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Wales considers itself a ‘subordinate’ nation, former Times editor suggests

26 Mar 2021 3 minute read
Simon Jenkins at Policy Fight Club by Policy Exchange

Wales considers itself a “subordinate” nation, a former editor of The Times, has suggested.

Simon Jenkins, added that he didn’t know if that word was “appropriate” and said that “most of Wales” is “hostile” to England, as a “result of constant misgovernment from London”, while speaking with State of the Union.

Jenkins, who also used to edit the Evening Standard, and is the author of ‘Thatcher & Sons’, and ‘Short History of England’, said that it’s “difficult” for those ruling from London, to have “any sort of empathy with the provinces”.

He also claimed that Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, have been “treated like colonies by London”, and said the union was in “bad shape” because the “economic dependency culture” is “extreme”.

Jenkins said: “We’re a highly centralised country. Everything comes to London, including me, and London is simply where it’s at, and it’s very difficult if you’re living and working in London and ruling the country from London, to have any sort of empathy with the provinces of any sort, but particularly places that consider themselves subordinate nations, and if the word’s appropriate I don’t know.”

‘Grievance and resentment’

He added: “But right back in history London has handled these places badly. It’s achieved a sense of grievance and resentment, which in the world I know quite well, it’s quite extraordinary.

“I mean the place just a couple of hours from London should be so hostile to its neighbour as most of Wales is to England is really terrible, and I just think it’s the result of constant misgovernment from London.

“We go on about other countries being misgoverned and corrupt and all these things. We have misgovernment on our doorstep in the relationship between London and Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh. It’s just extraordinary.

“I think the union is in very bad shape. It’s in bad shape because of the economic dependency culture in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, is now extreme.

“These are now among the poorest parts of the British Isles, and they should not be. Certainly, Wales should not be, and that’s because they’ve been treated like colonies by London.

“They are persistently patronised with forms of devolution, which particularly in Northern Ireland, is simply inappropriate and I just don’t think that London has any sympathy with them or any knowledge of how to handle them, and the result has been in the case of Scotland, its extraordinary rise in nationalism in the past 25 years, which seems to me very likely to go the same way as Ireland, and the Irish now are very pleased to have broken with England and I probably Scotland will be the same, although it won’t be the same.

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