Renaming the Severn Bridge the ‘Prince of Wales Bridge’ is an insult to the people of Wales

Picture by: Harshil Shah (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Ifan Morgan Jones

You don’t have to be a republican to feel slightly nauseous at the announcement this morning by the Westminster Government that the Severn Bridge is to be renamed the ‘Prince of Wales Bridge’.

No, it’s not a suggestion. The name change is going ahead, and it’s the first that anyone in Wales has heard about it.

Apparently, the Queen and Prime Minister approved of the plan. Did anyone think to ask the people of Wales their opinion on the matter?

After all, the Severn Bridge is one of Wales’ most well-known landmarks.

The announcement is indicative of two things. The first is that Westminster ultimately does not care a jot what Wales thinks. There’s a completely fundamental lack of respect there.

Could you imagine them treating Scotland this way? What would the reaction have been there if they had announced the naming of the new forth bridge ‘The Queen Elizabeth II bridge’ without any public consultation?

Secondly, it’s clear that in the name of post-Brexit unity the Westminster government is going to be ramming the Royal Family and British symbolism down our throats at every opportunity.

Be warned – another investiture ceremony for the Prince of Wales, a tradition invented at the beginning of the last century to keep the Welsh distracted by bread and circuses, is no doubt imminent.

They know that Brexit will hit what they consider to be the peripheral economic regions of the United Kingdom very, very hard.

If things get too bad Scotland and Northern Ireland could leave altogether, and nationalist sentiment will no doubt be inflamed in Wales also.

As a result, British nationalism is going to be promoted at every opportunity.

In this case, I think the UK Government has misjudged. A petition is already doing the rounds resisting the change.

Wales needs to show the UK Government that we aren’t a colony, whose best interests can be decided by those hundreds of miles away.

We voted for devolution in 1999 because we wanted to decide our own futures.

The Westminster Government will accuse any opponents of disrespecting the Royal Family. It’s not about that at all – it’s about disrespecting the Welsh people.

They need to learn, once and for all, that it’s no longer acceptable.

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