizing the catch-all terms of accountability, responsibility, and democracy.

The party has a new female leader in Leanne Wood who is starting to make an impact, and who is probably more in touch with grass-roots nationalists in Wales than any previous leader in Plaid Cymru’s 85-year history. But some wonder whether Plaid’s bid to replicate the Civic Scotland approach is really enough in Wales at this point in time.

What seems to be missing from the Civic Wales project is any consistent and trenchant critique of the British state and how it has created the problems that we actually face in Wales today, reflected in the fact that there’s something like a £9 billion deficit in the Welsh budget despite it suffering from some of the worst poverty, ill-health, obesity and mental health problems to be seen in the whole of Europe.

Unfortunately, the political consensus insisted upon with the Civic Wales project means that the damage the UK is continuing to inflict on our country has to be constantly downplayed. Plaid Cymru are doing a good job of holding Welsh Labour to account in the Senedd, but almost 15 years after the arrival of devolution, Wales desperately needs more nationalist voices.

Scotland has the SNP, SSP, Scottish Greens and a growing faction within Labour all actively campaigning for independence. Achieving this type of nationalist plurality is just as important for Wales. To that end a new party, Plaid Glyndwr, has recently been formed to contest the UK and Welsh elections in 2015 and 2016, promising a more political, as opposed to cultural, nationalism than that of Plaid Cymru.

Whatever the implications for our own particular journey, apart from the grassroots momentum mentioned earlier, two additional factors suggest that Yes will prevail in Scotland next September.

UKIP is likely to do very well in next year’s European elections in England, taking votes from the three main unionist parties. This will obviously shift the whole political terrain at Westminster to the right, and is surely likely to influence how Scottish voters approach the independence issue a few months later.

But there’s at least an upside to that grim prospect. Such success for UKIP will also introduce an all-important change meme into the political landscape – that the British state in its present format is no longer fit for purpose.

*Aled Job is branch secretary for Plaid Cymru in Felinheli, NW Wales.

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51 to “Looking up with envy”

  1. Malcolm says:

    Thanks for the inspiring article… just when I was beginning to feel weighed down under the relentless torrent of negativity from Project Fear/MSM.
     
    I wonder what Aled makes of Carwyn Jones’ contribution today?

  2. Robert McDonald says:

    It’s aye an education when I visit this place, can’t say how much I appreciate it and all your work Stuart. Chapeau Sir!

  3. Training Day says:

    Nice article, Aled – quite cleansing in fact after the bilge from the ‘Scottish’ MSM we’ve been forced to endure this week and the ignorant intervention by the Labour apparatchik whom one hopes our Welsh friends will turf out on his ear as soon as possible.

  4. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Anyone who sneers at Gaelic, Welsh, or other ‘minority’ languages (and plenty of us do, in one way or another) should read this essay by Iain Crichton Smith – if you lose your language, you cease to exist.
     
    It’s a chunky read, but well worth the time spent.
     
    http://www.alastairmcintosh.com/general/resources/1982-Iain-Crichton-Smith-Real-People-Real-Place.pdf

  5. John McKay says:

    Reading Aled’s excellent article serves to remind me how far we’ve come. Keep pounding the streets guys, and get the DK’s along to meetings. Visit Business for Scotland website for the killer facts on the economy. Gordon McIntyre-Kemp is our not-so-secret weapon. Good luck to The Welsh- they’ll need it. There’s always a welcome in the hillsides. 

  6. Wingman 2020 says:

    Anyone interested in an all day (Televised – BBC) white paper event in Edinburgh?
    Or an event early December – ‘In Conversation with Nicola S’ ?

  7. Andy-B says:

    Thanks Aled, for the insight into the Welsh struggle, Plaid Glyndwr, what an inspiring name for a party, if I were Welsh I’d sign up right away.

  8. Jimsie says:

    Good piece Aled and very interesting touching on our shared history. That the language spoken in ancient south of Scotland was a form of Welsh is not known to many Scots. This is due to suppression of our history and culture by our unionist biased education system. Many of our place names are Welsh- Torthorwald,Tinwald,Tynron and our smallest named place Ae being examples. Of course we have other languages, Scots Gaelic, Doric, Lallans and of course English. According to George Robertson ( former Secretary General of NATO ), speaking recently on the subject of culture and language declared ” we have none of that”. This from a man born and raised on Islay where there are still Gaelic speakers.

