Talk:Wales

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 Definition A country of the United Kingdom that historically was considered a principality; population about 3,000,000. [d] [e]

The South

Is it really true, in all cases, to say that the reason that the south is more Anglicised is:

owing to the extensive exploitation of its natural resources, such as coal and gold, by the English in the 19th century.

This clearly has something to do with it, but I think it might be a bit simplistic and out-of-date to make such a blanket statement. Surely it also has to do with the economic and linguistic differences? John Stephenson 19:51, 7 November 2007 (CST)

I have changed "exploitation" to "mining" - I think the reader can infer it was exploitation. I think this is more even-handed. John Stephenson 20:10, 7 November 2007 (CST)
As a native of South Wales, I can assure you that the economic development of the region was entirely dependent upon exploitation by the English -- which developed substantial infrastructure such as railway lines and ports, but really left the region as a sort of economic "colony" for 150 years. This disappeared with deindustrialisation, starting in the 1970s with very high unemployment, now with more independent regional development.
The linguistic differences are caused by geography -- the mountain range {Brecon Beacons] separating North from South. Besides, the grammar and vocabulary of "North Welsh" are not that different from the south: the extent of its use as a native language is very different, though. This is bascially, I suppose, because North Wales was not of commercial interest to the English.
By the way, "exploitation" is a neutral word in political economy. I suppose it has some connotations in ordinary speech, which would not be entirely wrong either! --Martin Baldwin-Edwards 05:20, 9 November 2007 (CST)

Wales or Scotland?

Is this article about Wales or Scotland?! It seems like a comparative study! The first paragraph with the erroneous "regarded", "principality" and "instead" in i'm removing for the moment - the whole parag is miles off the mark. I know this isn't Wikipedia but I'm flabbergasted. This is my nationality!!!! --Matt Lewis 01:39, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

I can now see this article is entirely the product of a Write-a-Thon! Makes sense now why it was like it was - but it's made me a bit worried about Write-a-Thon's now I must say! It certainly didn't lead to this article being taken up after a few days. --Matt Lewis 17:25, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
I have reverted your edits, because I cannot see the justification for removing perfectly accurate history and language discussion from the article. On the other hand, you are welcome to rearrange material and contest the content -- preferably here, on the Talk page. I don't share your view that it is the result of a Write-a-Thon, especially as I contested or refined various issues on the page. Please express very clearly what you disagree with, and let's see where to go. From my point of view, the history of Wales's relations with England are central to understanding modern Wales, and you have simply excised them! So, let's improve the article, but not by fiat. BY the way, I am also Welsh. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:31, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
All the work on this article was over 3 days - starting on and then immediately after the last Write-a-Thon (7-10th Nov 2007)!! How can you contest that? It's certainly made me against Write-a-Thon's (for the same reason I was against the Core Contest on Wikipedia). So far Citizendium has been sub-impressive in my eyes - but I have to believe in it or I'll despair.
I will go through the article and list for you the many reasons why I made the edit I did. Please take me seriously. If this place turns out to be another Wikipeida I will truly despair! When I saw this article my heart sank to my shoes - it really did - to my shoes. I live and breathe in my country - why does it have to be a 'subject' to another? We only need to find the proper things to write about!
Wales is central to Wales - not England or Scotland!!! I fundamentally disagree with your above stated POV - and it is entirely your own original research, with barely a citation. I'm trying not to quote Wikipedias policy! --Matt Lewis 18:14, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
This has nothing to do with original research. Please note that we don't allow acronyms like POV on Citizendium and we do not require citations [we are not WP]. It is an indisputable fact that the history of Wales is shaped by its relations with a more powerful England: if you have not studied the history of our country so well, then I suggest you do so. The comparison with Scotland was put in by someone because it helps people from outside the UK to get a grip on things. What is wrong with that? I am not opposed to making changes to anything, and I am sure the page can be much improved, but simply deleting all the historical stuff is not the way to go... ...said Martin Baldwin-Edwards (talk) (Please sign your talk page posts by simply adding four tildes, ~~~~.)
In deciding what to put in the article, etc please imagine that you are an high-school student in, I don't know, India or the Southern US, i.e. someone who knows next to nothing about the UK. So you need to spell everything out, and assume nothing on the part of your readers. J. Noel Chiappa 21:51, 31 March 2008 (CDT)

Yes, you make an excellent point, Noel. The article has to be of value to everyone, not only those who know something about Wales.Martin Baldwin-Edwards 00:17, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

possible structure

I've tried this structure on Wikipedia (where the Wales article is currently horribly bland and pointlessly guarded with the usual "two bullying editors scaring everyone else off formula" you find over there... but anyway, I may as well follow it here if I can't over there. Wales is more famous for its geography than history, so I've began with that. I despise the formula that begins country articles with Etymology! Do we want readers?

