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Tags Plaid Cymru , Wales elections , Wales issues , Wales politics

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Old 7th April 2021, 02:40 AM   #1
The Don
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Welsh Independence - Wexit

Plaid Cymru, the Welsh independence party, is offering an independence vote if they come to power in the Welsh Assembly elections.

Quote:
Plaid Cymru would hold an independence referendum within five years if it came to power in May's Senedd election.

Launching its manifesto, the party said it offered the "most radical programme" in "any Welsh election since 1945".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-56654580

Looking at Plaid's election performance, that's like offering free unicorn rides in the event that a herd of unicorns is found in the Black Mountains but IMO it's still significant that they're being this explicit. A combination of deep dissatisfaction with Brexit (despite a narrow margin in Wales being in favour) and the divergence between Westminster politics and the needs of Wales means that there is a small, but increasing, appetite for independence.
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:04 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Plaid Cymru, the Welsh independence party, is offering an independence vote if they come to power in the Welsh Assembly elections.



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-56654580

Looking at Plaid's election performance, that's like offering free unicorn rides in the event that a herd of unicorns is found in the Black Mountains but IMO it's still significant that they're being this explicit. A combination of deep dissatisfaction with Brexit (despite a narrow margin in Wales being in favour) and the divergence between Westminster politics and the needs of Wales means that there is a small, but increasing, appetite for independence.
Have the Welsh come to see that unpleasant reality of Brexit yet?
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:11 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Have the Welsh come to see that unpleasant reality of Brexit yet?
Many of the farmers have.
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:15 AM   #4
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After centuries of oppression and being treated as second class citizens of the Welsh want to leave?
How ungrateful.
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Old 7th April 2021, 06:00 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Don View Post
Many of the farmers have.
No pleasing some people. You give them what they voted for and suddenly they hate it.
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Old 7th April 2021, 06:01 AM   #6
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I used to think Wales was too wee and too poor to be independent, until I realised I was only falling for the same propaganda that has been used against Scotland. It's not true of Scotland and there's no reason it's true of Wales. If another country has extracted all your assets (and continues to do so) with no recompense, of course you're going to be poor.

There are plenty successful countries no larger than Wales and with no more natural assets and advantages. It's being able to manage these assets and advantages for your own benefit rather than having others walk off with the spoils that's the trick. They could start charging England for the water, for a start.

So good luck to them.
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Old 7th April 2021, 06:22 AM   #7
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Academic, since I haven’t lived in Wales for 19 years, but I don’t know how I would vote if I were back there. As a mixture of Welsh and Scottish heritage, and living most of my life in England, I’m instinctively a small u-unionist, and I believe countries are better off in bigger groupings. I did support devolution, and would even support that if there were credible support for an English parliament/assembly, or sensible regionalisation of England.

I was in Malaysia for both the 2014 and 2016 referenda, and for both of those when asked by Malaysians what I thought, I replied that I thought it would be better for Scotland/UK to stay in the UK/EU, but if enough people thought they were being held back/oppressed by the larger unit, then I would expect a sensible withdrawal, keeping close links to mutual benefit.

That’s probably what I would feel in this case as well, with the caveat that people haven’t exactly acted in line with what I thought of as sensible withdrawal. But then I think about the fact that in my lifetime, the Conservatives have never won more than 40% of the vote in Wales, and yet for 29 out of (almost) 42 years, they’ve run the show. I’m sure some people in Wales feel that’s too high an electoral price to pay for the benefits they get from the UK...particularly if Scotland does get independence, at which point it would probably mean the remnant UK would be under Tory rule for a long time.
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Old 7th April 2021, 08:13 AM   #8
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I'm of the opposite point of view. I see small countries of between about 2 million and 10 million population performing far better in terms of happiness and prosperity than larger units. I'm sick to the back teeth of Westminster taking all our assets, claiming these are "British" (and so by implication English) and then telling us we should be so grateful for their largesse when they give us a fraction back in pocket-money, because we'd be bankrupt without them.

I'm sick of seeing my culture reduced to a music-hall joke. I'm sick of any attempt to teach our actual history to our own children being monstered as "nationalist propaganda". I'm sick of being governed as a fractious colony by people who see us as exactly that and are determined not to lose our assets (even if they would be happy enough to lose us, as people).

