Na­tion­al­ists want to rule their own des­tiny

Western Mail - - SHARES -

WHAT is the self-in­ter­est of Welsh na­tion­al­ism?

It is the mo­ti­va­tion which drives us to op­pose the build­ing of the first, and now the sec­ond, su­per­prison for of­fend­ers, mostly from Eng­land in a Wales that does not need them. It drives us to ex­press dis­ap­point­ment and anger that Lon­don has de­cided that we do not need the rail­way line to be elec­tri­fied to Swansea, that it is too ex­pen­sive for us to have a tidal la­goon in Swansea Bay. It causes us to be frus­trated when our gov­ern­ment is not al­lowed to vary air traf­fic duty be­cause the peo­ple of Bris­tol might be up­set.

It op­poses the division of our coun­try into three an­nexes of Mersey­side, Birm­ing­ham and Bris­tol. It cam­paigned against the burial of nu­clear waste in mid Wales in the 1970s when sci­en­tif­i­cally, the best place to bury it was un­der Lon­don, and the lo­ca­tion of nu­clear power sta­tions in our coun­try, far away from the pop­u­la­tion cen­tres of Eng­land.

Welsh na­tion­al­ism grew from see­ing our land­scape drowned to build reser­voirs, our men be­ing killed work­ing un­der­ground in the dark. It grew from the dis­as­ters we faced to­gether as a com­mu­nity in spite of in­dif­fer­ence from the gov­ern­ment in Lon­don.

It causes hack­les to rise when the English Prime Min­is­ter at­tacks our na­tion, us­ing our health and ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices’ prob­lems as a weapon to at­tack the English Labour Party. It is anger caused across our coun­try when Mrs Thatcher used her ha­tred for the trade unions to de­stroy our com­mu­ni­ties, re­mov­ing all hope of them ever re­cov­er­ing.

Wales will not op­pose these in­sults be­cause it is poor and its peo­ple need any sort of work, how­ever de­mean­ing. It is the his­tory lec­tur­ers in our col­leges pro­nounc­ing in the 1970s that Welsh chil­dren should not be taught their own his­tory “be­cause it would make na­tion­al­ists of them”.

The self-in­ter­est of Welsh na­tion­al­ists is the de­sire to live in a coun­try where we can de­cide for our­selves what is good for us, and that we have the power to put those de­ci­sions into ac­tion.

John H Davies Llandy­sul, Ceredi­gion

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