Thursday 27 December 2007

Life in the Cayman Islands

Most of us have one – a sticker on the car which proudly displays CYM in place of a GB sticker. There is only one slight problem – according to the International Standards Organisation this is the three-digit code for the Cayman Islands. I am sure this is a lovely place, but I want to live in Cymru/Wales.

Among their many publications, the International Standards Organisation (with the support of the United Nations) publish a series of standards (ISO 3166) which agree on the recognized short and official names of countries (eg France and The Republic of France). It also standardises on a short two-digit code to represent the country (FR), which is commonly seen on car number plates and internet domains.

There is also an alternative three digit code (FRA) which is used for some other official purposes, including on passports).

But unfortunately CYM is the three-digit code for Cayman Islands (which actually uses KM as its 2-digit code). As far as two-digit codes go, CY has already been taken by Cyprus, CM by Cameroon (who also use the 3-digit code CMR) , CR by Costa Rica and CU by Cuba. Maybe we should be looking instead at ‘billingual’ codes of CW and maybe CMW?

Cymru/Wales is not to small to warrant such coding by ISO – When I was younger I remember that cars from Guernsey had GBG on their number plates. These have since been changed by ISO to a 2-digit GG with the 3 digit code becoming GGY.

ISO will not allocate a coding to us yet as we are not an independent state, but they can reserve such codes for future use if requested to by the UK government (who requested the change for Guernsey as well as Jersey and Isle of Man). We should campaign for the Senedd to make this request to the ISO on behalf of the UK Government.

p.s. Cymuned’s dot.cym campaign is commendable, but this is for a ‘second-tier’ designation based on language use - we should also be aiming for a ‘first-tier’ .CW domain to represent an independent Wales!

Monday 17 December 2007

26% Now Favour Independence

Well, that is stretching the truth a little bit, but in the bizarre Daily Telegraph campaign last week to remind its English readers that they were all British (except for the Scottish - and who are the Welsh anyway?), one of the questions asked:

Would you like the Union between England and Scotland to continue as it is or would you like to see it come to an end so that both England and
Scotland become independent of each other

Respondents in Wales said that 22% favoured independence, 62% the union and 16% dont know. So yes - out of those expressing a preference, 26% favoured Independence - for England & Scotland.

Not really a question on Welsh independence, but it is difficult to see how England could become independent from the 'Union' while Wales remains in (with who?).

We need to see more opinion polls on the subject of Welsh independence, because as the debate becomes more open in Scotland, and now in England, it is not really being discussed very loudly in Wales. Despite this lack of debate, up to 1/3rd of the population are now considering independence. How many more will join as the discussion opens up??

ps for those of you who were concerned that I had not been posting because I was in a Cardiff police cell, rest assured - they will never catch me!!