  * Introduction
  * 1 Landscape of Wales
        o 1.1 Climate
  * 2 Travelling in Wales
        o 2.1 Welsh counties
  * 3 History
        o 3.1 Origins and history of the name
        o 3.2 Roman colonisation
        o 3.3 Medieval Wales
        o 3.4 Modern Wales
  * 4 Wildlife
        o 4.1 Flora
        o 4.2 Fauna
  * 5 Architecture
  * 6 Governance
        o 6.1 Law
        o 6.2 Economy
        o 6.3 Public health
        o 6.4 Military
        o 6.5 Demography
              + 6.5.1 Language
              + 6.5.2 Religion
  * 7 Culture
        o 7.1 Media in Wales
        o 7.2 Music and dance
        o 7.3 Literature
        o 7.4 Visual Arts
        o 7.5 Science
        o 7.6 Sports
        o 7.7 Food and drink
  * 8 Famous Welsh people
  * 9 Symbols of Wales
  * 10 Images of Wales
  * 11 See also
  * 12 References
  * 13 External links

...said Matt Lewis (talk) 17:19, 31 March 2008 (Please sign your talk page posts by simply adding four tildes, ~~~~.)

The structure is ok, although I am not sure why military issues are so prominent, The biggest problem is what to put into the Introduction, as this can only be a short summary of the most salient issues. There can be much dispute over what it should contain... Martin Baldwin-Edwards 17:49, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Military is interesting in the UK regarding the separate nations - obviously, the army has specific links to royalty in Wales, and Wales has a number of ordinance and training grounds. I wouldn't necessarity make it all that big. --Matt Lewis 11:25, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
So did Wales win some sort of Rugby game? --D. Matt Innis 19:18, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Looks like you guys have a lot to sing about! --D. Matt Innis 19:29, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Over the UK, I would say that 'rugby' (success or no) and 'singers/singing' are the most synonymous words with Wales. Wales is the only UK nation which has Rugby as its national sport. --Matt Lewis 11:29, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I'd agree with that, partucularly tenors. And don't forget the dragon mythology. It might be semi famous for it's castles too. Chris Day 11:34, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I'm not so sure that Wales is better known for its geography, outside the UK. Growing up in Bermuda, and living in the US at the moment, I know Wales (what little I do know of it, although I've visited there about a half-dozen times over the decades) more for its history than its geography. J. Noel Chiappa 21:54, 31 March 2008 (CDT)
Even after visiting half a dozen times? - that really surprises me. What have you picked up about Welsh history? Was it from visiting, or otherwise? I'll be posting some data on this.--Matt Lewis 11:31, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
Maybe it's just my personal bias, because I'm very interested in history. The scenery certainly is grand (the drive down the valley to Caernarvon - I think it was, forget exactly which road it was, now - and down around Brecon, stick out in memory decades later), but lots of places around the world have grand scenery. So to me the history is what sticks out the most. J. Noel Chiappa 11:55, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

There are a couple of alterations and additions I'd suggest to your template. Your section 1 has climate as a subsection of landscape. While both are geographic topics, one shouldn't be subjugated to the other. I'd suggest (in no special order of preference):

  * 1 Geography
        o 1.1 Landscape (your section 1)
        o 1.3 Plants and wildlife (your section 4)
        o 1.5 Geology
        o 1.6 Climate (your section 1.1)
        o 1.7 Environment

I'd like to see a section or subsection on Education and the Religion and Language sections should be more than just demographics. I think you can also put Religion and Language into Culture. The think Wales is really famous for is it's industry and mining. I think that There should be something about these topics, both in historical and contemporary settings. There should be something mentioned about Agriculture too. Derek Harkness 03:49, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

