Most of us want a Welsh Passport

I was reading through the recent IPPR report entitled England and Its Two Unions, and came across this snippet of information on epage 10:

     If you were allowed to choose the nationality that appears on
     your passport, which of these descriptions would you choose?

     

As we can see, most people in Wales would want a passport that describes their nationality as Welsh, and only a minority would want to be described as British nationals. This is all the more remarkable when we consider that fully 21% of the population of Wales was born in England, that 13.8% consider their nationality to be English, and that 8% would want an English passport.

In contrast, most people in England would still prefer to be described as British nationals; but even so, the percentage wanting an English passport is quite significant. Unfortunately, equivalent information is not available for Scotland. It would be well worth asking them the same question.

     

It is information like this which shows why Wales will not remain part of the United Kingdom for long. Public perception of what we consider our nationality to be, and therefore how we want to be seen by the rest of the world, is way ahead of the political process that will deliver independence ... just as the desire for more decisions about Wales to be made in Wales is way ahead of the political process that will deliver more devolution. We would do well to learn from what has happened in Catalunya, where the recent movement towards independence has been driven first and foremost by people from across all sections of Catalan society, leaving the political parties with no real choice but to respond.

I am a political animal who understands that politics is important, but it is not all-important. Who we are as a nation and how we are seen by the rest of the world matters much more to most people in Wales than politics or political parties, and to become an independent nation we need to work at this level rather than just at a political level.

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18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Interesting.
In the "One year til the referendum" event at the Pierhead it was interesting that one of the speakers said nationalism would not drive independence. Nationalism is no longer an issue in the present century. Instead, it will be the economy that will decide independence.

Not sure if I agree with that or not

Anonymous said...

Good point on Catalonia, MH. Can we take a leaf from their book and organise a nationalist, but not party politicL rally around the Son Una Nacio (we are a nation) rally there a few years ago.



Boy Bach

Anonymous said...

I'd love to have a Welsh passport. But can I suggest this design:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Phenomenon-Welshness-Aircraft-Carriers-Independent/dp/1845273117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380095639&sr=1-2&keywords=sion+jobbins

Anonymous said...

'Most of us want a Welsh Passport'.

Of course we do. It is quite normal for us folk here in Wales to want anything and everything that is on offer. And, especially so, if it is free, cheaper, or suggestive of a status that may bring further benefits.

Problem is, when you explain that 'exchanging' your British passport for a Welsh passport is a one way, one time only exchange the attraction of such immediately goes away.

Indeed, the statistical number for those remaining in favour drops below a measurable percentage.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12

You suggest that you have some actual statistics in front of you when you say
"Indeed, the statistical number for those remaining in favour drops below a measurable percentage."

Is that really true? Or did you just make that up? My bet is the latter. Indeed, my bet is that the 'statistical evidence' you cite is as robust as those polls that True Wales used to publish in 2010...

Put up or shut up

Efrogwr said...

Encouraging news. @anon 8.55: a quick resort to google images suggests that you can have your Welsh passport now:
http://www.portmeiriononline.co.uk/product/Cymru_Wales_Passport_Notebook
I can't quite make out the wording on the inside cover, but I suspect it won't say much about the requests and requirements of Her Britannic Majesty.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:12:

Don't use my statistics. Go ask people on the street. And then ask some more on the phone. But make sure the question you pose is accurate and the same each time. And then look at the results. Hardly rocket science.

It's rather like the vote on Scottish independence. Yes, to many it seems like a 'no-brainer'. What's to lose? Nothing.

Or nothing except the possibility of re-joining the Union if things don't quite work out as expected.

MH said...

I'd be interested to know who said that nationalism would not drive independence and in what context it was said, 22:43. I have said on several occasions that other parties beside Plaid Cymru will come to the decision that independence is in Wales' national interest, just as parties like the Greens and Scottish Socialists have reached the same decision for Scotland. The Greens in Wales should do the same as their Scottish counterparts, but must first establish themselves as a distinctively Welsh party rather than the Englandandwales party which they are now. There's probably not much chance of a Welsh Socialist party gaining traction here, simply because Labour in Wales is (with some exceptions) a much more left wing party than Labour in England. But the reverse side of that coin is that there is a very good chance that Labour in Wales will have to break away from Labour in England because they will be unable to endorse right wing policies designed to win votes in middle England.

I am not at all convinced that the economy will decide what people think about independence, either. In Scotland, the argument is that if people think they will be £500 better off they will vote for independence. That was the message from only last week, but a few years ago the same notional financial difference resulted in an even larger percentage in favour of independence. Both sides will put out different figures to "prove" things one way or the other, and the real question is which figures people will choose to believe. In my opinion a financial argument only ever provides a rationale to confirm what a person is already inclined to believe, it is hardly ever the primary reason for the way they think.

