In a marriage union, the two parties come together based on love shared between them.
The pair may or may not share similar religious beliefs. They may or may not share the same mother-language. They may or may not come from the same area. They may or may not agree to disagree that barbecue sauce is the best accompaniment with chips.
But the link is love. A common feeling that both parties would (and will) do absolutely anything and everything in their power to see the other party smile.
Throughout a successful marriage, patience, honesty, trust and compromise are employed to ensure that the union between the parties is fair for both sides.
Neither side steals from another. Neither side exhausts possessions of their partner for their own personal ‘good.’ Neither side diminishes the culture and / or believes of the other partner for any reason whatsoever. Neither side hides wealth (material or otherwise) from their partner. Neither side takes advantage of their partner for their own personal gain. It doesn’t happen.
This is an union. This is a marriage of two parties who share everything and progress through their lives together. As one.
So why does this not apply with other forms of unions?
The union(s) between Wales and England in 1536 and 1542 were marriage rites between two parties. Going on what I (and many others) perceive to be a true union between two partners, we in Wales are left with what can only be described as the short end of the stick.
Instead of being equally as wealthy as our partners and neighbours, we are down-trodden to believe that our culture, heritage, traditions and language are backwards and unnecessary. The Acts of Union explain this awful truth in black and white.
And it wasn’t just at this point in time that the Welsh party of the union noticed the bias.
Despite the emergence of a new Welsh elite and the gap between rich and poor beginning to magnify, the Welsh lived side by side with their neighbours in this new union through most of the late 15th to 16th century. Socialism in Wales was being murdered in favour of English wealth. And the Welsh, naïvely, didn’t even notice it.
The Union Flag was first incorporated to show the union between England and Scotland in the Spring of 1606.
Wales was included…. as England.
To add in a sneaky tangential point here, in a marriage, Christmas cards are signed as being from both parties. This is a big thing for all couples entered into a marital union. Well in this union, Wales’ Christmas cards were signed by England only.
For farm workers in the nineteenth century, the new English-owned roads were a god-send. It meant that Welsh produce could be transported across Wales keeping Welsh wealth within our borders to be recirculated into our separate economy. Thanks, England.
Yet it was not this simple.
The English road-owners wanted a cut of this new-found Welsh wealth for themselves to take back to their own country. How dare one side of this union become rich when another loses out….
Between 1839 and 1843, Welsh people (to this day still branded as rioters) destroyed toll-houses on the roads. The tolls required to cross were too much to sustain the wealth between simple Welsh farmers.
It was only in 1844 that the Welsh decided that violence was not the way to go and the destruction of toll-houses ceased.
We stood back into the conformist line.
The English-organised Treachery of the Blue Books in 1847 proclaimed that our language was inferior and a disease on the Welsh and on the British islands as a whole.
“The Welsh language is a vast drawback to Wales and a manifold barrier to the moral progress and commercial prosperity of the people.”
This damning report on education somehow meant the English inspectors were also allowed to comment on our culture too. I’m not sure what the Eisteddfod has to do with direct schooling but there we go:
“An Eisteddfod…. is simply a foolish interference with the natural progress of civilisation and prosperity.”
In 1869, an English colliery owner named John Young announced a pay cut to all his Welsh employees working in Welsh mines. He condemned the use of the Welsh language in mines around the [Yr] Wyddgrug (Mold) area (especially around the village of Coed-llai (Leeswood) and Pontybotcyn (Pontybodkin). Subsequent riots broke out and those who opposed the English dominance were once again lined up into conformity…. and shot.
During the First and Second World Wars, ignorant monoglot Welsh-speakers were given the ‘honour’ of being England’s personal human shield. They were sent first into any military situation that could potentially end in a loss. No nation lost more of a percentage of its brave youth than Wales. Yet we are thankful.
In 1956, a Bill was raised from across the border noting a potential lack of water for the people of North-East England.
The Tryweryn Water Bill required the destruction of a small, Welsh-speaking community a few miles outside the town of Y Bala.
“A big new dam near Bala planned”
When passed in Westminster, the councils of England’s North-East no longer required planning consent from Welsh councils to do whatever they wanted with the village of Capel Celyn in the Tryweryn valley.
