Monday, July 31, 2006

52% Back Welsh Independence

Is it time to break from the Union? Well, a majority of people across Cymru - 52% - think so, according to a new poll conducted by Wales on Sunday.

The poll also shows 70% are happy with the new Government of Wales Act. "After having the powers explained to them, a large majority of those polled say it was the right move. But more than half still said they wanted independence altogether," says reporter Matt Whithers.

But let’s not get carried away here - the results are based on a mere 420 respondents. So at best they’re only suggestive. Still, whichever way you cut it, it’s a majority.

Quick dismissals from the Brit Nats ... and Plaid

Of course, the Westminster parties were quick to dismiss the results. Peter Hain is "sceptical" and Nick Bourne thinks "talk of independence is pie in the sky." But that‘s to be expected, Westminster parties have always play-downed nationalistic support in Cymru, hoping that by ignoring it, it’ll go away.

Only marginally less disappointing was Ieuan Wyn Jones’s rather lukewarm response. "Whether people actually support everything that independence stands for I don't know, but I do think people are more prepared to consider making decisions for themselves," is all he could muster-up. Nobody is expecting Plaid to rejoice in fits of ecstasy but a little more enthusiasm for independence would be nice.

Government of Wales Act - a joke?

Although in favour of independence myself, I must confess to being in the minority regarding the new Government of Wales Act. Primary legislation on devolved issues only when Westminster has agreed to it? A referendum on whether to have a Scottish-style parliament only if it is voted for by a two-thirds majority in the Assembly and a majority in both the House of Commons and the Lords? It‘s a joke.

OK, it might be (slightly) better than nothing but for Peter Hain to claim that “We've now settled this whole issue of the constitutional future of Wales, I would say, pretty well for good" is frankly insulting.

No, at best this Act is a mere stepping-stone to a full parliament, and then independence.

(This story was also featured on British Nat Watch and Seren - both of which I highly recommend.)


At 9:58 PM, Blogger Sahaj said...

I fully agree wth these sentiments,
and I also recommend that the use of two placenames for towns and cities is a relic of colonialism, and only one (Welsh) name should be applied.

A. Jones

At 10:57 PM, Blogger Wynne Jones said...

Yep, I agree. Rhuthun/Ruthin is a good example. Most people I know - who are English-only speakers - pronounce it as "Rith-in". Welsh speakers, of course, pronounce it as "Rhith-in". Why the town was given the name "Ruthin" I do not know. It's as stupid as calling Caernarfon as Carnarvon!

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Independence4Celts said...

I totally agree. I just wish that the Welsh can be like the Scots and Irish and be more patriotic. We can manage ourselves; if Ireland can. We are one of the poorest nations in Western Europe. It's time that changed. I've done my bit for the language; even though I'm not a Welsh speaker' although I still think it's not enough. Another thing; I think it would be great to ask the english whether they want to get rid of us; I'm sure they would; like we would them. They only see us as a waste of space and that we are taking money from them; well let us go then, and we can show them that we can make it on our own.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger alanindyfed said...

If it should happen that Plaid and Labour form a majority coalition government it goes without saying that Labour will have to accept the aims of full devolution and the creation of a Welsh Parliament with all the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Alan in Dyfed

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Stewart said...

I am not Welsh but I fully support the independence of Wales - and the sooner the better!


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