10 great liberals everyone in Wales should know about

Hywel Dda, William Morgan, Thomas Gee, Michael D. Jones, Lloyd George, and William Gladstone

Benjamin L. Angwin

Labour would rather we believe that Wales is at heart a socialist country, and this reinvention of history has led our national movement astray.

However, if you look back at the history of our country the strand that runs throughout is liberalism, not socialism.

Only a radical, nonconformist attitude – a determination to choose of our destiny rather than give it up to those who do not know better – will save Wales from its current predicament.

So let’s remove ourselves from the currennt, fruitless battle between two bad choices – Labour or the Conservatives – and try something new.

Here are 10 liberal leaders Welsh people should know about and what their ideas can contribute to Wales.

1 – Hywel Dda

Hywel Dda has been painted as a socialist, but again this is is projecting our current politics on the past.

The progressive laws for which ie is so famous, such as women’s rights, and an illegitimate son’s right to inherit his father’s land, are liberal ideas.

He was a Humanist in his desire to punish with payment (galanas) rather than pain. Gathering an assembly to codify laws rather than dictating them is also a liberal act.

Hywel Dda’s laws were before their time and demonstrate how far back Welsh liberalism extends.

2 – William Morgan

William Morgan was the first man to translate the complete Bible into Welsh.

The very idea that the people should be able to read the Bible in their own language, and interpret it as they saw fit, was a liberal one.

Jo Grimond said, ‘Liberals see no salvation which is not personal.’ The Bible gave people access to salvation through their own efforts, if that was their Free Choice.

It is no surprise that those who stuck with this principle became the nonconformists that dominated he Liberal Party in Wales in the 19th century.

3 –  Thomas Gee

The Welsh nationalism of the second half of the 19th century was distinctly liberal, and Thomas Gee’s Y Faner newspaper was at the forefront of that fight.

The liberal idea of freedom of religion and freedom to interpret the Bible as you see fit drove the remarkable growth of the Welsh publishing industry during this time.

Thomas Gee’s press published y Gwyddoniadur (A Welsh encyclopedia), the most ambitious publication ever produced in Welsh.

More Medieval Welsh survives than the works of all Medieval Russia, and Thomas Gee’s press published them in The Myvyrian Archaiology in 1870.

He was a Liberal, a prominent voice in the Tithe War. He struck a blow against Tory landlordism and the unfair practice of the sgriw – where landowners forced their tenants to vote the same way as they did.

He was also instrumental in the campaign for disestablishing the Welsh Church, the University of Wales, and other national institutions.

His publications revived the idea of Wales as a nation for the first time in centuries.

To say that Welshness re-emerged at the end of the 19th century via socialism is simply the history you are told to believe.

4 – Michael D. Jones

Michael D. Jones was the first man to set forth the intellectual case for the Welsh nationalism that is familiar to us today.

His own mother was turned out of her own home by a Tory landowner following the 1859 election, an experience that seems to have had a profound influence on him.

While many around him supported the British Empire, he was very much before his time in realising that Wales got a raw deal from the union.

He is best known today for establishing y Wladfa in Argentina in 1865, which produced the first Welsh-medium school on earth

Back home, he won an election as a Liberal by 8 votes over his Tory opponent, helping him to push Cymru Fydd, Wales’ first Welsh Nationalist movement and one founded by Liberals, forward.

He saw the Welsh Language as an essential of Welsh nationality at a time when others were turning their backs on it. Emrys ap Iwan, another Welsh Nationalist Liberal, was deeply influenced by his writings.

Both Michael D. Jones and Emrys ap Iwan were marginal figures in their own day but their writings had a profound influence on Welsh nationalists in the 20th century.

5 – William Ewart Gladstone

Cardiff’s founding stone is Gladstonian.  His era is built into Cardiff’s soul, and Wales. For over 60 years Wales support him.

