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CELTIC-L  February 1999

CELTIC-L February 1999

Subject:

Re: Welsh housing problem

From:

"Mag.phil. Raimund Karl" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Mag.phil. Raimund Karl

Date:

Wed, 10 Feb 1999 11:47:49 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (133 lines)

mike brown wrote:

<snipped the old stuff>
>
> Well then my lovely boyo, we'll see.
>
> The picture you paint about the EU is a very stagnant one. Are we to believe
> that the nations that make up the EU are set in stone and absolute?

No, of course not, but that's not what I've said. What I said was that
the other EU members will be much less sympathetic to special
regulations in new treaties with a devolved former part of one of it's
own member states, especially if this will shift the inner balance of
power in favour of those parts of the (then former) member state.

> Surely
> as time passes new member nations will be admitted and current nations will
> split.

Oh, I agree that there will be new member states, and I not even exclude
the possibilities that current nations will split, even though I think
it less likely in the light of current political practice in regard to
other nations that want to. All I said is, given current political
practice and reality, the other EU member states will not be very happy
about this, and therefore most likely will not be very sypathetic to
special regulations for such splitstates. Your political ideas in all
due honour, they seem not to very well fit with current political
practice, at least in my opinion.

> Britain may well be an island, but it would be illogical and
> discriminatory for the EU to hold that an island cannot be made up of a
> number of separate nations.

Excuse me? I absolutely don't get the point! I never claimed that the EU
would say anything like this. Of course an island can be made up of any
number of separate nations, but if one island is considered to be one
nation by the huge majority of politicians, and the UK is definitly
considered such a single nation by most European politicians, why should
the EU support a splitting of this nation in tiny fragments by allowing
special regulations and treaties for each and any of the resulting
parts? With the same argument, each and any Austrian province (and we
have 9 of them), could argue for such a separation, and in fact, any
group of citizens of any given European nation could immediatly declare
it's independence from the nation. Not that I would not support such an
idea, but do you really think that this would have any chance in the EU
or any nation on this planet? I doubt!

> Further, if Britain were an "Island club" with
> common vested interests, as you suggest, then the Welsh and Scots would have
> no need to separate.

There's a big difference between nationalist dreams of political
selfdetermination and practical political reality, if you haven't noted.
Even though the Republic of Ireland has split from the UK some centuries
ago, they still are unified by a common tradition, and follow relativly
related policies. The economies of these two countries are still a lot
more interrelated than with others, and, in the big picture, the two
nations tend to go together in political decisionmaking, as they depend
upon each other a lot more than any of the two depends, say, on Germany
or France. Even though Austria and Germany split (the last time, they
did quite often before) a few centuries ago, they still are strongly
interconnected, both their economies and policies closely tied together
in the big picture. The same will be true for a devolved Wales or
Scotland, which will depend quite much on their big brother England. The
result is a practical political union in most questions that have an
international effect.

> The truth is, both these countries have aims, desires
> and goals which do not correspond to English or "British" aims etc.

But most of them, and this is evident from what you have written on this
list in the past, are of internal relevance only. What differences to
current UK policies do you see represented in the Welsh nationalist
viewpoints? I have seen little if none. This is the problem I see which
you will face in any dealings with the EU - the EU doesn't care much
about language pockets and cultural specialties, but it cares much about
international relationships, especially between it's members.

> I can
> understand (and I agree with you ) that the other nations that make up the
> EU would not be impressed with adding more nations to the voting block, but
> what would the alternative consequence be? If the EU does not organically
> adjust - it will end up as a sterile, stagnant entity that will end up
> imploding into violence if old and new member nations are forbidden their
> legal right to national self-expression.
>
This, again, is not the question in my eyes. I do not doubt much that
the EU will take the national self-expression of Wales and Scotland as
it comes - all I say is that it will not be especially sympathetic to
grant special rights to Wales and Scotland in regard to anything - it is
simply not realistic to believe something like this. Especially not
things that result, in fact, in a treaty that allows Welsh people to
move to anywhere in the EU, while if forbids any other EU citizens to
move to Wales. What interests would the EU have in such a treaty? To say
it the other way round, a devolved Wales will need the EU membership a
lot more than the EU will need a Welsh membership, as the EU is, to say
it as hard as it is, is simply in the much better economic position!
Which company will move to Wales, to generate more jobs there, if it has
the EU next door, with it's common free trade zone and over 250 million
inhabitants, if Wales, with it's mere 2.5 million inhabitants isn't a
member of it? Why should companies go there if there's a restrictive
settlement policy active that makes nothing but problems when wanting to
use foreign specialists? Why should they subject themselves to a
restrictive language policy, if they can have it in English next door?

The consequences that result from this, in my eyes, is, that a devolved
Wales will have not many better chances for restrictive political rules
to save it's culture and language than it has now, and that the only
real chance to safe it lies within the members of the autochtonous Welsh
culture itself. I don't see much hope for it from outside, and betting
your culture on such vague hopes of outside help won't safe it.
Definitly, Welsh devolution will bring Wales a lot, but don't expect it
to be the help for Welsh culture you expect - it might even get worse
for it.

RAY
________________________________________________________________________

RAY - Mag.phil. Raimund KARL
Universität Wien, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte
A-1190 Wien, Franz Klein Gasse 1
E-Mail: <[log in to unmask]>
Internet: <http://unet.univie.ac.at/˜a8700035>
________________________________________________________________________

Visit the Celtic-L Resources Page at
<http://unet.univie.ac.at/˜a8700035/celtrese.html>
________________________________________________________________________

Privat: A-1120 Wien, Hasenhutgasse 7-11/9/4
Tel/AB/Fax: (+43 1) 8103629 oder mobil: (+43 676) 3048830
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