  9. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    Robertson probably meant “we will have none of that”

  10. chalks says:

    Interesting that you think another pro Welsh indy group will amount to something?  I think it will just split the welsh nationalist vote?

    Folk with pro indy beliefs need to stick together, especially when they are up against it.

    Of course, if Plaid Cymru can steal some Labour supporting voters with policies a little bit more to the left, then I guess it could work if the new Plaid group are ramping up the protest vote?

    I dunno though, wish you all the best, but surely compromise could have been reached?

  11. Papadocx says:

    Think BT might have opened up another unintended self inflicted wound. IFS is their catchword  
    which has no resonance left in it. 
    Yes are playing the game well at this moment even though it gives me uncomfortable moments at times.
     
    There will be a blizzard of shit next Tuesday, then we’ll see.
     
    thank you Aled it has given me a lift and I won’t forget it. Your first minister is not welcome. 

  12. Linda's Back says:

    O/T  Hearing Miliband’s outrage at Tories smears over his financial adviser rCo-op Bank boss Paul Flowers.
    I agree that such smears have no place in civilised political debate but has Miliband ever listened the more extreme smears from Labour MPs , Johann Lamont and others directed at Alex Salmond.
    Mind you a fine put down by our First Minister when Lamont introduced Fred Goodwin into the proceedings by reminding her that Fred Goodwin was Alistair Darling’s financial adviser.

  13. dodecostanza says:

    Your description of the train journey reminded me of this poem by Norman MacCaig.

    London to Edinburgh

    I’m waiting for the moment
    when the train crosses the Border
    and home creeps closer
    at seventy miles an hour.

    I dismiss the last four days
    and their friendly strangers
    into the past
    that grows bigger every minute.

    The train sounds urgent as I am,
    it says home and home and home.
    I light a cigarette
    and sit smiling in the corner.

    Scotland, I rush towards you
    into my future that,
    every minute,
    grows smaller and smaller.

  14. Ian Sanderson says:

    Thanks Aled for the history / geography lesson.  I wish I’d had more of that while at school myself.
     
    Good luck to all the Welsh Nationalists…

    I hope that the Yes campaign makes use of your article.

  15. Thepnr says:

    Aled, thanks for taking the time to write this article. I believe that we have a lot more friends in Wales and even the North of England than Better Together would like us to think.
     
    Good luck with your political struggle and hopefully Scotland after a Yes vote can show those disadvantaged by UK policies that there truly is a better way to run a country. One that is for the majority and not just the privileged few.

  16. Juteman says:

    Very nice article Aled.
    If we manage to secure a YES, then i’m confident Scotland can turn away from the Westminster madness, and create a different kind of society. Hopefully this will be the catalyst for the Welsh. If folk in Wales can see Scotland doing well free from the Westminster anchor, then who knows what might happen elsewhere. This applies to the Northern English too, which is why the British State will try every dirty trick in the book during this campaign.

  17. lumilumi says:

    Thanks, Aled, for some Welsh insights on the day the Welsh (unionist Labour) FM was all over the Scottish media telling Scots they cannae do it! 😀
     
    I’ve been to Wales a few times on holiday (hillwalking, coastal walking etc.) and it always struck me how different it was from Scotland. As a non-Brit I surely shouldn’t be noticing all these differences within the British Isles..? ;-D
     
    You are right, Wales’s situation is very different from Scotland’s. Wales was on the brink of forming into a unified Welsh kingdom (nation) when it was conquered by England, whereas Scotland was an independent country for hundreds of years until the King of Scots also succeeded to the English throne and the parliaments “united” only a hundred years later.
     
    With that in mind… How productive is it re. elections to have two Welsh nationalist-minded parties? Won’t they just be eating off each other’s vote, especially in the FPTP constituency vote? Thereby letting Labour or Tories get in instead?
     
    I confess I know very little about the political landscape of Wales but wouldn’t it be wiser to work within Plaid Cymru, grow its support and try and change the party’s emphasis and priorities from within? If the final goal is by and large the same?

