Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.At time of writing (5:48 am on a Saturday morning – Woke up at 4:50am – Welcome To Insomnia) it appears that the exit poll in the Irish Referendum will mean that the Ireland will be able to abolish their extremely strict abortion laws.
But to spread the effects of the referendum out still more it will also mean that the power of Catholic Church has gone to terminal decline (which is of course their fault over how they handled the abuse scandals) and that clichÃ© Ireland is no more.
Ireland can now truly say that it’s a modern nation not tied up to it’s past and not gagged by the undemocratic religious forces that so dominated it’s life. It knows that once the immediate Brexit hurdles have been overcome it can look forward to a bright future within the EU whereas we in Britain will soon be looking in from the rainy shop window.
So outside of the touristy stuff there will be no more images of Ireland of “sure and begorrah” leprechauns, green hills, farming and living lives and following laws essentially set by the Vatican. That outside if Dublin there isn’t anywhere that can be called sophisticated.
ClichÃ© Ireland is no more….which led me to think about ClichÃ© Wales.
After all Wales, it’s language and people are still the butt of jokes from people who know they can’t talk about the Irish in the same way as they used to.
(And that’s another clichÃ© – the stupid Irish – that was something that was commonplace on comedy shows in British TV in the seventies. Thankfully gone now. Partly because it wouldn’t be acceptable but also because it wouldn’t be believed).
There are many clichÃ©s about the Welsh. From the absolute love of rugby (which I’ve argued in this blog is not true anymore on a club level), to the weather (Ok it’s not the Mediterranean but it doesn’t permanently rain), to the language being either just an English word with an accent or just throw up scrabble letters in the air and create a word from it.
There are others of course. The Welsh are farmers and rugby players now that coal mining is no more or are on the dole. There is nowhere remotely sophisticated in Wales aside from Cardiff. And don’t get me started on the sheep….
But possibly the biggest clichÃ© about the Welsh people is that they are servile and will just accept anything Westminster throws at it. From the naming of a bridge after royalty, to having no rail electrification West of Cardiff, to taking nuclear waste generated in Somerset. All of this stems from the cliche that Wales is essentially there to serve England.
And of course the actions of the Welsh National Labour Government in surrendering Brexit powers whilst the Scots are Braveheartedly (another clichÃ© I know. Couldn’t resist) fighting them should not be ignored. But a country’s politicians are not necessarily representative of it
(This is why journalist Rod Liddle can make comments about Wales and get away with it or England rugby coach Eddie Jones can call it a “s****y little country” and be unpunished)
But this apparent servility is partly there because as I’ve said before the clichÃ©, which is true, is that the Welsh people as a whole are too nice.
So what can be done to remove clichÃ© Wales? Well ultimately independence. But in the meantime independence of action from Westminster will help. It’s why whilst not yet independent clichÃ© Scotland is kilts and bagpipes and nothing useful except for it’s oil is fast disappearing from the landscape.
Of course it’s difficult to see that happening with a Welsh Labour administration as independent of thought as a train track. Which is why Plaid Cymru (the party I support) needs to be there and ready for the moment (which will come) when the people of Wales will know that change from the status quo is needed to make their lives better.
And should Labour be defeated here. Then ClichÃ© Wales will start to crack.
Until the next time.