The Rise of the Celts and Britain’s Doom
The main outcome of yesterday’s local elections in the UK does not concern the gains or losses of Labor or the Tories. The point is not even the first Muslim mayor of London, Sadyq Khan, although this is, of course, important. Nor is the point the modest gains of UKIP in England. The most crucial result was none other than the Welsh nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, coming in second place in Wales, a country which has long been a stronghold of the Labor Party. In tandem with the Scottish National Party’s majority in Scotland for the third time in a row, Plaid Cymru’s success is a sign of the ongoing identity crisis in the UK. Whiles these two Celtic parties support the independence of their lands from England, their rise presumes that a large part of the Welsh and Scottish peoples no longer wish to be associated with Great Britain. This has also been fueled by growing disenchantment with the rivaling Labor and Tory parties, and the search for new leaders outside of the existing political elite. UKIP’s rising popularity, on the other hand, is also an alternative, but one quite different from the Celtic “revanche.”
Plaid Cymru’s Left Continentalism
With each new election, Plaid Cymru confidently gains more votes. It is not difficult to predict that they soon might be the ruling party just as the Scottish National Party rallies a firm majority in Scotland. Then, the question of Wales’ self-determination will once again be relevant. In terms of domestic policy, Plaid Cymru advocates socialist economic and social policies, a progressivist cultural agenda, and promotes Welsh identity. The party pays significant attention to local Welsh problems, which is what has brought it close to ordinary people. In terms of foreign policy priorities, Plaid Cymru intends for Wales to leave the UK and seek independent membership in the EU. Plaid Cymru is also the only significant British party which firmly stands against independent Wales’ membership in NATO. Even the SNP abandoned this ideal in 2012. Thus, from a geopolitical point of view, the Welsh nationalist party can be describes as European-Continentalist.
The Battle of Dragons
The Welsh people are descendants of the native Britons, a Celtic people displaced on the outskirts of the island of Britain by the Anglo-Saxon invasion. The interactions, fights, and mergers between the Celtic and Germanic, Anglo-Saxon identities is what formed the historical uniqueness of Britain. The battle of the Red Dragon which is symbolic for the Celts against the White Dragon which symbolizes the Saxons as part of broader Arthuriana (an episode first described in the 8th century Historia Brittonum) has been enshrined in the historical identity of the Welsh people. Interestingly enough, according to a prophesy attributed to Merlin, the Red Dragon of Wales will ultimately defeat the English.
The fight between the red and white dragons: an illustration from a 15th-century manuscript of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain.
A failed identity
Since the end of the Second World War and following the collapse of Britain’s colonial empire, the isles have witnessed an ongoing crisis of identity. Previously, the British identity was an imperial one closely linked with the famous imperative of “ruling the waves.” To be British meant building an empire, bearing the burden of the white man, and triumphantly conquering the world. From a geopolitical point of view, this was the adoption of the maritime mission as fate. Yet this identity disappeared almost overnight. The UK is no longer a global power like it used to be, and it has not been the center of empire for many decades already. But what is it supposed to be now? A simple European nation-state? Unlike France, Britain never embraced a homogenous, nationalist agenda as its state ideology. The pre-1789 ethnically diverse population of France was made “French”, while in Britain, even though the Irish and Welsh were repressed, these nations managed to maintain their identity and languages.
From Empire to monarchical federation
Insofar as it centered around the imperial mission, British identity was broad, heterogeneous, and embraced the English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish origins of Britishness. It was thus constructed for imperial expansion. When this expansion ceased to be necessary, Britain was still too big and diverse to become a normal European nation-state. This structural change unleashed previously suppressed Scottish and Irish national identities, whose nationalist movements began to grow. The UK predictably began to evolve in the direction of a European style de-facto federation like Germany or Spain and granted more autonomy to all the major ethni, except the English one. Surprisingly, the English were forgotten. As the independent nations of Britain started to develop autonomy, the logical consequence of federalism on an ethnic basis, England was left out of this process.
The English devolution
As a result, the Irish, Scots, and Welsh have their own assembles and even parliaments, while the English people do not. The Westminster parliament is allegedly their representative organ, but it is also simultaneously supposed to represent the whole country. Unlike the other native ethnic groups, the English people have no independent voice since English identity is absorbed by the larger British one. Thus, the core people of the UK have become the most vulnerable to multicultural propaganda to the point that contemporary British identity mostly concerns one’s passport, rather than history or ethnic origin. The old British identity is being destroyed by hordes of migrants from the Third World, yet a new one is not emerging. As usual, any emphasis on “English identity” is portrayed as extremism. Unlike the Scottish and Welsh nationalists who are respected by the government and media, their English counterparts are labeled as mere fascists. Artificially suppressed English nationalism is thus prevented from manifesting itself in a healthy form, thus channeling the vital energy of those who are not absorbed by mere consumerism into the abyss.
The problem of England
On the other hand, the Celtic peoples of Britain perceive the rule of London as English rule. This assumption is historically true, but is now unfair. This perception will continue until England will develop its own governing institutions paralleling the general British ones. In addition, the presence of Scottish and Welsh deputies in the general English parliament as well as their own legislatures allows for these national minorities to effectively defend their rights, even often at the expense of England in their pushing of nationalist and even separatist agendas.
There have been and still are calls for a devolved English parliament. In 2014, this initiative was supported by 59% of Englishmen according to opinion polls. Theoretically, this would turn Britain into a federation of equilibrium, where the special status of the border regions would be balanced by the English voice. But this nationalism is built on the resistance by inertia of the weak, liberal Britishness, and thus bolsters the trend towards secessionism in other parts of the kingdom.
The two dragons fly in different directions
Besides this, the rise of any independent English voice (whose people are now the secret people of Chesterton who have “not spoken yet”) now will only aggravate the messy situation in the country because of the different views held by the peoples of the UK on the most crucial of matters today - Brexit.
For example, while the Welsh and Scotts (and people of Northern Ireland as well) are pro-EU, most English are against the Union. If England were to have its own Parliament, it would be highly Eurosceptic with new radical parties gaining power as it was in Scotland and Wales in similar situations, and would thus enter into conflict with those of Wales and Scotland. This issue demonstrates that the peoples of the UK see their futures differently, thus aggravating the situation in the country. The economic benefits associated with membership in EU are themselves highly disputable, even in the cases of Wales and Scotland.
Thus, support for the EU is a deliberately political choice on their parts. And this is the main cause for concern. If it were otherwise, separatist parties would not have received such support. Overall, we are dealing with:
1. The rule of liberal, multicultural ideology which blurs the common British identity
2. The rise of new Celtic nationalisms
3. A vague new English nationalism as a response to the above-mentioned trends
4. Diametrically different approaches among the English and British Celts to the country's future.
These internal problems can ruin Britain any moment, even quicker than the growth of the Muslim population.