His Liberals were the first party to recognise Wales as a ‘political nation’. These ideas ignited Cymru Fydd, which sprang out of Liberalism, not trade unions, and inspired young men like O. M. Edwards.

Gladstone’s library in Flintshire is one of Wales’ treasures. Go there and you will see why Liberalism is Rhyddfrydiaeth (Free-Mind-ism).

6 – Herbert Henry Asquith and David Lloyd George

These two were like Efnisien and Nisien – you cannot understand one without the other.

One brought Britain into the war, whilst the other saw it out to the end. The war which tore their deep friendship apart tore the Liberal Party apart too.

Their opposing natures produced an intense energy which reformed the House of Lords, and introduced welfare and women rights. But it also enabled Labour to become the force which destroyed them.

Their conflict cast Liberalism into the desert for many decades, forcing Liberals to evolve and return to Humanism in order to survive the coming of socialism and mass media.

7 – Jo Grimond

He led Liberals back from the brink of extinction between 1956 and 1967. He cast Labour as an oppressive, conformist authority, and his own party as a resistance of individualist liberators.

It has been said he is the greatest politician to of never been Prime Minister. ‘Liberalism is a personal matter,’ he said, seeking to speak to each of us as individuals when the newness of television was making this a radical act of protest.

He fought for a Scottish Parliament his entire life, was the first political leader to support gay rights, and persuaded his party to support the abolition of nuclear weapons.

If his values and energy were fused with Welsh Nationalism I am confident Wales would be independent within 25 years.

His biography, Towards the Sound of Gunfire by McManus, is worth a read.

8 – Paddy Ashdown (The Rt Hon. The Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon GCMG CH KBE PC)

This former Lib Dem leader’s formal title has a lesson for Wales. The British Empire is part of Wales no matter what future it chooses. Our national poet, Ifor ap Glyn, has presented poetry to the Queen.

Hundreds of thousands of Welsh people consider the Royals and the Empire’s legacy a part of their Welsh identity. Some Welsh people are Royalist, get over it!

If you can say his formal title without a childish grimace on your face, his ebook, 1983: The Winning of Yeovil, is priceless for Plaid Cymru.

It is the moment that made the Liberal Democrats possible.

9 – Gwynoro Jones

This man defeated Gwynfor Evans, in his prime, twice. Gwynoro Jones’ reasons for leaving Labour to help establish the SDP and later the Liberal Democrats reveal how Labour’s ideas can restrict civil liberties.

Imagine Plaid had listened to him, and by now we had heard 10,000 times: Labour restricts your civil liberties, we won’t.

His knowledge of Labour may be used to defeat Labour. He fought for the Rainbow Alliance, something which would have transformed Wales with new ideas. He still campaigns for an anti-Labour coalition.

10 – Nick Clegg        

Thatcher’s revolution need not hurt Wales any longer. Holding on to Labour’s ideas means holding on to Thatcher’s ideas. You cannot have one without the other.

Nick Clegg’s story is one of a man refuting political ideologies and trying to get people to stop fighting each other as the volume is slowly being turned up on their voices.

Nick Clegg entering into coalition with the Tories is the single most courageous thing I have personally seen a politician do. He knew it could destroy him personally and his party. But it was right to steer his country away from Labour’s increasing authoritarianism at the time.

I wonder, can Wales ever be as courageous as Nick Clegg was, and do something which spits in the face of the last 90 years?

I end with a woman, Rosaria C. Butterfield, who said, ‘Lord, please protect me from Your people.’

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  1. Will there be a list of Liberal women too?

  2. Capitalist and Welshnash

    Interesting note on Thomas Gee.

  3. I welcome the educating article …. some of these liberals were great advocates against aristocracy and for land reform. For that I must salute them

    … however there were some unsavory links between Lloyd George and Hitler:


    It is a shame Lloyd George also turned his back on the Welsh movement simply because his ego was hurt after Newport’s merchants laughed at him in a meeting.