I see other countries that make me sick with jealousy, despite the problems they have, as they also have the ability to address these problems for themselves and not be told, no we won't let you, by Big Brother 400 miles away.
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Old 7th April 2021, 08:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm of the opposite point of view. I see small countries of between about 2 million and 10 million population performing far better in terms of happiness and prosperity than larger units. I'm sick to the back teeth of Westminster taking all our assets, claiming these are "British" (and so by implication English) and then telling us we should be so grateful for their largesse when they give us a fraction back in pocket-money, because we'd be bankrupt without them.
I'm sympathetic to both views, myself. But ok, do a referendum, let's see what the people want. Maybe let's try to avoid the clusterduck of Brexit, however.
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Old 7th April 2021, 08:23 AM   #10
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Personally I hold to a mix of the Thousand State and Ten State models; large unions (like the EU) of small states who retain significant independence.
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Old 7th April 2021, 09:35 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I see small countries of between about 2 million and 10 million population performing far better in terms of happiness and prosperity than larger units.
This is an interesting point. I had a quick look at the table and the countries in that range I think I wouldn’t mind living in were nearly all in Northern and Western Europe, most in the EU and the others economically close to it. I think if some of them hadn’t been in the EU/EFTA and benefitted from being in the larger group, then perhaps I wouldn’t want to live there. Not sure though.

Quote:
I see other countries that make me sick with jealousy, despite the problems they have, as they also have the ability to address these problems for themselves and not be told, no we won't let you, by Big Brother 400 miles away.
Also a fair point, and you’d clearly be in my held back/oppressed camp who would firmly want to leave.

Out of curiosity, if leaving the UK meant having a similarly difficult and uncertain withdrawal to Brexit, would that be a price you would be happy to pay for independence?
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Old 7th April 2021, 09:48 AM   #12
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Perhaps it is when one country or nation dominate the others in the union that problems arise? I see many of the same complaints about Germany in the EU as about England in the UK. "They are taking our resources and always telling us what to do!"
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Old 7th April 2021, 09:50 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm of the opposite point of view. I see small countries of between about 2 million and 10 million population performing far better in terms of happiness and prosperity than larger units. I'm sick to the back teeth of Westminster taking all our assets, claiming these are "British" (and so by implication English) and then telling us we should be so grateful for their largesse when they give us a fraction back in pocket-money, because we'd be bankrupt without them.

I'm sick of seeing my culture reduced to a music-hall joke. I'm sick of any attempt to teach our actual history to our own children being monstered as "nationalist propaganda". I'm sick of being governed as a fractious colony by people who see us as exactly that and are determined not to lose our assets (even if they would be happy enough to lose us, as people).

I see other countries that make me sick with jealousy, despite the problems they have, as they also have the ability to address these problems for themselves and not be told, no we won't let you, by Big Brother 400 miles away.
Yes. I live in one.

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Old 7th April 2021, 11:38 AM   #14
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I support the idea of a Europe of the regions - central government on major policy, otherwise all devolved to smaller, more cohesive units. In my book, that's a win-win, as Europeans would in most instances see local flavor benefit more rather than less as Europe unites, preserving local identity, with less fear of being excessively homogenized.

OTOH, Spain, for example, hates the idea, as would France, both having breakaway regions and an historic obessesion with the dominant culture. Tough.
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Old 7th April 2021, 03:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I'm of the opposite point of view. I see small countries of between about 2 million and 10 million population performing far better in terms of happiness and prosperity than larger units..
Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Yes. I live in one.

Hans
Yes. So do I
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Old 7th April 2021, 05:13 PM   #16
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That sort of size seems to be big enough to avoid the sorts of problems Iceland has been experiencing, and to have a reasonably diverse economy, but small enough to stop too many people feeling alienated from government. Also small enough to have no ambitions to be a "global superpower", which is a huge benefit to both themselves and to the globe in general. At that size, countries go for peaceful co-operation rather than sabre-rattling, as a rule.
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Old 8th April 2021, 02:51 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Yes. So do I
Ditto.
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Old 8th April 2021, 03:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
I support the idea of a Europe of the regions - central government on major policy, otherwise all devolved to smaller, more cohesive units. In my book, that's a win-win, as Europeans would in most instances see local flavor benefit more rather than less as Europe unites, preserving local identity, with less fear of being excessively homogenized.

OTOH, Spain, for example, hates the idea, as would France, both having breakaway regions and an historic obessesion with the dominant culture. Tough.
That's close to my thinking.

UK-ian politicians as a breed have never been big on the idea of devolved, regional government (except for their own particular bit) and a move to a more federal model.

I mean, the farce of a vote on more devolved government for North East England showed how seriously the then-Labour government took it: offer us one of the worst models they could think of, then claim rejecting that useless model was a rejection of any idea of devolution.

