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Re: Devolution again
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Posted by: Stephen Jones on February 10, 1999
In Reply to: Devolution again
Posted by AJ on February 6, 1999
Subject: Re: Devolution again
> I have always been a staunch apponent of devolution. I see it as a tool of breaking up British unity, and this upsets me. It's not about Scottish oil. Scotland benefitted strongly from British union as they were given free trade with England and a foot in the door of all of England's colonies and wealth oversees, and yes, England got Scotland's oil. But it's more than that now. I'm English as I was born in England, but i'm British as it's our ethnic group and common culture. There are Welsh speakers everywhere in my family history, and my grandfather fought proudly with the Black Watch highland regiment. I am full-blooded British, and that's why I opposed devolution. But after my recent day trip to Edinburgh, I learned more about devolution than I ever have from the news or media. Increased Scottish, Welsh, and even English identity that devolution will bring is only 'dangerous' if it is taken out of control. An awareness that we are 'different' but still share the common history of our ancestors and culture is wonderful. To know that we are a single nation of different parts is a draw card, and if we pull of the issue of devolution right, people overseas of British racial origins will once again be proud to declare it and will know better where they come from.
> There is no forseeable need know to break up countries even further, only to be swallowed up by Europe, but rather we can retain our individualities whilst still being fiercely British, and regaining our indigenous rights, and regenerating our culture, customs and folklives. Devolution can work well for Britain as a whole, but independence is not the answer for any of her parts.
> Hwyl fawr i gyd.
> Rule Britannia.

Being a Welsh expatriate living in Finland for the past three years, I have searched after my roots as part of strengthening my own identity in such a foreign culture. The Britannia site has proven to be a literal treasure trove of information and insight. I feel more Welsh now than I ever did at home.
My studies stirred within me the flames of national spirit and I felt for some time a little bitterness and resentment against our oppressors (Pob Saes). However, when those flames dimmed, I had to reflect on the absolute worthlessness of such sentiments. I have much mixed blood in my veins, mainly Welsh, but also Irish, English, Cornish and even German. I do not think many truly pure-blooded Welshfolk, or Englishfolk or any other -folk exist in Britain. So can anyone truly claim to feel an unadulterated national spirit?
All too often we define ourselves by who we are not. In WW2, we were British fighting the 'Hun', but come inside our borders, and we will define ourselves as Welsh, Scottish and so forth. Closer to home, I am a South-Welshman. Closer still and I am from Llanelli (i.e. not like those Swansea Jacks). My point is that we tend to exhibit the "them and us" syndrome no matter how large our domain.
Another point is that there is no race that is better than another. I was fascinated to learn that the English superiority complex came about largely in the last century. Sadly, so much of that still remains. But Welsh people are just as prejudiced against the English, so who has been unjustly wronged?
What I guess I'm trying to say is that it really doesn't make an iota of difference who we feel we are. If devolution engenders more them-and-us thinking, I don't like it. However, if it gives the people more control over their society then I'm all for it.

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