Chwech o sylwadau ar “(English) Creating Citizenship for Wales

  1. An excellent article, once again. Some points (as always!)
    I think a good angle would be to reclaim ‘British’. Or rather, flip the manner in how Gordon Brown is now selling the “You can be British and Scottish” line, (with the obvious caveat that this freedom of identity exists in these sorts of peoples’ minds entirely within a British State and nothing else) with a whole new take: you can be fully and undeniably British in an independent Welsh state.

    We have the advantage in this regard over Irish Republicanism, in that it’s not just a label or identity (with all the loadedness therein), it’s a fact of geography. I myself have a pre-loaded response to accusations of anti-English bigotry for my belief in my Welsh sovereignty, namely that one cornerstone of my belief is that UK breakup and obvious decentralization of power will result in calls for English federalism.

    In my probably quite kooky head I identify three types of Britishness. Our shared island, and all we share and have in common is strong enough to survive outside the straitjacket of the unitary state. The cap-doffing, Rule Britannia, imagined supremacy sort can be consigned to the dustbin of history. As can, the British Passport. I quite like the idea of being a dual citizen of Wales and England myself.

    1. I just remembered the fourth Britishness: our national lineage and continuous link to the ancient Britons. By the way I’m not sure if the timestamp logging code for these comments is flipped between AM and PM? My last comment was logged at around 7AM and I know that wasn’t the case.

  2. I will have to add, much as it goes against the grain of my heart and soul, that overwhelmingly the language of Wales is English. To put it bluntly, we’d need to work on fostering a Welsh identity for our new arrivals first and most urgently, and then within that, possibly yr iaith can follow. In other words, eroding the old ‘Asian, British’, etc, box on the census, and strive towards the small victory of the day Ahmed greets his local post office clerk with a “Bore Da!” that isn’t forced or artificial.

    Come the day that archetypal Ahmed (poor sod!) finds himself a nice Cymraes and starts a family, he’ll hopefully, as you allude to above, send them to a dual medium school and further his love and integration into his adopted nation.

    As regards BLM, they lost the battle when they took on Marxism as a central tenet, and spoiled dissemination of, and engagement towards, an unequivocal and universal truth: Black lives do indeed matter, and anything that slights them is an affront to decency.

    1. Personally I take still take a slightly harder line on this, to the extent that large-scale immigration (mainly from England, but also Ireland and elsewhere) into Wales in the early 20th Century is one of the things that put the Welsh language onto the back foot. That, alongside Brad y Llyfrau Gleision and the Welsh Not, of course. Up until the the middle of the 19th Century, later still in many places, Wales was able to absorb quite high levels of immigration while still assimilating people wholly into its culture.

      The UK state would be only too happy to send people to Wales and to use them as a political tool to promote ‘Britishness’ at the expense of ‘Welshness’, and this must simply be resisted. In the absence of any practical control over our borders, upping the ante on cultural assimilation is the only tool we have.

      For what it’s worth, though, the Sudanese student that my company’s been sponsoring at Swansea University (the company I’m Director of, not the American company I work for in my day-job) has done exactly what you mention – found himself a nice Cymraes in Llanelli, started a family and settled down there!

      1. I think another angle that could be taken with say, Kurdish migrants would be to emphasise shared status as stateless nations, which can’t help but foster sympathy and solidarity, and thence an embrace of our culture.

        1. Yes that’s right; in fact Higham makes that very point herself.

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