13 o sylwadau ar “(English) The conservative case for Welsh Independence

  1. Why the ‘Mrs’ Thatcher honorific so beloved by the most egregious of anglosupremacist Conservatives from Jim Davidson to the Mail? It’s even more glaring when no other prime minister is given the same treatment in the article.

  2. Steady on; ‘Mrs’ is hardly an honorific (if we’d wanted to use one of those we could have called her ‘Lady’, though of course the title came later).

    It’s simply how she’s referred to in common speech, especially among Conservative and ex-Conservative voters who are the target audience for this article.

    1. The usage does take on the role of a de facto honorific when she alone is singled out for such treatment amongst equivalent individuals in an article. Why not buck the trend? The case would be no less made to Conservative voters by exercising consistency in naming for all PMs discussed. In singling her out for ‘titling’, and granted I’m only speaking for myself here, it just smacks of Richard Littlejohn-esque Daily Mail jingoism.

      1. I honestly think it is just you, I’m afraid, David! For my part I’ve never read anything by Richard Littlejohn.

        I will add this, though. Referring to Margaret Thatcher as “Mrs Thatcher” does at least reinforce the point that she was the UK’s first woman Prime Minister. In fact both the first and second (and so far, only) woman Prime Ministers of the UK have been Conservatives. Just as the first Jewish Prime Minister was, for that matter (Disraeli). And the first Catholic (Boris Johnson, believe it or not, who also had a Muslim great-grandfather). And I strongly expect the first BAME (awful term) Prime Minister will be as well (I wouldn’t bet against Rishi Sunak as Boris Johnson’s eventual replacement).

        This matters because while the Left bloviates all the time about equal opportunities, anti-sexism, anti-racism and heaven knows what else, it’s the Right that gets on and does it. And I strongly expect that the same will prove true of independence for Wales. The Left can prattle on about it all it likes, but when it happens it will be a right-of-centre party that delivers it. That’s my prediction, anyway.

        1. Well it’s your blog and I can only comment for myself, but in invoking Littlejohn, Davidson and the Daily Mail and the like I am attempting to convey an archetype that this particular word choice chimes with for me, that is not to say that you’re attempting to ape these sources in any way. First woman PM or not, I’ve always had a pet peeve about this usage because it does strike me as snivelling, but I’ve never heard anything on the matter from anyone else so it is as far as I know, just my opinion.

          I don’t know the full list of PMs since the year dot, but I’d still argue that the ‘diversity’ turned out by the Tories is an artefact of them having been in power most of the time. If we’re talking minorities, as the Welsh and Scots are within Britain as a whole, the Liberals gave us Lloyd George and Nü Labour Gordon Brown, so it’s probably in proportion considering time spent in government.

          1. I’ll also add that while I do commend your notion of a ‘big tent’ approach to indy, and therein Gwlad’s mission of offering voters an alternative to Plaid (and the ridiculousness they seem to embrace these days), but I feel a secessionist movement such as ours will always more naturally align to radical/left wing sentiment. We currently exist in a state where wealth and opportunity is largely spirited away elsewhere, and is not the very nature of conservatism in retaining the status quo, resistance to radical change, and the like? Statuses don’t get more ‘quo’ than 800 years of incorporation into the political machinery of our larger neighbour!

          2. There’s a big discussion to be had there over whether secessionist movements are ‘intrinsically’ right or left, but that’s a topic for another day.

            Either way, the facts on the ground are that over the last 20 years there’s been about a 10% swing in electoral support away from Plaid Cymru and towards the Conservatives. Let that sink in for a moment. And this is against a background of sharply rising support for independence in principle. Plaid Cymru show no interest at all in chasing those lost voters; but unless someone does, how is the independence movement ever going to reach its full strength?

            [Hot tip: look out for an article about this by Sian Caiach coming up on Thursday].

  3. I look forward to the article. And no, there’s a reason why I stopped short of writing that secessionist movements organically gravitate towards the Left, because of course there are the innumerable USSR secessions and satellite states that have turned towards a market economy, and for the better, over the last 30 years or so.

    You make a good point about the decline of Plaid, and what finally did it for me with them was that tone-deaf campaign or promotional material featuring that girl in the burka who it transpired turned out to be an anti-Semite. It clashes and bangs against the social conservativism of many Welsh people who haven’t been as readily exposed to such dress that flies in the face of Western values of openness and gender equality, as say your Tower Hamlets denizen.

    However, I’d postulate that the swing to the Conservatives is a manifestation of grievance, of feeling ‘left behind’, in a two sides of the same coin sort of sense as to why the voters are drawn to Labour. Labour sell themselves as being all about those ‘left behind’, and every protagonist needs their antagonist to play against, just like every comic needs a foil.

    For Labour, the bogeyman in the minds of their voters are them evil Tories in London. For the Conservatives, their voters, at least in recent years, see that bogeyman as the EU. The same politics is at play, that of grievance and feeling left behind by elites, screwed over by big business, globalism, whatever particular crescent moon slice of the Venn diagarm this dissatisfaction comes in, and isn’t that sort of sentiment the seeds from which Marxism, revolution, uprising of the masses and the like grows?

    1. I think you’re right about the “protagonist/antagonist” dynamic.

      It seems to me that a clear tactic of the anti-devolution movement is to say “Vote for us (the protagonists) because we’re the only people who can save you from those nasty far-left nationalists (i.e. the antagonists)”.

      And therefore, it’s useful to be able to counter that argument by saying “hang about; what nasty far-left nationalists? We’re nationalists but we’re as pro-market and centre-right as any of you. Heck, we can even be polite when we talk about Mrs. Thatcher”.

      That way, we can deflect their ire towards it’s appropriate target, the Labour politicians (themselves Unionists to a man) who’ve been trashing our economy these last 20+ years.

      Either that, or we expose them as not being interested in free markets or good governance after all, but simply being blood-and-soil British Nationalists. Some of them probably are; but at least then it will be plain for all to see, as they’ll have nowhere to hide.

      1. An interesting angle on the whole “Mrs Thatcher” thing. After all, OK the usage does irk me, but it was never a hill I’d have died on. After all, what is little old me taking a bit of an exception to a three letter word when compared the potential for what can be gained by its use as a small, bite-size example to demonstrate to people of that political bent that they have a home with Gwlad?

        I’ve made the case before that those of small government sort of inclinations should really, if they have a think about it, strongly consider the logic of a Welsh state and how it would align to their beliefs better than distant and unaccountable overlords in ivory towers in London.

        Perhaps the biaxial spectral graph thing needs to be made into a cube to better model the nature of Welsh politics today. The third axis would be one of unionist – nationalist. Perhaps a this concept could form the basis of an easily digested infographic deployed on this site somewhere, or a discussion could form the basis of a blog entry? Jist an idea anyway.

        1. That’s quite a good idea David; I’ll have a word with Aled and see if we can do anything with it.

          1. Another suggestion as a basis for an article might be one on those of us who live our lives in a cross-border manner. I do so myself and I’ve gathered you do too if I’m not mistaken. It will do good to emphasise the points of being the beneficiary of two distinct nations versus homogenising Britishness, and to quash the usual “You all hate the English” bollocks. Incidentally, come the day and that, if it were available to me I’d love to opt for dual Anglo-Welsh citizenship.

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