We must fight back against a popular culture that depicts the Welsh as idiots

Promo Pic for MTV’s The Valleys

 

Samuel Parry

Everyone in Wales is familiar with the British stereotypes about their language and culture.

We’ve all probably been told at some point that our language is pointless as ‘everyone speaks English anyway’ or that we should go home to copulate with a sheep.

These aren’t just the opinions of some bigoted trolls – they’re ingrained in popular culture.

Blackadder said that you need “half a pint of phlegm in your throat just to pronounce the place names” in Wales, and Gwen from Gavin and Stacey was called a “leek-munching sheep shagger”.

In Notting Hill, the stupid Welshman, Spike (Rhys Ifans), is juxtaposed with the wonderfully bourgeois, quintessentially English Hugh Grant.

In ‘The Thick of It’, there is only one Welsh voice throughout; a woman that asks the Secretary of State if he knows what it’s like to clean up his own mother’s piss.

This scene wasn’t even based in Wales, yet the accent was used to accentuate the comedic effect.

Another example is MTV’s show ‘The Valleys’ where every commercial and poster included at least one sheep, not to mention the fact that the South Wales Valleys is a conglomerate of around 1 million people, made up of over 20 Valleys, all with distinct histories.

The opening sequence is heartbreaking as one of the cast states “there are no jobs and nothing going on. There are no opportunities for us at all”.

These are real, material issues and concerns of people that live in these regions yet this is unimportant for the viewer; economic impoverishment coupled with a strong, regional, accent (which is often used to convey unintelligence) equals comedic viewing.

If we complain about these jokes and stereotypes we’re told that we have a chip on our shoulder, and that we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

But there is no such thing as ‘just a joke’. These barbs have a completely serious purpose.

Comedy perpetuates the myth of the Welsh clown; the Welsh are portrayed as simple, poor, indolent and unable to cope on their own.

R.S. Thomas explains the effect that popular culture has had on the Welsh psyche; “We are second-class citizens. And that status creates a very real feeling of inferiority among us”.

Popular culture is crucial in understanding mechanisms of domination and hegemony.

By imposing on us an inferior Welsh identity the aim is to put pressure on us to adopt a ‘superior’ British identity.

 

Assimilation

This has not been a recent development. In fact, the way Wales and the Welsh have been depicted has been a deliberate strategy by the English and then British state for hundreds of years.

It began when Wales was annexed by England in 1536. Political annexation was coupled with a campaign of cultural homogenisation; the Welsh language, the language of the peasantry, was banned from any job that had high status – that is, administrative and legal circles.

If the Welsh gentry wanted to maintain their status they had to assimilate into the world-view of the dominant group. They were born Welsh but had to become culturally British.

This led to a cultural division being superimposed on the class division; Welsh culture was identified as inferior and associated with the ‘backward’ peasantry and working classes.

The gentry were also the patrons of the Welsh bards. The Welsh bards were the early modern period equivalent of a national news service. They roamed Wales, spreading news, entertainment, and keeping Wales’ history and mythology alive.

In other words, preserving a sense of Welsh national identity as something that wasn’t inferior to Englishness.

When the gentry turned their backs on Welsh culture they also stopped giving these bards money. This would be the modern equivalent of every Welsh newspaper, TV and radio station, or news website suddenly finding its funding cut.

Lacking a printing press until the late 18th century, the Welsh become dependent on English and then British sources of information.

These sources of information associated Britishness with the middle class and the bourgeoisie. Welsh culture, meanwhile, became the reason that people were poor and ‘less intelligent’.

The most notable example of this was the Treachery of the Blue Books (Brad y Llyfrau Gleision); a Parliamentary report published by William Williams, the MP for Coventry in 1847.

The report stated that education provision in Wales was extremely poor (which was probably correct). However, the commissioners concluded that the Welsh were also ignorant, lazy and immoral.

But they were stupid, ignorant, lazy and immoral because of the Welsh language and culture. If they became British they would be ‘just as good’ as everyone else!

Economic exploitation

But why do this? Because hand in hand with the cultural domination of Wales has come political domination and economic exploitation.

Wales is a country rich in natural resources. The aim was and still is to extract these resources while keeping the country underdeveloped and dependent.

This is the main reason as to why all major rail and road links in Wales flow from West to East, rather than South to North; infrastructure is for extraction, not to create an indigenous Welsh economy.

