The white paper and Wales

sc003b983aThe launch of the White Paper on the road to independence for Scotland has set the debate off about sovereignty not only in Scotland but also elsewhere within the Union. Once one part of the Union questions its relationship with the central state other parts will also question what they’re getting out of it, as well.

Not least the English themselves. A prediction – English nationalism will assert itself during the long debate on Scotland’s future. There is already an increasing body of opinion within the ranks of the Tory party that hope that Salmond gets his way and they’re shot of the Scots.

How much longer will it be before they turn their sights on Wales? There is already a feeling that a devolved Wales works to England’s disadvantage. It won’t be long before the English start campaigning to cut Wales adrift if it’s to their advantage.

The more the spotlight is on Scotland  the more the English are going to question what they get out of the Union.

Now whatever else one thinks about Carwyn Jones’s little trip to Scotland, he wasn’t wrong to say what happens there has real implications for Wales. It’s not the rise of Scottish nationalism that poses the danger to his Union but the rise in English nationalism that the Scottish referendum will unleash.

So what’s to be done? You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. The Scottish debate about sovereignty is well and truly underway.  The rest of the Kingdom may not have a vote on the future direction of the Union, but it sure as hell is part of the debate. Wales should use the months ahead to decide its direction of travel.

There are important questions  that the country has to ask itself. What plans does the nation have if the Union is a busted flush?  If the Tories try to out UKIP  UKIP and follow an anti-immigration, anti-European little Englander agenda, what’s Carwyn Jones response going to be? If neoliberlaism is the language of a rump UK, what of Wales?

The White paper may be Mr Salmond’s government’s vision, when will Carwyn Jones’s publish his vision? Welsh people also have a right to know what the future holds for them.


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2 Responses to “The white paper and Wales”

  1. Macsen says:

    Carwyn Jones’s vision for Wales?!

    Carwyn Jones paid £53m for an airport and can’t even control airport taxes! He then has the cheek to tell a grown-up politician like Salmond that Wales does well from the union and that he, Jones, will ‘veto’ a Scottish demand to use Sterling. Does anyone except Jones and BBC journalists, seriously think anyone at all in Westminster gives a flying fig what Jones or Wales thinks?!

    Jones has absolutely no vision for Wales except keeping Labour in power. He may ask for more power, he may not. It all depends what Owen Smith and Miliband are willing to tolerate.

    Depressing really.

    The ‘union’ is dying and Jones has absolutely no idea what to do. Constitutional convention? Don’t make me laugh. He’s invisable in UK or Labour circiles because he’s irrelevant. Just spouts cliches about rugby and Aneirin Bevan.

    He’s a music hall Welshman and was, frankly, embarrassing up in Scotland. They laughed at him – and by implication at our lack of ambition as a nation.

  2. Yvonne says:

    Gareth, you make it sound like the Scottish referendum is about Scottish nationalism. It is most certainly not. Nor is the disquiet in England anything to do with English nationalism.

    Yes, nationalism is still a problem in Wales but nowhere else in the British Isles. And it is only a problem here because of the Welsh language.

    Everyone else has managed to move on!

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