  18. Juteman says:

    Snap, Thepnr!
    I was typing almost the same post as you at the same time! 🙂

  19. ronnie anderson says:

    ALED, Many thanks for your piece, Scottish Referendem / Independene will be a watershed for the Welsh people, there will be a chorus of voices ( I we have a few chanters in our hillsides ) shouting you on to your Independence, dont yous be a stranger ,s too the Indy sites, post up Welsh Indy sites. all the best

  20. Robert Kerr says:

    Thank you Aled, I travel to Wales a fair amount, Friends in the North, Relations in the South. I enjoy driving the roads and walking the hills.

    After this Referendum I shall take time to do some things I have wanted to do. 
     
    Do I learn Gaelic or Welsh? or some mathematics?
     
    I have already posted that Edward I didn’t win. His castles bankrupted England, Beaumaris was never finished. The dragon flag flies over them now. Well done Cadw!
    http://cadw.wales.gov.uk/?lang=en

  21. Juteman says:

    OT, but watching Pointless on the TV at the moment. I know!
    Anyway, the presenter was making fun of Mc/Mac names.
    Pat McNee  = ‘pat my knee’, etc
    Normally I would just laugh at silly stuff like that, but it made me realise how easily we accept casual racism?/piss taking from our southern neighbours. This campaign has switched on my ‘anti-Scots’ radar.
    Would he have made such a joke about someone with an African surname?

  22. Stuart Black says:

    @dodecostanza, thanks for that, I do love Norman MacCaig.

  23. Stuart Black says:

    Oh yes, and thanks Aled, inspiring words, and good luck to you.

  24. Jingly Jangly says:

    Isnt Wales the Anglo-Saxon for foreigner, we cant be having your sorts here on our web.

    Don’t you know we cant speak to Foreigners otherwise the wrath of Alistair Darling will be upon us all…

    Seriously good luck with the new party, what about the Roger Waters song for your theme tune, cant remember the name but it was set in Wales and the lyrics sort of went,

    “do we serve in the officers club or head for the hills!!!!”

  25. JLT says:

    Aled,
    Your article is actually very thought provoking. For many of us here, we believe that Wales is a bit like Scotland when it comes to politics; the Welsh Labour Party and Plaid Cymru. What you have written here is actually quite insightful, and tells us just that little bit more about the political setup.

    One thing to take to heart from then. If Scotland does become independent, then it will surely have everyone in Wales asking the question, ‘What about Wales? Where do we go from here? Is the Union worth it now?’

    If anything, Scotland leaving, may actually cause Welsh Nationalism to come to the fore. After all, will the Welsh want to remain in a union that only now contains England and NI. Many might feel, just as many Scots do now, that the Union will have had its day. With the Republic of Ireland already gone, and Scotland heading for the exit, it will lead to many, not just in Wales, but even in England, if the Union should just be dissolved, and instead, a new equal partnership should arise; all nations of the British Isles independent, but working closely together.

    Who knows what may happen to Wales, should Scotland become independent. Certainly, the Welsh people will be asking questions, and certainly from their own politicians. If the right answers are not given (just as we have seen from Scottish Labour), then the Welsh people may start to demand self-autonomy.

  26. caz-m says:

    STV Scotland Today is really startin to annoy me.
    The way they run their sound bites at FMQ’s, you would think that the First Minister was on the back foot during questioning from Lamont and Davidson.

    Mackay and Ponsonby urr a perra fuckin wankers.

    Unionist bastards,

    A hope the two of you are reading this.

  27. Spout says:

    Thanks Aled – Wales will have it’s daybreak just as Scotland will…with a Yes.

    “Cyfleuer gwawr ddydd pan ddwwyre hynt,
    Cyfliw eiry gorwyn Gorwydd Epynt”

  28. Archie [not Erchie] says:

    The memory of a day of sitting in a Peebles pub filled with Welsh rugby supporters on their way to Murrayfield fills me with great joy. How dare they have such good voices and harmonies, how dare they evoke emotions long suppressed. That was 30 years ago and its never changed. The local bobbies turn up and get locked in like the rest of us…..this is Scotland at its finest.
     
    Aled, great article and brought back some fond memories. Looking ahead, we would like to get our house in order and then I am sure we will support your vision.
     

  29. david says:

    Mackay and Ponsonby urr a perra fuckin wankers.
    Unionist bastards,
    A hope the two of you are reading this.
     
    me too. and they just might

  30. Helpmaboab says:

    This article is full of insight and written in an elegant prose that most professional journalists couldn’t match. If the Rev ever recruits a Welsh correspondent Aled should put his CV forward.
     