What industry is famous though? The mining is in the past - with the independent Tower colliery now closed Wales has no (coal) mines!
Agriculture I envisioned under Economy - but could have its own section (there are actually more sheep than people in Wales).--Matt Lewis 11:25, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I guess industry could go in the history section then. The slate mines are also important in that respect. Chris Day 11:31, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
Under History and Economy I would say. I appended coal above for those who might not know. Wales was the biggest coal port in the world in the late (I think) Victorian age - its all history now though. --Matt Lewis 11:38, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

A new 'base' to work from

I’ve had a revert to my change on to the article on the grounds of it removing history. I'd very much like to put my edit back – but as people are around now, I'm explaining why here first this time (I only went ahead as I did because the article was not active at the time).

I don't believe I removed any real ‘history’ - mainly 'sociology'. I’m explaining my reasons line-by-line. I think we need a simpler and uncontroversial ‘base’ in to build from.

(((my comments are red in triple brackets)))

Current version

Wales is today regarded (((regarded?))) as one of the four 'home nations' (((which are?))) of the United Kingdom, situated in the west of the island of Great Britain, bordering England, with a population of about three million. For centuries, it was considered a 'principality' rather than a country (((by who? The Welsh? the English? This is just not true.))) because it was never a unified state, unlike Scotland (((when? this is very confused.))) - instead, Wales's history is a story of several Celtic kingdoms (((ancient history))), invasion and rule by the English (((who unified later than Wales))), the decline and rise of Welsh language and culture (((why decline first?))), and finally the emergence, at the close of the twentieth century, of a form of devolved representation unrivalled since the fifteenth, when Edward I brought Wales under English control. (((but not all of Wales – far too simplistic)))

Wales's modern capital is Cardiff, with nearby Swansea also a significant centre. Since the creation of the Welsh Assembly at Cardiff following a narrow 'yes' vote in 1999, Wales has carved out a distinct political identity (((not sure what this means))) for itself: its 60 Assembly members have some power to speak, vote and act on domestic matters. Unlike the Scottish Parliament, (((why the comparison?))) however, the Assembly has no power to create or amend legislation, nor determine taxation levels. This reflects Wales's different relationship with England from that of Scotland's: (((This is not comparative study with Scotland))) Wales's economy and people generally remain more committed to the union with the rest of the UK (((but comparatively again.))). Another reason is that, unlike in Scotland, Welsh nationalism is far more associated with speaking the Welsh language, and even with specific regions rather than the whole nation. (((Why call it "nationalism"? Needs citations at least.))) North Wales and West Wales are the home of most Welsh speakers, with South Wales far more Anglicised (((many would find this language objectionable – we are part of Britain which is NOT Anglo/English, but a union))). This is mainly owing to the extensive mining of its natural resources, such as coal and gold, by English (((British????))) developers in the nineteenth century, as well as the linguistic divide: workers moving into Wales during the Industrial Revolution were not Welsh speakers. (((belongs in a later section))) However, Welsh language schooling for the children of Anglophone parents has taken off in South Wales over the last decade. (((Is "Anglophone" (English speaking) strictly accurate here? - I'd want to see the data before saying "taken off". Many Welsh-speakers moving into Cardiff (esp working in the Welsh speaking industry) are requiring Welsh speaking schools))) This is part of a trend in which the nation has evidenced a surge in feelings of Welsh patriotism.[2] (((But this citation is not about a surge! It’s only about Welsh being more patriotic than the English (who could be said to be relatively unpatriotic to many countries})))

Language

See also: Welsh language and Welsh English

Today, about 20% of Welsh people identify themselves as Welsh speakers, and the popularity of the language is on the rise - a far cry from the nineteenth century, when children were often punished for speaking the language at school (((by who? not well phrased – and needs to be backed-up - and in a History or Language section ))). With most of these speakers in the north, language issues in Wales are as much about the distinctive Welsh accent accompanying the local dialects of the English language: Welsh English, for some still an object of amusement (((?))), has become far more acceptable nationwide in recent years, with Welsh accents used on the national news (((But Welsh UK-news presenters like Vincent Kane, and main-anchors Martyn Lewis and John Humphrys lead the way to Huw Edwards!))) and in television drama.[3]