    *Nick Clegg does not deserve to be on there … – Yes, I did actually lend him a vote to get voting reform which I admire – but he was originally part of the young conservatives who ultimately backstabbed the students … something I can never forgive him for watching my cousins 60k debt grow.

    • Nick Clegg was not a member of the Young Conservatives – that was a rumour during the 2010 election. It was utter fiction.

      • It doesn’t seem to be fiction:

        “Conservative MP Greg Hands has a record of CUCA members for 1986-1987, and Clegg’s name appears on the list”.

        “There was only one ‘N Clegg’ at Robinson College”.

        I’m sure Wikipedia would welcome a more informed update.

        CUCA is Cambridge University Conservative Association, btw.

        • Benjiman L. Angwin

          I went to Cambridge and went to CUCA. And my list was on there At least twice, and?

          Does wanting to hear their points of views directly, to talk to them and consider their side of the story make someone a bad person?

          There is no good and evil. People are individuals.

  4. Labelling Hywel Dda as a liberal is pushing the boat too far…….It is far too back in history to label people then as “liberal/communist/socialist/ fascist” in the modern sense.

    Maybe Hywel was a proto-liberal … but his other policies of making sure all starving people were fed, could also be described as state socialist or community communism (remember communism is anti-state though)

  5. Thought-provoking piece. A few observations:-

    1. A similar article could have been written 150 years by a Welsh equivalent of the great English historian William Stubbs, who drew a straight line from the Teutonic (English) invasions in the 5th century and the Tudors a millennium later — and by extension, the British Empire and Victorian constitution of his own time! I find it very difficult to connect the thinking and values of Hywel Dda with Michael D. Jones and Nick Clegg, on a common path towards a free, democratic and sovereign Wales.

    2. Whilst there have been individuals in Brit liberalism who have been supportive of our national movement, culture and institutions, how far can they be seem as part of the Brit liberal mainstream, rather than in the peripheral eddies and counter-currents?

    3. I have enjoyed compiling an alternative list of British liberals whom everyone in Wales should know for different reasons. Palmerston. Joseph Chamberlain. Alfred Milner. Churchill. Lloyd George 3.0 (of the 1930s). Bertrand Russell (the state should issue colour-coded “procreation tickets” to prevent the gene pool of the elite being diluted by inferior human beings). Jeremy Thorpe …

    4. It would be interesting to know Nick Clegg’s views on the policies of the Spanish state in Catalunya — and on the proper relationship between non-state nations (like the Welsh) and the EU.

    • Benjiman L. Angwin

      Diolch ichi.

      Nick Clegg does not favour Catalunya’s independence, for as far as I know from what Ive read he views it as he views Scottish independence: a form of hatred and isolationsism. Which is where, after a great deal of agreement, he and I diverge.

      When we abandon ideologies we can admire those we disagree with by seeing instead what we agree upon.

      • JR Humphreys

        Some good stuff, Benj, but there’s more elastic in there than Hattie Jaques underthingies (God bless her, she was the business).
        Suprised you didn’t include L. Georges pension, which should have been the grounding.

      • Wholeheartedly agree with your last comment. Just uneasy about presenting an ideology fundamentally based on Brit Liberalism as a more attractive alternative to Labour/Socialism. What we need is to step away from constraints of abstract ideology and tribal tags to pursue pragmatic policies that are clearly in the best interests of our country and communities.

  6. Y Ferch Ddarogan

    What a load of rubbish!

    Have you ever been to Glynebwy? Have you ever been to Dudley in Birmingham? Go and spit in the face of people, you insult the poor!