    Welsh nationalists certainly shouldn’t feel discouraged though. The national pen-portrait given here reminds me of Scotland in about 2002: Nationalists struggling unhappily against an absent-minded loyalty to the UK in general and the Labour party in particular.
     
    Five years later the SNP formed its first government. Five years after that the referendum date was set. I’m sure Wales will have its own moment of clarity very soon.

  31. kininvie says:

    In the days before Murrayfield forced everyone to sit down, there was no better experience than standing amongst a crowd of Welsh supporters. There was always that ‘doesn’t really matter who wins here, provided the winner goes on and beats you-know-who’. It’s not that dissimilar with independence….we have a head start and now we need to win, because if we don’t, we’re not only letting ourselves down, but Wales too, and Catalonia for that matter.
     
    So, what you say, Aled, about a country re-inventing itself – if we do this in Scotland, and show how it can be done peacefully and with laughter, we are providing hope to so many others…
     
    And this, surely is the answer to the ‘internationalist’ argument of ScoLab, that we should be standing in solidarity with the people of Liverpool and Tyneside. We ARE standing in solidarity – with the small peoples of Europe who wish to turn their back on the era of nation states and do something different.
     
    And I think each one of us should remember, as we join the community of ‘nation states’ and sit around polished tables with little saltires in front of our delegates, that this is not really what we are here for. We are here, as you say, to reimagine, not just  Scotland, but the UK and Europe too.

  32. JLT says:

    Just had this posted to me on Facebook. Anyone aware of this. Here is what was posted (and it is from a legit friend)
     
    ‘Next year a bill gets it’s second reading before Parliament. The National Service Bill will make it compulsory for all young people between the ages of 18 and 26 to spend at least one year, away from home working for the Armed Forces, the NHS, working for the elderly or disabled, charities, working abroad for service such as VSO etc.’

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0032/cbill_2013-20140032_en_2.htm#l1g1
     
    Still a long way to go, but it is flying under the radar.

  33. Helpmaboab says:

    Spout, You wrote, “Cyfleuer gwawr ddydd pan ddwwyre hynt, Cyfliw eiry gorwyn Gorwydd Epynt”
     
    Thank-you for this. My brief research gives the translation:
     
    “Like the radiancy of the dawn of day when rising in its course, equal in hue to the snow, transcendently white, of the summit of the precipice”
     
    What an astonishing language Welsh is!

  34. gman says:

    Interesting that a Welsh better together front has been opened here.
    Just a few weeks ago were we not told that this was a debate for Scotland alone as the excuse for Cameron to swerve debate with Alex?

  35. X_Sticks says:

    Aled, Great read. It’s really good to read a supportive and understanding viewpoint from our Welsh neighbours. I hope Wales will benefit from a successful independent Scotland. I reject the labour unionist message from Carwyn Jones. Westminster mouthpiece.
    As chalks said a bit further back won’t the formation of Plaid Glyndwr split the nationalist vote?

    Leanne Wood is the best thing that has happened to Plaid Cymru for a long time. I fear her efforts might be damaged by a split in the vote. Labour could be left with an open goal. A strong Plaid Cymru in Wales and an independent Scotland along with Northern England will help to change the balance in Britain. As Juteman and Thepnr said earlier, “who knows what might happen elswhere”.

    Archie [not Erchie]
    “Looking ahead, we would like to get our house in order and then I am sure we will support your vision.”

    Exactly what I was trying to say Archie. Aye and you too kininvie.
     
    Geez! See trying to keep up wi’ you lot? Thoroughly enjoying the craic. Braw.

  36. lumilumi says:

    @JinglyJangly 5.59
     
    “Wales” is indeed Anglo-Saxon for “foreigner”, or land of foreigners, or foreign land.
     
    It’s the same word as “Wallonia”, the non-Germanic part of Beligium. The Germanic-part speak Flemish (Dutch, but for political reasons it’s called Flemish in Belgium), which is just another daughter language of the north Germanic spoken in northern continental Europe and southern Scandinavia about 2000-1500 years ago.
     
    The Angles and Saxons (Germanic tribes, from what’s now Denmark, northern Germany, the Netherlands) came to Britain after the Roman Empire withdrew. They pushed the native Celtic-speaking peoples to the fringes.
     
    Anglo-Saxon (or Old English, as linguists call it) changed radically after the Norman conquest (1066 and all that). (The Normans were, ironically enough, Viking descendants who’d adopted Middle French!)
     
