Saorsa [SEER-sha] = Freedom
Former First Minister Rhodri Morgan warns that Wales may not have "sustainable" future in the UK if Scotland votes to leave:- http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/former-first-minister-rhodri-morgan-6402626
Of interest in this context:-
The Big Independence Question
Can Wales afford independence?
SJ. the EU issue is coming to the forefront at the moment; Scotland said that they wanted to remain in the EU but Spain have raised objections (this may be partly because of the Gibraltar problem at the moment) and there are rules about it anyway so it's by no means a given that they will be able to stay, even though they want to.
We don't have oil but we do have water (remember those villages which were drowned for the benefit of England?!) which we could cut off but I think we will not secede from the Union. We do need to make our separate identity known on the world stage and make England respect that.
Haha! Some of the lyrics in Come Together are not exactly anthem material! Mind you, given our multicultural society I suppose Jerusalem isn't quite on the money either.
Ceri's got something there with The Archers theme.
Wales is the only country within the UK with a really stirring anthem.
I think basically it all comes down to three things.
1.) Mindset. The Welsh people in general like the idea of being their own masters, but they're not doing too badly at the moment so I could imagine the general feeling being, "why rock the boat?", ESPECIALLY if it came out that we'd all be worse off without the English.
2.) Eonomic, (see above link).
3.) History of nationalism. The Scots have been very vocal in their derision of England for many years. Does Plaid Cymru hold the same sway in Welsh politics as the SNP? No, and it never will. Welsh rebellion has dwindled since Glyndwr to sporadic anger at economic laws, which had nothing to do with identity.
The Scots, on the other hand, have been active and vocal ever since the Jacobite rebellion in 1745. They secretly supported the French in the Hundred Year war, and though they've always been allies since the days of the Empire, their anger has simmered under the surface nicely, with bursts of nationalist fervour in the voting polls that go way beyond anything Plaid could muster. Anyway, that's how I see it.
Swansea Jack, Scotland would need to renegotiate its role in Europe, Salmond doesn't want to go it alone. http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-salmond-confident-on-eu-1-3212443
This Cymru Culture article reflects just what Reg has been talking about.
Despite this being the correct link, it doesn't take you to the article. If you go to cymruculture.co.uk and click on "featured articles", it's the one headed "The Braveheart Effect" dated 1st December 2013.
Along with Donald Trump Scotland could employ American ad men to market their newly independent country to the rest of the world:
Scotland. It's like a whole other country! [borrowed from Texas]
Haggis. It's what's for dinner! [borrowed from Beef Industry Council]
What happens in Glasgow stays in Glasgow [borrowed from Las Vegas casinos]
But Reg - Wales has no standing in the world. Highly educated international politicians, business people and artists have never heard of the place. Barack Obama is coming here next year for the NATO summit. I'd say there a very good chance that he arrives at the Celtic Manor resort thinking he's still in England. Not saying that's definitely the case, but it would not surprise me in the slightest. Wales has no standing as a result of centuries of inaccurate, false or lack of representation.
I totally understand why anyone would want to stay in the Union from a self-interest short term point of view and tbh I'm not qualified to speak about economics, so for any Welsh person wishing to remain British I have no problem with their reasons.
One thing's for sure though, Wales will never be able to govern herself if that is the thinking. I guess that those who want a free Wales care more about the identity aspect that social standing or global influence.
Wales could enhance it's "standing" or influence in the world in one fell swoop by establishing and talking about its cultural and historical links around the world - particularly USA.
Harry Mount is very amusing in The Sunday Times today. In 2024, he visits Edinburgh to find that Sean Connery is now president of Scotland and has taken over Balmoral (but hardly ever goes there because of tax problems), much of the rest of Scotland has been taken over by Donald Trump for golf courses, the whisky industry has been sold to Japan and the Scottish Army consists of one man who not only guards the Scottish Parliament but also has to be part-time spy, using an old Amstrad computer and dial-up internet. They're not allowed in the EU or in NATO and their green power source is one wind turbine in the Firth of Forth.