    And you are trying to say Wales is not SOCIALIST! Who flew the red flag first, and who got us our ASSEMBLY SENEDD! No one cares about the 19th century and your Victorian Empire. The British Empire, part of Wales?!?!? Hywel Dda was a socialist, we all know it. And who are you, I don’t see any Liberals in Wales? And a Liberal Plaid Cymru, are you drinking absinthe? This is a socialist country, we vote Labour. This is a socialist country, maybe you’ve not heard of Aneirin Bevan?!? This is a socialist country, even our nationalists are socialists and side with Labour not to get on people’s bad sides! Liberal? This is a socialist country! SOCIALIST!

    Nick Clegg courageous? He jumped in bed with Cameron. What courage is that? It’s a betrayal!

    • CambroUiDunlainge

      Laws in regard to women and inheritance in Cyfraith Hywel state that a woman was entitled to a different portion of land on divorce depending on her “status” by birth. Doesn’t sound very Socialist… A further note… Wales is not Socialist. Majority of people don’t really have a political alignment – they vote Labour because other family members did, because we on large are impoverished and also because we don’t like the Conservative Party – its the logical vote considering our current situation is what I mean. If the economic situation in Wales changed how many people in Wales would retain those voting habits? How many do you believe are so fervently Socialist that they would retain those values no matter what?

    • Wrexhamian

      I hope you were able to rise above this woman’s verbal rampage, Benjamin. You have made valuable contributions to this site in the past, and were deserving of a more civil response.

      I would have presented your arguments differently. Since the Liberal Party were not formed until the 1850s, I would have looked at their record in defending Wales’s special interests and promoting home rule or independence since that time. From that perspective, their record from the mid-Nineteenth Century to the 1920s was commendable. The link with nonconformity indeed gave a political colouration, and a huge boost, to preserving the Welsh way of life. Michael D. Jones’s record speaks for itself, while Gladstone and (later) Lloyd George favoured ‘Home rule all round’ for all the member-countries of the UK. But after the Irish settlement, the British establishment refused to entertain home rule for Wales or Scotland, and binned the proposals. Thereafter, the link between Welsh aspirations and Liberalism (with a capital L) was gradually broken, only re-emerging during the run-up to the 1997 devolution referendum.

      If the Welsh Liberal Party wish to regain the status that it once had in Wales, it should begin doing what Plaid Cymru are signally failing to do: making a lot of noise, in the Senedd and throughout Wales, to highlight the slow but steady erosion of this country at the hands of Westminster, and get ready to propose the only viable solution — independence.

      And no, CambroUiDunlainge is right, Wales is not a socialist country (although there was a time when both it and the Labour Party had an approximation to being socialist). Wales is, as it has been for several centuries, a British colony. The Senedd is in the position of a child that is allowed to go to the shop by itself, but mustn’t cross the road.

  7. @Y Ferch … “This is a socialist country” ??? Just because we may will it does not make it so. Fundamentally, and irrespective of the will of the Welsh people, we are a Tory country.

    All the key levers controlling economic and fiscal policy, and our natural resources, are ruled by a Tory government in Westminster. And the Labour Party are complicit in that by their response to the Silk Commission recommendations, which would indeed have seen significantly more power flowing to a Labour government in Wales.

  8. Thanks an interesting piece which was worth reading. It is unfortunate that the present day liberals have given up on liberalism, had they not, they might have had a future. There is a need for a new party in Wales, something to push for Wales’ interests, her Independence, and eschewing the authoritarian, dependency model of Labour and ‘Labour Lite’ (Plaid Cymru)

    • ChosenUndead

      It is a shame that we only have a British nationalist Liberal party available to us in Wales, and one which is more neo-liberal than classically liberal at that. To that end, I find myself gravitating towards Plaid.

      A new (Welsh) Liberal party, free from the ills surrounding the Brit nat Lib-Dems would, in my opinion, be quite successful in drawing support from both Plaid and Labour.

      Liberal Wales is in the Doldrums.

  9. Eos Pengwern

    I’ll read through in more detail and perhaps comment later, but first: huge kudos for quoting Rosaria Butterfield, who is something of a heroine of mine.

