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Scottish/Welsh Independence.

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dyniol53 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2021 at 11:48pm
I do get the point though that institutions do decay, and they do fracture. The U.K. is only a 300 year old institution, so it’s possible that 300-400 years is it’s shelf life.

The relationship between Wales and England is a lot longer than that tho and due to the proximity the lives of English and welsh people are much more intertwined than many Scots and English. 

The USA is a 250 year old institution, and a very powerful one, but boy does it feel like it’s got the capacity to collapse any minute 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 8:23am
Originally posted by SA14 SA14 wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

I’m sure a lot want independence just not to be associated with England. I can’t see it ever happening. 

There's blood and soil nationalism all over the world and it'd be remiss of me to deny that it exists in Wales. But I will say that I find it to be a very small minority in the movement. Nearly everyone I talk to talks about political power, self determination, democracy and so on. The thrust of the argument is consistently that the UK govt is mainly responsible for Wales' economy and it's done a pretty dire job of it. People are eager to establish a Welsh State so as to get to grips with our economy. They look to the likes of Ireland, Estonia and others and feel like we could do a decent job of things ourselves too.

I am picking up on another feeling coming through strongly though. There's always been anti-Tory sentiment in Wales. The Tories reaction to the threat of Scottish seccession and Irish unification has been to double down on their version of Britishness. I feel that they've moved beyond Unionism. I think large numbers of them have become full blown British Nationalists. Welsh Labour have done their own internal polls - half their membership are in favour of independence. I'd bet my bottom dollar that the Tories recent "muscular unionism" is a big part of that. A number of them have been at pains to describe the UK as a single contiguous Nation. It's things like that that's turning people away.

On the matter of polls, when I started out over 30 years ago advocating a Welsh State, polls showed around 5% in favour. Today that stands at around 25%. The direction of travel is significant. With Scotland on a knife edge (about 50/50 for some time now) and a Republican majority expected at the next NI elections we may find our own polls change significantly if Scotland and NI do go. A lot of Labour people I know would not be happy to remain part of a Kingdom of England and Wales.

Personally, I'm part English myself. What I advocate is the same as Plaid's policy. A Confederation of Sovereign British States. We could even go a bit further, call it a Council of the Isles and invite Irish participation to an extent that suits them if it has the effect of a peaceful reunification of Ireland insofar as it allows Ulster Unionists to continue to posses a British identity.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 8:27am
Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

Thumbs Up

I think most people aren't opposed on principle but it's the upheaval and uncertainty that's off-putting. I'm of the opinion that upheaval and uncertainty is coming regardless. Like all systems of government the UK will come to an end one day. It looks like that day may come sooner rather than later the way things have gone these last 5 years. It would be wise to start planning now. Plaid commissioned a report which was quite useful on the process. Welsh gov is currently consulting on a future constitution. Their preferred option is a Federal UK. Personally I agree with Plaid here. I favour a confederation of sovereign British states along the lines of Benelux. In that regard the UK is not a prerequisite for "Britishness".

I re-read your post. In the independence debates I often look for copy and paste arguements from the Brexit debate. Is there a single pro-Welsh independence arguement that couldn’t have been made for Brexit? 

In reading your post, I’d guess you’re pro-independence, but would you be pro independent wales outside of the EU, as Iceland are?

I'm personally pro-EU but it's not a prerequisite for me in terms of establishing a sovereign Welsh State. In fact Iceland and Norway present a very good template for us in many ways. EFTA membership might be just the ticket in fact. I also believe a Welsh currency would have big advatages for us in terms of possessing fiscal levers to bring to bear on our economy - just as Iceland and Norway have. Access to the single market is the big advantage of their arrangements and I'd very much appreciate Wales having that.


Edited by totallybiasedscarlet - 19 November 2021 at 8:29am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 9:19am
Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

Thumbs Up

I think most people aren't opposed on principle but it's the upheaval and uncertainty that's off-putting. I'm of the opinion that upheaval and uncertainty is coming regardless. Like all systems of government the UK will come to an end one day. It looks like that day may come sooner rather than later the way things have gone these last 5 years. It would be wise to start planning now. Plaid commissioned a report which was quite useful on the process. Welsh gov is currently consulting on a future constitution. Their preferred option is a Federal UK. Personally I agree with Plaid here. I favour a confederation of sovereign British states along the lines of Benelux. In that regard the UK is not a prerequisite for "Britishness".