I state for the record that I am partly Scottish!
Hello Gwyn and anyone reading. As an ex-pat living in England I feel that there is a popular misconception regarding the 'Union Flag', and the absence of any part of it being Welsh. The flag is made up of the 'Saintly Crosses' of George, Andrew and Patrick - all that is needed is to add the cross of David - Gold on a black ground, and then it would be properly 'United'!
Most English people tell us that adding Y Draig Goch is impossible and that is why Wales is not included, but that is nonsense and is an excuse rather than a reason. To include the Red Dragon would involve including other symbols like the Lions passant of England, the Lion rampant of Scotland, and presumably the Shamrock of Ireland, though that connection is thin and perhaps it should be the Red Hand of Ulster?
Regarding independence within the U.K I feel that 'united we stand, divided we fall' - a practical rather than emotional reaction? The devolved government within the U.K is allowing a degree of separate development, particularly cultural, and that is still developing as the country feels its way forward - but, I do feel strongly that Wales should be represented on the 'Union' flag. We shall see what 2014 brings to us all???
Glynne. (Male and spelt nearly right)
Some really good points there. You are so right about the whole independence thing, the word is so over-used.
To my eternal shame I don't speak Welsh, (I live in Germany and have enough trouble with German), and it irks me that I never made the effort when I was in school. So good on your son for being proud of our language!!
During the 60s/70s I was a busy campaigner for Plaid Cymru and I remember that we always scrupulously avoided the I-word. Even today Im unsure as to how many countries are truly independent. The UK is a member of the E U which means that a certain relinquishing of sovereignty has been accepted. Perhaps North Korea could be regarded as being truly independent.
Unfortunately much of the debate focuses on the breaking up of the UK with its negative connotations rather than looking at a realignment of the relationships of the home nations.
While in favour of annibyniaeth for Wales I feel that it is an unrealistic dream certainly in the near future. Scotland has its own legal system and educational structure and even if the YES vote fails to get a majority this time, the push for independence will continue.
On an optimistic note, each time Im home in Wales I feel more positive about the fate of the language the jewel in our crown. Some say that the influx of newcomers who tend to hold fast to their own cultures has given an impetus to the Welsh to be more confident in celebrating ein dywillyant. My youngest son works in Tesco in Cardiff and he wears a big badge with his name and a bold Rwyn Siarad Cymraeg . He is constantly accosted by customers wishing to converse in Welsh.
The paper the SNP released the other day had it that the transfer of defence would develop over a ten year period, with the idea that after that, they'd have a standing military of about 15,000, (I think it was). They want Trident out of Scottish waters by 2020.
They also do want to keep the Pound Sterling, and although separate from London, they still want to have a financial union.
I agree entirely that a lot of English would be happy to see the backs of Wales, purely for economic reason.
I always hesitate to give my opinion on this as, since I don't live in the UK and haven't set foot there, I don't have enough information to really have an opinion. It seems weird to me to think of no more United Kingdom, which would seem to be very drastic, but what else might happen? What do the people who live in the UK think, is it likely that Scotland would completely secede or that Wales might vote to do that? What part of keeping the UK would be beneficial to Wales and what would be good about leaving it?
I kind of like the idea of what Ceri's saying, keeping the UK as a voluntary membership for purposes of defense and foreign policy - could Wales support itself financially and how could it do that? I think there are reservoirs and wind farms in Wales that supply the whole UK, could Wales charge for those and how much income could that raise? What other resources does Wales have and how would more independence change this?
my view is simple , I'm welsh , first language iswelsh , but proud to be British , there would be problems whoever's in government in Westminster or anywhere else , our population now is mostly of foreign descent (NOT WELSH) , people have retired here , some , a few do bother to try and learn the language other's don't , but I for one am happy and content with my lot , I honestly can't see the advantage of going alone , nice to see your opinions on here ....keep them coming ..
