Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Scotland and the Union, a reply to Alwyn ap Huw …

Alwyn wrote:
I am not sure that I understand the point that you are making John. The name of what is left if Scotland leaves the UK is irrelevant, what concerns me is what sort of political entity it will be.
I agree in part, when Scotland leaves what remains might be called “peppermint blue”, it will be a similar geographical area as it was before the union, plus a small area of Ireland. Great Britain is not a remainder, it is the “whole number”, the remainder is in fact Scotland following the division by the “Scottish separatist agenda”, mathematically the remainder is the indivisible part following division, some scots might disagree as whether Scotland might be further divided but that is a particularly Scottish debate.

The name is important because it underpins the politics that remains post Scottish independence, so whereas “peppermint blue” is a sufficient label, it fails to carry over the social glue that is so essential to the remaining body of politics. And after 800 years of togetherness (some less than generous might refer to a certain colonial nature of the relationship) there will be a sufficiency of social glue shared by the peoples of the reborn Great Britain that the political entity will remain by and large as it was on “SI – 1” (Scottish Independence minus 1 day).

In summation, whilst a name might be irrelevant, in the case of “Great Britain” it is the pot that holds the history which is of course a large part of the shared social glue.

Alwyn wrote:
At the moment all of the political parties seem to be ignoring this issue. Even if, as you seem to suggest, the remainder just carries on as if nothing has changed, political movements need to work out how to insure that happens – it's not going to happen automatically.
With both Labour and Conservatives becoming Scottish Labour and Scottish Conservatives the preparations are well underway, I believe Alex Salmond has influenced these changes, and there is little doubt that Scotland will become Independent Scotland amongst the great and good of Edinburgh and its political classes.

Myself, I agree with the political sentiments.

Alwyn wrote:
I would agree that there is a body of opinion in England that believes that Scotland should bugger off and close the door behind them (this is not the official policy of any political party as far as I know); what confuses me is your support for them; because most of those who express such an opinion also want Wales to bugger of too – but you are opposed to Welsh independence.
There are two parts to the question:

I support the body of opinion which believes Scotland should be encouraged in its quest for independence, probably for a different reason. Much as a gangrenous limb is amputated because of the profound effect it will have on life itself, Alex Salmond has created a gangrenous political conundrum, a brilliant strategy that forces the other political parties to follow his yellow brick road. It’s too late to do anything other than set them on their way, so as a pragmatist I will help set the tables for a farewell street party to welcome a new British future.

With regard to the independence movement in Wales, it’s a very different animal; its feet are stuck in that social glue I wrote about earlier. If somehow you were able to raise the game plan to a similar level that exists in Scotland then the democratic process would kick in, but in my opinion the shock of the Scottish separation will galvanise the body politic minus Plaid in Wales into action that counters Plaid and benefits the peoples of Wales, and the primary players will be supported by their Westminster partners in crime.


  1. Your unpleasant analogy in comparing Scotland's desire for freedom from an increasingly dysfunctional "Great" British state says so much more about you as a person than it does about Scotland's current political situation. I do hope your recipes don't taste as bitter as your views.

    It may well have been a "social glue" prior to devolution, but now it is more the consistency of "vegetable stock". You and your friends have been all too quick to point to the "Dependency" culture of both Wales and Scotland and in so doing have encouraged the English attitude of "a plague on both your houses".

    The peoples of both Scotland and Wales are increasingly uncomfortable with being dubbed as scroungers and more importantly asking how they benefit from this charity? As you are eager to point out Wales is one of the poorest Countries in the EU even though the UK is one of the richest economies in the world. A case of snatching defeat from the jaws of success?

    This state of affairs can only be due to the ineptitude and corruption of the glorious "union" you keep harping on about.They still control the levers of power - Taxation,borrowing and macro-economic powers so they are directly responsible. People are beginning to realise what we wouldn't have if we were independent. No Thatcher or other right wing government distorting and corrupting society. No illegal wars, far lower levels of inequality, I could go on.

    Welsh people are beginning to realise there are alternatives to the derisory efforts of consecutive corrupt and inept unionist governments. They are also at long last realising the only way to change things for the better is to do so ourselves!

  2. I see you are one of the desperate separatists unable to grasp the reality of another's opinion.

    I suggest a warm milky drink followed by a nap in a darkened room.

  3. Fact is John that a warm milky drink followed by a nap in a darkened room isn't going to placate the Welsh electorate. Your scare stories about devolution have been exposed as a sham and the discussion has moved forward. Welsh people don't like the idea of being a "dependency culture" and at long last are asking what they really get out of this most unequal union.