Welsh, like English, is an Indo-European language, so the two are distant cousins.(((Welsh and English are very different – it's misleading to point out that they are distant cousins (and the Indo-European family is huge!). Why the comparative focus all the time??))) Welsh is a Brythonic language in the same language family as Breton, spoken in France, and Cornish, which went extinct, though attempts are being made to revive it. Cumbric, once spoken in northern England and Scotland, was also closely related to Welsh. These Brythonic Celtic languages are very closely related to, but distinct form the Goidelic Celtic family which includes Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. Welsh grammar differs from that of English in several ways: for example, the verb is the first major constituent in the sentence by default, and there are masculine and feminine grammatical genders.(((again - why such a directly-put comparison?)))

The influence of one language on the other is more one-way than one might assume, given the proximity of England and Wales. Only a handful of Welsh words exist in English (e.g. druid), (((more than a “handful” as it happens))) whereas Welsh has borrowed many loanwords from English (((yes – but in the modern age...))). This reflects the differing origins and fortunes of previous generations: Welsh developed from older Celtic tongues, while the precursors to English came to Britain much later, brought by Germanic tribes from continental Europe, whose descendants came to dominate the islands. (((it simply reflects the fact that Welsh stopped evolving when English became dominant!)))

[3] ↑ For example, the relaunched flagship science fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood are both made by BBC Wales. Executive producer Russell T. Davies, Welsh-born, has stated as one of his goals that promoting Wales and Welsh TV expertise will have a "normalising" effect, with the Welsh accent no longer seen as strange or ridiculous. See Independent: 'Russell T Davies: The saviour of Saturday night drama'. 10th April 2006. (((Davies (nor anyone else) said Welsh sounded “strange or ridiculous” – he wants more Welsh-made TV)))!

My replacement edit based the above

Wales is one of the four constituent countries (or 'home nations') that together make up the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It is situated in the west of mainland Britain, with England to its east and the Irish Sea to its west. Wales has a population estimated at three million and is a bilingual country, with English being the principal language spoken, and Welsh the native tongue.

Wales's modern and fast-developing capital city is Cardiff (Caerdydd in Welsh). Since the creation of a the National Assembly for Wales in 1999, the 60 Welsh Assembly members have the power to speak, vote and act on domestic matters, but the power to legislate belongs to the wider UK government.

Language

See also: Welsh language and Welsh English

Today, about 20% of Welsh people identify themselves as Welsh speakers, and the popularity of the language is on the rise. The majority of Welsh speakers are in the north of the country. Like all the countries of the United Kingdom, Wales has a variety of accents that can sometimes confuse the uninitiated. The relaunched flagship science fiction series Doctor Who and its spin-off Torchwood are both made by BBC Wales and set in Cardiff in South wales. Executive producer Russell T. Davies, Welsh-born, has said regarding Welsh accents on television: "The more you can get that accent on screen, the more normalising it is."[2]

Welsh is a Brythonic language (from the Indo-European family) in the same language family as Breton, spoken in France, and Cornish, which went extinct (although attempts are being made to revive it) (((not sure this is accurate phrasing))). Cumbric, once spoken in northern England and Scotland, was also closely related to Welsh. These Brythonic Celtic languages are very closely related to, but distinct from the Goidelic Celtic family which includes Irish, Scottish Gaelic and Manx. In Welsh, the verb is the first major constituent in the sentence by default, and there are masculine and feminine grammatical genders: this differs from languages such as English.

Since English became the dominant language in Wales (and Welsh stopped developing new words)(((changed from my original "In the modern age"))), Welsh has borrowed many loanwords from English, which occasionally speckle the language as it's heard chattered in the towns.

A better start?

I've only included the 2 new wiki-links I added (inc home nations which I created for the job) - all other wiki-links were not copied over. I think its a simpler, less controversial base to work from. Does anyone mind if I put it back? It needs huge work (and will eventually be unrecognisable I'm sure), but I think this should be up before we work on it (rather than this being revised in here) - simply because the current article has too many controversial elements in it. --Matt Lewis 15:04, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

