Western Mail letters: Monday, November 18, 2019

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Of course we are a colony of England

Adam Price’s comment that Wales’ status was “analogous if not identical” to the colonial experience has raised complaints. He is not the first to raise this issue. In March BBC Wales broadcast two programmes entitled “Wales: England’s colony?”.

An issue that confirms Wales’ colonial status is an Act by Henry VIII in 1535, known as an Act of Union. Section 20 made English the only language of the law courts and said that those who used Welsh would not be appointed to, or paid for, any public office in Wales. At the time probably every Welsh person only spoke Welsh. If that’s not colonialism, what is?

As for Wales’ economy and resources, they are still controlled by England even following limited devolution. Just look at the last two centuries. Wales exported vast amounts of coal, iron, steel, tin plate and slate. What benefits came to Wales, particularly the Valleys?

At the 1917 election the Tory government had 93.4% of its MPs from England. Labour had 86.6%. Wales is rich and an energy exporter with oil and gas off the coast. Yet we are often classed as the poorest part of the UK. Why? Wales is ruled by England, again colonialism again comes to mind.

Neil Taylor

Rhyl

What happens if Brexit is a failure?

I have one question only for both Conservative and Labour leaders that I and many others would like a straightforward, unequivocal answer to. It is one that I have yet to see any journalist ask whether in the press, television or radio.

What is the plan for when Brexit goes horribly wrong?

Surely they can answer this as they seem to be able to expound almost poetically on all other unlikely outcomes such as unshackled spending to achieve a land of milk and honey where we are the envy of the entire world as we are freed from the self perceived shackles of tyranny and oppression.

But they are never asked what will happen when we are isolated with no deals and companies and financial institutions are moving their businesses elsewhere.

A land where there are inadequate health staff, agricultural workers and hospitality personnel amongst others, where there is no inward investment as companies seek larger and more lucrative markets. A land that has turned its back on six hundred million customers.

What is their answer?

I await their replies but forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

AW Jones

Llandrindod Wells

Do we really need nuclear weapons?

I was interested to read Mr Brian Christley’s views (“Vote for lunatics to take over the asylum”, WM letters, November 13) on Labour’s attitude to our Trident submarines.

Politicians who doubt the military value, or morality, of Britain’s nuclear weapons are often ridiculed like this.

I understand why we armed ourselves with an atomic bomb after the Second World War, but I see no sense in having nuclear weapons today. If President Putin wants to bring us to our knees, he can do it is through a cyber attack on the National Grid.

Unfortunately, we don’t have effective cyber defences because we are obsessed with nuclear warfare. We spend vast amounts on Trident, which is useless against the sort of religious fanatics we have seen in London, Manchester and Paris. Is it lunacy to keep our nuclear missiles or to get rid of them?

Christopher Madoc-Jones

Denbigh

Labour are the only party that can help

I am an ordinary working man of 60 from Ferndale in the Rhondda Valleys, and for a few years now I have been getting more and more fed up of modern-day politics, especially over this Brexit farce which has shown how inept and selfish most of our MPs are.

However, on the other side it has shown me how brainwashed we all are. I voted to leave Europe as I was fed up of being told what to do by Brussels but in reality I was and still am fed up of our own government who were the ones responsible for my disenchantment. For me Brexit is no longer an issue as Farage and Johnson have shown what liars they really are.

I am not happy with our local Labour MP who I feel could do a lot more for our community than he does. However, saying that the greater good must prevail, I have a lot of doubts about Jeremy Corbyn and some of the shadow cabinet as well but they are sincere in their beliefs that they can provide us with a much fairer society and protect all that is good in our once great country, especially the National Health Service, so if you want a country where the homeless are helped,where the rich pay their fair share, where millions of working people do not have to rely on foodbanks in order to eat, a country where the poor, old and more vulnerable people are helped not treated as lepers then do as I do and vote Labour. They are the only ones that can help us.

Don’t believe the rubbish that is being said about Corbyn; he is no more a terrorist than Blair, Thatcher or Cameron. He is a pacifist and is that so bad in this day and age? He deserves a chance, after all we don’t really have much to lose as there’s not much left.

Norman Harvey

Blaenllechau, Rhondda

Strike ruling affects all our freedoms

How bitterly disappointing it is that the Royal Court of Justice has ruled in favour of Royal Mail’s fundamentally undemocratic attempt to up-end strike action by the Communication Workers Union, amid magnificent support by its members, on the basis of the word of one manager.

The strike was supported by 97% of balloted workers on a 76% turnout, very easily meeting the Government’s intentionally difficult standard for legal strike action – but a single judge has declared it void in one fell swoop.

The CWU is appealing this decision, and will be discussing the next course of action.

It has lambasted the judgment as an “utter outrage”.

Of course, judges are only obeying the laughably cynical Trade Union Act 2016, which was ostensibly intended to be only part of a raft of measures against lobbying which, curiously, never actually changed anything for corporate lobbyists.

It imposed burdensome minimum thresholds meaning strike ballots are invalid if fewer than 50% of union members vote, and demanding that 40% of members (not of those voting) support strike action in certain sectors.

This undignified legislation allows injustices such as members of the Public and Commercial Services union being barred from holding a legal national strike over pay, despite 85.6% of ballots cast being in favour, because it fell marginally short of the mandatory 50% participation rate.

It also means trade unions must mobilise their entire membership, in hundreds of thousands of workplaces which, as most would appreciate, isn’t easy.

Striking posties deserve our full support and solidarity because this affects us all. By removing our fundamental democratic right to withdraw labour, the capitalist class is setting a perilous precedent to chip away at our other freedoms.

Daniel Pitt

Mountain Ash

Shocking indictment of Corbyn’s Labour

The resignation of former Labour deputy leader Tom Watson is a shocking indictment of Corbyn’s Labour Party.

Mr Watson’s resignation came hot on the heels of former Labour MPs Ian Austin, John Woodcock and Louise Elmar calling out Corbyn as unfit to lead a political party and unfit to be prime minister. This was echoed by former Labour MP Kate Hoey.

If that wasn’t bad enough, former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett blasted Corbyn’s Labour for its anti-semitism and thuggery. Corbyn’s Labour has become a tool of the hard left, militants on steroids, who despise anyone who creates wealth or works hard, a party intent on fighting a class war, a party whose economic policies, if ever implemented, would lead to a financial meltdown, the flight of capital and investment, leading to higher taxes for all. Interest rates and inflation would rocket. Corbyn’s economic madness will hit the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. Labour is no longer the party of working people.

Nigel Dix

Blackwood

Delusions of their own superiority

Having read some of the detail from Warren Gatland’s autobiography regarding England’s behaviour during matches in Cardiff, it comes as no surprise.

They as a team and nation have always thought themselves superior to the other home nations.

Regarding rugby, they believe they are supreme. However, time and time again this is proved not to be the case. Thank you for the insight, Mr Gatland, into their behaviour.

Neil Fletcher

Cardiff



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