    As that process develops and people become more and more aware of the inequities at the heart of UK society, the calls for more control over our affairs will grow stronger. I have no doubt we will be offered more control over the levers of power, spurred on by the success of the SNP government.

    May I suggest that over the coming years it is you that will need to come to terms with the reality of a confident Welsh electorate taking more control over their own affairs. Please do keep up with your posts as you have done some invaluable work for our cause.

  4. "our cause", an interesting expression, almost biblical, but its not, its the "separatist agenda", seemingly on the wane when recent election results are considered.

  5. Pity you hadn't heard the recent debate on Independence on radio Wales. For the first time ever the majority of comments made were in favour of at least discussing the options available including taking interdependence within Europe.

    Even the Tories and now Labour are debating whether they should have a truly Welsh party rather than being appendages of Westminster. On the wane? Only in your febrile imagination John!

  6. Welsh Ass/elect.2011

    Lab....401,677.........349935......30 seats.

    Cons...237,388.........213773......14 seats

    PC......182907.........169799......11 seats

    Radio Wales can be loaded with people of a certain disposition during debate, the election results show a declining support, without a doubt.

    As for interdependence, it's a much better option within Great Britain, the EU is becoming a basket case on the world scene; whereas although there is still way-to-go, Westminster is still able to operate in the world markets without the fear of default.

    ... this view without the workings of a separatist imagination.

    Who might you be, CymruX possibly, a Bethan Jenkins protégé ?

  7. Welsh Devolution referendum result in 1979 :-

    For :- 20.3%
    Against :- 79.7%
    4 to 1 against

    Welsh devolution referendum result in 1997 :-

    For :- 50.3%
    Against :- 49.7%

    Welsh Devolution referendum result in 2011

    For :- 63.49%
    Against :- 36.51%

    I have absolutely no doubt that those figures are continuing to diverge as we speak in favour of further devolution given the actions of the right wing mob in Westminster.To move from 79% against to 63% in favour in just 30 years is truly phenomenal.

    There is nothing better than a corrupt, inept Tory government to give that extra surge to the desire of Welsh people to control more of their own affairs. I look forward to the trend shown above continuing at a pace.

  8. Devolution v Elections ?

    There is no contest it is elections that represent the voice of the voters, referendum in terms of your list represents constitutional progress, not the successes or otherwise of the nationalist or any other cause.

    Off to work now ....

  9. Unionists always view every aspect of life as confrontational. Surely devolution and elections are both part of the political process. We have had a greater transfer of powers devolved to Wales from the Condem government than Labour and still awaiting the results of the "Ap Calman" report.

    Only one way that will go and that is to transfer more powers rightly so to the rapidly growing powerhouse that is the Welsh Parliament. We are actually debating Welsh Independence as an achievable goal rather than a dream and however much that upsets your sensibilities that process will intensify and grow. We just need the Condem government to continue their growing list of "errors" to further enhance the process.

    Couple that with the exemplary way the SNP are running Scotland and there is only one direction the we are heading.

  10. Interesting, your use of the word "confrontational" to describe a unionist view, I am sure that all parties to the political process are confrontational; this confrontational posturing might be witnessed daily if you log into the BBC for example, try Betsans blog " http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-14920502 " where a commentator using the pseudonym "MabionGlyndwr" is very confrontational, comment 54. As a confessed nationalist (earlier in the same blog) MabionGlyndwr must cast doubts on this particular assertion you hold.
    Devolution is quite different to politics, it is the scaffolding that politics attaches itself to . Designed to bring the decision making process nearer the public ( an ancient Greek model of democracy), it fell at the first hurdle when politics realised devolution was yet another arena, not for the public except rarely at election time.
    Whilst I tend to agree with you that further powers will be devolved, I don't recognise the term you use "rapidly growing powerhouse that is the Welsh Parliament", I would recognise "an assembly of representatives feeling their way", and that is not meant in a disparaging way.
    I'm afraid the independence debate is a conversation Plaid is having with itself and a very small number of interested parties, the most recent referendum brought into the public arena the "separatist agenda" as a byproduct of debate, not surprisingly Labour, Conservative and Lib-Dems have become less than interested in cooperating with Plaid, I think the expression is "Plaid are too rich for their taste".
    "Scotland" being linked to and described as "exemplary" must be an oxymoron, read " http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-14949883 " and you discover the ineptitude of Salmond and chums to expect the taxpayers to pick up the tab for his unrealistic spending ....