‘Stop calling the UK a union’ says Tory Senedd candidate
A Tory candidate for the Senedd wants people to stop calling the UK “a union”.
Calum Davies, who will be contesting Cardiff Central, at the next election, but wants to abolish Wales’ national parliament, doesn’t believe that the UK is “a voluntary association”, but instead is a “unitary nation-state”.
Mr Davies, who has previously claimed that Wales is “overrepresented” in Westminster, said he wants to stop referring to the UK as “a union” in order to challenge what he calls “the independence problem.”
He made the comments on the conservative Gwydir website, suggesting deploying what he calls “Project Guilt” to persuade people against supporting independence.
He also claimed that “the union is in peril” because of the growth in membership of grassroots pro-independence group YesCymru, and consistent polling showing a majority in favour of becoming an independent nation state in Scotland.
He said: “Maybe the best way to challenge the independence problem is to stop calling it ‘a union’.
“I totally understand why this language has been adopted: not only have nationalists succeeded over the last ten years in changing the way we speak about this is political discourse, but Unionists have been keen to keep floating voters in Scotland on-side by showing they sympathise with their desire for autonomy, at least through the status quo.
“They want to show that they are comfortable with it too and don’t want to push Scots away so want to emphasise they have a degree of independence through devolution.
“However, it betrays the truth that Britain is a country in its own right. If any of the home nations want to depart from the Union, it is not that simple.
“It wasn’t like Brexit where leaving the European Union still left a largely intact organisation that does not derive legitimacy from being a nation.”
He added: “If any of the British nations left the UK, it would destroy the existing country. If Northern Ireland went it alone, the UK reverts to Great Britain. If Scotland or Wales goes solo, some creative thinking for a new name will be needed.
“Like many on both sides of the debate, I agree Project Fear, as in deploying economic arguments alone, will be unsuccessful in preserving our long national history.
“However, to use a crude term, Project Guilt might be something to add into the mix: not only stressing the benefits of what we have achieved together but stressing responsibility for the destruction of the British nation will ultimately lie with those who vote for independence.
“The weakening of British national identity is obviously what is driving people towards independence and it is because we have failed to nurture it.
“It also makes me worry for the aftermath of any independence in Wales as it does lack a coherent national identity: British Wales, the Valleys, and y Fro Gymraeg have been separated in this debate for a reason. Where would this lead?
“So where do we go from here? There are no easy or obvious answers – if there were, the existence of Britain would not be in so much danger.
“But for a start, the talk of ‘a voluntary association of nations’ must stop immediately, especially from Labour. Mark Drakeford is supposedly a Unionist, but his every utterance actually seems designed to weaken the bonds of Union.
“Does he not realise the damage he is doing to the cause he claims to support?”