The only way to justify this is to convince Wales that she was ‘backwards’ and could not look after herself. For Wales, this is a vicious circle:

  • the periphery is poor partly due to extraction by the core.
  • the core asserts the reason the periphery is poor is due to its distinct culture.
  • this justifies the core’s presence in the periphery and allows it to extract raw materials.

There was nothing nuanced about the propaganda that supported this process. Here is the Times on the subject in 1866:

“It is true [that Wales] possesses valuable minerals, but these have been chiefly developed by English energy and for the supply of English wants. A rare existence on the most primitive food of a mountainous race is all that the Welsh could enjoy if left to themselves…

“All the progress and civilization of Wales has come from England, and a sensible Welshman would direct all his endeavours towards inducing his countrymen to appreciate their neighbours instead of themselves.”

How do you stop other cultures and nationalities from asking for independence? You make them think that they are unable to be independent due to flaws inherent in their nationality.

It is a much stronger, and cheaper, tool than weapons and coercion.

Today, Independence is deemed impossible because Wales is ‘too poor’ to be independent, without grasping the role of the British state in this dependency and poverty.

Independence is also impossible due to the character of the Welsh, usually due to our indolent nature; there isn’t even a Welsh word for ‘entrepreneur’.

We are poor, we are unintelligent. And it remains the case that, as in the days of the Blue Books, we are poor and unintelligent because we’re Welsh.

Counter-narrative

So what can be done to challenge the ‘common sense’ orthodoxy that surrounds Wales in popular culture?

The reality is that Wales cannot change how other identities choose to depict them, but Wales can create a counter-narrative against these depictions.

Current attempts are failing. Wales’ reliance on British media outlets create problems across civil society; political knowledge is poor in Wales, including the knowledge of what is devolved and what isn’t.

Wales is almost wholly reliant on the British Broadcasting Corporation for much of its political information as well as its understanding of who the Welsh are and what part they play in society.

A number of the BBC’s shows are now #MadeinWales but very few of them are actually set in Wales.

Dr.Who is not a Welsh show. It does not show the peculiarities of modern Welsh life. It is rather a British show that is filmed in Cardiff.

So how shall we create these counter-narratives? Much of it starts with education.

I was left horrified after watching the BBC’s 6 Nations trailer for the 2017 competition where people were asked to name famous people and inventions from their nation.

The majority of the answers were stereotypes and caricatures yet the differences in the answers between nations was staggering.

England had Horatio Nelson and the internet, Scotland Robert the Bruce and the television, and Wales? Tom Jones and the invention of “red dragons”.

Wales hs much more to offer than an ageing pop star and an imaginary animal, yet in Wales, we are never taught about Welsh history.

We have no idea that the equals sign (=) was invented by a Welshman or that the theory of natural selection was published by a Welshman before Darwin.

The Assembly should put a more concrete focus on Welsh, rather than British history in order that Welsh people be able to place themselves within the narrative of the nation.

We need to move away tired clichés of leeks and sheep and move towards the concrete reality of life in modern Wales and the past that has led to it.

We need to reform education in Wales, as well as devolve the Welsh media, and start making TV shows that truly reflect the Welsh nation.

Perhaps then, when asked about famous Welsh people we will answer: Raymond Williams, the father of the theory of cultural materialism. Robert Recorde, the creator of the equals sign. Alfred Russel Wallace, who came up with the theory of natural selection.

Perhaps it’s time that we take ourselves just a little more seriously.

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35 Comments

  1. Agree with the sentiment.
    Not sure if you were being mischievous with ‘entrepreneur’ – but the Cymraeg is ‘Mentrwr’, but as it’s French you can use it – of course George Bush famously said ‘ the problem with the French is that they haven’t got a word for entrepreneur..’
    Kids growing up in Wales should know how influential Welsh men and women have been in the World. From the majority Welsh signatories of the Declaration of Independence (not sure if that was a good thing), 6 of the first US presidents being of Welsh descent (again, good or not..?), but interesting none the less.
    How would modern life look if mathematician William Jones of Anglesey, friend of Isaac Newton, hadn’t proposed using the pi sign π – they have a Pi day in America!! No internet? No iphones? I went to school on Anglesey, and I only learned of Williams Jones in my 30’s.
    How can Wales achieve this when MP’s such as Owen Smith, and his historian father, expound that Wales had no history before the industrial revolution? They might be able to deceive the less informed, but anyone that’s studied Welsh history knows that the King of the Britons ruled Prydein for a Millennia with stellar British names such as Selyf ap Cynan of Powys, Anarawd ap Rhodir of Gwynedd, Hywel Dda of Deheubarth, and of course Owain Gwynedd House of Aberffraw. Maybe if we learned about these Kings, some in Wales wouldn’t frown on meeting a person names Gruffydd or Taliesin – like it’s some alien name.