You are denying basic historical facts in these bracketed comments. The simple reason for the English language dominating in South Wales, as opposed to NOrth and West Wales, is that English developers moved in to exploit the coal seams (inter alia) and some English workers followed. The role of industrial capital in shaping South Wales is paramount in its economic rise and decline in the 1970s; it is also the explanation for the near-death of the Welsh language until quite recently in the South. I really don't think the filming of one series of Dr Who in my hometown is relevant to much, even if it excited the residents; overall, I repeat what I said previously -- that you have excised the history. Please feel free to correct mistakes, improve the detail, etc., but you are challenging that these are historically correct facts. I do not know how to respond, other than to say that you are wrong. I grew up in South Wales from 1956-76 and studied Welsh history at school, and subsequently read a fair amount. I can also tell you what the English thought of Wales in the 1970s and 1980s -- which is that it was an irrelevant province. I did not write that sentence used here, but I agree with it. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 16:38, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
That's a lot of material, and points, to cover in just a one-paragraph reply. Perhaps you all could go through the large section above paragraph by paragraph, working on just one at a time? I know that sounds slow, but I think once you've done a few it will go faster, as each of you understands the other's viewpoint better. J. Noel Chiappa 16:53, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
Good idea. To help this I am going to move all the history in the article into a new History section (without significantly changing it), so the other points I made can be focused on - at the moment it's all a bundled mess in my opinion, and is proving hard to unpick. --Matt Lewis 17:35, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I've done this (to a 'The British union and the English in Wales' section) - see below. --Matt Lewis 18:04, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
"I can also tell you what the English thought of Wales in the 1970s and 1980s -- which is that it was an irrelevant province." That is simply an outrageous slur on the English! I expect you to take it back, in fact. Wales is a living breathing country - it must not be presented in such a biased, over-simplistic and controversial way. I have read no relatively-concise biography of Wales (which is what this is) that has centrepieced on this sociological take on Welsh history - there are no-doubt elements of truth in it (but is it so simple?) - but this is an article on a country called Wales - not a radical pamphlet called "the English in Wales". In other words: This is no way at all to present an article on Wales!
I was born in 1970 in Cardiff and have lived here 37 years, all of my life. I remember the 80's very well. Neil Kinnock (who faced Thatcher every day in the 1980's) was most certainly Welsh - and not "provincial"! There was even xenophobia to the Welsh in England - a real sense of otherness. But no-one denied us our nationality! You are giving a horrendous signal out to any non-British who may be reading. If anyone doesn't realise this - WALES IS AND ALWAYS WAS A COUNTRY!!!!!! I am only 'excising' inappropriately-placed confusing and controversial statements that simply mislead people about Wales - a proper (fully referenced) History section must be properly written! Surely you don't expect the article to remain in its currently structured form do you? We need a proper article! --Matt Lewis 17:35, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I have moved the following text in the Introduction into a new section (copied below). I have only excised the citation it gave (as it wasn't about the 'surge in patriotism' the article suggested it was about) - other than that I have only changed the first couple of words, so it can stand alone. Below is what it looks like. Perhaps we can work around this section (I suppose it would be become part of History)?
"The British union and the English in Wales
Unlike the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly has no power to create or amend legislation, nor determine taxation levels. This reflects Wales's different relationship with England from that of Scotland's: Wales's economy and people generally remain more committed to the union with the rest of the UK. Another reason is that, unlike in Scotland, Welsh nationalism is far more associated with speaking the Welsh language, and even with specific regions rather than the whole nation. North Wales and West Wales are the home of most Welsh speakers, with South Wales far more Anglicised. This is mainly owing to the extensive mining of its natural resources, such as coal and gold, by English developers in the nineteenth century, as well as the linguistic divide: workers moving into Wales during the Industrial Revolution were not Welsh speakers. However, Welsh language schooling for the children of Anglophone parents has taken off in South Wales over the last decade. This is part of a trend in which the nation has evidenced a surge in feelings of Welsh patriotism."
Matt: I have no intention of stopping you from working on this article, because it does need development. But several points need to be made: first, in the last few centuries Wales was never allowed to be a "country", which requires a separate legal and political system, and really also the use of its own language. The nearest Wales has really been to a separate identity is now,. and this point should be made. Secondly, if you have always lived in Cardiff perhaps you did not experience the racism and marginal status that was generally accorded the Welsh unless theyt fitted in with the English -- this was done mainly by dropping your Welsh accent, and pretending to be English. And yes, the atttitude was that Wales was a province of England. Again, this attitude has mostly gone -- so you can say this. Perhaps there was some sort of role in national culture with the Dr Who series, but it was part of a larger UK trend of genuine political devolution after Thatcher. Thirdly, the response of the Welsh to the English -- espeically in the Welsh-speaking North -- has been xenophobic and unforgiving. I refuse to pass judgement on that and merely refer you to the fight started by Plaid Cymru for the independence of Wales.Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:30, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
I'm going to have to bullet my points, as I disagree so much:
  • I just do not agree that a prevailing "Province of England" attitude exisited regarding Wales!!!! It certainly wasn't prevalent in Wales, Scotland, Ireland or Northern Ireland - it could only be in England anyway! But I simply disagree - and you will need a lot of evidence to prove it.
  • Your point about Wales not being a "country" is unfairly pedantic - would you say it of England? You would have to say that the United Kingdom is the real 'country' and none of the home nations.
  • "The nearest Wales has really been to a separate identity is now, and this point should be made" - that is subjective (nearest to when?) and really doesn't need to be so laboured as a point - and certainly not with such a primary focus and force.
  • Regarding dropping the accent - was that any less true than for anyone in England who did not have a 'received accent'? (especially those from 'up north' in England). I think you are seriously exaggerating anti-Welsh feeling, although you say it is "mostly gone". What of Scottish and Irish - must their articles stress the perceived English 'centrality' so much? It can be argued that such prejudices are class-based.
  • I have actually experienced some anti-Welsh sentiment in my life - it's not fair of you to pull on "experience" to a 37-year-old adult - I have moved around for periods, am well read and have travelled - I don't live in a bubble! My mother is actually English - my Dad met her while being very successful in England! (and much less so when he came back to Wales). The Welsh are famous for their success outside of Wales, especially the City of London, and abroad, such as various parts of the USA (I'd like to develop this in future). The saying goes that the successful Welsh have left Wales! Maybe you are one?
  • As for Dr Who - I don't know who originally introduced that, but it was certainly a misused citation.
You can clarify that he didn't use the words "strange or ridiculous", but he is certainly on record as saying he wants the Welsh accent to be seen as normal. I actually put this in a footnote because I felt there was no need to bring in police boxes in the main text of an article on the Welsh language.
  • Regarding the xenophobia of the northern Welsh - what does that have to do with the CZ Introduciton on Wales? I don't recall asking you to "pass judgement" on it at all. Why refer me to Plaid? I'm just trying ot deal with the article as it stands.
I hope the new section containing your text is OK, anyway. --Matt Lewis 19:52, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

