Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.For the reason I will go into as this post develops I have noticed on my Twitter timeline recently criticism of elderly English people who spend their retirement in Wales. Being nearly elderly (I’m in fifties, there’s no turning back!), English, a supporter of Welsh independence and a member of Plaid Cymru I feel that these need to be addressed.
Before I go on let me make a few things clear. Firstly as regular readers know my mother lives in Essex. Should she wish to spend her remaining days in Wales with me and my family I have no problems in helping her come here.
Secondly I’m not talking about people who buy a holiday home for their retirement. That’s a whole different issue. No I’m talking about those people who move lock stock and barrel away from England and go West.
The main argument is the issue of the strain that these people put on the Welsh NHS. Well, it’s no surprise that elderly people generally have more problems with their health, that’s I suspect Biology 101. But this criticism seems to make the assumption that the moment the elderly English immigrant crosses the Severn Bridge they will instantly contract some illness/ailment.
In terms of the majority I’m sure that doesn’t happen. Do you know what they probably do after entering Wales? They live. They buy things from Welsh shops, they use services from Welsh companies, they go out and watch things in Welsh entertainment venues.
In other words they are contributing to the Welsh economy. The grey pound is being used in Wales. It is of course impossible to prove either way but I would argue that speaking for the group as a whole you need to offset the pressure on the Welsh NHS with the benefits to Welsh businesses and jobs that their spending power provides.
The problems of the Welsh NHS are caused by the lack of funding by the Westminster Government and the typical arrogant incompetence of Welsh Labour in dealing with the money it’s given. To target the elderly English in this way does not help Welsh independence. Nationalists need to realise that the mainstream media will seize onto this and would use it to damage the cause.
The road to independence is obviously not easy. But it won’t be helped by unnecessary battles. Taken as a group elderly English immigrants are not the enemy of independence but continue to attack them and they might become so.
Until the next time.