Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Chris Bryant Internationalist or Lost soul?

John Dixon at Borthlas who I wish would Blog more often points as to Rhondda AM Chris Bryant column in the Independent. Where he castigates all forms of Nationalism.

Bryant writes.
All of which makes me realise that I'm no nationalist. I detest the exaggerated belief in one's own cultural heritage, the puffed-up, arbitrary and unmerited self-confidence, the swift denunciation of all that is alien or foreign, the desperate desire to support anyone from the home team, however lazy or hideous. Nationalism is a nasty creed and the path from well-meaning nationalism to xenophobia and racism is slippier than the luge track in the Winter Olympics.
He goes on...

I don't care for nationalism here in the UK either. UK nationalism and Welsh and Scottish nationalism repel me equally. No, British isn't always best. I love the NHS but other national health services perform just as well. Shelley is just as dull (or poignant, take your pick) as Pushkin, or Goethe, or Neruda. Welsh cakes are very moreish, but paella and tabbouleh are equally delicious and there's a reason hummus and pizza have invaded our fridges. I'm Welsh, but the very thought of Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones, Bryn Terfel and the Stereophonics played on a permanent loop makes me ill. So, while I'm completely ignoring Euro 2012, I shall be cheering brilliant, determined, skilful and genial foreigners at the Olympics as enthusiastically as any Brit.
Why do I suspect that this just a rehash of the sort of response from some members of the Left. I used to here tears ago .

You Know
"I'm not a Nationalist I'm a Internationalist".
Usually delivered by someone who then went on to attack calls for equality for the Welsh Language.

Why do I suspect Bryant is really trying to follow his leader Ed Milliband in trying to smear Welsh and Scottish Nationalism as extreme whilst in his case claiming not to be a Nationalist and in Milliband case trying to give the Idea that Britishness is benign, and has none of the negative attitudes he condemns.

What Bryant seems to be claiming is that he has no Identity, including that of his constituent, who love  Shirley Bassey to the Stereophonic and even if they reject the Chapels of their forefathers still feel a tingle when they here Calon Lan  or Cerys Mathews beautiful rendition of Gwahoddiad  (Arglwydd Dyms Fi)  here an American Hymn tune we have made our own.

If Bryant doesn't get a tingle from this he really is soulless.

But like most people I also love other cultures .The realisation that we can no watch excellent TV series in another Language with subtitles (Spiral, The Bridge,Wallander and the increase in translation of literature of other countries including eastern ones has widened my experience. but has made me no less proud of my own.

Indeed it makes me act why is.t my own culture exposed more. Why hasn't BBC4 shown some of the top S4C series to a British Audience?

We are going to see much more of the attacks on Scottish Nationalism in the next few years portraying it as Narrow minded and Xenophobic. Whilst ignoring that much of this attitude on both countries comes from those Scots who have always supported Labour .

Indeed I suspect that the average SNP and Plaid supporter has a greater world view than that of those of Labour. Being comfortable in their awareness of what it means to be Scottish and not needing to express it an Anti-English mode that the One Day Nats (at Football and Rugby Internationals for Instance ) often show. Before rejecting Scotland and Wales  taking responsibility for her own affairs. 

In order to love others you should begin by learning to love yourself.


Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying Euro 2012 so far. All those different nations, all equally legitimate (even England!), coming together to compete.

Does this make me a nationalist or an internationalist?

Toque said...

Lost soul. Bryant has spent the best part of his career agitating for England to be broken up into regions.