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Why is Wales so poor? (Economy, language and more)

8ball

Hetero Sapiens
Even in the 90s, Welsh was being spoken all over Wales, complete with regional dialects and slang. New words were entering the language and being put into common usage regardless of whether they had been 'officially approved' or not (so, no different to English then).
This was the very early 90s and it was looking pretty moribund from where I was living at the time. Sure, quite a lot of people spoke it in some places, but they were getting older and from my point of view things didn't look great for the language's future.
I had friends from North Wales who saw things quite differently, but their Welsh speaking seemed tied up with identity politics, a way of defining their separation from English culture.
Then there was the stuff about new words (the 'new blood' of any language), being created by academics so as to stop it being overcome by a language that would happily magpie terms from anywhere.

This is what I saw at the time. If that offends you, that's your bag.

And I've said on this thread that proper movement in the language would be a good thing. The only way I can see that you can translate that to 'anti-Welsh' prejudice is the fact that I don't automatically agree with everything you say. :rolleyes:
 

Gromit

International Man of Misery
I wanted to know if there was a real revival in Welsh or just the understandable effect of a lot of money being poured into a minority language.
The money kept the language alive. Nothing more.

What has made it grow is a change in attitude to the language.

When i was in school it was a dead language and so a waste of time to learn despite the push to revive it. Uncool.

Then certain welsh bands made it cool during the cool cymru pop era.

With that coolness breaking down previous barriers parents noticed through league tables that welsh speaking schools had really good results. The desire to have the best education for ones kids has created a new generation of welsh speakers where welsh is no longer uncool but now has snob value.

My theory anyway.
 

8ball

Hetero Sapiens
The money kept the language alive. Nothing more.

What has made it grow is a change in attitude to the language.

When i was in school it was a dead language and so a waste of time to learn despite the push to revive it. Uncool.

Then certain welsh bands made it cool during the cool cymru pop era.

With that coolness breaking down previous barriers parents noticed through league tables that welsh speaking schools had really good results. The desire to have the best education for ones kids has created a new generation of welsh speakers where welsh is no longer uncool but now has snob value.

My theory anyway.
The first 3 sentences there certainly mirror my experience.

I don't think the term 'snob value' will play well with certain parties, though. :eek:
 

phildwyer

Gorau arf arf dysg
Yes, but we're both from the time when the language was in terminal decline, as the graph clearly illustrates.
Obviously the decline was not terminal. And in fact the graph shows the decline had levelled out by the time we were in school. However...

The younger generation (and with respect, that's not a group you're in) have an entirely different view of the Welsh language. It's neither seen as dead or unhip - in fact, there's quite a coolness about the language which is reflected in the growing amount of bands singing in Welsh, and the increased interest in the Eisteddfod.
This is true. But I still think that the yoof's commitment to Welsh is largely rhetorical. Yes, it is considered cwl and all that, but how many of them actually speak it? I bet it's not many more than when we were in school. There's a massive difference between saying you speak it and actually being able to speak it.
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
I think Wales is better off with Welsh rule not because my bloodline is any better but because i've seen how English rule has fattened English pockets over Welsh ones. Politics is all about self interest and Welsh interests are rarely in the self interest of the Londoncentric government.
Wales is better off with Welsh rule because all people should be in control of the affairs of the area they live in - not because of some innate virtue of Welsh people. Once again you live under the, frankly tragic, assumption that money going to English capitalists is shared freely among the english while we scoff and laugh at you all from across the border. And that had the money gone to Welsh capitalists they would share it round likewise.

This thread could have been an interesting discussion about how raw material wealth rarely provides good wealth distribution. However it became another off-tone call to prayer for the more irrational end of Welsh romantic nationalism.
 

editor

hiraethified
Once again you live under the, frankly tragic, assumption that money going to English capitalists is shared freely among the english while we scoff and laugh at you all from across the border. And that had the money gone to Welsh capitalists they would share it round likewise.
Now that's what I call a strawman.
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
Now that's what I call a strawman.
It certainly is. However I wasn't the person building it.

