Simon Brooks bemoans the centralisation of Wales in Cardiff.
I love Cardiff. I lived there for 5 years. I love its individuals, its way of living, its restaurants as well as its taverns. I also ended up being excited if the Danish Bakery started its doors in Pontcanna. I used to be a card-carrying person in the Cameo Club. Whenever I ended up being more youthful, I went dancing in Clwb Ifor Bach.
Therefore I don’t do Cardiff-bashing. I find Cardiff-bashing rather boorish. As a capital town, we find Cardiff extremely pleasant.
However we relocated to Gwynedd. It had been an accident. My young ones moved to Gwynedd, and because I like my children a lot more than Everyone loves the Cameo Club, we relocated to Gwynedd too.
Gwynedd is excellent. It offers hills and water and beaches and has now the Welsh language. It's the Bavaria of Wales. Exactly what it cann’t have is jobs.
And rural Gwynedd does not have many young adults. They all proceed to Cardiff. As a pal told me on Llŷn Peninsula: “We love our youngsters. We bring them up. After Which they are removed.”
Many patriots – of each governmental party – think that this doesn’t matter. They have confidence in the ‘Cardiff project’ simply because they believe Cardiff becomes sort of Welsh Barcelona. A metropolis which presents the metropolitan plus the contemporary, the crucible where a nation the 21st therefore the 22nd century may be forged.
Whether or not the rest of Wales disintegrates, the Welsh country will pull through as it happens to be encapsulated inside the modernity of a unique Welsh town, the Diff.
And indeed, a powerful Cardiff city-region might pull-through. Although disadvantage to the method is huge.
Wales must now end up being the most central country in Europe. Everything is in Cardiff. Media, federal government, mind workplaces, the Big University, the worldwide weekends, the good deal.
In the 1970s, Gwynedd and Dyfed produced a local political movement called Adfer whose aim was to keep all things in rural Wales, and, as a spot of concept, put absolutely nothing in Cardiff, at the very least nothing Welsh.
Today when you look at the 21st century, Wales features created a movement as ideological and also as persistent as the predecessor. Its aim would be to place every thing Welsh in Cardiff, or near adequate to Cardiff so that individuals can live in Cardiff anyway.
This existing plan of putting everything and everybody in Cardiff is Adfer-in-reverse. We’re perhaps not building a nation in Wales anymore, we’re building a city-state. Which, on every level, is incorrect.
North-west Wales doesn't house the nationwide headquarters of an individual considerable Welsh organization. S4C had the opportunity to buck the trend, but blew it. Gwynedd does have the national head office for sailing and, whilst takes place, for cerdd dant performing, but there are not any nationwide headquarters of an institution main to Wales post-devolution.
If we were seriously interested in devolution, social justice, in addition to Welsh language, then the Welsh Government will make it completely clear that nationwide institution A, B, C or Ch must up sticks and proceed to north-west Wales.
Within Porthmadog we had until last week HMRC’s Welsh-language taxation collection solution. I suppose there have-been more august public bodies. Possibly there are organizations with sexier brands. Nonetheless its presence delivered an unusual cultural message: Gwynedd things. If you wished to work in Welsh-language tax collection, you had to come calmly to Gwynedd.
The service is great. Since hearing of their demise, men and women have been using to twitter praising the joyous experience of having to pay taxation through the Porthmadog Welsh-language income tax service.
Taxation collectors have never been so popular!
However the service is going to Cardiff. It’s moving to save cash (naturally) plus in order to produce ‘a big contribution into economic climate of Wales’. it is also going so your Welsh-language service can liaise more effectively with other Welsh-language government services, that are in Cardiff.
The message of HMRC centralisation is straightforward. And just what an apt motto for post-devolution Wales it is too. In the event that you don’t relocate to Cardiff, you don’t log on to.
I am aware that battling to keep Porthmadog’s Welsh-language tax collection solution in Porthmadog might appear to the guy regarding the omnibus in Roath to be a significantly parochial concern.
But it speaks to a larger truth about the type of community you want to produce in Wales. Could be the new Wales simply to become mirror image associated with the bad Britain of old with everything found in the capital?
Thankfully, this is the Westminster national which can be responsible for HMRC therefore we can combat this battle without critique associated with national in Cardiff Bay. However the national in Cardiff Bay must also take note and do something to spread possibility around our country more relatively.