  10. The list started off well

  11. There’s a great deal of anachronism here. Making Hywel Dda a liberal is too big a stretch for any historian, and if you take the route of simply looking at the ideas that they held, then many of these could equally be described as socialists or nationalists.

    And in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ideas of ‘New Liberalism’ were a great deal closer to contemporary left-wing ideas than to the austerity economics enabled by Clegg. Indeed, had Clegg been more influenced by Lloyd George, Keynes and Beveridge then he would not have had the paucity of economic imagination demonstrated by that disastrous coalition.

    As for Royalism, Lloyd George acted – often selfishly and corruptly, but still genuinely at his height, as a scourge of unelected privilege. In another age, this might well lead someone like that to republicanism. I believe he also returned to Wales having been taunted for his absence by Sauders Lewis, and can thus be seen as ceding a certain moral ground to Welsh nationalism. What is positive about him can be claimed, at this historical distance, as identifiable with almost any current Welsh political group. But not comfortably with a celebratory culture of royalism.

    Not more so than the Labour Party, at least. Lloyd George hosting the Prince of Wales investiture in 1911 is mirrored by a Labour Government doing the same in 1969, and choosing that visit to give Swansea city status. Three years earlier, the Labour Secretary of State for Wales, the unlamented George Thomas, committed possibly the most heinous act of knee-bending tactlessness ever by saying to a bereaved parent following the Aberfan disaster, as if there could be a bright side to anything that day:

    “Here is the Queen’s brother-in-law waiting on us”.

    Liberalism could, to its credit and in line with many of its best thinkers, get righteously angry at the culture of deference that Labour has, on at least the odd occasion, demonstrated. The Liberal Democrats could usefully, in line with the Liberal part of their tradition, recover the idea of postive liberty that the ‘New Liberals’ depended upon. They could also recover some pride in it being Liberals who put forward the most radical devolutionary schemes for Wales in the Twentieth Century. Talking of which, you don’t mention Megan Lloyd George. This is a startling omission for a list of Liberals that everyone in Wales should know about! The Parliament for Wales Campaign, despite its failure, was an important moment in our Twentieth Century nation. Perhaps it was an oversight. If I was attached to the idea of setting up Welsh Lib Dem ideas in opposition to socialism, Labour and nationalism, I’d probably overlook it too. The LibDems could, also usefully for them, contemplate carefully the coalitions they have been willing to be part of, and contemplate a mea culpa.

    I don’t believe that the Liberal Democrats will do any of this.

    The party is the inheritor of a dual tradition. One half of the party’s name issues from a time when right-wingers (one of whom, Desmond Donelly, moved the 40% motion that denied Scotland a parliament) preferred to keep Thatcher in power rather than have a left-wing Labour Party. This magnet-like adherence to old liberalism (since labelled as ‘neo-liberalism) drove the coalition that established Cameron. It certainly didn’t stop in government. Post Office privatisation, and the hole it has left in Aberystwyth’s main street, springs to mind immediately. In attempting to distance itself from ‘socialism’ the Party has not furthered liberalism, but neoliberalism.

    And it needs to think long and hard about how to address that, before it could ever be a serious force again.

    Or, then again, there’s always the chance of another coalition…

  12. Thanks for this. But…

    1) Where are the women?
    2) Gwynoro Jones?!?!? Yes he won 2 elections, but come on this must be a wind up?

  13. Ten men and the only woman gets a single solitary sentence. Are there no female liberals in existence or do you just not think them important?

    • Benjiman L. Angwin

      Yes they are important, and that’s why I’m taking the time to answer you directly at length.

      It is demographics and history which has made so many Liberal leaders male, and no prejudice whatsoever. After WW1, they were decimated, and gradually pushed to the Celtic Fringe, which socially being more conservative produced fewer female leaders. Yes, there was Megan Lloyd George as someone noted above, the MP for Bath is a Liberal woman and a German, and while the leader of the Welsh Lib Dems is currently a woman she’s not been around long enough for me to include her on this list. I don’t see a Liberal independent Wales judging anyone on gender or it even being relevant as it makes no difference as to what you are capable of.