I re-read your post. In the independence debates I often look for copy and paste arguements from the Brexit debate. Is there a single pro-Welsh independence arguement that couldn’t have been made for Brexit? 

In reading your post, I’d guess you’re pro-independence, but would you be pro independent wales outside of the EU, as Iceland are?

I'm personally pro-EU but it's not a prerequisite for me in terms of establishing a sovereign Welsh State. In fact Iceland and Norway present a very good template for us in many ways. EFTA membership might be just the ticket in fact. I also believe a Welsh currency would have big advatages for us in terms of possessing fiscal levers to bring to bear on our economy - just as Iceland and Norway have. Access to the single market is the big advantage of their arrangements and I'd very much appreciate Wales having that.

Thanks totallybiased for some very interesting comments clearly stated & clearly well thought through. Have you ever considered running for the Senedd??? Your arguments will definitely have me considering moving from the 75% to join with the 25%. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 9:34am
Originally posted by GPR - Rochester GPR - Rochester wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

Thumbs Up

I think most people aren't opposed on principle but it's the upheaval and uncertainty that's off-putting. I'm of the opinion that upheaval and uncertainty is coming regardless. Like all systems of government the UK will come to an end one day. It looks like that day may come sooner rather than later the way things have gone these last 5 years. It would be wise to start planning now. Plaid commissioned a report which was quite useful on the process. Welsh gov is currently consulting on a future constitution. Their preferred option is a Federal UK. Personally I agree with Plaid here. I favour a confederation of sovereign British states along the lines of Benelux. In that regard the UK is not a prerequisite for "Britishness".

I re-read your post. In the independence debates I often look for copy and paste arguements from the Brexit debate. Is there a single pro-Welsh independence arguement that couldn’t have been made for Brexit? 

In reading your post, I’d guess you’re pro-independence, but would you be pro independent wales outside of the EU, as Iceland are?

I'm personally pro-EU but it's not a prerequisite for me in terms of establishing a sovereign Welsh State. In fact Iceland and Norway present a very good template for us in many ways. EFTA membership might be just the ticket in fact. I also believe a Welsh currency would have big advatages for us in terms of possessing fiscal levers to bring to bear on our economy - just as Iceland and Norway have. Access to the single market is the big advantage of their arrangements and I'd very much appreciate Wales having that.

Thanks totallybiased for some very interesting comments clearly stated & clearly well thought through. Have you ever considered running for the Senedd??? Your arguments will definitely have me considering moving from the 75% to join with the 25%. 

Thanks GPR that's very kind of you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greypower1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 10:06am
Funding for HS2 is a great argument for Wales independence.
Wales are contributing appx £5 billion to the scheme with no discernable gain.
Scotland and N Ireland get Barnett formula funding as a percentage of the total spend.  How is that fair?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 10:59am
Originally posted by greypower1 greypower1 wrote:

Funding for HS2 is a great argument for Wales independence.
Wales are contributing appx £5 billion to the scheme with no discernable gain.
Scotland and N Ireland get Barnett formula funding as a percentage of the total spend.  How is that fair?

Prof Mark Barry is worth reading on this: https://swalesmetroprof.blog/

Welsh Labour MP's voted for this being an "England and Wales" project despite it being projected to cost the Welsh economy £150M a year. I don't know why they did but it means we get no Barnett consequential and so Welsh taxpayers money is going towards the project with no discernable benefit to Wales. Mark Barry has calculated that Wales has lost £3Bn on rail expenditure over the first part of this century - that's in addition to what we're losing on HS2. This is the economic argument in a nutshell. Wales needs investment in order to lift the economy. We're not getting the capital expediture we need (GERW says we get 70% of the UK capex per person on transport). Westminster has an incredible blindspot on this.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 12:42pm
Welsh nationalists let their hearts rule their heads. Wales would collapse economically,we have the lowest percentage of high earners, the highest percentage of benefit earners and ab normally high rate of civil servants. Not to mention a senedd made of people who never had any track record of success in business.  And who are so cardiff centric it is senseless.  What currency could we use? Who would pay all the state pensions people are due or all the civil servants generous pensions?? What happens to all our personell employed the mod?

