Letter from Wales: The Scottish referendum has reheated daft talk of Welsh independence. Pub Uncut 28.2.14

Scotland has some serious history. It has produced pure genius in the arts, philosophy, engineering and politics. One can understand a case for independence and separateness, albeit that abstention from out and out support may well be one’s personal inclination.

But is independence desirable?

Is the breakup of such a small land, a land that is so dependent on all its people pulling and working together, the future? Does Sir Colin Campbell’s Thin Red Line matter anymore, where is the enemy?

We have heard all the economic arguments, but is there not the more teasing question of how long finite natural resources ie gas and oil are going to last?

This writer must argue that the future of any world order cannot depend upon sovereign state autonomy and the sanctity of identity. The future for mankind must be consensus, co-operation and a barrier free global sharing of natural resources.

An idyll perhaps, even a fantasy bearing in mind the ghastly history of human kind with its wanton greed and wholesale brutality, but if Einstein believed in a benevolent and equitable ‘World government’ free of identity obsession and the selfish hoarding of the means of existence, then whom am I to argue?

After all, one only has to consider the first and second World Wars to appreciate the destructive nature of nationalist intent.

A breaking up of the United Kingdom, will be a breaking up of its future, its wealth, its influence. But more profoundly than anything else, it will be a breaking up of who and what we are and a goodbye to hundreds of years of democratic development and maturity.

Needless to say the Scottish independence debate is reincarnating the bones of Owen Glendower and reigniting the dynamite sticks of Saunders Lewis, here in the principality. The magnificently deluded and revisionist fairy tale of a Welsh ‘state’ cannot it must be clearly stated, compare in any way, shape or form to the Scottish agenda.

A banana republic Welsh style, has as much chance of becoming a reality as two Taffy camels setting up an haute cuisine restaurant in Cardiff Bay for the jet setting officials of the Arts Council of Wales.

Putting aside the so-called liquid gold of Welsh water as a means of financial independence and sustainability (by the way, the costs of piping the stuff out beyond the present delivery infrastructure is far too prohibitive according to water company bosses), one must consider some HMRC statistics for 2010 – 11 i.e. one in 16 Welsh earners paid the highest rate of income tax. This number fell, according the Telegraph from 1.4 million in 2010-11 to 1.35 million in 2013.

Elfyn Lloyd (he whom I’d had a verbal scrap with on the Jeremy Vine Show back in January 2013), Westminster’s Plaid Cymru leader said of these figures: “Captains of industry in Wales may be residing elsewhere…..it is a failure of governments to increase Wales’s gross domestic product.”

Before going any further one is compelled to ask, who exactly are these Captains of Welsh industry and where are they residing?

There is no private sector in Wales to speak of and what there is, is dependent on taxpayer hand out.

One must also consider a few other facts in relation to Wales as stated on the BBC’s Wales Today news programme broadcast 25.2.14:
» 59% of people in Wales are obese.
» According to the recent Estyn and Pisa reports, Welsh children are some of the most illiterate in Europe.
» £4 billion of European subsidy gone AWOL and Wales continuing to travel in a GDP downward spiral.

So, what can one conclude from all this apart from the fact that Wales has been ill served by its leaders for far too long?

Wales is not Scotland, nor can it ever hope to be.

Its GDP is so low as to make it totally dependent on Westminster and its workforce is unlikely to attract the most optimistic of ‘Captain’s’, unless of course said Captain is from the Johnny Depp school of maritime entrepreneurship!

PS Wales has a critical problem where the recruitment of doctors is concerned. A reason for this and one that is never reported on Welsh media platforms, is that medicos simply do not want to come to Wales.

And why?

Talk to any GP practising in the principality and the answer will always be the same: Wales is poor and the health of Welsh folk even poorer. Why would a young doc want to come here and be worked to death when they can take up a post in England that is far less demanding and stressful?

JR

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