Below is a post that I added to a Note written on Facebook on one of my friends’ profiles.
I know he doesn’t hate me for being English. Far from it. But lately I think sometimes my very Englishness lends itself to me starting to believe whilst he may dislike the English because of the history between our countries and his perceived injustices, he sometimes fails to see the bigger picture.
I say this in honest truthfulness as Mr Whoo is something of an innocent. I don’t mean that in a bad way or to belittle him but his very heart and soul are innocent of anything mean or spiteful and not for the world would he ever dream of hurting someone he cares for.
And I know that should he choose to read this entry he will understand what I am trying to say without taking offence.
Sadly as we know the victor writes history and clearly from some of the writings that we see down the ages there appear to have been many more “English” victories than Welsh. And yet it is almost 700 years now since Edward 1st bought Wales into the Kingdom known as Great Britain – not to be confused with Lesser Britain which is in fact in France. The post in it’s entirety is below. Below that are more of my thoughts that arose after posting the reply.
Justin, I read these everyday as you know and whilst I would never accuse you of being anti English, I do begin to see barbs aimed at the English race.
I would if I might, draw to your attention that the greatest British monarch in my opinion – Elizabeth The First – came from the loins of a man whose father was the bastard brother of Henry 6th, begot of Owain Tudor, a Welshman who married – albeit in the eyes of the English Church not a legal union, Catherine being the French widow of Henry V, he of Agincourt fame who took Welsh archers with him to beat the natural enemy of Britain at the time, the French.
If you go back through the centuries and not stop a hundred years ago, you will find that the Welsh nobility, along with the Scots sold out their very own countrymen in order to procure wealth and land from a very generous English King.
I am well aware of your pride in being Welsh as I am in mine being English and yet the irony is that by birth I am a Scot and yet hold most of my natural countrymen in contempt as they only want to use England for its apparently never emptying purse and use their nationalism in order to beat England over and over again.I am British.
And take great pride in the fact that my Queen and Country have stood me in good stead over the almost 50 years I have been alive.On that note, I can feel a long winded blog coming on but I would ask you to remember that at some point down the ages the English, Scots and Welsh stood side by side and that not all English people at the cloven hoofed Devil that some Scots and Welsh peoples would have the world think.
My love to you as always xx
Now then, if I might expand a little on this?
I was born in Paisley in December 1959. A nice little town on the outskirts of Glasgow. I spent five very happy years in a suburb of Glasgow itself called Drumchapel. I spent those five years living with my mother who was a full bloodied Scotswoman and my Scottish Grandparents – although I was to find out later that the only true Scot in the whole line of my family was my grandmother! My Grandmother was a Scotswoman of the McIntyre Clan but my Grandfather was a Frenchman who moved to Scotland when he was four months old. His parents were French but more of that later. We all lived happily in a lovely bungalow in Sunnyside Drive. Aptly named as I have nothing but happy memories from that time.
My father was a sailor. A true bloodied English who fell in love with my mother and whisked her away to England when I was almost five much to the annoyance of her family but Mum wanted the children – my brother was due to be born – educated in England which she felt at the time was the only place for her children to be.
As long as I can remember my mother has had great love of British history. This was passed onto me and this love of British history led me to look at history as a wider topic seeing as a lot of our own history is wrapped up in the history of other peoples nations.
Now I am not about to make this a long entry about the past misdemeanours of the British and any part is anything that is seen as bad these days, in particular the issue about slavery. What I will say right off is that the victor writes the history books and as I am British I am not about to say sorry for anything that my ancestors and/or predecessors have done in the past. Far from it.
I would say that all that has gone before my birth date be it good or bad is what has bought me to this very point today. Everyday past has helped shape my very soul as a natural born British person. Everything that is – or was great prior to successive governments wrecking them – the very essence of us as a nation is embodied in each and everyone of us.
I would whilst I have inherited the love of history from my mother it is along with her other two passions which were reading and knitting. As a child I remember many an evening watching my mother as she sat in her armchair, clicking away like some demented lobster on speed with a book perched on her lap and the TV on in the background and she would be able to listen, read, watch and knit at the same time.
To me, her first born, this seemed to be an amazing feat. All those years ago there was no such thing as multi-tasking and yet it seems to be something a woman is born able to to but men seem unable to master at all…lol
As the years past I too learnt to do the very same thing and it is a trick I have mastered well over the years. I read, while listening to the TV and can still knit. Ask me about the book I am reading and I will tell you the storyline and what is happening, ask me about the programme I am watching and I will tell you what I am watching and what is happening, ask me to show you the knitting done correctly and I will show you the pattern.
Don’t be impressed. It just takes practice:-) as does carrying a child and being on the phone. As does making toast under the grill and making a cup of tea:-)
However as always I digress.
Over the years, I devoured anything and everything I could find to read about our history as far back as William The Bastard of Normandy. Everything since then has entwined itself about this nation like a well worn scarf. A richly coloured sometimes holey scarf that has wound itself about the Islands of Great Britain. As the years past and my knowledge grew along with my thirst for knowledge and a need to gain some sense of history I began to expand my reading ranges and timeline and so then looked further back into the mists of legend and began to devour words about Arthur and Boadicea. Both iconic English legends. I read about Robin Hood. I read about Edward 1st and his castles built to fence in the wild Welsh people. I read about William Wallace who only wanted a free Scotland.
