Hello there. Hope you’re feeling well today.Well I know what you’re thinking. Is this man mad? Has the frost from last week bitten into his brain?
(The answer to these questions is…I hope not)
A question was posed yesterday on Twitter that caused me to think. It was what what is the most anti-Welsh Welsh institution? The answer seemed easy. A tie between Welsh Conservatives and Welsh Labour. Both being, despite having Welsh in their title were beholden to the other organisation with a capital W. Westminster.
I’ve given examples throughout the history of this blog and will probably do so more in the future so I won’t bore you with it here. So instead I’ll give you the organisation which I initially thought was a close runner up spot but the more I considered it seemed to join the unionist parties I mentioned. The Welsh Rugby Union.
Now I could have also added the England and Wales Cricket Board or the Green Party of England and Wales. But they already surrendered the Welsh part of the deal. No the question was clever in that it queried seemingly Welsh institutions. You don’t seemingly get more Welsh than the WRU and yet if you look beyond the six nations and other internationals the organisation whether consciously or not seems to undermine Wales with every opportunity.
I have dealt with issues in more detail regarding the WRU individually in this blog. But I think now it’s probably best to highlight them in one place.
So here goes.
The Badge : The Prince of Wales feathers symbolising the image as a plaything of royalty when it was called a Principality.
And speaking of a Principality…..
The Principality Stadium: The WRU were happy to get the money so that the rest of the world sees the national stadium called Principality. Wales is not a principality and I know that the naming comes directly from the Principality Building Society but most people outside Wales would not know that.
Image is everything. But who cares about image when you get the money?
Eddie Jones : As I chatted about last year the England coach (who let’s not forget is Australian) described Wales as s***. And to be clear he wasn’t talking about Wales the rugby team he was insulting Wales the country.
Now any self respecting organisation representing Wales would have banned Jones from attending this year’s six nations match with England in Cardiff. Not the WRU though.
Weakening The Club Game: What was once a (mainly) Saturday afternoon ritual has been weakened by the creation of four specific regional teams and no possibility of promotion/relegation for the clubs outside the privileged quartet. Whatever the arguments about the quality of the rugby these teams were for the most part unable to attract the uniform support of people in the regions they covered. Thus they play to relatively sparse crowds that even television cannot hide.
It’s a system so successful that the WRU tried to rejig the system to reduce the number of relevant regional clubs to just two. They failed in that (for now).
Compare and contrast with the Welsh Football Association. The badge is that of a dragon and whilst the major Welsh football teams (Cardiff, Swansea etc) do play in the English leagues they have subsequently created a distinctly Welsh league with promotion and relegation which whilst it may not be the Premiership is nonetheless established now.
So here’s the irony. Despite the cliché image. The more Welsh of the institutions is probably that of football.
Until the next time.