The Welsh people, it seems, have always had a community and human-centric outlook on life. Much of this comes from a nation forged in adversity no doubt. A nation under threat from raiders and from invaders such as the Romans and later the Anglo-Saxons and the Normans. It seems they have evolved a compassion and understanding for what is right beneath an outward pragmatic reserve.

A very early example of this; the druidic adage `Y Gwir Yn Erbyn y Byd' or `The Truth Against the World' upheld the true inner nature of mankind against the forces of the mundane world. So too the Celtic tribal system of small separate states each with its own king, priest teachers and bards co-existing relatively harmoniously together bred a rich, self-sufficient, grass-roots approach to life and living. One in direct contrast to the ethos of conquer and control of the Romans and later invaders. Still the Romans and others did bring order and this too was incorporated into the nation.

The result was a principled nation that embodied the concept of right over might in Arthur Pendragon which was later adopted by the mediaeval European courts as the epitome of chivalry. The laws of Hywell Dda or `Howell the Good' of the 900s gave a set of righteous laws for the people including greater equality for women. In later years in the 1800s and the 1900s the nation rebelled against injustice and privilege in the particular way that the Welsh do, not with violence but with the spoken word, with reforms supported by the great non-conformist preachers of the day. The nation cleaved to its roots and Socialism was formed with Christian Socialists like Robert Owen, secular orators like Aneurin Bevan, who fathered the National Health Service in Britain, and Lloyd George, one of Britain's greatest Prime Ministers. In Australia too Welshman Billy Hughes, became one of the forefathers of the Australian Labor Party, James Stephens first gave the world the 8 hour working day in Melbourne and Humffray's non-violent leadership was pivotal during the events before and after the Eureka Stockade in the struggle for miner's rights.


Currently Wales is considering whether it should or shouldn't follow a path towards self-determination and full devolution of powers from Westminster.

 Hywel Dda by F. W. Pomeroy, Cardiff City Hall - Seth Whales

The Lasting Legacy of Hywel Dda

Although the laws of Hywel Dda in specific were diminished after Edward I of England's conquests, and dismissed with the Acts of Union in the 1500s, they provided significant precedence for all those centuries and remain an important part of British (and therefore American, Canadian, Australian and New Zealander) legal history. Those who appear before a judge using a British-based system of law has good cause to be thankful to this Welsh king of whom they've likely never heard.

agor/more

Aneurin Bevan; Father of the National Health Service

 

 

Some quotes:
Reactionary: a man walking backwards with his face to the future.
Stand not too near the rich man lest he destroy thee - and not too far away lest he forget thee.
`The Digger' - William Morris (Billy) Hughes. Born into a Welsh speaking family in London Billy eventually arrived in Australia at the age of 20. After some years of labouring and droving he eventually settled down in Sydney. Billy understood that the life of the worker would only be bettered by parliamentary representation. This belief led him to enter politics and to the birth of the Australian Labor Party. A man of `dauntless heart and daring mind' he became Prime Minister of Australia in 1915. Whilst he supported Britain in the war against Germany he did not believe in forced conscription and sought to attain conscription through referendum. It was this that cost him dearly in federal elections.                       The purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.
We know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road. They get run down.
 I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction.

Could Wales leave the United Kingdom?

Talk of independence is growing - and the referendum in Scotland in 2014 is eagerly awaited. But could Wales really break free from England - and stand on its own?

Read this article from the Guardian newspaper dated 1/02/12


Plaid Cymru



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A century (the last one) of political and social campaigning in Wales

Ymgyrchu.jpg (21641 bytes)

Canrif o Ymgyrchu! A century of campaigning!

Published by the National Library of Wales it uses a range of digitised resources, including documents, photographs, audio, and video files, which have been sourced from Library collections, including the Welsh Political Archive.


To go to the Welsh Assembly website

Click here/Cliciwch yma

A visit to Plaid Cymru's

headquarters in Cardiff

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The start of the 8 hour day888 symbol

888bannerJames Stephens was born in south east Wales. A stonemason, Chartist and like many other Chartists, migrated to Victoria in 1853.

Back in Britain the Welshman Robert Owen had raised the demand for a ten-hour day in 1810, and by 1817 he had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day. It was in Australia however where the 8 hour day first occurred.

In 1855 James Stephens resuscitated the Operative Masons' Society in Melbourne and in April 1856 led a major demonstration to Parliament House. The government agreed that workers employed on public works should enjoy an eight-hour day with no loss of pay.

The memorial is on the corner of Russel and Victoria Streets, Melbourne

8 Hour Day Memorial stone


THE POLITICAL BLOG

Welsh political blog from several chosen contributors and the editorial staff of Cambria magazine.

