Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"It Takes a Nation of (English) Millions to Hold Us Back"

I’m still (thanks to DW) reeling from what can only be described as a quite astonishing ethno-nationalist diatribe delivered by the Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price.

For students of the euphemistically labelled "cultural" nationalist theorists lurking throughout the United Kingdom today it’s a classic:

1.The employment of what Conor Cruise O’Brien described as "ancestral voices" to support a present-day political opinion.

2.The use of, at times, offensive hyperbolic terminology- keep words like "genocide" for the deliberate wiping out of entire populations in the likes of Bosnia and Darfur, not for the "murder" of a language.

3.The employment of the "False Consciousness" *argument*, so beloved of the Provos during their terror campaign: ie "There is no such thing as Brits in Ireland or Wales, only misguided idiots fooled by the English oppressors into thinking they are".

4.As mentioned, the mangling of historical fact (e.g Wales was the "first" colony of the Normans? Really?)to prove a political point.

5.The concept of "Collective Responsibility" being used to denigrate an entire people for the actions of a few. Is he, for example, really saying the English miners and factory workers toiling in the mill-towns of Northern England were the *oppressors* of the miners and factory-workers likewise toiling in industrial Wales? Following his logic and the throwaway term of "English" to constantly label the baddies of the piece then, yes, he is.

Push a few gratuitous "indigenous" into the mix and you’re left with the burning question at the end...this man is supposed to be positioned on what is considered as the "progressive" wing of Welsh nationalism? If so, then I’d really hate to see the reactionaries let loose...

19 comments:

Stonemason. said...

Price has a chip on his shoulder akin to a Giant Sequoia of California and Oregon.

He continues to create reasons why Welsh people should feel browbeaten, cowed, defeated, and of little worth, his writing is ..... pathetic.

The single good thing about his diatribe is it was written in English, thus more are able to read his twisted view of the world.

Anonymous said...

Stonemason, you're a good one to label anyone with a chip on their shoulder. You have enough chips on your shoulder with regard to Plaid Cymru and Welsh speakers to supply Harry Ramsden for a year.

Dewi Harries said...

"There is no such thing as Brits in Ireland or Wales, only misguided idiots fooled by the English oppressors into thinking they are"

Who are you quoting O'Neill?

I don't it's that important but Adam says first "English" rather than "Norman" colony

Read it all a couple of times and make some considered observations rather than your hysterical nonsense - you are beginning to sound like Stonemason

O'Neill said...

I know it’s a rant of biblical proportions Dewi (8500 words??!!) but you really should have paid more attention when reading it:

"The title of "First Colony" is a crown of thorns more often claimed by the Irish – most recently in setting the scene for the 2005 BBC series of The Sceptred Isle that focused on Empire. And yet the Normans settled Wales a near century before Ireland, and the Statute of Rhuddlan, formally annexing Wales, predates its Irish equivalent, the Statute of Kilkenny by about the same number of years. Whatever the Irish suffered, we sadly suffered first."

There you go “first colony” settled by the “Normans”. Wrong Adam and wrong Dewi. Basic history lesson, England was settled by the Normans before Wales. Price and his version of history then moves seamlessly on, the Normans changing into “Anglo-Normans” and then “English”

It may be “unimportant” to you but the deliberate *misinterpretation* of historical facts is not the mark of an honest nor credible observer.

And yep, calling “hysterical” is one way to answer my points I suppose- but following the mistake you made over the Norman settlement, I'd suggest though you'd do your case more justice if you adopted a slightly more objective approach yourself.

O'Neill said...

Who are you quoting O'Neill?

Just noticed this. Price is saying that the fact the vast majority of the Welsh wish to remain within the UK is due merely to the fact of all that perceived English oppression over the years; their "Britishness", in other words, is not a reality but a state of "false consciousness" caused by history. Is that not what he's saying?

The "quote" is paraphrasing; Price, even in this particular mode, is unlikely to spit out directly a line parroted by the provos for decades- too big a danger he might offend the Welsh people I guess.

shane said...

Presumably O'Neill you'll also condemn the recently expressed concerns of Native Americans that their ancient identity and culture is being imperilled through intermarriage with the White, in this instance immigrant, community:

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/oregon_family_at_heart_of_stic.htm

"It's ironic advice from a man who married a white woman and still takes grief for it from relatives. But intermarriage has become so rampant, says Marcus Luke, that Natives are in danger of losing their culture.

Gary Garrison, a U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs spokesman in Washington, D.C., envisions a day within a century when "marrying out" leaves tribal members with little resemblance to their forebears and little reason to call themselves Natives.

Brooklyn D. Baptiste, vice chairman of the tribal government at Idaho's Nez Perce Reservation, agrees.

"We do need to let the people know, 'If you continue on this way, there will be a sunset to our tribe, maybe in 70 or 80 years,'" he says. "What is the point of fighting for all these treaty rights if there is nobody left to exercise them?"

shane said...

Article 3 of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigineous Peoples states that “Indigenous peoples and individuals have the right not to be subjected to forced assimilation or destruction of their culture.”

Article 3, part 2 of the UNDRIP says that states shall “provide effective mechanisms for prevention of, and redress for:

(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;

(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources.

(c) Any form of forced population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;

(d) Any form of forced assimilation or integration;

(e) Any form of propaganda designed to promote or incite racial or ethnic discrimination directed against them.”

Welsh people, like Irish people, are perfectly entitled to be concerned about their identity rights, granted under international law, just like the Aboroginal Australians or Native Americans.