    How different would the Welsh psyche be if we grew up with this connection to our true royal dynasties?

  2. Essex Havard

    Clywch clywch! Very strong argument for Welsh schools to teach Welsh history. Couple of other “firsts” for you: the world’s first secret ballot box is in a museum in Merthyr (birth of democracy) as is the world’s first steam whistle (birth of er, Thomas the Tank Engine?). Wales was also the first industrial nation (defined as having a larger proportion of the population working in industry than in agriculture).

  3. An article that decries portrayals of the Welsh as stupid but then portrays the Welsh in exactly the same way. Rather than see the Welsh of the past as thinking intelligent beings able to make their own decisions, it portrays them as hapless victims of some conspiracy by a selfish, cleverer neighbour. For example, rather than see the energy, sense of national awakening and reforms to Welsh religion and education that came out of the Blue Books, it portrays the Welsh as suddenly fooled into thinking British was better. Rather than allowing that the Welsh of the past might have chosen to be British they are depicted as being fooled into thinking of this. Even Dr Who is decried as not Welsh because it does not depict what the author wants. I’m all for teaching and celebrating Welsh history but the past is very much more complicated than a bunch of Welsh thickos being bought off or conned by nasty Englishmen.

  4. Da iawn Sam. In relation to the extraction of resources/benefits to England we need only go back to the Silk Commission. “The needs of England in particular” was the reason that energy consenting powers were not recommended for full devolution to Wales. Full story here https://naturiaethwr.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/bil-cymru/

  5. Meic Birtwistle

    I would point out that much of this is about class rather than as you are always keen to suggest nationality and applies to other parts of the UK. Particularly it relates to the collapse of local press in general and media policies under Thatcher and subsequent governments that have massively undermined public service broadcasting which had been developed to challenge these stereotypes and represent these varied communities in the past. Murdoch and co have no interest in the multi- faceted cultures that get in the way of their profit- driven media enterprises around the world. Having said that Welsh culture/s are once again being belittled and sidelined as a result of this catastrophic collapse….Meic Birtwistle…Journalist…programme maker and former broadcasting union official.

    • Hi Meic. Fair point, but as I showed in the article, a class structure becomes superimposed on a national character. A real class analysis also looks at race, ethnicity, gender, language and how these ‘compliment’ class structures.

  6. Here’s a classic speech listing Welsh scientists of reknown (page 78), from the late Phil Williams AM.

  7. An article that decries portrayals of the Welsh as stupid but then portrays the Welsh in exactly the same way. Rather than see the Welsh of the past as thinking intelligent beings able to make their own decisions, it portrays them as hapless victims of some conspiracy by a selfish, cleverer neighbour. For example, rather than see the energy, sense of national awakening and reforms to Welsh religion and education that came out of the Blue Books, it portrays the Welsh as suddenly fooled into thinking British was better. Rather than allowing that the Welsh of the past might have chosen to be British they are depicted as being conned into thinking of this. Even Dr Who is decried as not Welsh because it does not depict what the author wants. I’m all for teaching and celebrating Welsh history but the past is very much more complicated than a bunch of Welsh thickos being bought off or conned by nasty Englishmen.

  8. English doesn’t have a word for entrepreneur either; entrepreneur is a French word!

  9. Gwych, Samuel. Mae angen i ni gychwyn ymgyrch o ddifrif i gywiro’r sefyllfa.

  10. The English, Scots and Irish will look will always look down on us because we haven’t cultivated a contrived, easily accessible Anglophone identity.

    I see this as a blessing. I quite like the fact that our language and accents get under their skin. I don’t want to be associated with them or to be liked by them.

    We don’t need an Anglophone counter-narrative, we should reject their culture and media and embrace yr hen iaith.

    • As an English born Scots person, (name Welch) I had actually been reading this article with recognition. The English have done a great job if you think the Scots and Irish look down on the Welsh. We often speak about the Celtic nations being in bother/sisterhood. The Scots also suffered from having their history suppressed. Having the SNP in government and a strong grassroots independence culture has helped with that in the past decade or so. Be proud of your culture and don’t let anyone tell you that it is inferior. Our differences make us more interesting.
      I sincerely hope that we in Scotland don’t have a contrived Anglophone identity. That would be the Unionist section of the population, who have allowed themselves to be convinced.

