Britain v Wales (the never-ending war)

The ConDem coalition in London have appointed David Davies, MP for Monmouth (always pronounced Mun-muth by the Brit white-settler tendency in east Wales), as chairman of Westminster’s Welsh affairs select committee. This appointment, the political equivalent of putting Myra Hindley in charge of a pre-school playgroup, clarifies the Tory plans for Wales.  Davies, an Englishman who moved to Wales as a child when his arriviste father set up a road haulage firm in Newport, founded and led with trademark aggressive incomprehension the ‘Just Say No’ campaign against Welsh devolution in 1997. Like all of his ilk, he finds the very existence of Wales an outrage (although that didn’t stop him becoming the Monmouth AM in 1999 and trousering the big salary and perks), and he is now in a position to do something about it. Along with Cheryl Gillan, the new Secretary of State for Wales who descended on Cardiff this month to patronisingly inform AMs at the Senedd who was boss now, Davies will seek to claw back the few crumbs of autonomy Wales has gathered over the last decade. Gillan says the long-delayed referendum on further powers (which would still only give Wales the powers of pre-Thatcher County Councils) will be held in 2011. That gives Davies and his allies in various far-right British Nationalist organisations time to organise another ‘No’ campaign, with the ultimate aim of building enough momentum to abolish the Welsh Assembly altogether.

When asked in the Commons about the Coalition’s policy on this important forthcoming referendum, ‘Dave’ Cameron smarmed and condescended before stating that he was “neutral” on the matter!  If true this would be the first time ever that a UK government had no policy on a referendum it was running – a patently mendacious position typical of this new government’s fondness for Orwellian double-speak. What the snotty old Etonian meant to say was that he will unleash his Unionist attack-dogs and all the resources and propaganda at his disposal to make sure there’s a ‘No’ vote when he’s good and ready.

Don’t imagine for one moment that I’m exaggerating Conservative hostility to the very idea of Wales (except perhaps as a loyal battle-fodder minor regiment, or as the coat of arms of a poodle sub-Ruritanian principality). Believe you me, I know Tories. Their hearts’ desire is the eradication of Wales from the face of the Earth – and that’s just the Welsh Tories!  Further examples of the coming onslaught are occurring almost daily: most recently the budget ensured Welsh unemployment will rise by a greater proportion than anywhere else in the UK and the shift of housing powers from Whitehall to Cardiff, agreed by all parties in the Assembly including the Conservatives and Lib-Dems, has been unilaterally vetoed by London. For the umpteenth time in history, the British State imperils Wales.