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Welsh independence ‘not such a distant prospect’ says Los Angeles literary magazine

21 Dec 2021 3 minutes Read
The Los Angeles Review of Books (left) and Welsh pro-independence march (right).

Welsh independence is now “not such a distant prospect” according to a literary magazine published in Los Angeles.

Wales’ national movement and the Welsh language are discussed in an article in the Los Angeles Review of Books on the topic of linguistic diversity in the shadows of Empires.

The article by France 24 and Radio France Internationale journalist Oliver Farry traces the revival of the Welsh language in the late 20th century to the present day and asks why Wales’ national movement hasn’t developed at the same pace.

“Another notable aspect of Welsh’s success is that, for long, it did not translate into a rise in support for Welsh independence,” he writes.  “Unlike in Scotland, independence held little appeal in Wales, even after devolution of powers to a Welsh Assembly in 1997.

“Earlier in this century, polls rarely showed more than 15 percent of the population in favor of independence. But in the five years since the Brexit referendum (in which, ironically, a majority of Welsh voted leave), that figure has risen, with one in March this year showing 39 percent in favor.

“Welsh secession from the United Kingdom, which has always seemed to be the unlikeliest of all the Union’s possible permutations, is all of sudden not such a distant prospect.”

The latest independence poll by Savanta ComRes in May 2021 showed 35% supporting independence and 65% opposed, with don’t knows removed.

‘Embraced’

In his article, Oliver Farry mentions the book Speak Not: Empire, Identity and the Politics of Language by his fellow Hong Kong-based journalist James Griffiths.

“Welsh was pulled back from the brink of extinction and is currently in better shape than Irish is after a century of independence,” he says.

“The revival of Welsh is not without parallel in contemporary Europe — Basque, Catalan, and Galician have thriven in a similar fashion — but it is remarkable for having happened in the face of official indifference, if not hostility, that lasted until 1988 when Margaret Thatcher’s government made Welsh a compulsory language up until the age of 14 in Welsh schools.

“Many Welsh people, including Griffiths’s own family, have enthusiastically embraced the language after generations without speaking it. Even immigrants and refugees learn it alongside English.

“The language has acquired a cultural cachet that would have surprised William Williams and his contemporaries, being sung by rock bands such as Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci, Catatonia, and Super Furry Animals.”

The full article can be read online here.

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Grayham Jones
28 days ago

It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we have got to get the young people in your town’s out voting for new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
28 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Graham is back on form!! 😉

j humphrys
j humphrys
27 days ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

Where did our Mystic Eglwyseg go?
Light candles for Collen! Nadolig Llawen.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
28 days ago

It just shows how far the recent turmoil in Yes Cymru has set the Independence movement back in Cymru, the fact that the last opinion poll on the matter was done in May 2021.
I dread seeing the next poll after all the infighting! I fear our big chance has been lost, and we are fatally wounded and the numbers will never recover….hope I’m wrong!

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
28 days ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

YesCymru is an important element of the independence movement, but it isn’t the be all and end all.

Like you, I hope the recent ‘difficulties’ can be resolved and the body goes from strength to strength, but there are other possibilities, and maybe they’ll come to the fore if there is any appreciable vacuum left by a reduce YC presence.

But hopefully those in control have got things sorted now. Only time will tell.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
28 days ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Hope you are right!!

Dail y Goeden
Dail y Goeden
28 days ago

My twopenn’orth: the biggest single obstruction to having electoral majorities at least considering the question (questions!!) is that those electoral majorities live physically in Wales, but get their news, and world-views, from London-based newspapers. There is the strategic point to look at, if we want to move this forward to all the voters.

j humphrys
j humphrys
27 days ago
Reply to  Dail y Goeden

Thankfully next doors papers losing sales and influence. They supported Brexit and the wheels are coming off. Next Jan…….Feb. Brexit chaos will intensify. Up to us to get them letters into the local papers and internet? Good Luck for 2022!!

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