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Michael Sheen explains why he thinks having independence ‘conversation’ is important

20 Apr 2021 2 minute read
Michael Sheen. Picture by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Michael Sheen has explained why he believes having the “conversation” about Welsh independence is important.

The actor argued that it’s “healthy” to have the discussion, whether you’re pro or anti-independence in an interview with BBC Wales.

He made the comments following the announcement of the Michael Sheen Bursary, which Jesus College, Oxford, developed in collaboration with the Welsh actor.

The scheme, which he is financially backing the scheme, is to support Welsh students from disadvantaged backgrounds

The bursary is “based primarily on household income criteria”, and is an attempt to overcome the barrier of economic inequality faced by many Welsh students.

On the question of Welsh independence, Michael Sheen said: “I think it’s really healthy that conversation is had, regardless of whether you’re pro-independence or anti it, to have the conversation.

“That’s one of the extraordinary things is that you find there’s so little conversation around who we are now, where we’ve come from, why we’re at where we’re at, and where we should be going in the future.”

‘Welsh history’ 

He added: “I never got taught any kind of Welsh history in school. I very rarely hear people talking about it, and it’s been a kind of revelation to me in the latter years of my life to start finding out much more about the history of our country, in trying to understand why things are the way they are right now and to re-imagine where we can go in the future.

“So I think having that conversation is the most healthy thing we can possibly have.”

On the bursary, he said:  “Jesus College, Oxford, we’re starting a bursary there for Welsh students who’ve been offered a place there, who come from a family background, where there’s a combined income of under £35,000 a year.

“[It’s] to not let financial barriers that are no fault of their own hold them back. I mean there’s no reason why Welsh students shouldn’t have the same opportunities as young people from any other part of the country.

“We’ve got to get more Welsh young people to, in the first place, think that it’s something for them, something that they could attain and aspire towards and have the confidence to say ‘that’s something for me’.

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3 years ago

Thank you Michael, for your compassion, your sense of justice, your moral compass. You are an inspiration and a credit to Wales. X

3 years ago
Reply to  Julie

Go easy on the gush. He’s advocating setting up scholarships for young people to go to Oxford. This is yet another well meaning gesture that ships talent out of Wales with very little prospect of them returning. Better, much better, if he teamed up with his local uni at Swansea and created scholarships for bright young STEM students with attaching work experience within forward looking Welsh businesses. This Oxbridge stuff is just a reinforcement of the old colonialist relationship. Not a good look when you have that so called “conversation”.

3 years ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Michael Sheen can’t create a viable economy in Wales to draw Jesus College graduates back home, though. That’s down to the Welsh Government, and a bit of hiraeth.

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