Just before the passing of the Bill in 1957, the mere 37 Welsh representatives in Westminster passed their verdict on the Bill. 36 said no to the proposals. The other did not vote.
Plaid Cymru commented on the Bill as being intolerable for the Welsh people to be informed they must
“yield [a] thoroughly Welsh-speaking area”
and that the English authorities have
“no claim to [any Welsh] valley in law or morality.”
In 1965, the residents of the tiny village that their ancestors had called home for centuries were forced away. The land was flooded.
Capel Celyn (Holly Chapel) became Llyn Celyn (Holly Lake).
Is it not funny that, to this day, the North-East of England have never been in actual dire need of the water they thought they would? They still take most of it, of course.
But at least the English named the new lake in memory of the old village and, furthermore, we did get a fun white-water rafting centre out of it all. Thanks, England.
Water was and still is taken from our lands to replenish supplies in England. This is not to say that the Welsh would never share their water with anyone, but in this case the English side of the union takes a possession of their Welsh ‘partners’ for their own material profit to feed the hungry London elite.
Other nations who do not exist as unions ensure they have at least a cut in the export of their own natural resources. An actual union should ensure both sides a compensated fairly and equally when choices are made.
Off-shore wind-farms, fracking and destruction if farmlands for on-land wind-farms are all coming to Wales. In addition to those that are already here. All the power gained from these are sent to the National Grid…. in England.
We do not hate renewable energy. We wish to harness it for the benefit of ourselves and to lead the world in renewable energy.
For this we are selfish.
And on what is our union based? The murdering of ancient Welsh princes to be reinstated with an English elite, the dismantling and destruction of Welsh educational and religious powerhouses, the labelling of our people as vermin whose heads are worth but a shilling and the stealing of Welsh treasures to be burnt and forgotten or used as tools for English gain.
Are we so naïve to believe that these atrocities against our side of this ‘union’ no longer happen? That the English have finally become tolerant of our disgusting language and culture?
I’m not so sure.
We only pay to return to Wales across the Severn Bridge. When we leave our country to spend our money in England, we are encouraged to believe that we are ‘free’ to do it. Our wealth once again changes hands. The tolls on the English side of the bridge when the Welsh return home are collected and pumped back into South-West England.
Media encourages us to hate our own language and that, as much as our hearts say it’s a beautiful tongue, our minds are told it is not beneficial to our future or to the rest of the world. I missed the part where English gained this divine rite.
Yet we believe we are priviledged to hear that the anglo-centric BBC media corporation has given 3 minutes airtime to the Welsh language on a flagship programme. “Thank you so much,” we say.
Yet the same corporation in 1927 stated that:
“Wales, of its own choice, is a part of the British Commonwealth of Nations, whose official language is English…. To use the ancient languages regularly – Welsh, Irish, Gaelic and Manx – would be either to serve propaganda purposes or to disregard the needs of the greatest number in the interests of those who use the languages for aesthetic and sentimental reasons rather than for practical purposes.”
So why only now does the BBC give what they perceive to be ‘so much’ to Welsh language after a century of persecution? Because they now have the monopoly over our media. They can assimilate us into their cruel, elitist mindset through our own native language.
Even our capital city becomes more capitalist by the day. Cardiff becomes another powerhouse of the corporate elite who care not for those who live in rural areas. Even what little wealth there is coming into Wales, Cardiff gains the lion’s share. Our nation cannot operate this way.
Yet all we do is thank our English overlords that they had such kind hearts to give us a capital city in 1955 and afforded us an assembly in 1999 where we can discuss (but not enforce) ideas to make Wales a stronger part of this union.
Our education system still teaches of English sympathy towards the Welsh. It laughs off any point it affords the youth of our nation any shred of nationalism as petty and silly. It’s in the past, we’re told.
I was never told about the vast majority of the historical fact I mention in this blog. Instead I go out of my way to read about them. The modern, corporate world affords little time to searching through libraries books and articles that prove this union is unfair. I wonder why….
Wales lies behind Bulgaria as one of the poorest countries in Europe. According to PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), Wales lags behind their union partner, England, in every discipline.
The union has been nothing but a legalised raping of what it means to be Welsh.
This union, this marriage between two parties, must end in a fashion established by the same man (Henry VIII) who started this union….
Yet I’m still questioned over this picture….