Carwyn Jones is at it again. The pin-up boy of British Nationalism and main defender of the centralised British State has now taken it upon himself to lead the campaign against Scottish independence. He’s been up in Scotland generously giving our Celtic cousins the benefit of the tautological tangles nobody listens to in Wales. It was his usual brainless stuff, where he contradicts himself within the same sentence, sometimes within the same breath: having no voice means you are listened to; being invisible is the best way to get noticed; getting eradicated makes you strong; the UK impoverishes you, isn’t it great! This is a brilliant tactical move by Alex Salmond, because if anything can persuade undecided Scots to vote yes it’s one of Jones’s counsels of despair. The clans will surely stampede to the polling booths after hearing his stirring advice to follow Wales’ inspiring example and settle for an indefinite future of whingeing impotently from the sidelines about the Barnett Formula while your nation falls to rack and ruin.
You would have thought, would you not, that our First Minister had got enough on his plate already without taking on the burden of Scottish affairs, what with Wales’ collapsing health service, systemic poverty, record homelessness, desecrated environment, besieged communities, holiday home ghost towns, endangered language, failing schools, absent amenities, cheapened culture, mass ignorance, stunted lives, wasted talent and so on and so forth…but no, apparently those issues are not sufficient: he now fancies himself as an International Statesman! But, search as I may, I can find nowhere in his job description, his range of devolved responsibilities or Welsh Labour’s policy documents and manifesto commitments where it is mentioned that the First Minister of Wales should expend time and energy interfering in the internal affairs of another country.
Why any Welshman would not want any other nation to be sovereign is perplexing. The Welsh people have long supported national liberation struggles the whole world over, from South Africa to Tibet, Latvia to Spain, Nicaragua to Ireland, Angola to Palestine. It’s what we do; it’s in our DNA to root for the underdog, to wish for others the priceless freedoms we are denied. By ignorantly trampling on this noble Welsh tradition of internationalism Carwyn Jones is unilaterally attacking a pillar of Welsh identity and bringing Wales into universal contempt. No other politician anywhere on the planet, including David Cameron and Northern Ireland’s First Minister Peter Robinson, who can both claim to have a genuine interest in Scotland, has chosen to butt into this defining moment in Scottish history. Our First Minister thus joins a select group of ogres; the first politician since Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) in the Austrian Anschluss of 1938 to brazenly attempt to influence another nation’s plebiscite. Luckily his nonsensical pronouncements have been greeted with derision by the entire Scottish press, meaning all he’s achieved is to give the Scots a flavour of what he inflicts on Wales daily while heaping ignominy and embarrassment on his country.
But his crimes go still deeper. If Wales were an independent nation Carwyn Jones could be accused of treason. Don’t take my word for it; Jones is so complacent he openly admits to it. Back in the summer, being interviewed by Adrian Masters on ITV Wales, Jones declared that the preservation of “the Union” and “a strong UK” is “what I’m all about.” Let’s be clear what this means. The leader of Wales, legally obliged to put Wales’ interests first, admits that his prime allegiance is not to Wales but to another State, a State whose interests frequently run counter to those of Wales (as Jones himself so frequently complains). For such disloyalty Marshal Pétain (1856-1951) rotted on an Atlantic rock, Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945) faced a firing squad and William Joyce (1906-1946) went to the gallows. In Carwyn’s case I wouldn’t be so harsh. Returning him from whence he came – negotiating child access arrangements on the Townhill estate – would be punishment enough.
What’s most noticeable about Carwyn Jones, and indeed the whole Welsh Labour Party that installed, and maintains, him in power, is his ideology-free, principle-free, dry-as-dust lack of passion on all topics and issues except one: Welsh nationalism. It’s the only thing that gets him excited. In fact he gets so worked up about it he frequently blunders into patent nonsense as he sweats into his provincial solicitor’s suit’n’tie uniform at his preposterously pompous rostrum. He came up with more on his Scottish jaunt: “Independence is not on the agenda in Wales.” This routine debasement of a people he reckons incapable of running their own affairs doesn’t just ignore facts (10-15% want independence, as does the 3rd largest party in the Senedd, so it is on the political agenda), it also writes off a large chunk of the Welsh population as non-persons.
His low motives are transparent. If Scotland votes for independence, Wales’ position as an irrelevant rump 5% of England&Wales immediately becomes untenable, and gets more and more indefensible as post-independence Scotland flowers. The sole remaining purpose and raison d’être of the Welsh Labour Party, to thwart Welsh independence, will be in serious jeopardy. No wonder Jones is worried.
Scots Wha Hae!