      • I’m proud of the Welsh language and culture and see no need for a ‘Celtic sisterhood’ as you put it. We have our own identity.

    • who says the English Scots and Irish look down on the Welsh? Is this the drunk, stupid Irish, or the drunk, deep-fried mars bar eating Scots? Or is this the thick dull Brummies, or the fighting drunk people from Newcastle, or the skivving, conniving Liverpudlians, or the drug fuelled layabouts of Manchester…. and on and on and on…. Why are you talking about ‘the English’ as though they are an unpleasant species? People are individuals, the ‘dominant culture’ is London and the South East, where the money and the monied class is. But even there there are plenty of decent people (they voted for Labour and against Brexit – and why did Wales want to stay?) stop this prejudice now. Remember when Wales was being dominated exploited by England (along with Ireland, Scotland, India and the rest of the British Empire) amongst the worst to suffer were the English working class; children in mills, up chimneys, the old dying in workhouses. You’ll see from my name my roots are Irish. We hold close the fight against the English, and recall the genocide of the Famine years, but I know where the blame lies – and it’s not with the ‘English’ it’s with the dominant class of that time. And its progeny are still with us and they should be the focus of your anger.

  11. Sadly much of this applies to Cornwall and the Cornish also

  12. Sharon morgan

    Ardderchog! Clywch clywch!

  13. CambroUiDunlainge

    Just before Owain Glyndwr revolted the troubles in Wales were being reported to the English parliament who called us “barefooted idiots”. A few years later Henry IV was telling people Owain Glyndwr was setting out to destroy England and the English language. Underestimating Cymry is like putting your hand in a lions mouth thinking it won’t bite it off.

  14. Great article, has echoes of what happened in Scotland and Ireland too.

  15. Amazing. Just amazing. Perfectly put.

    Only one thing. I dislike the way you use “British” should say English instead. We were British long before the English came. The romans called us British.

  16. Sibrydionmawr

    On the whole a very interesting piece, however I did brace somewhat with the use of English and British as if there was some kind of dichotomy. There isn’t. The Welsh were the British, and were seen as such until well into the mid 19th century. Wasn’t it Matthew Arnold himself, hardly a Cymrophile, who referred, somewhat disparagingly, if I remember what I read correctly, to the British Language, and he wasn’t talking about English! The Welsh weren’t so much expected to adopt a British identity, but an essentially English one. English and British are one and the same, and interchangeable, but it does cause confusion, and we should be giving the lie to this hijacking of the term and calling a spade a spade. It isn’t Britishness that is the superior identity, but Englishness, but also a particular kind of Englishness ideally, though any kind is infinitely preferable to that of a Welsh identity. The original British were the precursors of the Welsh, and the name was hijacked by the English establishment and have so tainted it that most Welsh thinking Welsh people probably wouldn’t wish to even try to reclaim it! (I wonder why?)

    As for that old chestnut, entrepeneur, why, we have ‘hapfasnachwr’. What’s the English word for it?

    Indeed, there is a need for more cultural education about what it is to be Welsh, but why is there always a demand that the state provide it, and that it is taught in our schools? That would be ideal, of course, but why doesn’t it start at a grass roots level? There would be great potential for community projects for this, and we don’t tend to often ask, ‘Who are we?” Not as much as perhaps we should. Maybe it’s because it’s just too painful? Though I don’t think so, though I do think it’s too politically charged, and there are those who have a vested interest in our history remaining a dark, unknown secret, and I’m not just referring to the Labour Party here, though they have to be chief villeins of the piece here, admittedly.

    People may be having a go at Dai Smith for his alleged views on Welsh history. Many may be justly critical of many of his historical interpretations of Welsh history, but I seriously doubt he for a moment was of the opinion that the Welsh had no history before the industrial period. When a student at Cardiff University in the mid 80s I went to see Dai Smith to get some advice about a long essay I was thinking about writing an extended essay on the subject of teaching Welsh history in the schools of Wales. I was aware of a kind of ‘golden period’ in the early years of the 20th Century when, as I knew, there had been a concerted attempt to educate Welsh children about Welsh history with the books of Owen Rhoscomyl, and others, but that had seemingly been quietly suppressed, apparently a stillborn attempt. I never wrote the essay. but I do clearly remember Dai Smith saying to me that in his view, it should have bee possible to study Welsh history as a full degree in it’s own right, as at the time it could only be studied as a joint honours option with something else – seemingly Wales wasn’t important enough to warrant more than half a degree! He also quite astounded me with his breadth of vision, as even then he’d caused some controversy with his TV series, ‘Wales, Wales’ , which was somewhat biased towards the idea that Wales didn’t have a history before about 1750, and it was a little skewed towards what was accused as being a Labour Party view of Welsh history. However, when it comes to Dai Smith, and Welsh historians of the 80s period, I cannot get out of my mind a comment made by my history tutor referring to a relationship between Welsh historians, physical stature and their historical far-sightedness! (At the time there was a relatively large number of Welsh historians who stood at about five foot two in their stockinged feet!)

