Monday 22 January 2007

Books on Independence for Wales and other small nations

Pe Bai Cymru'n Rhydd - Gwynfor Evans.

A great little book (in Welsh, no English version I'm afraid) by the late, great nationalist and internationalist, Gwynfor Evans.

Written on the eve of the independence of the Baltic states in 1991 it shows what Wales could achieve were it independent like other small nations - from Norway to Estonia. Very readable and so a good start if you've got a decent level of Welsh.

It just shows how Britishness and the British nationalism of the Labour party has kept Wales back, wasting the whole of the 20th century with virtually nothing to show for it. A great little book of the type Plaid Cymru should be producing today. Time for an updated version in both languages methinks!

The Breakdown of Nations - Leopold Kohr

Published in 1957 by Austrian-born but great friend of Wales, and lecturer at the university in Aberystwyth Leopold Kohr (why isn't there a plaque to him on his Baker St home in the town?), this is a book before its time.

It puts Welsh independence (and interdependence) within the context of a Europe which has broken down the old 'nation' states. When one compares one of Kohr's maps with the current geo-political situation in Eastern Europe it's surprising how correct he was.

The good news is that the 'submerged' small nations of Western Europe are catching up. Despite the rather misleading title (it should read 'breakdown of 19th century nation-states') it's an intelligent but readable book. It demonstrates the intellectual and moral bankrupcy of the philosophy of the 'Big Nation' that the British nationalists of the Labour party hold so dear to their hearts.

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