Thursday, 2 February 2012

Welsh Independence

The Guardian today has an excellent, well-written, balanced article on the issue of Welsh independence in light of the moves by the Scottish Government.

Could Wales leave the United Kingdom?
Talk of independence is growing – and the referendum in Scotland in 2014 is eagerly awaited. But could Wales really break free from England – and stand on its own?John Harris, Wednesday 1 February 2012 20.00 GMT
Leanne Wood is rather different from most of the UK's politicians. Forty years old and a mother of one, she still lives in the same street in the Rhondda Valley where she was born and brought up. She thinks the crash of 2008 should have "resulted in the rejection of capitalism and many of its basic economic and political assumptions", and that the UK's coalition amounts to a "hyper-competitive, imperial/militaristic, climate-change-ignoring and privatising government". She is also a proud republican, who refuses to attend the kind of official events at which the Queen turns up, and was once thrown out of the Welsh Assembly for referring to the reigning monarch as "Mrs Windsor". If any of this chimes with your general view of what's wrong with the world, it's fair to say that you'd like her.

Quite interestingly, this article (and comments) are devoid of the usual rabit, anti-devolutionist talk but rather focus on some interesting issues. Now if looking at a post-independent Scotland UK, what would this mean for Northern Ireland and Wales. Certainly in this situation we'd have an extremely powerful English central parliement with two very small additions. Does this imply we'd automatically get a federal UK (whatever the UK means at this point) - Spanish or German style federation? More importantly, at least from the English perspective, is what happens to England; especially what happens to the bulk of England that isn't London or the South-East?

Anyway, I digress, most of the talk about the Welsh Government is along the lines of a certain scene in Monty Python's Life of Brian .... "what have the Romans ever done for us?"

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