Jan 26 2007, Western Mail
SIR - If it were true that we would be better off in the UK vis-a-vis worldwide representation and influence than as an independent state, then that must also apply to other small nations.
How come then, the Republic of Ireland hasn't begged to rejoin the UK and the Baltic states, the Ukraine, Georgia etc, haven't begged to go back in with Moscow, in a reactivated Soviet Union?No way on earth! Because once countries have tasted independence and enjoyed all the privileges and freedoms which come with it - there's no way back.
As an independent country, we could become a full member of the European Union, have the Euro as our currency, have a delegation at the European Central Bank, have EU Welsh passports, have the status of EU working language accorded to Welsh, something the UK refused to do! Also, we could join the United Nations and Welsh would become a recognised language there too.
One of the most striking freedoms independence would give to individuals, would be the right to call themselves Welsh abroad, to be Welsh passport holders and not to have to hide their true nationality behind a bastardised, concocted one.
It matters not what lies Hain, Blair and Brown spew out at us Scotland is now on the verge of independence and Labour are running scared as never before - panicking in the process.
Let's not be bought off cheaply by the St Athan nonsense, as most of the 5,000+ jobs will doubtless be filled by people from across the border. Now is the time for Plaid Cymru to start selling independence to the Welsh people, instead of sitting on their laurels waiting for the people to lead!
Vale View, Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent
Jan 24 2007, Western Mail
SIR - Instead of contesting the May elections, Plaid Cymru might be better employed supporting the Scottish National Party's bid for power. If the SNP is successful then independence will be on the agenda for Wales as well as Scotland. Otherwise, Wales might be the very last country in the world to achieve constitutional freedom, if ever!
All this is anathema to Gordon Brown for whom every nationalist vote is a nail in his political coffin, which is why he resorts to old Labour scaremongering, that independence for Scotland (and Wales) threatens the break-up of the United Kingdom. Besides the fact that the UK is a contrivance, it has no real purpose other than to serve the glorified interests of Brown and the Westminster political establishment, so the sooner it is dissolved the better.
But what is particularly disgraceful about Brown's latest scaremongering is that he attempts to equate constitutional independence with economic independence, whereas anyone with a whiff of intelligence knows that no newly-independent nation has ever contemplated the latter. Nevertheless, Labour's bogeyman will be paraded around the hustings in May to frighten voters into believing that an independent Wales and Scotland will starve to death.
Ten years after the very same arguments failed to stop devolution, I hope the electorate is strong enough not to be blinded by Brown's "balkanisation" scam.
In fact, this was not the most astute comparison for him to use when talking of the threat to the Union. The Balkan states were created after the break up of another empire, Turkey. Today all, apart from one, are independent, the smallest Montenegro with a population of just 750,000. None of these put economic considerations before their independence. They must pity Scotland and Wales!
Usk Road, Tredunnoc, Gwent