You refuse to engage with a more thoughtful and analytical discussion about the structural causes of poverty in Wales, and instead go back to some Braveheart/Ernesto image of greedy Englisch raiding the helpless and noble Welsh and robbing them of their destined place as the richest country in the world :D

Go for it!
 

Pingu

Credo
dunno if this has already been mentioned but some of the statistics dont really tell the whole picture (esp when it comes to income) where my mum lives on ynys mon has a very shit rating in the income statistics.. however this is because most of the people living there are retired. lots of nice cars and what would normally be the trappings of well offness on show.

this in no way though should detract from the other parts of wales and the skew in the data from areas like where my mum lives is not the norm. I see jobs that I know in other parts of the country would attract at least 25% more being advertised regularly.

dunno where I am going with this as i have lost my train of thought but in general my experience of wales is that people are financially poorer than comparative people in other parts of the UK.

We make up for it though in other areas
 

Gromit

International Man of Misery
Once again you live under the, frankly tragic, assumption that money going to English capitalists is shared freely among the english while we scoff and laugh at you all from across the border. And that had the money gone to Welsh capitalists they would share it round likewise.
It goes to the rich capitalists. But where do those rich capitalists spend their gains thereby improving which local economy?

Many English gentlemen were made Welsh Lords. They made their fortunes out of Welsh mines and estates then vanished with their dosh back over the border to spend it there. Thats how resource wealth is syphoned out of a country.

Wales is trying to create high paid jobs in Wales now. Not to create rich people for the sake of creating them but because if they work and live in Wales and spend that money in Wales it benefits the local economy not just them.
 

editor

hiraethified
It certainly is. However I wasn't the person building it.

You refuse to engage with a more thoughtful and analytical discussion about the structural causes of poverty in Wales, and instead go back to some Braveheart/Ernesto image of greedy Englisch raiding the helpless and noble Welsh and robbing them of their destined place as the richest country in the world :D

Go for it!
And there you go. One man. Many chips.

You can't divorce Wales' current economic situation with the past, no matter how much you try and belittle it. Our entire infrastructure is a result of the economic exploitation of the past and that has had a huge bearing on modern day Wales.
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
And there you go. One man. Many chips.

You can't divorce Wales' current economic situation with the past, no matter how much you try and belittle it. Our entire infrastructure is a result of the economic exploitation of the past and that has had a huge bearing on modern day Wales.
You can call it a chip, or you can call it an opinion, it depends how personal you want to make an internet discussion :)

So the economy of Wales and it's subsequent poverty bear no relation to all the other resource rich countries with extensive poverty?
 
Now that's what I call a strawman.
It sounds pretty much what is being 'argued'.

The idea that the 'English' (one homogenus unity) all "got rich" off the the backs of anything at all, including Wales, is laughable.

Some rich people lined their pockets at the expense of others -- do you think this 'huge wealth' extended to the children being shoved up chimneys, to people (men, women, children) being made to work long hours in factories??

Do you really think they -- on the whole -- went sharing their money about?
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
It goes to the rich capitalists. But where do those rich capitalists spend their gains thereby improving which local economy?

Many English gentlemen were made Welsh Lords. They made their fortunes out of Welsh mines and estates then vanished with their dosh back over the border to spend it there. Thats how resource wealth is syphoned out of a country.

Wales is trying to create high paid jobs in Wales now. Not to create rich people for the sake of creating them but because if they work and live in Wales and spend that money in Wales it benefits the local economy not just them.
It's the same in modern day Africa and in the Gulf - resource wealth benefits a few and is taken elsewhere. In the Gulf this leads to the kinds of Arab nationalism that created the Ba'ath party, and to some extent Al Qaida. In Africa it lead to the anti-colonial wars, and to the continuing reign of corrupt generals and Mugabesque folk.

My problem is that I don't see where you are going with the analysis.
 

llantwit


I don't suppose you've got any credible sources to back that up, have you?
I don't have a source to hand, but I don't think it's especially contraversial to say that rural Welsh-speaking Wales is traditionally conservative, which is what I took PD to be saying.
You'd only have to look at election results and compare them to the stated aims, politics, and policy preferences of constituency politicians to see that.
 