    Modern English is a mishmash of old Germanic and middle French and middle Nordic (King Knut and all that), and more modernly French and Latin and god knows what.
     
    Scots is a branch of Old/Middle English, and for a while, when Scotland was an idependent country, the language developed independently from the language south of the border. However, it started converging with English, especially after the union, when many strated regarding Scots as just “English spoken badly/wrong”, a funny accent and “bad grammar” and funny local words.
     
    Nobody can deny that Scots speak English differently from the English. Mainly it’s the accent and some words and phrases, but, as a lapsed linguist, what catches my attention is a grammatical thing. Grammar changes much slower than ephemereal words or accents.
    The one thing that you hear even from MSPs in the Holyrood chamber, where all of them are on their best (linguistic) behaviour, their most careful language… And still many say “no do [this and that]”, instead of standard English “don’t do [this and that]”.
     
    The English are typically wasteful, throwing in an auxiliary verb where none is really needed. Scots are much more prudent, nae waste their words. ;-D

  37. Hetty says:

    JLT
    Just had this posted to me on Facebook. Anyone aware of this. Here is what was posted (and it is from a legit friend)
     ‘Next year a bill gets it’s second reading before Parliament. The National Service Bill will make it compulsory for all young people between the ages of 18 and 26 to spend at least one year, away from home working for the Armed Forces, the NHS, working for the elderly or disabled, charities, working abroad for service such as VSO etc.’
     
    This is exactly what I was saying to someone earlier on facebook as the plan to make all young-people work for 56 quid a week is the plan apparently.  National service is what the tories clearly have at the forefront of their nasty greedy minds for our young folk…preferably with guns in hand. its surely the next best thing if you dont want to end up with a few grand of debt if you have such high notions of going to Uni! This coming from a narrow minded backward priveleged bunch of idiots. 

  38. X_Sticks says:

    @lumilumi
    “a lapsed linguist”
     
    Did you ever read the excellent “A history of Scottish languages” by Paul Kavanagh on NNS?
     
    http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/affairs-scotland/1467-language-history-part-1
     
     
    If you haven’t I’m sure you’d enjoy it. I really enjoy all your posts – illuminating 🙂
     

  39. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Helpmaboab –

     

    Your translation reminded me of this MacDiarmid verse. It’s from one of his hymns to Lenin:

     

    A language that can serve our purposes,

    A marvellous lucidity, a quality of fiery aery light,

    Flowing like clear water, flying like a bird,

    Burning like a sunlit landscape.

    Conveying with a positively Godlike assurance,

    Swiftly, shiningly, exactly, what we want to convey.

     

    Here’s hoping that’s what the WP will be like.

  40. Yodhrin says:

    O/T; @Robert Kerr If you’re serious about learning maths, google Khan Academy, you can go from whatever your current level of knowledge is all the way through to mid-level university stuff, it has loads of other subjects, and it’s a free-for-users non-profit.

    And thanks for the article Aled, really interesting. I saw Leanne Wood’s speech at Plaid Cymru’s party conference, really great stuff, if she doesn’t end up your next first minister there’s no justice.

  41. Jon D says:

    Great article Aled – thanks. It’s reassuring to know that so many of you genuinely proud Welsh women and men CAN see the wood for the trees. 
    Believe me, once the Yes campaign has finished its work up here gaining Scottish Independence, there will be plenty of us coming down to help you win yours and consign the current filth that maligns the corridors of Westminster, (SNP MP’s excepted, of course) to history.
     
    Rhyddid i Gymru

  42. lumilumi says:

    @X_Sticks
     
    Indeed, I read all Paul’s posts on the subject. Couldn’t wait for the next instalment!
     
    I also let Paul know how much I enjoyed his series.
     