      This gender history is unfortunate, yes. But social constraints were put upon Liberals during the 20th century upon which they had little control.

      There have been Liberal women leaders elsewhere in the world. I could have included Els Borst, who led D66, a Liberal party in the Netherlands. I could have, and perhaps should have, included Lynne Featherstone, who I have met and contrary to what Conservatives tell you, it was largely through her efforts (and fortunate timing) that brought equal marrige to gays and lesbians. But I was constrained as I wanted to make it as relevant to Wales as I could, and being a Welsh Nationalist, I had to balance Liberalism and including more Welsh people, and it was to womens’ detriment that it came about. It was not intentional.

      • JR Humphreys

        Ah, I see now. I was drawn into the whole “British” thing, but you were Wales specific, but I still think that Lloyd George’s pension was the greatest thing
        apart from slavery abolition of course. Thanks anyway!

  14. Eos Pengwern

    OK, I’m going to address the gender imbalance by naming another Liberal who had a huge positive effect on Wales, and was very popular here, despite not being Welsh. If Paddy Ashdown and Nick Clegg deserve to be on the list, then she does far more so.

    Margaret Thatcher.

    Yes, that’s right; I know that she stood for the Conservative Party; but the Conservative Party before her and after her has borne so little resemblance to her that it should be obvious that she was never really one of them. It’s not just me who thinks so either – the same point has been argued here and here as well. She was classic Gladstonian Liberal, far more faithful to that tradition than the Liberal Democrats are today. Indeed, as an evangelical Christian myself, I’d assert that she was almost certainly the only British Prime Minister since Gladstone to have shared the same faith (for evidence of that see here for example).

    After all, look at her actions when in power. The overriding theme of everything she did was to set people free – giving them the freedom to buy their own homes, to own shares in the companies that they worked for and to defy the undemocratic power of the trades unions that had so blighted British life for the ten years before she was elected. In Wales, she made the Conservative Party hugely more popular than they were before or since, gave more recognition to the Welsh Language than any previous Prime Minister had done, and turbocharged the Welsh Development Agency which did far more to promote high-quality employment in Wales than the bungling Welsh Government has ever managed since abolishing it. I’ve argued elsewhere on this site (though I wish there was the facility to put a hyperlink to a comment) that her ideas were far more congruent with the Plaid Cymru ideal of ‘Community Socialism’ than the actual Socialism of Leanna Wood, which is why I personally found it very easy to shift my allegiance, quite seamlessly, from Mrs. Thatcher’s Conservative Party to Dafydd Wigley’s Plaid Cymru in the early 1990s. I’ve been floundering around looking for a new political home ever since.

    On the other hand, I see nothing remotely Liberal about Nick Clegg, nor about the Liberal Democrat party as they are today.

  15. Graham John Hathaway

    A lovely post and an interesting one. I’m not overly versed in deep liberal political history, but I see divergence in policies of those of left leaning political parties. Its not helped our overall politics to see Liberalism decline.
    This Party has undoubtedly contributed to the rich political history of Wales and Britain. I suspect the FPTP voting and much discredited as a pure form of selecting MPs, continues to play a part in limiting it’s past success and continues to do so. But as the saying goes ‘ do the Maths’. I do hope a better, fairer voting practice is installed that gives greater recognition of spread of votes, as one living in a safe Labour seat.
    We need a greater democratisation of our politics.
    I have regard for Liberal support of devolution, but am not sure, or aware of its depth, but these votes will be needed if we are serious of increasing our width of interest in self determination. But forever in my favour will be the leadership of the late Charles Kennedy a Scottish Liberal Democrat its leader from 1999 to 2006.
    Under his leadership saw a steep rise in support for Liberalism in the face of fierce competition for votes and his leadership in opposition to the Iraq war. That along with Plaid Cymru will be the endearing memories of how right they were. Charles was a personality and leader. He was greatly missed and ended the prospect of greater liberal influence true to its origin.
    As for the crucial vote to establish the Assembly then the Labour vote in support will rank as one of the most defining moment in recent Welsh Labour history that ranks alongside its formation of its party. A realisation of what the Party originaly proposed under the banner vote for Kier Hardie for home rule and democratic government. Where did it all go wrong!
    Consensus politics of a broad church, neither left nor right, in Wales will be the voice of Wales and nothing else will do.

