Tuesday, 6 September 2011

An Independent Scotland is no guarantee for Wales.

Plaid Wrecsam points out that in a recent poll in Scotland hows those who would vote Yes for independence ahead by 39% to 38%.

One can't read to much in this and  I would expect that if a referendum was to succeed then the polls would have to be at least a 10% lead  before the referendum campaigns starts as  the vast majority of pro-union media campaigns against Independence.

What interested me however were some of the comments

Great news, and we will get independence by default. Let's smash the union now
....Scots are far ahead of us on this issue but if they achieve independence and make a success of it (which they will in my opinion) then the calls for Welsh independence will grow stronger. That day can't come soon enough!
There has always been a assumption that  if Scotland became  Independent  then there would be a natural upsurge for Welsh Independence.

This however may be the actual outcome.

Prior ti the establishment of the Irish Free State the concept of Home Rule all Round was possibly even popular in Wales than in Scotland  where religious difference  influenced  support, and if my memory serves me correctly .When I was a student of his at  Aber .John (Bwylchlan) Davies, once  claimed in a lecture  that there was even some idea that the Highlands  would join in a confederation with Ireland.to form a Hibernian Nation.

Both the Liberal Party and the fledgling Labour supported the idea of Home Rule all Round  but the failure of Lloyd Georges Cymru Fydd pointed to the weakness in the movement.

Both Wales and to a much larger extent  Scotland were also  caught up in the British Empire  supplying the military and Administrators needed to maintain it.

Interestingly there was a an argument against Irish Nationalism that ...
The fact that Ireland wished to leave the greatest Empire in the World meant that they were not ready to do so,
Whatever. After Ireland  obtained what was then Dominion Status (similar to Canada) which was the principal of Home Rule all Round the motor that drove this concept outside Ireland  no longer existed and the Labour Party apart from a few dropped the idea and the Liberals Party still occasionally cling to some form of federalist ideal went into a speedy decline.

Indeed it became necessary to form Plaid Cymru in 1925, and it was not until 1934 the SNP was formed after the the merger of National Party of Scotland (1928) and the Scottish Party (1930) . Nevertheless Home Rule almost vanished from the political scene not to really emerge again until l the 1960's.

The argument that the creation of an Independent Scotland will automatically lead to an Independent Wales is alas not self evident.

Indeed Wales could be worse off. Picked on by a renewed English Nationalism and Labour Politicians who would need Welsh votes even more the former opposed any financial assistance to Wales and whilst claiming that we were a drain on England and the latter claiming wales could not survive without support from England opposing any idea of Welsh Independence.   and In Wales  without the institutions and media to speak out there could develop a fear of taking any  step towards Independence. Scottish Independence  as it did in after the creation of the Free state in 1922 kill  the Independence movement here for years

I'm not saying this will be the outcome but we should not rely on the creation of an Independent Scotland to lead us to similar status. We must not only campaign for an Independent Wales but to campaign for the Institutions and Society to sustain it.

1 comment:

  1. Good blog and good posts. Bwlchllan (and others) also point out that prior to independence the Welsh and Irish Liberals cooperated a lot in Westminister, this was lost after 1922. Indeed had the War not started in 1914 - just as the Irish Home Rule and Dissestablishment of the Church in Wales were going through parliament then one, could possibly, imagine some form of Home Rule or at least Welsh Office for Wales in the 1920s.

    As you say Irish independence (and the memory of the waste of the huge British-French-German ethnic war AKA First World War) compelled a dedicated few intellectuals to form Plaid Genedlaethol Cymru - Plaid Cymru - in 1925.