Over the years, successive UK governments have tried to defuse Welsh identity by creating cross-border institutions such as Manweb, TWW etc. The private sector has also done the same thing – I used to work for a Company with their Welsh ‘regional’ office in Bridgend. Then Wales was reorganized as part of their South West and North West regions, and as well as losing 20 jobs, a little bit of Wales disappeared. I am also a member of a professional organization which has a South Wales region, but in which North Wales is considered part of Merseyside although that would explain the accent…;0)
I suggest that one of the new laws that our incoming AMs could consider, is a ‘Respect of National Boundary’ act. Make it a requirement that any organization employing more than say 50 staff in Wales, or having a membership of more than say 100, is obliged to structure itself on a Wales (or regional within Wales) basis. Accounts and economic data should be published on a Wales-only basis, and we might find out a bit more about our economy. In practical terms this would involve companies doing little more than adding a few lines to their Excel spreadsheets. I am not suggesting that companies must open a dedicated Welsh office, but they might find it beneficial to do so, and it would certainly help protect those that are already here.
In the future Wales may have a different tax regime to England, and by establishing the necessary structures now, it will ease the pain of transition in the future.
No more combining Cardiff with Bristol, Wrexham with Chester, or Aberystwyth with Shrewsbury.
We must respect, enforce and celebrate our Welsh identity.