If Scotland want to secede from the Unionthere probably won't be a war about it. But the vote will at least inform everyone of the feelings of Scots - but why can't we have a separate "rest of UK" vote to establish their opinions on the matter (and not just an opinion poll -notoriously inaccurate that they are)
But Wales was legally part of England, not just part of the Union, for many centuries. Personally, I don't think Wales should leave the UK even though many English would happily say "Goodbye".
My feelings are also that Scotland should not do so either, and that neither the English/Welsh/Irish peoplenor the Scottish people really want this. The majority opinion will hold sway even though the majority are drasticallyuninformed.
And we must remember - it will NOT be independence, just partial independence; defence and currency/finance will still be under aUK umbrella; Scotland would still be part of the EU (they would not be allowed to pull out).
The problem as I see it is one of economics.
If Scotland does vote to make a break, it will be able to keep the income from the Noth Sea oil fields, (90% of which are in Scottish waters). Wales doesn't have that and is very heavily dependent on British tax money to pay for its services and administration.
Our heavy industry is all but dead, our mines too, and I think the only thing we can sell our neighbours is water from Snowdonia.
The good news is that our part of the National Debt wouldn't be as bad as what Scotland would have to pay if they secede, and I can imagine that if they do leave the union they'd make a deal with England and let their oil fields pay off their part; something Wales could never do.
Also, any new member of the European Union must now accept the Euro. You want EU money, you use EU coin seems to be the new motto. Mr. Salmon, or whatever his name is, from the SNP thinks Scotland will still be using the Pound, but he's very sadly mistaken. The SNP has told their members a lot of half truths about Scotland's situation, and a break with Britain will see the independence they so crave be substituted by a reinforced union with Europe, all be it as a standing "power" in its own right. Brussels is being kept at arms length by the strength of the Pound Sterling at the moment, but God help us if we ever need EU money, as those vultures will swoop in to mess with the constitution the moment that happens.
If Wales left the union, something I'd dearly like to see, but is not feasible in my eyes, then we'd turn into one of the poorer nations, like those in the Eastern Bloc, and our standing in the world would be reduced. We're too proud to accept charity we haven't earned, (the tax money from Britain was earnedin the conflicts Welsh men and women have served in under the British flag), so I think we should stay with the union, as unpalatable and disappointing as that may be.
Good points to be sure on all comments. I see the folks on this thread are well informed on things Welsh. I have cousins in Randnorshire that I was lucky enough to visit last year and found them a little strange as they did not seem to be overly Welsh and blended in with the English. But reading the history of the Welsh ex pats they seem to blend in with their new country wether it be England the US or elsware. My Grand parents spoke only Welsh at home but at school they were made fun of and never taught their kids Welsh, nore their grand kids. That was in the early 1900's. I know if it was me I would be fighting for independence, but from what I read in the Welsh news is that they are in the minority as most seem to want to stay in the Union.
The Oxford History of England is still found in schools and libraries all over America. But, in spite of its name, it isn't a history of England but is actually a history of the "British Isles." So it's easy to understand why Americans, especially those of non-British descent, would be confused. Even within the United Kingdom, I don't think it really became fashionable in literature to differentiate between the individual countries in the Union until the rise of the Scottish Independence movement in the 1930's. So, I can't fault the average American for ignorance in this matter.
However, as the grandson of a Welsh collier I knew from a tender age that Wales and its people were a separate nation. I also knew that the term "the English" was a pejorative. I knew that the Welsh were the smartest, best looking, most industrious, bravest (volunteering in times of war in far greater numbers than the English), the most skillful warriors and marksmen (from Agincourt on), the most talented--in writing, poetry, singing, musical composition, stage, screen, oratory, preaching, religious thought, athletic prowess, law giving and law breaking (our laws were the most enlightened, advanced, far ahead of their times and our outlaws were the most cunning, heroic and the envy of the world). We excelled at any and all endeavors. Simply put, we were the envy of the British Isles! Is it any wonder that future kings coveted the title "Prince of Wales?"