Brockway

New Member
We're poorer because we're a colony - it's that simple. If we took control of our own affairs and resources we would be better off. And we'd be less crap as a people. Being colonised is a state of mind too. There's nothing more depressing than Welsh people saying: oh no we're hopeless, we can't possibly do that ourselves. I'd like to think that things are changing with the younger generation in Wales and certainly, culturally, we seem to be more self-assured since devolution.
 

Idaho

blah blah blah
We're poorer because we're a colony - it's that simple. If we took control of our own affairs and resources we would be better off. And we'd be less crap as a people. Being colonised is a state of mind too. There's nothing more depressing than Welsh people saying: oh no we're hopeless, we can't possibly do that ourselves. I'd like to think that things are changing with the younger generation in Wales and certainly, culturally, we seem to be more self-assured since devolution.
Nonsense. Wales is poor for the same reason that other less accessable and former industrial parts of the island are poor.
 

Karac

Mae Hen Wlad Fy Mamau
Wales is better off with Welsh rule because all people should be in control of the affairs of the area they live in - not because of some innate virtue of Welsh people. Once again you live under the, frankly tragic, assumption that money going to English capitalists is shared freely among the english while we scoff and laugh at you all from across the border. And that had the money gone to Welsh capitalists they would share it round likewise.

This thread could have been an interesting discussion about how raw material wealth rarely provides good wealth distribution. However it became another off-tone call to prayer for the more irrational end of Welsh romantic nationalism.
We could of talk of middle class English Devonian politics instead:)
 

Brockway

New Member
Nonsense. Wales is poor for the same reason that other less accessable and former industrial parts of the island are poor.
"the island" - is that a new country? Or do you mean greater England? Wales is a nation (albeit a colonised one) - we are not an English region. If there are some parts of England poorer than others that's your business. I couldn't give a shit about Devon, Yorkshire or wherever - it's not my country.
 

Brockway

New Member
Lovely, lovely nationalism. Inclusive, constructive and positive :D


(unsubscribes from thread)
Oh do fuck off you colonising gimp.

As for nationalism it's a perfectly acceptable form of politics when one country is unhappy about being colonised by another. Gandhi, for instance, was an Indian nationalist - he wanted to free his people from English/British imperialism. I suppose you think he was some kind of fascist. Maybe he should have been a bit more inclusive and allowed the Brits to walk all over them. How about the Chechens? What are they always bitching about - can't they just let the Russians take the piss out of them?:D
 

lewislewis

Lumumba Cymru
I don't think it would have made much difference if it had it's own parliament. Look at the energy rich states - they are hardly bastions of direct democracy and wealth distribution. I don't know anything about him, but You think Lord Bute would have crashed the cash around to his fellow countrymen if he was Welsh? I am guessing he never gave much away to the masses of urban poor in England.

Where in the world at the end of the 19th C was there anything resembling wealth redistribution? The idea that there is some historical justification for the resentment a modern day resident of South Wales may have for resident of a town or city a hundred miles to the east is fairly lame.

It's a simplistic in the extreme to see the wealth created from South Wales industry as going "to England". It no more went to England than the wealth generated in Yorkshire factories went to England. The same capitalist exploitation occurred throughout. The only difference being that Welsh were able to but a nationalist (and false) personification to their exploitation: "the reason we are exploited is because we are welsh and they are english".
In terms of energy rich states, it might be argued that Venezuela one of the most energy rich states in the world is actually also amongst the most advanced in terms of direct democracy and wealth redistribution (although starting from a base far more unequal than in Wales).
 

lewislewis

Lumumba Cymru
Why not? The vast majority of anglophone Welsh people have been socialist for well over a century. The Welsh speakers are far more conservative, but even they don't vote Tory.
Generalisation of the year goes to...

Let's dismiss all those 'conservative' Welsh speakers from the north who shut down military recruitment centres and went to jail on a regular basis.
 
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