    • JR Humphreys

      GJH, may I say regards voting practice, this business of voting on Thursday (a remnant of market days in the past) be transferred to Sundays
      as in many other countries?

      • Graham John Hathaway

        Now then at least this idea of Sunday voting feels like a ray of sunshine to the promotion of greater attendances at the booth. It would not compromise or prevent attendances at church etc.. A consideration once of Sunday opening both of pubs and then retailing. But voters turning up to local booth is an anarchism in itself. There doesn’t seem to be a safe way to allow electronic voting. I’m a postal voter so I slip under the radar here. So much easier, a voting practice over a cup of coffee and armchair. Funny how I now vote on each and every occasion!

        But the continued ambivalence to voting and making changes such as the day of voting ( I was unaware of the Thursday and market day factor ) must have its origins in the reluctance to make changes in custom and practice including introducing incentives to vote through fairer, more democratic system.

        • JR Humphreys

          When I go to vote here (Finland) in the local elections, I am checked on the list then given a card. Inside the card is a circle. On the wall of the booth is a list, say 1 to 250 of candidates, the first 10 may be greens, the 10 to 15 cons. and so on. You write one number of choice in the circle with a pencil, a biro is also there if you don’t trust ’em! Ha. Take it to another table and the person stamps it, lifts the cardboard away from the slot, and you pop it in.

          There is usually someone from a charity (only 1 at a time) standing motionless with a box, in which I usually give 2 euros. Then I watch TV at night to great dissapointment, ‘cos my candidate only gets my, and presumably her husbands, vote. I say her, because last time I was at such a loss I voted for a neighbours daughter, as she is so glam. My neighbour then told me she hadn’t voted for her daughter “as she is always changing her mind”. Such is life.

          • Graham John Hathaway

            There have not been many recent posts that have brought a smile, but JR, this brought a much needed lift to my spirits , more than a cup of hot chocolate ( my wife’s favourite ), and mine a Latte. Thank you!

  16. So you start by saying you cannot interpret the politics of historical figures through a modern lense. There enough… And then you call Hywell DDa a liberal, examine his actions through a modern lense, and basically go ‘no its fine if i do it’ so liberalism.txt.

    This point was the least terrible in the whole article.

    Like, you are literally telling us to respect Clegg. To look up to him. Austerity has murdered countless thousands of our people, and we’re to kiss the shoes of the man who enabled this? Suck his dick because it could have been worse? Are you joking? He’s not even Welsh?

    What would be the point of liberalism anyways if not cement into place the existing social structures and power relations that leave us chronically impoverished for another generation? How would liberalism help us defeat the liberal ideals that allow us to rot?

    True liberty is the freedom to eat, not the freedom to starve.

    • Clywch Clywch

      Liberalism does not work properly when there is such massive unequal and uneven starting positions as we see today…and you can not blame that on Labour dependency…..vast inequality been around since the feudalist days – the only saving grace has been technological advance and the sacrifices of many workers fighting the status quo!