Edited by RR1972 - 19 November 2021 at 12:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:04pm
Originally posted by RR1972 RR1972 wrote:

Welsh nationalists let their hearts rule their heads. Wales would collapse economically,we have the lowest percentage of high earners, the highest percentage of benefit earners and ab normally high rate of civil servants. Not to mention a senedd made of people who never had any track record of success in business.  And who are so cardiff centric it is senseless.  What currency could we use? Who would pay all the state pensions people are due or all the civil servants generous pensions?? What happens to all our personell employed the mod?

I've already answered much of that RR.

I don't agree it's a matter of heart over head at all. I've already outlined earlier in this thread why I believe it is in fact economic development (or lack thereof) that's driving the break-up of the UK. If you look at the link to my blog you'll see a chart that shows that countries of fewer than 5 million have a higher GDP per person than larger countries. We also live in one of the richest regions in the world in Western Europe. How then do we come bottom of the pile of Western European Nations according to most socio-economic metrics? We have to point the finger at those who govern us and the macroeconomic and fiscal policies that have led to our current situation are all exercised at Westminster. The Senedd simply does not posses the powers to dent our economic trajectory. 

I for one look on at the likes of Ireland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Estonia, The Czech Republic, Slovakia and so on enviously, seeing them mandating their own national governments, developing economically, engaging on a world stage and generally improving the lot of their citizens. I look at Wales and see stunted development and a political establishment with an enormous blindspot doing a poor job of Wales' development. I want Wales to be a grown up democracy improving its lot in life just like those other countries. I think that's entirely reasonable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GPR - Rochester Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:11pm
[QUOTE=RR1972]Welsh nationalists let their hearts rule their heads. Wales would collapse economically,we have the lowest percentage of high earners, the highest percentage of benefit earners and ab normally high rate of civil servants. Not to mention a senedd made of people who never had any track record of success in business.  And who are so cardiff centric it is senseless.  What currency could we use? Who would pay all the state pensions people are due or all the civil servants generous pensions?? What happens to all our personell employed the mod?[/QUO

TBS makes a very valid point RR. All the things you outline are true but it is also true that Wales' fiscal mess was brought about during financial rule from Westminster. Could a Welsh based government with tax & spending powers do any worse? 

I do not think that supporters of Welsh or Scottish independence advocate a complete break from the Uk - more a UK of Independent countries. Of course any Cardiff based government would require a lot of upskilling from the existing inhabitants. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RR1972 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:19pm
I just think we Are better with the devil we know. Since devoultion things like education and health have got worse not better
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:29pm
Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by SA14 SA14 wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

I’m sure a lot want independence just not to be associated with England. I can’t see it ever happening. 

There's blood and soil nationalism all over the world and it'd be remiss of me to deny that it exists in Wales. But I will say that I find it to be a very small minority in the movement. Nearly everyone I talk to talks about political power, self determination, democracy and so on. The thrust of the argument is consistently that the UK govt is mainly responsible for Wales' economy and it's done a pretty dire job of it. People are eager to establish a Welsh State so as to get to grips with our economy. They look to the likes of Ireland, Estonia and others and feel like we could do a decent job of things ourselves too.

I am picking up on another feeling coming through strongly though. There's always been anti-Tory sentiment in Wales. The Tories reaction to the threat of Scottish seccession and Irish unification has been to double down on their version of Britishness. I feel that they've moved beyond Unionism. I think large numbers of them have become full blown British Nationalists. Welsh Labour have done their own internal polls - half their membership are in favour of independence. I'd bet my bottom dollar that the Tories recent "muscular unionism" is a big part of that. A number of them have been at pains to describe the UK as a single contiguous Nation. It's things like that that's turning people away.

On the matter of polls, when I started out over 30 years ago advocating a Welsh State, polls showed around 5% in favour. Today that stands at around 25%. The direction of travel is significant. With Scotland on a knife edge (about 50/50 for some time now) and a Republican majority expected at the next NI elections we may find our own polls change significantly if Scotland and NI do go. A lot of Labour people I know would not be happy to remain part of a Kingdom of England and Wales.

Personally, I'm part English myself. What I advocate is the same as Plaid's policy. A Confederation of Sovereign British States. We could even go a bit further, call it a Council of the Isles and invite Irish participation to an extent that suits them if it has the effect of a peaceful reunification of Ireland insofar as it allows Ulster Unionists to continue to posses a British identity.

I agree, there's a paradox in Britishness that it's a used interchangeably with Enligshness and there are paradoxes in that in a sense that if English people want to maintain a coherent British identity that encompasses Welshness and Scottishness they're going to have to give something up.