    If you enjoy my posts, shouldn’t you say illumiluminating? As I’m always too verbouse. ;-D
     
    (lumi is snow in Finnish, and I love snow. We had some this morning!:-D)

  43. Cymru Rydd says:

    Many thanks to Wings on Scotland readers for their very kind comments on my piece.
    Diolch yn fawr!
    Just to clarify one or two points raised : I would foresee the new Plaid Glyndwr party seeking to pick up votes as part of the proportional representation system already in existence in Wales and even more so if we move to an STV electoral system in the near future. Therefore, they need not “take votes away” from Plaid Cymru necessarily.
    But more importantly, I would expect them to place a renewed emphasis on the classical tenets of Welsh nationalism: i.e that Wales was England’s first colony, and it is still being treated in a colonial fashion. If  we want to become England’s last colony and achieve our independence, there is a need for a much wider national effort, involving new forms of activism and awareness raising, than can be provided by Plaid Cymru alone. 
    To my mind, there’s no way we can move seamlessly to the kind of Civic Scotland model which is proving so successful in Alba, unless we first of all address the fundamental realities which underpin the relationship between Wales and the UK State/England.
    Aled G Job

  44. Papadocx says:

    Great Britain has become a CITY STATE,  LONDON.
    The Home Counties are a dormitory for the workers who serve the alters of capitalism’s gaming tables like Las Vegas, just one massive casino. Who runs and controls these games of chance in the land of make believe? Faceless people who not only control the games but control the law makers and the laws (the politicians). Such is London, Paris, Rome, Madrid etc.

    The Rest of the country is only there to feed and service the money monster. The farther you are from the centre of the action the less you count, unless you happen to have Lots of money that London can fleece you of (oil). Manchester, Glasgow, Belfast, Cardiff and many other industrial powerhouses were abandoned and their wealth routed through London to generate more wealth in developing countries with large poor populations and therefore more profits for the faceless bankers or money lenders.

    The old cities are being maintained at minimum levels to prevent the natives from rebelling against this con trick. The political system pretends it’s trying to sort it out with crumbs of the casino tables while stuffing their pockets with their pay offs for being part of the big make believe and playing their part in the casino game. The state numbs the minds of the population and keeps them compliant by the state controlled media manipulation. 

    I don’t want to be part of a city state, especially a foreign one. I don’t want to be dumbed down by lies and propaganda, I would rather think for myself. 

    That’s why I think wee is beautiful and desirable, local is good and long distance manipulation is bad.

    THATS WHY I WANT MY OWN WE COUTRY BACK YES SCOTLAND.

    Hope I haven’t bored or offended anyone this is an uneducated old man hoping that his grand children and great grand children get their own life’s chances in their own country without the gangster of the money market, politicians and mind control F****** it up for them.
    1984 been there, seen it don’t want it anymore.

    The ranting of an old man. 

  45. Spout says:

    @Helpmaboab
     
    “Rhieingerdd Efa” by Cynddelw Brydydd Mawr
     
    Indeed – Welsh is a beautiful language.
    We are lucky to have and should treasure our Gaelic.

  46. kininvie says:

    @lumilumi
    English wastes infinitives too… ‘That shirt needs to be washed’ as against ‘it needs washed’

  47. penfold says:

    Wingman posted yesterday re this;
     
    Anyone interested in an all day (Televised – BBC) white paper event in Edinburgh?
    Or an event early December – ‘In Conversation with Nicola S’ ?
     
    Do you have anymore info about these meetings Wingman?

  48. schrodingers cat says:

    lumilumi says:
    21 November, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    @JinglyJangly 5.59
     
    “Wales” is indeed Anglo-Saxon for “foreigner”, or land of foreigners, or foreign land.
     
    It’s the same word as “Wallonia”, the non-Germanic part of Beligium
    Wales, meaning foreigner is also believed to be the root of the name…….wallace, his ancestors believed to have come from britiany and not normandy

  49. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Papadocx –
     
    YES!

  50. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Papadocx –
     
    You’ve probably seen this, but if not, you’re in for a treat. Even if you’ve seen it a hundred times, it’s still brilliant, precious material.
     
    Any sensitivity about your age should be wiped away when you see this guy. An ‘elder’, yeah? A wise man, right? Not long before he died, too.
     
    I’m quite sure someone in his line of work didn’t consciously ‘keep the best till last’, but he had to be the age he was:
     

  51. Mike Powell says:

    people of Scotland
    You have seen how the English act when their domination of other country’s comes under threat.
    They will conspire to lie threaten and if necessary slander and destroy reputation, perhaps as it have been suggested go other extreme’s to silence any opposition that may get in their way.
    It is without question that they will get worse against Scots that are for their freedom.
    The song Scotland the Brave is no more poignant than ever.
    Please keep strong my fellow nationalist’s stand firm and free your country once and for all.

    YOU SHALL RISE AGAIN



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