    Welsh people are unusually ignorant about themselves and their heritage. And also somewhat dismissive of it too. How much of our built heritage has been lost because of the native tendency to turn the old house into a cow shed, or a barn, and build a bungalow in it’s place, or to merely just let the old place fall down? Mercifully, that period seems to be over, and we Welsh are now starting to respect out archtectural heritage. However, once again it is influences from outside that have stimulated this, and it’s taken over a century for a truly indigenous heritage awareness to develop. Way back in the 1850s the Cambrian Archaeological Society was bemoaning the lackadaisical approach towards our built heritage, and it is still a big issue today. Gwyn Alf Williams commented on how unhistorical a people the Welsh were, and still perhaps are, but he at least passionately took on the mantle of trying to outline our history in his own somewhat bizarre, inimical but highly entertaining and interesting way. Even when I was in college in the mid 80s the idea that Wales had no visual tradition was the perceived wisdom, unchallenged until Peter Lord, someone who came to live and work here from England and upset that particular notion by pointing out that Wales did indeed have a very strong visual tradition. Then we have the development of our national museum, which though founded in 1905 didn’t really get off the ground until the mid 1920s under the directorship of R Mortimer-Wheeler, who did a wonderful job, within the limitations of the age, of understanding of how to present the heritage of Wales to it’s own people.

    It’s easy to be hyper critical, but there I do sometimes wonder why it would be so contraversial to start presenting Wales to the Welsh people, but that’s just it, anything that truly presented Wales to Welsh people would be contraversial because it was doing just that. Thus we don’t get any serious political analysis, not interpretation of our history in an accessible way that deals. Where are the television dramas about the Merthyr Rising, or the Newport Rising? Where is the popular mini-series about Rebecca, that would be very interesting as that was probably Wales’ first truly bilingual political campaign! Scotland has had Braveheart, so where is the epic movie about Glyndwr? (Okay, so there was that awful hamfisted attempt of a movie made by S4C in 1982 that was truly awful, and there was supposed to be another version made, allegedly to be directed by Tariq Ali, whose father was evidently heavily influenced by by John Cowper Powys’ novel Owen Glendower. But that film never appeared, did S4C get cold feet? It certainly might have been a very contraversial film, directed by a somewhat contraversial director… Which is possibly why it never got made?

    And what about our own film culture? I find it extremely frustrating that I cannot find a website where I can pay some money and then download or directly stream a Welsh film. I can do this with an Icelandic film, a country that has a population just a little larger than Cardiff, so I think it’s pretty scandalous that Wales can’t get it together to provide a similar service that could not only make our film culture available to us, but also to everyone else around the world. We have films like Gwenoliaid and Un Nos Ola Lleuad, or Hedd Wyn, as well as many other films that are the equal of films made elsewhere in Europe. True, they aren’t in the same league as Hollywood, but I see that as to their advantage, and besides, there could be money to be made, as Hollywood might buy the rights to do a remake so that they don’t have to read the subtitles!

    We have a great country, and though we are told by our cultural betters that to be in any way ‘nationalist’ is bad, and horrible, and nasty, and that we shouldn’t do it, they don’t seem to see the irony in what they are saying, nor an awareness of what language they are saying it in – because, of course, being English, or at least speaking English is normal, innit? Arrogant tossers! I spent some of my childhood in Norway, and Norwegians are immensely proud of their nation, and how they achieved their formal independence in 1905, by voting for it, after having been, for the previous 91 years under a regime that we might describe as devolution on steroids, (they even had their own army, despite being ‘unified’ with Sweden). Every May 17th they celebrate their national day, which commemorates the implementation of the Constitution of Norway, when everything goes completely wild, in a very Norwegian way – there are flags everywhere, and such a great atmosphere, that though is thoroughly imbued with national pride, isn’t at all sinister or threatening, indeed, from what I remember as a child there was a very welcoming atmosphere, and one quite different to the Bastille Day celebrations in Paris, which are quite chauvanistic by comparison. We in Wales could do a lot worse than emulate the Norwegians, who have one of the highest living standards in the world, and where absolute poverty has been pretty much abolished. Okay, so the oil reserves they have have helped a lot, but much of the societal infrastructure was there already in the mid 1960s, before oil had even been discovered in the North Sea. Wales doesn’t have oil, but it sorely needs to realise, as Norway did, that the most important natural resource a country has is it’s population, and not the minerals that are under it. Wales has a lot of recognised natural resources, but the most important one has been suffering from underinvestment for centuries.