 

Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales, Melbourne and Oceania Branch website

 


Some insights into the reasons for Scottish and Welsh Independence

`"Better 4 years of wrangling than 300 years of subjugation?'"



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Plaid Glyndwr
Plaid Glyndwr

 

h "Welsh Politics in a Nutshell"

Ali G (alter ego of `Borat') with Ron Davies (Former Welsh Secretary).

Definition of a Welsh peer: Senataff

Definition of a dead Welsh peer: Epitaff





 


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Owain Glyndwr Lecture Web Page

(Link to Plaid Oceania website)

 a

The long Welsh walk to devolution

 BBC NEWS 12/01/09

THE TIMES LOGO

We'd be a more united kingdom with an independent Scotland (and Wales)
Simon Jenkins 26/09/06

Who cares, really, if the Scots one day choose independence? Would it matter if Wales and Northern Ireland, larger than half a dozen European states, wanted their own government as well as their own football team? It need not alter their allegiance to the crown. Gordon Brown and David Cameron, likely combatants at the next election, last week deplored any loosening of the union bond, as if it would jeopardise the security of the state.

They join a legion of London politicians to whom the union remains a quasi-religious cause. Both Margaret Thatcher and John Major went to Scotland and wrapped themselves in the Union Jack, wiping their party off the map in doing so.

For the past five years the Scots and Welsh have shown a mature response to devolution. They rejected formal independence in favour of greater autonomy. When granted it in 1998 they used it, for the most part, sensibly and now want more. If denied it, more Scots told last week's Sunday Times they were for independence than against.

Why this should terrify the English beats me. Beyond the British Isles, Britons are ardent for political fission. They imposed federalist constitutions on their colonies (and on the Germans after the war). They supported Slovenian and Croatian separatism and went to war to assist Bosnians and Kosovans to break the Yugoslav federation......

Independent Wales would be 39% richer, claims ex-MP

People in Wales would be about 39% richer had it achieved independence more than 20 years ago, according to a report by a former Plaid Cymru MP.

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WELSH FARMERS STILL SUFFER FROM NUCLEAR ACCIDENT

A sober lesson in the problems of Nuclear Power

The nuclear fallout that haunts Welsh farmers By Catriona Davies April 2 2006  

BEFORE Emlyn Roberts, a North Wales sheep farmer, can take any of his lambs to market, he has to call in the government inspectors with their Geiger counters. They scan the animals for signs of radiation because the land they graze is still contaminated from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, which occurred 20 years ago this month. If the radiation levels are too high, the lambs cannot be sold for meat until they have spent time on other land. Mr Roberts is one of 375 British farmers, with more than 200,000 sheep, whose land is still considered "dirty" and subject to restrictions brought in after radioactive rains brought contamination to Britain in 1986. When the restrictions were established, farmers were told they would apply for only a few weeks, months at most. But many have had to accept that their land could be affected for years to come. On April 25, 1986, the world's worst nuclear power accident occurred at Chernobyl in the former USSR (now Ukraine). The Chernobyl nuclear power plant, 129 kilometres north of Kiev, had four reactors and during testing on one of them, numerous safety procedures were disregarded. The chain reaction that followed caused explosions and a fireball that blew off the reactor's heavy steel and concrete lid. More than 30 people died immediately and, as a result of the high radiation levels in the surrounding 32-kilometre radius, 135,00 people were evacuated. Immediately after the meltdown, almost 9000 British farms were placed under restrictions. Now 95 per cent of the land has been cleared, but the fallout still affects 355 farms in Wales, 11 in Scotland and nine in Cumbria. The land is monitored continually by the Food Standards Agency. The farmers need a licence to move their sheep and must call in inspectors to scan each animal before it can be sold. They are paid 1.30 ($A3.15) compensation for each sheep scanned, the same as in 1986. Mr Roberts, 39, is the fourth generation of his family to run Esgairgawr farm, in Dolgellau, where he keeps 1000 sheep. He usually calls in inspectors every week between July and December, when his lambs are sold. "At peak times, we have to give the inspectors seven days' notice, so we can never take advantage of sudden improvements in trade," he said. "It's worrying that something that happened thousands of miles away can still have such an effect on us." Glyn Roberts, 50, a father of five with a sheep farm in Padog, said: "When the restrictions first started they said it would only last for six months … It makes you wonder how safe nuclear power is."

TELEGRAPH and The Age Newspaper, Melbourne

References: http://www.suite101.com/content/hywel-dda-lawmaker-of-early-wales-a231903

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/bevan_aneurin.shtml