So, today we voted on the EU Referendum. My hopes were that we’d stay but on some level, I knew this would be the result. I was scared of this happening but I knew I wouldn’t be able to feel what I’m feeling now until it happened.
By the title of this blog post, you can see I am currently ashamed of being Welsh. This is due to the way we voted in the referendum, my home town of Swansea voted Leave and current city of Cardiff voted stay. One of very few Welsh regions to do so.
I am ashamed of the Welsh majority on this matter due to the reason that made me proud to call myself Welsh.
Over this referendum I have started to understand that being proud of your nationality isn’t about the idea you are better than another, just appreciating what your country/city/town/whatever has done and the community you are in.
Now, here is the thing…
The three main points of the Leave campaign are about:
b) The NHS
c) Making our own laws.
Let’s start with Immigration, from my experience moving around the South Wales region, the Welsh are kind hearted people that tourists have found lovely, welcoming and kind. Our Rugby matches are filled with our supporters mixing with the other teams supporters and enjoying each others nationalities and coming together over a shared interest. You go to a Welsh pub and as long as you can banter about the English being the worst, then boom! They’ll except you and have a pint with you.
The NHS was set up by Welshman who went by the name of Nye Bevan. He worked in the Welsh Labour Party. The NHS has been a GEM in the UK, by paying our taxes, we were covered for our health needs. The Tories have been trying to destroy the NHS for years and get it privatised which would be the opposite of Nye Bevan’s aim. If you wanted the NHS to have more funding, why would you give all the power to the political party who wishes it to be destroyed?
Then, the making of our own laws. The UK has had the EU at arms length, we were picking and choosing what was right for us. Wales has a similar version to this, it’s called The Welsh Assembly government. Albeit we don’t have that many law making functions as… THE UK MAKES LAWS IN LONDON. The Welsh assembly government stopped the increase of student tuition fee loans, we created business grants and made community projects. We worked with the EU to get INCREDIBLE FUNDING for our cities and towns. Swansea University got a Bay Campus in places, Newport’s Friars Walk was done by the EU, Jobs Growth Wales was funded by the EU in collaboration with our own government. Not the UK Government. Westminster have had no interest in funding Welsh projects, but the EU did.
Everything that made me proud of the Welsh people has been thrown out of the window in a fit of… well, I really don’t know.
Did we forget who we were? Did we forget that we fight with love and not hatred. We are a strong community that understood we were stronger when we were together. Just look at Euro 2016 slogan and song for Wales. It’s called Together Stronger.
We are a community that never ran away before, so yes… I am ashamed on this today, to call myself Welsh.
(Finally, I am very proud of Ireland voting to stay. I am Irish on my mothers side, which yes it does mean… I am a product of immigration.)