One further comment: your position strikes me as being revisionist, which is to say that you would prefer that we did not mention the negative aspects of Welsh-English relations over the last century or so. I am not prepared to accept that, and advise you that nationalist propaganda is not acceptable on CZ. What is needed is a more variegated explanation, of how the English generally treated the region [not country] of Wales, yet how significant so many Labour politicians from South Wales became in Westminster and even in Cabinet. There are many paradoxes of this type, and it is true that short descriptions do not do justice to the complexity of the relationship. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 18:43, 1 April 2008 (CDT)

I am not "revisionist" because I don't accept your argument - that is absurd. Your point of view regarding English/Welsh relationships does not represent a rigid "history" to me! I am anything but a revisionist! I simply want to help develop a proper article that covers everything fairly and with objective weight. One step at a time...--Matt Lewis 19:52, 1 April 2008 (CDT)
You have removed this sentence, which is an accurate statement of political history:
"Since the creation of the Welsh Assembly at Cardiff following a narrow 'yes' vote in 1999, Wales has carved out a distinct political identity for itself: its 60 Assembly members have some power to speak, vote and act on domestic matters."
Presumably, you claim that Wales had a distinct political identity prior to 1999. This is simply untrue, although it played a distinct role in national politics. You seem to be confusing what people thought should be the case with what was the reality: the same can be said of the "country" status. the legal system was of England and Wales, not of Scotland, and sometimes also applied to Northern Ireland. The Education system likewise. These are constitutional issues, not matters of public sentiment and I do not have to prove anything to you at all to reinsert these factual statements. Insofar as the perceptions of Wales by the English are concerned, they followed the constitutional structure: again, I do not have to prove anything to you on this point, which is well established.The reception of the Welsh in England was coloured by regional and class issues, which can be separated out. As I mentioned previously, these have changed very significantly over the lest 15-20 years. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:28, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Remember Wales was insignificant enough as a "country" to not get represented on the Union flag. Did they even have a flag then? So it is not right to compare Wales as a political equivalent of Scotland. I think this is the point Martin is making. I agree that the Welsh assembly is very significant, more so than in Scotland. As for xenophobia, I think that is too strong but there was definitely an anti English atmosphere in North Wales during the seventies. From my experience, however, it seemed to be restricted to the younger Welsh, whereas the older generations did not have the same feelings. Or at least hid them. Chris Day 03:14, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Matt has resigned from CZ. John Stephenson 04:17, 7 April 2008 (CDT)