  17. Dynion I gyd. Blessings mae’r menywod?

  18. Graham John Hathaway

    I did smile at the post from Wrexhamian that included ” the Senedd is in the position of a child that is allowed to go to the shop and not allowed to cross the road” . I’m in a reflective mood to both its lovely analogy, better than a large dissertation, and it’s deeper meaning . I did wonder Wrexhamian, if you ever thought that in desperation, and in sight of , yet frustrated, to seek either a Zebra crossing (old vernacular) might be green man now, or a footbridge that could solve this dilemma. I think we have tried but the wicked Belisha becon safety officer, sends us back. And the footbridge collapses, made of sticks as we cross. Just as we start the climb. But there must be a solution, in the end, of dreams that make you float, and the kiss of the princess to wake her up. I was watching a tree cutters this morning scaling a huge oak tree and lobbing branches of good size. I did wonder then that this was like your analogy. We need to keep cutting away the dead or unsafe branches that have grown for many years that block our path, make it impossible to navigate, to be skilled and brave, to see how we cross the road to the shop, and feast on its freedoms, with or without safety ropes. Perhaps the child will grow into an adult, to follow the green cross code, of looking right, left and right again, then scoot to the other side. I do hope.

    • Wrexhamian

      Duw! I wish my analogy carried a much weight as you ascribe to it, Graham. The shop is actually (in my head) on the same side of the road as the little boy (let’s call him — plucking any old name out of the air — Carwyn, or Andrew, or, in the interests of gender equality, Leanne). He can go to the shop, but he’s not allowed to cross the road where all the good, life-giving stuff is sold in the better shops, because he’ll get a smacked bottom from the grown-ups in Westminster. With a few notable exceptions regarding real policy, e.g. the Welsh language, the Senedd is restricted to debating how to spend its pocket-money and rubber-stamping the edicts of MPs and civil servants in London.

      Apologies for such a laboured analogy (or is it a metaphor? I can never remember).

      • Graham John Hathaway

        I do think it gets better. I can see them in short trousers, with rosey cheeks, and fishing rods to catch tiddlers.
        But only catch colds. Long live the innocence of childhood and pocket money! Time for adults!

  19. sianiflewog

    Hywel Dda a liberal – duw a’n helpo. The concept didn’t exist at that time. He was a moderately successful warlord who had some sort of deal with Alfred a king of Wessex. Perhaps/probably hywel set up a commission (to use a modern term) to unify the laws used in Cymru (and possibly elsewhere in Britain – Galanas had entered medieval Scots law).

    Hywel may have been learned or enlightened. It was the laws that reflected our values at the time that can be seen as liberal in our age.

    Modern liberals are human rights deniers: nic leggu voted with the fascist tori partei to deny poor people the right to marry someone they might choose should the spouse come from the third world – the right to marry who you choose is a basic human right enshrined in the universal declaration on human rights – not that angwin and his ‘liberal’ frennz would gno anything about that – Nazi filth!

  20. Graham John Hathaway

    Is there a difference between Liberal principles of its origin and latter day politicians who break the code.

  21. Jonathan Edwards Sir Benfro (+North Carolina)

    Two points
    1) Most of us identify with values that are loosely Liberal. The problem we all face is finding a political movement which not only embodies such values but also – more important – can give us practical political power. Yes this might not mean getting a majority, but it does require a truly significant political presence. In my own case, when I lived in England I could and did realistically vote Liberal. Still just about worth doing so in England. But not in Wales. They blew it over the Rainbow Coalition to keep Labour out of power in the Bay, and tuition fees, and deservedly collapsed. Wales needs an effective party with Liberal values. Which are not the same as politically correct values. But it would take a realignment of all the parties to get it.
    2) The constant “where are the women?” is very tedious. This is 2018. Women have not faced discrimination for decades and decades. In any article with a historical theme going back to Hywel Dda you are not going to get many women stars. With some rare exceptions they did not take part in politics, they were raising children and running families. Now of course they have complete freedom of action and they do not raise children or run families in the same way. What is interesting is that, despite decades, we still don’t have many impressive women political leaders, as was promised. But then the men are thin on the ground too……

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