*Jonathan Edwards is the Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr. This piece first appeared on his own blog, but we asked if we could reprint it to bring some of its excellent insights to a wider audience. (And also to fix the original’s impressively esoteric rendering of “paraphernalia”. We’re real spelling Nazis.)
I’ve been meaning to write this blog ever since Ed Miliband’s car-crash speech on English identity. I have also taken part in a number of BBC interviews over recent months in which it is sometimes difficult to get your point across when you have an interviewer on the other end barking at you as you challenge unionist perceptions. It also supports why Leanne Woods’ intervention this week is an important one.
When the Miliband speech was being pre-briefed I had high hopes that we were about to hear something significant – that Labour were going to proclaim that their answer to the challenge posed by the SNP’s independence drive was a federal settlement for the British state. I expected Labour to position themselves as advocates of an English Parliament as the political expression of English identity. Instead what we got was hot air, followed by one of the most painful interviews I have seen by a Unionist leader on Channel 4 News.