Letter from Wales: The Scottish referendum has reheated daft talk of Welsh independence

by Julian Ruck

Scotland has some serious history. It has produced pure genius in the arts, philosophy, engineering and politics. One can understand a case for independence and separateness, albeit that abstention from out and out support may well be one’s personal inclination.

But is independence desirable?

Is the breakup of such a small land, a land that is so dependent on all its people pulling and working together, the future? Does Sir Colin Campbell’s Thin Red Line matter anymore, where is the enemy?

We have heard all the economic arguments, but is there not the more teasing question of how long finite natural resources ie gas and oil are going to last?

This writer must argue that the future of any world order cannot depend upon sovereign state autonomy and the sanctity of identity. The future for mankind must be consensus, co-operation and a barrier free global sharing of natural resources.

An idyll perhaps, even a fantasy bearing in mind the ghastly history of human kind with its wanton greed and wholesale brutality, but if Einstein believed in a benevolent and equitable  ‘World government’ free of identity obsession and the selfish hoarding of the means of existence, then whom am I to argue?

After all, one only has to consider the first and second World Wars to appreciate the destructive nature of nationalist intent.

A breaking up of the United Kingdom, will be a breaking up of its future, its wealth, its influence. But more profoundly than anything else, it will be a breaking up of who and what we are and a goodbye to hundreds of years of democratic development and maturity.

Needless to say the Scottish independence debate is reincarnating the bones of Owen Glendower and reigniting the dynamite sticks of Saunders Lewis, here in the principality. The magnificently deluded and revisionist fairy tale of a Welsh ‘state’ cannot it must be clearly stated, compare in any way, shape or form to the Scottish agenda.

A banana republic Welsh style, has as much chance of becoming a reality as two Taffy camels setting up an haute cuisine restaurant in Cardiff Bay for the jet setting officials of the Arts Council of Wales.

Putting aside the so-called liquid gold of Welsh water as a means of financial independence and sustainability (by the way, the costs of piping the stuff out beyond the present delivery infrastructure is far too prohibitive according to water company bosses), one must consider some HMRC statistics for 2010 – 11 i.e. one in 16 Welsh earners paid the highest rate of income tax. This number fell, according the Telegraph from 1.4 million in 2010-11 to 1.35 million in 2013.

Elfyn Lloyd (he whom I’d had a verbal scrap with on the Jeremy Vine Show back in January 2013), Westminster’s Plaid Cymru leader said of these figures: “Captains of industry in Wales may be residing elsewhere…..it is a failure of governments to increase Wales’s gross domestic product.”

Before going any further one is compelled to ask, who exactly are these Captains of Welsh industry and where are they residing?

There is no private sector in Wales to speak of and what there is, is dependent on taxpayer hand out.

One must also consider a few other facts in relation to Wales as stated on the BBC’s Wales Today news programme broadcast 25.2.14:

  • 59% of people in Wales are obese.
  • According to the recent Estyn and Pisa reports, Welsh children are some of the most illiterate in Europe.
  • £4 billion of European subsidy gone AWOL and Wales continuing to travel in a GDP downward spiral.

So, what can one conclude from all this apart from the fact that Wales has been ill served by its leaders for far too long?

Wales is not Scotland, nor can it ever hope to be.

Its GDP is so low as to make it totally dependent on Westminster and its  workforce is unlikely to attract the most optimistic of ‘Captain’s’, unless of course said Captain is from the Johnny Depp school of maritime entrepreneurship!

PS Wales has a critical problem where the recruitment of doctors is concerned. A reason for this and one that is never reported on Welsh media platforms, is that medicos simply do not want to come to Wales.

And why?

Talk to any GP practising in the principality and the answer will always be the same: Wales is poor and the health of Welsh folk even poorer. Why would a young doc want to come here and be worked to death when they can take up a post in England that is far less demanding and stressful?

Julian Ruck is a novelist, columnist and broadcaster. His latest novel “The Silver Songsters” (Pub. 18.4.14) is to be WH Smith’s book of the month in May.

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12 Responses to “Letter from Wales: The Scottish referendum has reheated daft talk of Welsh independence”

  1. Gareth M says:

    Does Ruck even live in Wales?! None of this bears any resemblance to life here.

    He seems to have taken a week off from talking down public sector workers, and has turned his venom on the private sector: “There is no private sector in Wales to speak of”. Really, Julian? However much it may rankle you, that is simply untrue.

