Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Born in England. Made in Wales.

A personal journey

by Louis Goodier

Born in England, made in Wales.

Not because I was conceived here, but rather the fact that when I moved here in 2011 my eyes were opened, wide. 

Now I’ll make this clear, I’m not ashamed to be English, why should I? Everyone should be proud of their country of birth.

I’ve travelled the world watching England, taking in the culture and giving my football shirts to kids who had no shoes on their feet. What I am ashamed of is the way I had my eyes closed for so many years to the politics and how we are led to believe that we are in control because we live in a democratic society, but in actual fact we are controlled by the media and Westminster. Much more than we realise.

In 2011 I announced to my family and friends I was moving from Cheshire (where I had grown up on council estates and had lived for 26 of my 28 years), and that I was moving to Wrexham. The response, as you could probably imagine, was mixed.

 “What are you moving there for” said one. “You know that Wrexham is in the biggest county in England don’t you” said another laughing as he muttered something about sheep.

 I’ll be honest, I also had my own doubts. I didn’t know anyone except my girlfriend (now wife), and Wrexham after all had a reputation of being a tough, hard working-class town, the riots in 2003, the infamous Frontline, numerous TV trash programmes such as “Britain’s hardest pubs” and “Cops UK".
The picture painted wasn’t appealing.
Moving here was a personal challenge and in all fairness those first two years trying to settle
in Wrexham were pretty tough. This told me that the people of Wrexham are protective,
either that or they didn’t like me!
During the run up to the 2012 local elections, I saw this as the perfect opportunity to learn
more about the town and often used it as a conversation starter. I’ll always remember a
conversation with a taxi driver who was wearing a Wales rugby shirt. It was the last round of
fixtures of the Six Nations which Wales had won. 

“Plaid should do well in May,” I said, “don’t you think?” 
“Plaid? I’m Labour always have been mate, Plaid don’t have a chance” 
“But you’re a proud Welshman and Labour don’t really give a dam, not really they don’t” 
“My vote wouldn’t count mate, they’re all the same anyway and it’s better the devil you know”. 

He turned his radio up to listen to Welsh fans in Cardiff on the radio phone-in and to signal the end of the conversation but not before turning to me and saying: “I’m glad you lot didn’t win the Six Nations, I can’t stand you English”.
 Needless to say I waited for my 30p change.
Around this time I took an interest in Welsh history and educated myself on Welsh politics. Naturally I got around to Tryweryn valley, Aberfan, Owain Glyndŵr and of course the significance of the song “Men of Harlech” to name a few.

It was only then that I realised how much Wales and her population had been systematically shafted by England repeatedly. That the United Kingdom was in fact a farce and a massive cover up to mask the abuse. My political views changed, primarily because of where I now called home but also dictated by my social conscience and integrity.

Why would I now vote for a party or an individual who has no interest, care or regard for the town or country that I live in? Why would anyone vote for that? We are all essentially interviewing individuals and then deciding on the best person for a job.

The people of Scotland have woken up and have turned their backs on Labour and have embraced the SNP with phenomenal support. And just like the British Empire, which was eventually dissolved 1997, the break up of the Union is imminent and will effectively make Wales the largest county in England and no one to represent it or protect its best interests.

The people of Wrexham are proud to be Welsh, and rightly so. They are also loyal and protective and will fight for what they believe in. Most don’t know how lucky they are to have a viable alternative to vote for in Plaid. 

A vote for Labour or Conservative is a vote lost for Wrexham and Wales and instead it becomes a vote for London and England.

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