I mean, I find one example of this being the contradiction of the English national anthem being god save the queen, and it also being the British national anthem. 

So when the English sing their anthem in sports between Wales and Scotland, the Scots and the Welsh are essentially having two of their anthems played..? It doesn't really make sense if you're a British/English person who wants to accommodate Wales and Scotland into a British identity.

And then when a welsh or Scottish athlete win an Olympic gold they get rewarded by playing the English British national anthem. 

Obviously it's slightly trivial but there's the equivalent comparison to politics and economics where Wales and Scotland have parliaments but the English don't, they're satisfied with the British parliament.

Polls show that the English don't want a separate parliament but to some extent the answer to Scottish and Welsh devolution has to be that the English, in some ways, acknowledge their status as a constituent country within the UK rather than the main ingredient. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:42pm
Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

I'm personally pro-EU but it's not a prerequisite for me in terms of establishing a sovereign Welsh State. In fact Iceland and Norway present a very good template for us in many ways. EFTA membership might be just the ticket in fact. I also believe a Welsh currency would have big advatages for us in terms of possessing fiscal levers to bring to bear on our economy - just as Iceland and Norway have. Access to the single market is the big advantage of their arrangements and I'd very much appreciate Wales having that.

I agree EFTA. 

Isn't the issue with creating a new currency that its valuation would be low and so interest rates on any government borrowing (which would be necessary) would be exceptionally high.

Whereas when the UK government borrows from the Bank of England at very low interest rates and the money that does eventually get spent in Wales is much cheaper lending than if an independent country with its own (devalued) currency was borrowing.

^ that's probably a bad explanation but I seem to remember it being a theme during the Scots IndyRef2 on the choice of: a.) pegging to the pound, b.) join Euro, c.) new currency. 

The downsides respectively being, a.) you don't have fiscal control to set interest rates, b.) you don't have an adequate deficit to join € yet, and c.) being extremely expensive.

I like that you're referencing Ireland and Estonia, however I think there's a lesson in looking at what specific policies they've used to encourage their recent economic growth and then trying to see if the WAG could emulate them in Wales right now (and which they CAN'T because of the union), and then using pursuing those policies as a reason for more devolution or independence.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dyniol53 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 1:55pm
Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by greypower1 greypower1 wrote:

Funding for HS2 is a great argument for Wales independence.
Wales are contributing appx £5 billion to the scheme with no discernable gain.
Scotland and N Ireland get Barnett formula funding as a percentage of the total spend.  How is that fair?

Prof Mark Barry is worth reading on this: https://swalesmetroprof.blog/

Welsh Labour MP's voted for this being an "England and Wales" project despite it being projected to cost the Welsh economy £150M a year. I don't know why they did but it means we get no Barnett consequential and so Welsh taxpayers money is going towards the project with no discernable benefit to Wales. Mark Barry has calculated that Wales has lost £3Bn on rail expenditure over the first part of this century - that's in addition to what we're losing on HS2. This is the economic argument in a nutshell. Wales needs investment in order to lift the economy. We're not getting the capital expediture we need (GERW says we get 70% of the UK capex per person on transport). Westminster has an incredible blindspot on this.

Again, generally agree. And I don't think HS2 will be worth what's spent on it for anyone. 

But when people say it has no discernible benefit to Wales I think of in this case my girlfriends's mum is an engineering manager on HS2, and she's welsh. So she's a welsh person benefitting from being part of a British infrastructure project. 

Would she get that sort of job if Wales were independent? Maybe, but also maybe not. 

Obviously this doesn't mean HS2 is beneficial for Wales on the whole, but what I think it's an example of is a benefit to welsh people of being able to freely operate between Wales and England. 

As I've said before I'm welsh, have worked in Glasgow and now live in London. Isn't that exactly the sort of benefit that being part of a British state allows - would being independent or even more federal allow such flexibility. 

This was one of the best arguments for Remain in my view, as it's now much harder for me to go and work in the EU and that's a bit sad. I understand not everyone works in the industry I do and so voting for a bit more control over their elected leaders at the expense of some (my) extra personal freedoms is an understandable trade off. 