Language

As a linguist, this is the only section I feel I can really comment on. The relationship between Welsh and English needs to be made clear - Welsh is not an isolate, but distantly related to English, because they share a common ancestor if you go back thousands of years. As Indo-European languages, much of the grammar is similar or the same (whereas unrelated tongues, such as Japanese, work a bit more differently). Believe it or not, things like word order are quite superficial; there are deeper similarities (e.g. both are fairly but not exclusively 'isolating' languages in which meaningful units, or morphemes, tend to correspond to single words - cf. other language families; both make use of auxiliary verbs and dummy constructions, e.g. '[it]'s raining'; both allow word order to vary in different kinds of sentences, and also over time (subject-verb-object used to be possible in Welsh; VSO is possible in English questions...etc.). Also, all this is worthwhile mentioning because it shows that the Welsh and the English have something in common linguistically. Finally, the comparison with English is quite deliberate: this article is going to be read by English users, so it helps to relate the content to something they understand. John Stephenson 00:12, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

I've now put the language section back in; it's more informative. Matt, you disputed my claim that there are few Welsh words in English. I should say at the outset that I was talking about English generally, not Welsh English; no doubt more Welsh words are used in the English of Wales. But I can find few that can't be disputed. The 'Oxford Dictionary of Foreign Words and Phrases' lists five in the last 400 years: one is a proper name, one is disputable ('coomb'), and the others are obsolete. The ones I find to be definitely from Welsh in English today are 'corgi', 'coracle' and 'flummery'. John Stephenson 00:26, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Here's an interesting article on Welsh in English. There are a few more candidates, plus some more that are partially Welsh. It also quotes Marxist historian Gwyn Williams mentioning how kids were punished for speaking Welsh. John Stephenson 00:49, 2 April 2008 (CDT)
Yes, this latter point is well documented -- even if the punishers were Welsh teachers who felt that they were acting in the best interests of the kids (i.e. future employability in an English-dominated country). There was no systematic policy as such -- just simple conformity of much of the school system with English-based political and economic power. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 02:32, 2 April 2008 (CDT)


Language

The reasons for the dominance of English speakers in South Wales is not a simple matter of immigration; Cardiff as a major port had an unusually varied ethnic mix (with quite a large Welsh speaking black community at the turn of the 20th century)). However, in the first half of the 20th century in South Wales there was some sense that Welsh speakers were disadvantaged, and in response, a deliberate decision by many to bring up their children to speak English, as a route out of a future confined to coal mining. My own family was a good example; my mother as a child lived in a house with her grandfather, who spoke no English; her parents spoke both, but Welsh as a first language; she and her sisters and brother spoke no Welsh. The language was lost in the space of two generations living in the one house in Aberdare. My father was a Welsh speaker, but again in his home, English was spoken as the ticket to escape.Gareth Leng 04:05, 2 April 2008 (CDT)

Indeed, immigration of English speakers into South Wales was a minor cause of the linguistic demise. The reality was always that speaking Welsh had class and employment connotations, which fact was appreciated by schoolteachers as early as the 19th century. By the second half of the 20th century, native-speaking Welsh was associated with rural origins; insofar as accent in English was concerned, one's social class was seen as directly related to the strength of Welsh accent (this followed a general pattern in the UK). To a social historian this is a clear matter of reflecting economic and political power (which lay with the English) and ordinary people just adopting survival strategies to maxmise their life-chances. Martin Baldwin-Edwards 04:27, 2 April 2008 (CDT)