Wednesday 26 September 2007

For Wales, See ........

I was in a Travel Agents yesterday and I picked up the Qatar Airways Holiday brochure for Europe.

The holiday locations were arranged by country, and each page included 'Facts' about each country, including the country's official name. So,

France - Official Name - French Republic
Germany - Official Name - Federal Republic of Germany
Switzerland - Official Name - Swiss Confederation
United Kingdom - Official Name - England !!

Somebody doing some crystal ball gazing??

Monday 17 September 2007

The Waiting Game

There is an interesting poll out today showing how the level of support for devolution has changed over the last 10 years. It shows the support for Independence at 12% (14% in 1997); a Full Parliament 43% (20% in 1997); an Assembly 27% (28% in 1997); No Devolution 17% (40% in 1997).

I suggest looking at these figures differently – in 1997 40% of people were satisfied with the status quo while 60% wanted more devolution (up to and including independence). Today, with the Assembly already established 55% still want more devolution. The opinion split is almost the same – but with the battleground moved to a higher level.

By the time that this poll is repeated in another 10 years time, Wales should already have a full Parliament. I forecast that the new poll will be similar to the 1997 and 2007 results, with around half the electorate satisfied with the new status quo, and half wanting still more devolution. But next time around, more devolution will effectively mean independence.

Our time will come - we have to be patient.

Thursday 13 September 2007

The truth is out there......

MOF points out in his blog, that it is impossible to prepare an accurate picture of the cost of Welsh independence because there is no published data on Welsh tax revenue.

A shop in Rhyl collects its VAT from Welsh spending, but this appears in the accounts of the Companies head office in Chester.

A factory in Treorchy collects its NI contributions from its Welsh workforce, but declares it in its company accounts in Birmingham.

The profits from a multinational car components firm, with its manufacturing base in Wales, are declared as that of its UK subsidiary from its London headquarters.

It would be a simple matter to declare the source of this income on a geographical basis - it would only take a few lines in company spreadsheets and a few lines of code in government databases.

I can not believe that at some stage the UK government has not carried out this excercise - just in case we got our way - and I am certain that if the figures demonstrated that an independent Wales would be quickly bankrupt then these figures would have already been published. If as I suspect the figures showed that an independent Wales would be more than capable of being self-sufficient then the figures would be locked away to gather dust in some dusty filing cabinet.

The truth is out there ..... probably kept in the LL files!

Sunday 2 September 2007

Our Right of Self-Determination

In the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights it says that everyone has the right to a nationality and that no one should be arbitrarily deprived of a nationality. It establishes the principle of self determination in which every nation is entitled to a sovereign territorial state, and that every identifiable population should choose which state it belongs to.

A State is a legitimized administrative and decision-making institution. A state may be internationally recognised, and only states may be admitted as members of the United Nations. The United Kingdom is such a State.

A Nation is an identifiable population that shares either a common descent, language, culture or religion. Maybe more importantly, it is a population with a shared sense of identity. Wales is such a Nation.

States do not always coincide with nations, but when they do, the resulting Nation-State is usually a stable, cohesive unit with shared purpose and legitimacy. Denmark is a good example of a modern Nation-State.

There have been a number of examples throughout history of attempts to create Multi-National States – eg the Roman Empire, Austria-Hungary, the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. These all relied on powerful central authorities to group different peoples together in a larger unified state. But as soon as the central authority lost its power, then so the state fragmented into its natural constituents – its nations.

The United Kingdom is also a Multi-National State with far more in common with these failed states than the government would care to admit, and if history is anything to go by its days are numbered.

Gordon Brown is attempting to make us all feel more British is an attempt to turn the UK (or is it only Britain?) into more of a stable Nation-State by emphasising a shared British identity, instead of the fragmented Welsh, Scottish & English identities. But unfortunately for him this is too little, too late. There are very few ‘British’ institutions for him to build on, and those few – for example the British Army, the Royal Family – are declining in importance with every year that passes, while the sense of Welsh, Scottish and even English consciousness grows daily. This can not be overturned by mandatory flag waving or creating artificial public holidays.

For the time being I carry my British passport in my pocket out of necessity - but I carry my Welsh identity in my heart with pride.

I demand my right of Welsh nationality, and the right to live in a sovereign Welsh state.