I'm asking but would an independent or further devolved Scotland/Wales compromise such freedom? Because one of the biggest sort of issues of being so close to a megacity is actually just brain drain of workers from smaller towns and cities to that city. And being an independent Scotland/Wales wouldn't change that, I don't think..?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greypower1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 4:29pm
Still doesn't answer why Scotland and Northern Ireland are getting a Barnett formula payout fro UK spending on HS2 and Wales get nothing.  Jobs on the HS2 are open to Scots, N Irish as well as Welsh so that is absolutely no exclusive benefit to us being stakeholders in the project.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote totallybiasedscarlet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 November 2021 at 5:29pm
Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Originally posted by SA14 SA14 wrote:

Originally posted by dyniol53 dyniol53 wrote:

Originally posted by totallybiasedscarlet totallybiasedscarlet wrote:

Just transferring this from another thread:


I'm happy to admit that I'm purely a layman when it comes to politics and economics. The above is purely my opinion. I looked at the figures and came to my own conclusions. It doesn't offend me in the slightest if people don't agree but I hope it is at least food for thought.


I love this. I’m generally indie-skeptic (have posted about feeling British elsewhere on this thread) but I don’t reject the idea of welsh independence at all; but I generally suspect it’d leave Wales economically worse off - but you’ve given a serious thought to it here and considered the trade offs in a way I don’t often encounter.

I’m sure a lot want independence just not to be associated with England. I can’t see it ever happening. 

There's blood and soil nationalism all over the world and it'd be remiss of me to deny that it exists in Wales. But I will say that I find it to be a very small minority in the movement. Nearly everyone I talk to talks about political power, self determination, democracy and so on. The thrust of the argument is consistently that the UK govt is mainly responsible for Wales' economy and it's done a pretty dire job of it. People are eager to establish a Welsh State so as to get to grips with our economy. They look to the likes of Ireland, Estonia and others and feel like we could do a decent job of things ourselves too.

I am picking up on another feeling coming through strongly though. There's always been anti-Tory sentiment in Wales. The Tories reaction to the threat of Scottish seccession and Irish unification has been to double down on their version of Britishness. I feel that they've moved beyond Unionism. I think large numbers of them have become full blown British Nationalists. Welsh Labour have done their own internal polls - half their membership are in favour of independence. I'd bet my bottom dollar that the Tories recent "muscular unionism" is a big part of that. A number of them have been at pains to describe the UK as a single contiguous Nation. It's things like that that's turning people away.

On the matter of polls, when I started out over 30 years ago advocating a Welsh State, polls showed around 5% in favour. Today that stands at around 25%. The direction of travel is significant. With Scotland on a knife edge (about 50/50 for some time now) and a Republican majority expected at the next NI elections we may find our own polls change significantly if Scotland and NI do go. A lot of Labour people I know would not be happy to remain part of a Kingdom of England and Wales.

Personally, I'm part English myself. What I advocate is the same as Plaid's policy. A Confederation of Sovereign British States. We could even go a bit further, call it a Council of the Isles and invite Irish participation to an extent that suits them if it has the effect of a peaceful reunification of Ireland insofar as it allows Ulster Unionists to continue to posses a British identity.

I agree, there's a paradox in Britishness that it's a used interchangeably with Enligshness and there are paradoxes in that in a sense that if English people want to maintain a coherent British identity that encompasses Welshness and Scottishness they're going to have to give something up.

I mean, I find one example of this being the contradiction of the English national anthem being god save the queen, and it also being the British national anthem. 

So when the English sing their anthem in sports between Wales and Scotland, the Scots and the Welsh are essentially having two of their anthems played..? It doesn't really make sense if you're a British/English person who wants to accommodate Wales and Scotland into a British identity.

And then when a welsh or Scottish athlete win an Olympic gold they get rewarded by playing the English British national anthem. 

Obviously it's slightly trivial but there's the equivalent comparison to politics and economics where Wales and Scotland have parliaments but the English don't, they're satisfied with the British parliament.

Polls show that the English don't want a separate parliament but to some extent the answer to Scottish and Welsh devolution has to be that the English, in some ways, acknowledge their status as a constituent country within the UK rather than the main ingredient. 

This part of the debate is very interesting. Do you follow Roger Awan-Scully or Richard Wyn Jones at all? Prof Jones co-wrote a book called "Englishness" recently. It looks at it in context of being an electoral phenomenon as much a cultural one. I think I'm right in saying that in England support for an English parliament has risen recently. I believe it polls highest amongst Tory voters. This page contains some polls but I think they're a bit out of date now: https://thecep.org.uk/polls/
"If it's on, we back our skills and our confidence ... We've got some great players, play a good brand and we enjoy doing it." Ken Owens
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