Ultimately it is a matter of self-confidence. Do we believe that we are best able to make decisions for our nation, or instead believe that decisions should be taken for us by a parliament which will always vote for what is in the best interests of the people of England, because England has nearly eighteen times more people than Wales and will therefore give us what suits them rather than what suits us?

Anonymous said...

Anon 11.26

So you were using the language of statistics to give spurious credibility to what was no more than a 'hunch' ("Indeed, the statistical number for those remaining in favour drops below a measurable percentage.") And when challenged, have nothing at all to back it up... Brilliant.







MH said...

As regards Catalunya, we haven't even begun to grasp the lesson, 23:30. And, to be honest, I don't think Scotland has either. If we had, our sportsmen and women, our artists, our performers, our intellectuals and academics, our teaching, health and legal professionals, our religious leaders, our business leaders, our trades unions, our armed forces and our public servants would be encouraged to find their voices and speak out. We would see things like this and this happen in our streets and public squares, as signs of our belief in ourselves and as a way of capturing public imagination.

Because the debate on independence in Scotland has been led by politicians, it is all too easy to portray it in party political terms and turn people off independence because people are turned off by politics. I think the emergence of groups like the National Collective is vitally important in redressing the balance, but fear it may have come too late. Let's learn from this. We in Wales should be setting up groups like this now, addressing the issue of why independence will benefit our real lives from the perspective of each of the interests and passions we share, not from the perspective of politics.

-

Very funny, 10:12. If any need the joke to be translated, it is that people in Wales are much too stupid for any opinion they express to be taken seriously. We obviously need to have things "explained" to us by people who hold different opinions, and when we've learned our lesson we will of course change our minds.

-

I should have acknowledged the source for the images, Efrogwr. Well done, Robin Llewelyn. The first line of the inside cover is a bit larger than the rest and says: "Yn enw Gwladwriaeth Cymru" ... but the rest is too small for me. The crest on the front cover says "Teg edrych tuag adref" above and "Y ddraig goch ddyry cychwyn" below.

Anonymous said...

If Scotland does breakaway then they will not be leaving the Union they will be ending it! For example when you get divorced you are don't leave your marriage you are end it!
This mean Wales will go back to exactly it was before 1707 a 'Principality of England' are not the United Kingdom. How many 21st century Welshman would feel content with an 'English' Passport? Not many I don't think.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14.26 - the state will continued to be called the United Kingdom - people will just not say 'of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'. That's what the Establishment will want as it gives it continutity and so allows the Establishment to insist that the UK (see, I've done it now!) will continue to be the legitimate successor to the seat at the UN etc.

M.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to be careful with assumptions. People in Wales won't have an 'English passport' they will keep the same ones. In effect Scotland is 'leaving' the Union AND ending it. It's ending its own union, but it won't end the union between England, Wales and part of northern Ireland. Nobody in Wales will really understand the significance of 1707. The actual conditions will be we'll have the relatively limited Assembly, and a dominant Westminster government next door.

I think we need to look at what MH says about self-confidence being the key. What do we need to do to generate the self-confidence? I would argue the economy is part of this, but it can only be built up in Wales through investment, especially in skills, and especially in economic infrastructure. This requires more state expenditure, almost certainly. Calling for independence in the here and now won't be enough to win enough support for holding and winning a referendum. We need to look more about creating the conditions for independence to be popular in the future.

MH said...

I think the United Kingdom will not give up so easily. It will carry on regardless when it loses Scotland just as it carried on regardless when it lost the bulk of Ireland.

Ireland? 'Tis but a scratch. Scotland? 'Tis but a flesh wound. And when Wales leaves? ... well, they'll probably want to call it a draw.

Anonymous said...

MH, the problem isn't with England or the English. Never has been, never will be. No, the problem is with the ordinary folk living here in Wales. Unless persuaded by a satisfactorily convincing narrative to stand upon our own two feet we will continue to opt for the safer option of tying ourselves up with our much larger neighbour.

It's our choice, it always has been. Just as it has been for Scotland. And it's folk like you that have failed time and time again to come up with any convincing narrative.

Blame no-one but yourself and your fellow countrymen.

Jac o' the North, said...

Here's a link to a photo showing Welsh passports being used in the late '80s. http://on.fb.me/16JGCrP

MH said...

Brilliant picture, Royston. But will you tell us which one is you?

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