Fucking Llafur newydd!

I used to think Llafur were a better party than English Labour. The different nature of politics and society in our two countries means that the background of Llafur ASau and ACau — particularly ACau, the politicians elected to the Cynulliad, our national assembly — is somewhat different to that of Labour MPs. As well as that, a lot of my political background has been heavily influenced by my mother’s Welsh Non-conformism.

Now politics in minority nations and communities are complicated in a way that English and American people tend to find difficult to understand. Some issues can seen very parochial but their importance is really a pointer to their being a cipher for our cultural individuality.

This is the same kind of issue that a lot of friends don’t quite understand about me. I describe myself as Welsh, yet I was born and brought up in England. But I don’t feel English; I’ve never felt English. I was mainly brought up by my mother, who was born and raised in Wales, by parents of whose first-language was Welsh. It’s not just the little things — that I think “cae’r drws”, not “shut the door” or that, when I have the munchies, it’s “siocled” I crave, not “chocolate” — it’s an integral part of my id. Just as being gay isn’t just about who I sleep with, but also, to an extent, at least, about how I perceive the world around me, being Welsh isn’t just about having been born there or speaking the language (which I do shamefully poorly). It’s the same kind of difference as all we Brits feel from America; the culture is similar, but also wholly alien on some levels.

The Welsh language is, amongst some of us Welsh, particularly in the north and west, one of these totemic issues. It may seem stupid, to outside observers, but our language is integral to our cultural identity. Not understanding the importance of our language is not understanding part of the difference between us and the English. We’re not the same peoples, we have different priorities.

So when I read something like how Labour doesn’t get the importance of the Welsh language, I worry that even Llafur have lost their way. I really do hope they get their arses kicked next month.

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Ymatebwch

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