Have you visited http://www.dailywales.net yet? Wales’ brand new online newspaper is battling through its first month, determined to become the pro-Wales, indigenous news source the country has never had. I am one of the writers, so if you’re not getting enough of Dic Mortimer from this blog there’s plenty more from me at Daily Wales. As a preview, to give an idea of what’s going on down the Coal Exchange, I am here publishing a feature I wrote for Daily Wales a couple of weeks ago. This is a one-off re-publication; from henceforth my blogging and my Daily Wales work will be heading off in different directions. Watch this space.
STATE OF THE NATION
Remove those rose-tinted spectacles, disregard the infantile wishful-thinking peddled by an entrenched British Nationalist establishment trying to persuade Wales that our abject subservience as a tin-pot ‘principality’ is the natural order of things, reject the pathetic delusion that we are a nation already because we’ve got a rugby team therefore don’t need to ever bother becoming an actual one, and trust the indisputable, unavoidable evidence provided by your own eyes: Wales is in a terrible state.
Our countryside is a barren desert, stripped of biodiversity by agribusiness monoculture, strangled by alien forestry commission plantations, requisitioned by the British State as a military base where their next illegal war can be rehearsed, patrolled by eardrum-bursting low-flying fighter planes, drowned by reservoirs to provide English cities with free water, dominated by the swishing turbines of vast tax-scam wind farms, debauched, depopulated, and dispossessed.
Our coast is lapped by oil-splattered, sewage-filled, radioactive seas, scarred by caravan sites and trashy theme parks, blighted by oil refineries, pipelines, barrages and off-shore wind turbines, its formerly lively communities given over to tourism, holiday cottages and second homes and thus rendered amenity-free ghost towns for ¾ of the year, or else treated as the b&b dumping grounds for England’s despised and expelled feral underclass.
Our raped and ransacked mining valleys, having served their purpose as the source of carbon that fuelled the British Empire’s expansion and enriched a handful of oligarchs, lie broken and abandoned, so poor they are eligible for emergency European aid, the very symbols of depression, disadvantage and destitution.
Our capital city is a corporate whore run by principle-free, provincial con-men for the convenience of big business and multinational chains; a parasitic leach obsessed with size as an end in itself that sucks the life out of its hinterland and abdicates capital city responsibilities while gobbling up the lion’s share of scant Welsh resources; a deeply divided hotchpotch of gated compounds, privatised spaces, vacant offices, student ghettos, buy-to-let blight, elitist nimby suburbs and out-of-sight, out-of-mind sink estates; and a dysfunctional basket-case hiding its true shabbiness behind a delusional veneer of obscene consumerist gloss and shipped-in, lowest-common-denominator Brit dross.
Our language is in crisis, as native speakers are priced out of the heartlands by equity-laden English pensioners, second homeowners and downsizing drop-outs while the oldest tongue in Europe is routinely traduced, scorned and undermined in a genocidal, Cymruphobic onslaught. Our hospitals can’t cope on budgets that refuse to reflect the fact that Wales has the unhealthiest population in Europe, the legacy of our smoke-stack exploitation, brutal de-industrialisation and systemic poverty. Our schools are conveyor belts of ignorance, propagandizers for bland Brit careerism and conformity where pupils are taught about everywhere-but-Wales. Our universities, founded as Welsh institutions, have been transformed into fee-fishing sinecures for English academics lecturing English undergraduates. Our creativity and talents are buried and ignored under a take-no-prisoners avalanche of Anglo-American cultural imperialism. Our broadcast and print media is entirely in the hands of London-based, British nationalist corporations, holding total monopolies that would be illegal in an independent country, leaving us the only nation on Earth without an indigenous media in its majority language.
And our Assembly in Cardiff Bay, lacking the powers of a rural district council and not permitted to have any say in every decision that matters to Wales, is a mere simulacra of government, a brazen strategy by the ‘Welsh’ Labour Party to neuter the independence movement, set up so badly it has already had to be amended by three acts of parliament and required two investigative commissions to sort out the mess, and now cruelly exposed by the Coalition in Westminster as a scapegoat to be blamed when things go wrong and an irrelevant bystander when London issues a command. Controlled by Labour since its formation, the lapdog Assembly is essentially run by a cadre raised by the UK to take over in its own image, a helpless stooge as the free-market maniacs of the corrupt Secret State in London attack our most vulnerable people to prop-up an economy based on racketeering, money-laundering, fraud, international crime, tax-dodging, inequality, injustice and sheer, Old Etonian-basted selfishness. Not for nothing was it called the National Assembly for Wales, rather than of Wales. That little preposition is the giveaway, with its implicit suggestion this is not a Welsh institution but a gift granted by English largesse –and a gift that can, at any time, be taken back.
There’s worse. I am scarcely scratching the surface of Wales’ profound malaise, the self-loathing, self-abnegation and self-denial that has seeped into our bone marrow after century upon century of second-class citizenship in our own land. The insidious message that a Welshman can have the same rights as an Englishman, so long as he stops being a Welshman, encoded in law since 1536 and still on the statute books, has inevitably done it’s damage – to the extent that Wales has the weakest sense of national identity in Europe and the country is nearly overwhelmed by people actively hostile to the very concept of Wales – and that’s just the Welsh! The old rule still applies: identify as British/English you are rewarded; identify as Welsh you are punished. That poison has penetrated so deeply that the British State, currently busy drawing a veil over its centuries of unspeakable violence, warmongering and land-grabbing and rebranding itself as the lovably eccentric curator of decency and multicultural home of the free, doesn’t even need to oppress us any more – why bother, when we are so brainwashed we are ready, willing and able to do it ourselves.
But wait…but wait…this is not a counsel of despair; quite the opposite. I am optimistic because this tale of woe is not new: it is what Wales has been enduring in various guises since the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284. We’ve been through worse in the ongoing, longest-running independence campaign of recorded history, and we will survive because the cream of each succeeding generation in turn passes on the baton of struggle. I am also optimistic because the precursor of any progressive change is to recognise and face up to reality; to embark on a journey you must know from where it is you are starting. We are an intelligent people, and there are now enough of us rummaging in the internet undergrowth, exposing and proposing alternatives to the cradle-to-grave Brit propaganda machine, to rapidly gain critical mass and create an unstoppable momentum towards liberation.
Every single problem I have listed would not have happened had Wales been independent. All can be traced back to one source: Wales’ status as England’s first and, most probably, last colony. Yes, colony. The six core features of colonialism recognised by historians and anthropologists apply to Wales so thoroughly we are virtually the prototype colony: Military Conquest – tick; Settlement – tick; Racial Discrimination – tick; Cultural Assimilation – tick; Economic Exploitation – tick; Political Subjugation – tick. Once this fact is understood Wales can begin, belatedly, to follow the path mapped out by all the many ex-colonies on the planet that have won their independence. Of course it can be done; and the beauty of the contemporary Welsh position is that it’s entirely up to us. Nobody can stop us taking our rightful place among the free and equal nations of the world but us; when we want it enough we shall reach that promised land; we have nothing to lose but our chains.