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.