And I have to say I struggle with any broad concept of "England" and "English-ness", as I see little in those that I can identify with. Who was it that said the first part of the British Empire was England?
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Old 8th April 2021, 03:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Carrot Flower King View Post
I mean, the farce of a vote on more devolved government for North East England showed how seriously the then-Labour government took it: offer us one of the worst models they could think of, then claim rejecting that useless model was a rejection of any idea of devolution.
That's pretty much SOP for anything the government doesn't want to implement, as witness the vote on proportional representation. The only surprising thing was that the Brexit referendum wasn't handled the same way; maybe that's what they intended.

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Old 8th April 2021, 04:00 AM   #20
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Welsh Independence - Wexit

OK, maybe this question isn't very important, but supposing this were to happen, what would Prince Charles' title be if Wales left the U.K.?


Mod InfoDerail on Ireland split to here.
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Old 8th April 2021, 04:11 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
OK, maybe this question isn't very important, but supposing this were to happen, what would Prince Charles' title be if Wales left the U.K.?
I'm sure that he could continue to be referred to as the Prince of Wales. AFAIK there doesn't have to be a specific link to a title and a geographic location.

Otherwise he would likely be Prince Charles, Duke of Cornwall.

Edited by zooterkin:  <snip> for off topic.

Last edited by zooterkin; 13th April 2021 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 8th April 2021, 05:38 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hlafordlaes View Post
I support the idea of a Europe of the regions - central government on major policy, otherwise all devolved to smaller, more cohesive units. In my book, that's a win-win, as Europeans would in most instances see local flavor benefit more rather than less as Europe unites, preserving local identity, with less fear of being excessively homogenized.

OTOH, Spain, for example, hates the idea, as would France, both having breakaway regions and an historic obessesion with the dominant culture. Tough.
In fact, I support a WORLD confederation of semi-independent states. But I expect that to take a few centuries to implement.

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Old 8th April 2021, 07:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
OK, maybe this question isn't very important, but supposing this were to happen, what would Prince Charles' title be if Wales left the U.K.?
He'd retain the title of Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay (he's not technically Prince of Wales in Scotland).
Edited by zooterkin:  <snip> for off topic.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:20 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
In fact, I support a WORLD confederation of semi-independent states. But I expect that to take a few centuries to implement.

Hans
Ah, the One State/Thousand State hybrid. A good finishing point, with the Ten State as an intermediate.
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Old 8th April 2021, 07:28 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
In fact, I support a WORLD confederation of semi-independent states. But I expect that to take a few centuries to implement.

Indeed. I remember some years ago having an argument with Soapy Sam who said two things I thought were plain wrong. One was that the direction of travel is to states uniting, not to states breaking up. That's plainly wrong. At the turn of the 20th century there were about 50 independent states, whereas there are now about 200. So factually the direction of travel is to smaller states. We only have to look at Europe to see that.

The other was that he favoured "one world government" and that any fracturing of a state was a step away from that. I couldn't get my head around that.

I can see two ways to "one world government", and the way that's promoted by the idea that states should get larger and larger (presumably by conquest or subsuming their neighbours) until there's only one of them absolutely horrifies me. It sounds like perpetual warfare getting worse and worse as larger states clash as to who should subsume whom, until you have only two superpowers and then what happens? Sounds like an absolute dystopia.

The other way is for states which see no threat of force from their neighbours coming together to pool sovereignty at national level, so that in the end the higher tiers of government mainly relating to global trade, relationships between states and possibly currency are dealt with by the top-level governing body at a global level. Leaving the individual states to look after their own local affairs within this framework. I don't want to have to send a docket to Beijing if the street light outside my window is malfunctioning.

The fact is that the latter route to one world government, no matter how likely or unlikely you think it might be to succeed, is the only one that doesn't involve a series of escalating wars. And larger states breaking up into smaller ones isn't simply no impediment to the process, it positively facilitates it. Large superpower states are the enemy of a world where states that don't threaten each other are co-operating amicably. For the one-world government fans, you should be celebrating occasions where large, unweildy states which try to "punch above their weight" and in which significant groups of people feel disenfranchised break up into smaller, more peaceful units. Not decrying this process with cries of "but you're taking me further from one world government!" Nonsense. A benign form of one world government is brought closer by the formation of smaller states, not further away.
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Old 8th April 2021, 08:13 AM   #26
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What's wrong with greater federalism? Anyone considering treating the Welsh like the Scots? Give them their own parliment? Same for the English?
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Old 8th April 2021, 08:28 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
What's wrong with greater federalism? Anyone considering treating the Welsh like the Scots? Give them their own parliment? Same for the English?
The Welsh have our own assembly (parliament). As it states in the OP, in the event that Plaid Cymru are successful in the assembly elections they promise an independence vote in the next 5 years.
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Old 8th April 2021, 08:39 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by ahhell View Post
What's wrong with greater federalism? Anyone considering treating the Welsh like the Scots? Give them their own parliment? Same for the English?

