Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Independence? Yes? No?

Living in Wales you will have heard of the word ‘Independence’. As I have originally come from the Netherlands, which is also known as Holland by foreigners (Holland is basically the two western sea side provinces) which also has had years of struggle with the Spanish empire and also the French and German empires, I understand the wish to be independent from an overbearing neighbour. Wales has its own language, its own long history. But the Anglo-Saxons and Normans had other ideas (and still do – remember the Welsh knot!). However, the question really is can Wales afford to be independent? Ever since the English conquest Wales has been used as a backdrop, an area to be profited from by English overlords. When coal was found, English money to dig pits came quickly but all profits went to mostly English grandees. Sure, they build vast houses, castles even, in the Welsh countryside giving employment to some impoverished young Welsh maidens as slaves to the masters. Things do not change much because most big factories in Wales today are English companies or foreign nationals. But the world has moved on and history is something to be learned from. Ever since humans set foot in Europe there have been wars, wars to establish large empires. Tribal wars metamorphosed into country wars and world wars. Today there are two large empires, Russia and the US with possibly the Chinese as a third. The trend though is that these empires are under threat from within. The various peoples they comprise feel marginalised as indeed we here in Wales are as well. The trend therefore is to want to self-govern, initially in a federal style with the defence of the total only being the responsibility of the federal government. But finally to be completely independent. It will not be easy, there will be a lot of bickering about money! Who pays for what. Arguments over responsibility, humans are no different from any other animal. We are all concerned about ourselves first and foremost. Only when we are OK, have what we think we need will we give a thought to others and other things. Perhaps we need to self-evaluate before jumping. But jump we should!

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