    Also, the Welsh NHS’s problem recruiting doctors is no bigger or worse than that faced by the English NHS.

    If you remove the innuendo and pomp from this article, your left with nothing more than a handful of dodgy unverified stats used selectively and plain wrong assertions dressed up as dodgy unverified stats used selectively.

    On a positive note, it’s nice to see he’s stopped pretending to be a journalist now in his biog at the bottom of the post. Although, there is a delicious irony in writing with such fervour, as he does, against public funding for media and the arts then only listing BBC programmes to back up his claim of being a ‘broadcaster’.

    However much you wish it Julian; a journalist (or broadcaster) you are not.

  2. Richard ap Rhys says:

    How perplexing that on the day that the BBC/ICM poll finds support for Welsh independence at an all-time-low of 5%, Mr Ruck less than eloquently attempts to assert that the pro-indy agenda in Wales has been “reignited”, “reincarnated” and “reheated”.

    Unbelievable that a political commentator, even a self-styled ‘give-it-a-go-from-the-spare-room’ one like Mr Ruck could be quite as far off the mark as this.

    Given that Welsh Labour are the pioneers of devolution, and the two devolution referendums in Wales were led by senior Welsh Labour figures, surely Uncut could find a Labour person who actually knows something about devolution and referendums to write a piece. Or at least someone with a cursory understanding of Welsh politics and governance.

  3. Tafia says:

    Another complete load of Ruck-balls.

    This is obviously the weekly comedy column. Readers who don’t live in Wales should note that Ruck’s ‘observations’ bear no semblance to reality and his column should carry a mental health warning from the ‘Uncut’ editorial team.

    Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus !

  4. swatantra says:

    Wales could end up being Britains chimera.

  5. Robert says:

    Why is it I never get asked to do these polls, nobody well nearly nobody in Wales are interested in going it alone, but we do need to have a fully functioning Government in Wales which cannot be controlled by England cutting the funding.

  6. Fred says:

    Is this statement incorrect?

    Wales votes socialist, always does and the clueless are ruining the country?

  7. Tafia says:

    Fred – No. There are very very few socialist in the Labour Party. It is a right of centre neo-liberalist party.

    Incidentally, Ruck-Balls has made many quotes about Welsh NHS figures (as did that half-wit Tory minister on QT the other day) without pointing out that the figures are calculated differentlyu in England than in Wales and that if you calculate them the same way, then there isn’t that much difference – Wales is marginally ahead in sonme areas and England marginally ahead in others.

    Now ask yourself this – Did Ruck-Balls know this and deliberately lie to you in the full knowledge that what he was doing was fraudulant? Or his he a dullard. He can only be one or the other.

    Virtually every thing he states when he compares Wales to England is always deliberately skewed.

    He is a worthless quisling wasting other people’s oxygen and for some perverse reason deliberatly misleading non-Welsh readers for an alterior motive – probably that he is a tory or some other similar sewer-crust.

  8. Tafia says:

    And his name is Owain Glyndŵr. It is not and never has been Owen Glendower.

  9. Mr Akira Origami says:

    Welsh Labour are very “liberal” when subsidising Carwyn Glendower’s Airport shuttle…….


  10. john abell says:

    ‘After all, one only has to consider the first and second World Wars to appreciate the destructive nature of nationalist intent.’

    Julian, are you comparing the SNP and Plaid Cymru to the National Socialist German Workers Party? Even by your improbably daft standards that is bad.

  11. David Wood says:

    I was a labour supporter and a devolutionists with this article I am now a nationalist and for independence. Inaccurate information from Julian Ruck. Has he collected the data on the regions of England lately outside of the South East?? Its not a good read He has done more for independence than any nationalists could have.

  12. kevin says:

    What an anti welsh prick this guy is. How dare you speak so lowly of our great country. Its because of the likes of you the people of wales have such low confidence in their nation. And please stop this principality crap. You know full well wales isnt a principality. A principality is run by a prince. the prince of wales does not run wales., wales hasn’t been a principality for over 400 years. every international body recognizes this fact. Even the bloody bbc recognize this. Why cant you? Because its all part of your anti welsh agenda. Wales is much more than you make out . No country on earth has achieved more per population. How dare you run down our great nation . How dare you.

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