As a side note, since moving to Wales I find that the Welsh had in recent years laid claim to the legends of Arthur and Boadicea even though all the Arthur legends are set in Cornwall and the surrounding areas and Boadicea was a leader of the Iceni tribe which lived nowhere near Wales. In fact almost all evidence shows that none of the Iceni lived anywhere further West than Cambridge and lived mainly in what is now Norfolk. And although legend says that after her uprising was put down so efficiently by the Romans some of her tribe escaped to Wales I can find now real reason to believe that she was anything less than part of English history not Welsh. Perhaps the fleeing of the tribe is where the foundations for that train of thought came from along with the word Celt as there some so called well read authors who assume the Celts only lived in Scotland or Wales?
And all the time…in the back of all of those wondrous stories both fact and fiction there were tales of the rich and wealthy who just got richer and wealthier, but no real tales of thos lords and lairds who made money off the back of the poor, who sold out both Wales and Scotland for peace with the Englsih but mainly for money and land that successive kings bestowed on them. Those who denied the poor their freedom. Those who pointedly ignored the wishes of their very own people and who have helped make the bad feeling that my fellow British men and women have today in this beloved land of mine.
Many people today who scream for Independence and bemoan the so called rule of the English forget or don’t know that this nation was forged off the back of all three countries that make up this mainland. Many scramble for the money and investment that the so called English make and yet then turn and bite the hand that feeds it.
And yet who are these English?
Scratch history far back enough and you will see that the first kings of England were of Viking descent. Move forward slowly and they are of French descent and a bastard line at that.
Move forward again and you find Elizabeth, Gloriana, the supposed bastard daughter of a whore, born from the loins of a man whose own father was the son of a bastard born to a Welshman and a French Princess. Move on yet again and you will find Dutch and German nobility ruling this land.
And all the time an influx of people from different countries who want to be part of the nation that is Great Britain. Not for nothing have we worked for and deserve that title.
My Welsh and Scottish countrymen and women should take great pride in what they bring to this country and to celebrate all that is theirs but at the same time they should also take great care that they do not bite the hand that feeds them and to remember that at all times they too are British.
For independence is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Look around at the countries that have so called independence from the Commonwealth and you will see murder, misrule, anarchy and syphoning off of funds that this country still gives them.
If true independence were gained both fiscally and financially both Wales and Scotland would not last long as countries in their own right.
Why on earth do you think the Union was forged?
Why do you think the Welsh have never been able to raise an army and take back their land?
Simply because they don’t want to!
Because both countries have done and do see the benefits of being part of a greater nation.
Both countries in the past have taken great pride in being part of this nation and instead of beating a long broken drum and trying to stir up a pot that is never going to come to the boil, perhaps it is time they stopped, looked at the finances and logistics and saw that independence is never going to come while land joins land.
Wales and Scotland are absolutely stunning countries physically and culturally and yet there is next to no road or rail structure outside the main cities. But they do have in place of a good solid transport infrastructure some of the worlds most stunning places and views. Drive alone the A470 as you go through the very heart of Wales and in places you will marvel at the way the road clings to the mountainside. Drive up over the top of Fells in Scotland and you will truly feel you are at the top of the world and about to touch the face of God.
Both countries have some of the worlds’ most magnificent castles that have withstood the test of time and conflict to allow us so called modern people to look on them in awe of the building skills, let alone the mode of transporting the materials in order to build these huge castles that were not only lived in but were used as central points for battles, sieges and everyday life.
And amidst all of this diversity is a pride in all that we have done over the years. There is a feeling that gives you goosebumps when you look at all that is great and good in our country.
All too often the nationalists of Scotland and Wales belittle the English to such an extent that our very own English parliament is ruled over by a bunch of Scotsmen and Welshmen. Welsh people look on those castles built by Edward in the North and while they willingly take the money from English tourists they belittle us and hold us in contempt as the conquerors of their nation.
Well I have this to say.
The Welsh were beaten by the English and there is nothing that can change that now. Welsh nationalists would do well to remember that their so called last great prince Owain Glyndwr actually ran off and left his country to the mercy of the English and as the victors write history the history says that Wales was taken under the rule of English law
In both Scotland and Wales are so people who would hang, draw and quarter an English person for living in “their” country. And yet we English encompass everyone and anyone who wants to live here within our borders.
There are no border controls in this country on the mainland. Hadrian’s Wall and Offa’s Dyke do not mark out the land in such a way that it requires me to show my British passport, neither country has it’s own tax laws or coinage, though Scotland does have some differences in the way it’s laws are administered and is still using Scottish pound notes which are legal tender in the rest of the UK.
Time has moved on and so should we as a nation. The Scottish Highlanders still hate the Lowlanders for selling them out to the English. North Walians hate the South for not staying true to their native Welsh language. West Walians think they are a race apart as much the same at the Cornish and Pembrokeshire appears to be stuck in a time warp. People in Swansea dislike people in Cardiff and the list goes on and on.
The same is true in England. Southerners think Northerners are stupid dull people. Northerners think Southerners are all spivs or snobs. Lancastrians dislike Yorkists and vice versa. The Cornish believe THEY are the true British and no one else.
With all this dislike and distrust and petty tribal differences it never fails to amaze me when the shores of this sceptored green Isle are threatened we British all pull together and forget that we are fighting each other.
Don’t you think it is time that we as a nation learned to live together without malice and living in the past and looked to the future and the legacy we live future generations?