As The Don pointed out, Wales got its own parliament at the same time as Scotland did. England sees Westminster as its own parliament, that's the place where the power actually lies, and generally doesn't want what it sees as a local talking-shop to placate the natives.

The problems are disparity of size, and disrespect. No federation can work where one unit has 85% of the population. If it's one-man-one-vote then the smaller units have no chance. If it's one unit one vote, the large unit is outraged if any of its desires are thwarted by a smaller unit.

The respect thing is crucial. The devolved parliaments weren't set up to give the "colonies" any meaningful power, they were set up to placate people calling for meaningful power. So long as the Scottish parliament was run by unionists who would always do what Westminster told them to do, that was fine. Once the independence-suporting party took over, Westminster and the unionist parties have done nothing but try to undermine and defeat it. They don't want to see us running our own affairs in any meaningful sense and if we try, they'll move to restrict our powers. We are treated with disdain and hostility by Westminster and they certainly won't be offering any further powers.

Having said that, every time it looks as if Scotland might be showing a majority for independence, they promise us federalism. Don't vote for independence, vote No and you'll be a federal state within the year. Look how that turned out. It's like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown to kick, and she always pulls it away.

Federalism only works if no one unit is dominant, and if the various units have respect for each other. Never going to happen in Britain. And why should we even settle for that? We've been robbed blind and then told we were beggars for hundreds of years, why would we want to continue in an abusive relationship like that once we realised the truth?
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Old 8th April 2021, 09:00 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Indeed. I remember some years ago having an argument with Soapy Sam who said two things I thought were plain wrong. One was that the direction of travel is to states uniting, not to states breaking up. That's plainly wrong. At the turn of the 20th century there were about 50 independent states, whereas there are now about 200. So factually the direction of travel is to smaller states. We only have to look at Europe to see that.

The other was that he favoured "one world government" and that any fracturing of a state was a step away from that. I couldn't get my head around that.

I can see two ways to "one world government", and the way that's promoted by the idea that states should get larger and larger (presumably by conquest or subsuming their neighbours) until there's only one of them absolutely horrifies me. It sounds like perpetual warfare getting worse and worse as larger states clash as to who should subsume whom, until you have only two superpowers and then what happens? Sounds like an absolute dystopia.

The other way is for states which see no threat of force from their neighbours coming together to pool sovereignty at national level, so that in the end the higher tiers of government mainly relating to global trade, relationships between states and possibly currency are dealt with by the top-level governing body at a global level. Leaving the individual states to look after their own local affairs within this framework. I don't want to have to send a docket to Beijing if the street light outside my window is malfunctioning.

The fact is that the latter route to one world government, no matter how likely or unlikely you think it might be to succeed, is the only one that doesn't involve a series of escalating wars. And larger states breaking up into smaller ones isn't simply no impediment to the process, it positively facilitates it. Large superpower states are the enemy of a world where states that don't threaten each other are co-operating amicably. For the one-world government fans, you should be celebrating occasions where large, unweildy states which try to "punch above their weight" and in which significant groups of people feel disenfranchised break up into smaller, more peaceful units. Not decrying this process with cries of "but you're taking me further from one world government!" Nonsense. A benign form of one world government is brought closer by the formation of smaller states, not further away.
We are in agreement. The funny thing is that the federation needs not reduce the sovereignty of individual states. The big threat is that a world federal government must not grow into a complex bureaucratic mastodont as the EU has had a sorry tendency to to. It will have to be limited to maintaining and enforcing a federal constitution.

But, .. Rolfe, neither of us will even see the beginning of this. My only optimism is that if it can start and get some traction, it might be a self-supporting trend. The EU could be that starting place, but it would need a lot of cooler heads than there are at present. Structurally, the USA also has some good things, but their election system is ... batcrap.

Hans
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Old 8th April 2021, 09:10 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
Structurally, the USA also has some good things, but their election system is ... batcrap.

Hans
The problem is, our primary system screws things up. The other issue is that nobody is willing to let the other states do their own thing. Our civics education is also crap and almost nobody realizes the states and feds actually do have a system of shared sovereignty.
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Old 8th April 2021, 10:16 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by MRC_Hans View Post
But, .. Rolfe, neither of us will even see the beginning of this. My only optimism is that if it can start and get some traction, it might be a self-supporting trend. The EU could be that starting place, but it would need a lot of cooler heads than there are at present. Structurally, the USA also has some good things, but their election system is ... batcrap.