As a Welsh yank I'd like to see an Independent Wales but I would never presume to advise my Welsh cousins one way or another. That destiny remains their decision. Viewing from afar I would think the welfare state has created an umbilical cord that would be difficult to sever.
It was Welsh thinking that created a federal model in America. Independent states were to be united only in the matters of a common defense, a currency, and in laws regulating interstate commerce. In all other matters states were to remain free and independent. The federal model literally began to fall apart in 1803 when the Welsh Chief-Justice, John Marshall, staged an effective coup against newly elected Thomas Jefferson in Marbury V. Madison. A flaw in the Constitution prevented Jefferson from challenging Justice Marshall in his unprecedented and lasting power grab. Ultimately the constitutional flaw which enabled Justice Marshall was not corrected until the 1930's.
I think (only because you asked) that if Welsh or Scottish Independence exchanged the British Pound Sterling (BPS) for the Euro (EUR) it would be detrimental--exchanging one task master (London) for another (Brussels). The same goes for a common defense. A true, federal system would be preferable--in my view--but very hard to establish and even harder to keep.
Americans are ignorant of much that is outside their own state or country. Their lack of geographical information (or anything non-American) is the stuff of legends. The vast majority of Americans can't even tell you the name of the capital of Canada. I blame the educational system. :-/
well said Nick , but my name's Gwyn not Gwen , I'm a male not a female , you see many get my name wrong too , sometimes Glyn .......surely during this period of Scotland gaining independence , the welsh situation could be highlighted and those as you mention aboveshould be educated that the (Non) United Kingdom consists of England , Northern Ireland and Wales , and the Union Flag to include the Draig Gch .
This is a very interesting point Gwen - what happens to the nouns?My personal hope if that Scotland gets her independence and it forces the world to ask the question about the name of the UK.
It's not just in the US - as Reg and I were discussing on the video thread, people all over the world have been allowed to believe that "England" and the "UK" mean the same thing. British people accentuate the problem by doing it themselves. I live in Wales and you wouldn't believe how many English people refer to the UK as "England", without self consciousness - even in the presence of Welsh people wile living in Wales. There's a basic arrogance there which has gone unchecked for centuries, offence is often unintended, but generations have spoken like this. Also, I'd say the majority of British people don't know the difference between "UK" and "Britain".
So, if Scotland breaks free - what happens to the name of the country? What happens to the Union Flag (incidentally Wales in the ONLY of he 4 nations of the UK not represented on the flag)?
My own personal hope is that if the Scots pull it off, Wales will HAVE TO follow eventually. Because there is now way we could have a sovereign state called "England & Wales".
My hopes for Wales revolve purely around the notion of representation - in language, in media, in stories in sport. It's no wonder nobody knows about us because we have allowed ENgland to assimilate our identity. If the UK could at least put something Welsh on the flag, include our name in the Cricket team, and tell its TV presenters to stop calling the UK "England" (as wartime radio presenters were told to do) then personally I'd be happy with that. But - it's never going to happen. You'll never get English people to get the name of the country right, Wales will NEVER go on something as old and loved as the Union Flag and they'll never call a cricket team "England & Wales" (despite the British Lions chaging to the British & Irish Lions in the 1990's)
So, Wales should seek independence for the spiritual good of its people, so that when a BBC presenter goes on TV and talks about "The English Navy", the "English Civil War" or the "English media" - they mean just that.
Anything other than independence for Wales just means complying with this lack of misrepresentation and allowing our culture to be lost.
My personal opinion is that Wales should seek independence. Possibly voluntarily ceding sovereignty in the areas of defence and foreign policy after it has been achieved. I believe the old 'new labour' Council of the Isles idea might still be a useful and relevant model.
Scotland Independence vote .....do Americans know of the vote for Scottish independence being heldnext year ....and what are their feelings on the subject over the U.K. finally being split , How would Welsh pats feelif Wales followed the same path in the near future ,
updated by @gwyn-hughes: 11/11/15 10:39:03PM