Friday 14 March 2014


What is it about politicians and sleepwalking clichés?  Last week, it was David Davis warning us gravely that Wales was “sleepwalking into independence”, in response to Silk 2.  Labour MPs have made similar comments in the past.  Do they really believe that any changes that they don’t like are happening without any of the rest of us noticing?
Mind you, I suppose that one could argue that the apparently never-ending series of reports on commissions recommending change does indeed have a soporific effect; I’ll admit that my eyes start to glaze over when reading some of them, and I’m interested enough to attempt it.
But really – independence when most of the people are asleep and don’t notice what “they” are doing?  If only!  It looks more like hard labour than pleasant sleep to me.
There’s also something rather unpleasant and patronising about the use of the cliché as well.  The unstated meaning is that “we” know better than “you” and if “you” don’t share “our” concerns and objections, it’s because “you” aren’t paying attention.
I don’t know whether Wales will ever become an independent state, however that is defined - although it’s an outcome which I would very much like to see.  I’m certain that if it does happen, it will happen only when the people of Wales will it to be so, and with our collective – if not necessarily unanimous – consent.
I suspect that what Davies and his ilk are really worried about is that nations which start to taste some freedom almost always want more.  And what they really want is to stop us developing that taste.  Not so much a case of us sleepwalking as of him having a nightmare.

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