I don't think we'll see it, but I don't really care, it's not a big wish-list thing for me. I just get fed up with people saying, no Scotland isn't allowed to be independent because that would interfere with my eventual desire for One World Government.

One, not it won't, why should it, and two, so we should put up with being shoved around by a colonial occupying power because you have a dream for the 25th century?
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Old 13th April 2021, 07:57 AM   #32
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.... and back to the Welsh.
My worry about independence is trade. Wales is now primarily in the service sector. The facts of the matter are; there are no commercially viable coal seams left (who wants that smelly stuff anyway). The Steelworks are in disrepair and British made steel is uncompetitive. Our majestic docks were leveled to make way for Starbucks and Nando's and in short we have nothing left but Call Centres, Tourism, and Phone shops.
It's simply too late for Wales to prosper as an independent state.

Does anyone know the going exchange rate for Love Spoons and a barrell of oil?


On a phone, fat fingers and crappy eyesight. Sorry for typos and/Orr auto translates...




ETA: I left Wales 20 years ago, I'm afraid my opinions are moot.
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Old 13th April 2021, 08:13 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
.... and back to the Welsh.
My worry about independence is trade. Wales is now primarily in the service sector. The facts of the matter are; there are no commercially viable coal seams left (who wants that smelly stuff anyway). The Steelworks are in disrepair and British made steel is uncompetitive. Our majestic docks were leveled to make way for Starbucks and Nando's and in short we have nothing left but Call Centres, Tourism, and Phone shops.
It's simply too late for Wales to prosper as an independent state.

Does anyone know the going exchange rate for Love Spoons and a barrell of oil?


On a phone, fat fingers and crappy eyesight. Sorry for typos and/Orr auto translates...




ETA: I left Wales 20 years ago, I'm afraid my opinions are moot.
You are being a tad negative - there are also Welsh Cakes!
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Old 13th April 2021, 08:26 AM   #34
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My own view is that no country with even modest resources which became independent ever wanted to go back. Even countries that are quite deprived mostly seem to prefer the opportunity to control their own resources than having someone else control them (and usually taking a big fat cut off the top).

I've listened to people in Ecuador railing against their govermnent saying that they've been a "developing" country for the past 100 years and with their resources why on earth aren't they developed yet, and then it gets on to politician corruption and so on, but if you suggested they'd be better off if they were ruled by Spain again, or indeed if they had never achieved independence from Spain, they'd laugh in your face.

The reason Wales is light on serious industry is precisely because it has been administered as a poor province of England for the past umpteen centuries. It isn't going to get any better, in fact given what's in Westminster it's going to get worse. You can sit around hoping Westminster will give you a break, or that somehow they'll actually allow Wales to develop in such a way that it prospers more within the union, or you can start thinking about and taking steps to repatriate control of your resources and your destiny and act like grown-ups.

I know which I'd do. 100% of the experience of countries that have gone before you says go for it. You get prosperity, happiness and self-esteem like nothing you had while you were being run as a colony. I do not believe that the Welsh are uniquely incapable of managing their own affairs, alone out of almost all the countries in the world. (Of course they say the same about Scotlsnd, Anybody notice a pattern here? They said the same about absolutely every single British colony before its independence.)
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Old 13th April 2021, 10:13 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
The reason Wales is light on serious industry is precisely because it has been administered as a poor province of England for the past umpteen centuries. It isn't going to get any better, in fact given what's in Westminster it's going to get worse.


Just no; you have little understanding of Wales and its history.
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Old 13th April 2021, 10:18 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by welshdean View Post
It's simply too late for Wales to prosper as an independent state.
It could, but the biggest issues are a long and porous border with England, and a large public sector.

It could go down the Irish low tax route, but would not be able to support current public spending; tax increases would see businesses move across the border.
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Old 13th April 2021, 11:33 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Aber View Post


Just no; you have little understanding of Wales and its history.

It might be the old Scots vs Welsh thing again. The two have had a rivalry for some time.
And I think Rolfe want the UK to break up;he will deny it, of course, but I think he is driven by a general dislike of the English.
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Old 13th April 2021, 01:23 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It might be the old Scots vs Welsh thing again. The two have had a rivalry for some time.
And I think Rolfe want the UK to break up;he will deny it, of course, but I think he is driven by a general dislike of the English.
Rolfe is a she.
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Old 13th April 2021, 02:02 PM   #39
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And I don't dislike English people at all. I lived there for 25 years. It's possible to want your own country to be independent without disliking anyone, you know, although there seems to be a theme in parts of the English press that independence does mean hating the other which is quite sad really.
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