On my mind

Llanelli Star - - LETTERS - With Gra­ham Davies Fol­low Gra­ham on Twit­[email protected]

MANY peo­ple in Wales were ask­ing how we should com­mem­o­rate the 50th an­niver­sary of the in­vesti­ture of the Prince of Wales. My sug­ges­tion of a shuf­fle danc­ing remix of Dafydd Iwan’s iconic ‘Carlo’ didn’t go down a bomb, unlike the one which exploded in protest at the dam which cre­ated the Llyn Ce­lyn reser­voir in the 1960s. The vil­lage of Capel Ce­lyn drowned to as­suage the thirst of Liver­pool.

In Iwan’s song Carlo’s Mum an­swered the door of Buck­ing­ham Palace to a dis­ap­pointed Dafydd with the words: “Carlo’s play­ing polo to­day …. with Daddy” and all are en­cour­aged to ‘Join in the song, peo­ples old and young; Fi­nally we have a “Prince” in the land of song’.

Yet young Carlo’s in­vesti­ture did not evoke such con­vivi­al­ity for all. The Caernar­fon cer­e­mony, although drenched in royal me­dieval his­tory, proved to be a spec­tac­u­lar PR ex­er­cise in­creas­ing the vis­i­bil­ity of the monar­chy. The provoca­tive lo­ca­tion was the cas­tle built by Ed­ward I - the English king who had killed the last Welsh Sov­er­eign Prince of Wales in the 13th Cen­tury.

Yet on the aus­pi­cious day the trial was end­ing in Swansea of Car­marthen born Den­nis Coslett, a com­man­dant in the Free Wales Army. He had faced eight charges un­der the Pub­lic Or­der Act and was sen­tenced to 15 months in prison for doing lit­tle more than parad­ing around the Welsh coun­try­side with a shot­gun. Coslett, deemed a threat to the estab­lish­ment, died a rebel and a poet in a Llanelli hospital, aged 64.

Vi­o­lence, or the threat of it, will never solve the prob­lem of an in­trud­ing ‘prince’, but one whose priv­i­leged sta­tus is purely hered­i­tary and whose pri­vate es­tate is worth more than one bil­lion pounds can­not ex­pect def­er­ence while aus­ter­ity and job losses in Wales con­tinue to cause misery.

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