    Mae’n hen bryd i ni ddefro!

  17. Good article. The Cornish too receive this abuse and sometimes worse too we should also remember…..yet they keep voting Westminster parties religiously

    • So? The Cornish no longer exist and quite frankly people who LARP as Cornishmen deserve to be ridiculed. I don’t want to be allied with them.

      Welsh is a living language and culture with a vibrant literature and it is still possible for people to live primarily through the medium of Welsh.

      It is this identity that needs to be nutured whereas our Anglo-Welsh culture invites mockery due to its parochial, provincial and underdeveloped nature.

      I don’t want to be an English-speaking Welshman. Pan-Celticism (a primarily Anglo invention) serves no purpose to the Welsh nation. It’s bad enough being a second-rate England… imagine being a third-rate Ireland! We are not sub-par Irish/Scotsmen but sons of the Romans!

      We have a wealth of classical literature in our native tongue. Why not follow the example of Saunders Lewis, Emrys ap Iwan or Ambrose Bebb and look to France or Italy for inspiration?

      • “The Cornish no longer exist and quite frankly people who LARP as Cornishmen deserve to be ridiculed. I don’t want to be allied with them” well mebyon kernow and a few others battling to maintain cornish national identity in the face of tremendous odds and obstacles constructed by westminster would certainly take issue with that sweeping statement Celynen. And dont forget until very recently it wasnt unusual for wales detractors to dismiss our claims to national identity in the same offhand and ignorant manner. And on the matter of cornish identity there is an ongoing campaign to establish a cornish assembly http://www.cornishassembly.org/

        While i find your seeming disdain for our irish cousins equally disappointing. There is nothing ‘third rate’ about the republic of ireland. The irish had to fight a war to evict the british from their country. Ireland is a self governing nation free of the clutches of the british state and the british crown – If that’s being ‘third rate’ i’d take it for Wales tomorrow.

        And when you say follow the example of saunders lewis and ambrose bebb and ‘look to france or italy for inspiration’ i hope that doesnt include bebb’s admiration for charles maurras and the fascist Action Français or Saunders well documented admiration for Mussolini’s italy.

      • CambroUiDunlainge

        How is relating us to the Romans any better than relating us to England? I’m not the son of Romans. I’m the son of Celts.

      • I think Celynen is a bot. Be wary of bots.

  18. Rosemary Dempster

    How do you think the Scots feel? We are called the Whinging Scots, even by the son of a Scottish friend, and he is in the SAS,

  19. Ian Macnaughton

    As a half Scottish Londoner who spent most his holidays in Wales, with a lot of Welsh friends I have to say that any nation that can only feel strong if belittles it’s neighbours has a problem. I despair that the ‘English’ continue to ridicule and damage whatever credibility they had particularly when they start talking about their values. Brexit is the nail in the coffin. Sadly much of Wales seems to have voted for that. No nation should have to see itself primarily through the eyes of another.

  20. American here with probable Welsh and Scottish roots. Please tell us all the history we are missing. I figured out that I may be from the Scottish clearances and that I may be named Gwendolyn because I may be a bit Welsh. I do not know but I can tell you my grandparents were Presbyterians. I just want to know our history. Mahaffeys, from clan MacFie, and we were just along the English, Scots border, Rupert, Blackburn, Baker. Please help. Thank you.

  21. The Galicians perceive all this because we suffered it this way from the Spaniards.

  22. Meic Birtwistle

    Interested to hear how a significant proportion of the above is helping create a better nation! Agweddau o’r Oesoedd Tywyll….. Meic B.

  23. Galicia is to Spain what Wales is to Britain…Exactly the same…uncanny

  24. Andy Warby

    As an aside what’s the English for entrepreneur?

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