Friday, July 16, 2010


Having identified the best blog in Wales last week, I was lucky enough. on Monday, to read one of the best articles ever published on the Welsh psyche.

Written by the irrepressible Carolyn Hitt in the Western Mail, the article takes to task those small minded people that continually hold Wales back, a mentality that has been prevalent in Newport earlier this week with the "Farmhousegate" fiasco at the Celtic Manor Hotel, which saw local Newport councillors incredibly attack Sir Terry Matthews, a man who has brought over £150 million of investment into Wales' third city.

The one paragraph that does stand out though is her reporting of "a remarkable and impassioned rant" from the former Wales coach Steve Hansen on the tribalism that for him was "a source of both fascination and incredulity".

To quote Mr Hansen,

“There are so many people here who are poisoned by the selfish attitude cancer that runs through this nation. It’s stopping you from being the country you can be and I don’t just mean that from a rugby point of view.

It’s not a united country from east to west and north to south. It’s pockets of different people. And the little villages in the west fight with each other and little villages in the valley derive a lot of satisfaction when one of the villages down the road are put under the cosh.

And when you look at the history of Wales and the battles that it’s been in, it’s been beaten by itself rather than been conquered by somebody else. They’ve spent so much energy fighting each other they’ve allowed the enemy to slip in and do the business and take them over or win the things they wanted to win.

That’s still happening in rugby and it’s happening in everyday life in Wales. If we could just get rid of that, this could be one of the greatest nations in the world.”

Enough said.