Anonymous said...

Silly little Taff Taff, it just goes to show the mentality of these people, the historical inferiority complex and the chip on each shoulder, they base their identity on who they are not (English) rather than who they actually are.

England needs to be in a 'Union' with these pathetic little Regions like people need a hole in the head.

Dewi Harries said...

Paraphasing indeed - in fact exactly. I read it - try again.

Dewi Harries said...

I didn;t particularly want to get into semantics but on the conquest thing.

1) England was not the Normans' first colony - that would have been bits of Southern Italy.

Adam was referring to colonies of England - expanding what you quote above gives:

"To begin at the beginning. English imperialism can perhaps be described as Wales's greatest and most terrible export. What was tried and tested here, soon became the template for what one English historian has called the "thousand year Reich" of the English empire. It is a pedigree we appear to have worked very hard to forget. The title of "First Colony" is a crown of thorns more often claimed by the Irish – most recently in setting the scene for the 2005 BBC series of The Sceptred Isle that focused on Empire. And yet the Normans settled Wales a near century before Ireland, and the Statute of Rhuddlan, formally annexing Wales, predates its Irish equivalent, the Statute of Kilkenny by about the same number of years. Whatever the Irish suffered, we sadly suffered first.

A more plausible case for English colonialism's origins perhaps could be made by the Cornish. But Cornwall was merged with Wessex before England as a nation proper had been formed. So though it may be the great unspoken fact of our identity, we in Wales were indeed the first piece in England's empire."

I think that's pretty clear myself.

tony said...

Price is spot on, and something I have lamented on for years. The Welsh by and large seem to have a colonised mentality, so much so that it seems natural to defer to the English and seek the blessing of conformity by a false cloak of 'Britishness' Ironic in the extreme, as the Welsh ARE the British, not the Germanised English political Britishness that the union enforces.

As long as there are people like Price, the consciousness of the Welsh will not die.

shane said...

tony, unfortunately that characterization is also true of most people in the Republic of Ireland. The colonial deference gene is awfully hard to extirpate.

O'Neill said...

Shane,

"Presumably O'Neill you'll also condemn the recently expressed concerns of Native Americans"

The segment you quoted seems to be criticising the concept of "inter-marriage" between different ethnic groups and also multi-culturalism.

Are you comfortable with those kind of sentiments?

Re the UN's protection of "indigenous" peoples, which party in the UK is most likely to quote it now, especially this part:

"Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;"?

That's the root of my problem with the overuse of the word "indigenous". In 2009, if they believe in the concept of a multi-cultural society, then mainstream polticians must be very, very careful about using such terminology and indeed historical grievances to back up their political philosophy.

O'Neill said...

Dewi

"I think that's pretty clear myself"

That it was the Normans and not the English (in the sense of both the national identity and peoples that Price later uses) who first colonised Wales?

Yes.

Re the "false consciousness" argument that you still haven't conceded, both Tony and Shane above have further proven what I'm getting at. According to their and Price's employment of the theory, the attachment many Welsh, Scottish and Irish still feel for the concept of Britishness and by extension the Union is not a real one but one which has been artificially created by the colonised mentality foisted on them by the "English".

But if you don't agree with that interpretation of price's opinion please feel free to supply your own: why do a large majority in Wales still wish to retain the Union?

Dewi Harries said...

why do a large majority in Wales still wish to retain the Union?

That's what conquest and oppressin does to you O Neill - it gets you down....

Stonemason. said...

A good question why do a large majority in Wales still wish to retain the Union?.


I for one am comfortable as part of a diverse nation of 60 million people.

I prefer a plural society.


Would any rational person want to be part of Adam Prices' vision of the future, psychotic Plaid is not my cup of tea.

O'Neill said...

"That's what conquest and oppressin does to you O Neill - it gets you down...."

Dewi,

You've just conceded the point there (on the "false consciousness" anyway).

People in all parts of the UK feel British for a whole variety of reasons, saying that it's merely because they have been "oppressed" and "conquered" is treating them like idiots, incapable because of history of reaching their own rational opinions.

And I'm in no way putting Price in the same bracket as the Provos, but it is exactly the same argument they made when faced with the inconvenient fact that the majority of NI considered themselves British.

If I were a Welsh Civic nationalist I would be walking slowly back from this one.

tony said...

>>People in all parts of the UK feel British for a whole variety of reasons, saying that it's merely because they have been "oppressed" and "conquered" is treating them like idiots, incapable because of history of reaching their own rational opinions.<<

Actually Oneil, some are eedjits who go along with whatever the conventional popular media opinion is, others are just ignorant of the facts. And that my friend is where the evidence stacks up against Unionists. There have been concerted efforts to hide information and not allow other messages in the media. I don't even think there is an argument over that now.

Using the example of Ireland is not the same as Wales or Scotland. Prima facie Unionists in these countries were not encouraged/taught/whatever to be suspicious of Nationalists or even sad to say despise them. Whatever mitigating circumstances at times you may care to throw into the mix, that was and still is the prevalent thought. It is mainly politics in Wales and Scotland, and not community hatred.

Kevin Lively said...

Native American culture? Is that the one where they drive round in 4x4s and run casinos? If they realy want their culture they would be running round the desert eating lizards. It's all a bit pick and mix, and they still want to carry a grievance so that they can extract guilt-based consessions. Why on earth do Welsh Nats feel so hard done by? Can't work it out.