Terry Breverton, author and academic, speaks on the dwindling nationalism of Wales
We asked Terry Breverton, a Welsh author and academic who has published numerous books on Welsh history and current events, for his take on Brexit and its implications for Wales. We included some of Here is his full response:
Few political commentators would agree that Plaid Cymru (the Party of Wales), which apparently flourished under the leadership of Dafydd Wigley in the 1990s, in this millennium seemingly has become moribund! [I was right, and today’s leading Welsh news is that the number of Welsh speakers is still dropping in Wales. I cannot get this message over except in books. The media in Wales relies upon government and council advertising for revenues, and will not publish items that criticize their main revenue earners.]
Indeed, this has been the case. There has been no progress despite the collapse of the LibDem vote. Scotland wiped out Labour in the last General Election, but Plaid hung on to three seats by the skin of its teeth.
Plaid is a busted flush – it will never address in-migration, or the scarring of Wales with wind turbines [it has five times the density of England – presumably the wind halts at Offa’s Dyke]. For the past fifty years, 90 percent of the population growth of Wales has been from outside, pushing the population up from two to three million people.
They do not come for jobs – there are none here – but for a better environment and cheaper housing. If one is on benefits, one knows that one cannot be offered a job here. If one is ill, the free prescriptions draw you. Wales has been resettled to the extent that only a third of the population now claims to be Welsh.
If we add in those whose parents and grandparents are incomers, the population is more like 50 percent Welsh – thus Plaid can never win an election, but studiously ignores the General Census facts. The best Welsh people leave, to get better jobs in England and elsewhere, and in effect Wales has become ‘Europe’s Tibet’.
It has among the worst health, housing, living standards, GDP per household and education statistics in Europe, partially owing to the influx of non-workers on benefits [Wales has the highest proportion of people on benefits in Britain] and partially because the Barnett Formula has for forty years skewed central government spending towards Northern Ireland and Scotland at the expense of Wales.
With lower living standards than both, Wales receives proportionately less money. This is reflected in standards of living, and the fact that Welsh children have £10,000 less spent on them throughout their educational years than the other UK nations.