Wales - land of benevolent nationalism
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Ever since I came across the xenophobic English messageboard on Action Against Anglophobia, I've been scouring the net for a Welsh equivalent.
I searched in Welsh and English and followed links to places that were as dead as a former Iraqi tyrant - all to no avail.
There were some inflammatory comments on maes-e.com - the Welsh language discussion board - but these were usually silenced by other, more moderate voices. Even Cymuned, the Welsh nationalist activists, appear to have shaken-off the cloak of extremism with which they are so often associated in the media.
In fact, Cymuned seem to have multiplied, if not grown recently, and now have a ream of websites for their ongoing campaigns. One of these, notenglish.com, is markedly tame.
So what's the deal? Is it that even the most hardcore Welsh nationalism is lacking the hateful bite of its English equivalent, or does it exist, but not yet openly on the web? Perhaps it'll all change when broadband reaches the furthest corners of West and North Wales? Or maybe Welsh nationalists are just nicer?
[This is by no means a water-tight study. If you know of any racist websites from either side of the border, please do let us know in the comments.]
posted by Blamerbell @ 10:37 am,
- At 12:32 pm, chris doidge said...
Hi, English person here, living in Cardiff. Not much of a nationalist, except maybe a British one. Welsh nationalism seems to be quite a funny thing. They seem to think that the English hate them, which they/we don't.
Scottish nationalism is much more "we don't want to be associated with those English scum" whereas Welsh nationalism is more "we don't want to be seen as inferior to those English scum".
Essentially, it's fine in terms of preserving culture, but becomes a bit silly when it gets political.
- At 12:53 pm, Blamerbell said...
There was a good post by Tomos Livingstone on this earlier in the week:
"First Minister Rhodri Morgan once told me that he wanted to change the psychological make-up of Wales, to get rid of the idea that everything was England's fault. He used the Eisteddfodic notion of 'cael cam' to express it - basically we was robbed, but specifically by an unaccountable higher power [be it Eisteddfod judges or Whitehall]."
- At 3:28 pm, cymrumark said...
As a Welsh nationalist with an english accent I have to disagree with Chris Doidge.
I have had many older english people living in Llandudno attempt to engage me in conversation about how awful the welsh are and how england is full of black people etc. Telling them I am a plaid activist and my wife is peruvian usually ends the conversation.
Most Welsh nationalists have little interest in England at all either positive or negative.
We dislike the "british government" as a highly centralised government (which we still have) inevitably takes little interest in what is appropriate for Wales.
Welsh and Scottish nationalism tends to be more inclusive than Unionists would wish to believe. Hence those of us from not obviously welsh backgrounds being encouraged to take a leading role in the party etc.
I wonder how Chris doidge would preserve culture without political activity? The language and the culture have survived because of political pressure and will only be secure through political will.
- At 5:50 pm, Chanticleer said...
Cymuned's coffers are being nicely filled by some American donations these days, it seems.
There's nothing unusual in attracting some support from ex-pats, but I think it signals a new wave of activism where traditional placard-wavers are becoming more slick at lobbying parliamentarians for nationalist concessions.
Nationalism with a small 'n' of course; not everyone who wants Wales for the Welsh necessarily votes Plaid.
- At 10:31 am, chris doidge said...
Oh yeah, but we know what old many English people are like. They still think the Germans are after us. They're not very representative of nationalism in England.
I was perhaps over-simplifying the culture/politics debate a bit, but there's a difference between the 'high politics' of changing the constitution and the 'low politics' of preserving the language and history.