Her eyes started swelling with redness all around. Tears were making their way to the edge of her eyes as our friend spoke loudly with no concern for the humiliation she might be causing our friend. “How often did you eat it? The dog food I mean.” I had been momentarily distracted from the conversation when I rejoined it only to feel somewhat confused by the discussion we were now having. Previous to this, my Romanian friend was insisting that she should teach us both how to make bread from scratch.
“It is important we learn to make bread from scratch. It is an absolute necessity. It was all we could afford and thank goodness we knew how to make it. It scares me that so few people know how to make bread from scratch these days. Anyway, come round mine and I will show you both how to do it.” My friends are Romanian, Hungarian and Polish. I actually have few friends who are British and the majority of my friends grew up in communist Europe. Yes they are white, but far from privileged. When I returned to the conversation, the shocking conversation, I could see deep humiliation growing in my friends face.
I felt terrible for two counts firstly that the despair on her face was so obvious and she was clearly embarrassed that I had learned about this significant point in her life, which she clearly wanted to keep discrete. And secondly that I was learning about something she was not ready for me to learn about. Indeed, I know all about keeping things secret and not wanting to reveal those secrets until feeling absolutely ready. Rightly or wrongly, I pretended to be distracted from the conversation pacing away from the two friends speaking and then returning every now and again. Unfortunately one of my friends has a very loud voice which makes discretion particularly hard for the two of us.
It was all too clear what my friends were discussing. They had both grown up in rural areas of their communist countries. They had obviously had discussions as to the problems they faced in these communist countries in particular with regard to food. They were children when their countries were run by communists, and they still have memories of the Russians or the Soviets driving vans to their farmland, taking their supplies and in return selling, yes that's right selling these families tins of dog food for their meals.
I had no idea. I had no idea this had taken place in European countries. This had been going on until the 1990s and yet we weren't learning about it in schools and we were not learning about it in the news. In fact we still don't learn about this side of recent communist Europe. In this bizarre conversation between my friends, which I was pretending not to be listening to, my louder friend stated, “we were lucky we didn't get sold tins of dog food. But bread was mainly what we ate. Oh, and rice.” She added with strange delight as she recalled her alternative food supply.
I have never raised the conversation with them since they had that discussion. I get the feeling that they will open up when they are ready. Or perhaps they would never be ready to discuss it with me, but that's okay. I understand that. I just want to say with regards to my friends who I love and care about deeply I am so sorry that your childhood was that way. I am so sorry for the way you were treated by others who were meant to care about you. I am so sorry that it clearly still effects you. I am so sorry how it affected your family and I am so sorry that this progressive society in which we now live belittles your horrifying childhood by claiming you are privileged because you are white.
Through various conversations I know that they had a very difficult relationships with their families due to the environment in which they were held. I am glad that they are out of that situation now and I am glad that they feel they have found at least some freedom. And in their efforts to flee from the environment in which they were held previous, they are aware of the impact it has had on the British people who can't get employed. It has had a very real impact on myself and my own self-employment. Not an easy discussion to approach between people who are trying to escape one life which other people who are sinking into. I just wanted to say I understand, I am here for you, I love you, and I am sorry.
Since 1990, when devolution took place in the UK with the intention to decrease nationalism within the UK, academics, journalists, and politicians alike have been questioning whether devolution has actually increased or decreased nationalism. Some suggested devolution would give those nations within the UK some legal power and abilities which would keep the citizens of those nations satisfied. It can plainly be observed that with devolution, it has become a great fight by those nations for more power and legal rulings within their nations. Devolution within the UK has also created an inequality of powers whereby MPs of devolved nations can vote on English legal subjects whereas English MPs do not have that ability to vote on the devolved nations laws. As expected with such inequality comes great complexity, and here we see both.
But really, it is worth questioning whether devolution was the probable cause for nationalism within the UK. Clearly there already existed great national pride within the Celtic nations for devolution to have occurred in the first place. But 2016 and 2017 have provided telling proof that nationalism exists not only in the UK but globally. It was the UK referendum vote to leave the European Union in June 2016 which showed the first instance of nationalism in this globalised world. In this instance England and Wales voted with the majority voting to leave the European Union where as Northern Ireland and Scotland voted a majority to remain within the European Union. This was closely followed by the US presidential election, whereby Donald Trump won the Republican primary and thereafter the US Presidential election. Donald Trump was an obvious populist politician. Following on from President Trump we saw the National Front; identified by the mainstream media as being a racist party, in France reach the final stages in the French election and we also saw Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) another nationalist movement win seats in the German parliament.
It was in the 60s when we started to see the beginnings of mass immigration to the UK, however it existed from 1945 onwards. Inevitably this changed the shape of the UK and with those changes we saw the Welsh revert back to their home language and found them to pass legislation for all children taught in Welsh schools learning the Welsh language. Was this a reaction, a nationalist reaction to the mass immigration from Asia and Africa? Indeed, we could look at devolution in the UK as a polite rejection towards mass immigration from other countries. So, perhaps if we look back in time, at the disputes between academics, journalists and politicians, and scrutinize the arguments they've produced with regards to devolution in the UK, perhaps what they all failed to observe was that all countries and all nations were becoming extensively nationalistic in an unnatural globalist climate. So, the question we need to ask is how do we reorganise our societies in the multicultural nation's which some of the natives so clearly reject?
The UK is called the United Kingdom of Great Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) and Northern Ireland. Devolution is where certain legislative and executive powers are transferred over from Westminster Parliament, over to the UK entities of power in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, the Celtic nations. The majority of power is retained in Westminster making it a Unitary State, whereas in America the power is retained at sub state level making it a Federal State.
Devolution came in prominence with the Irish Home rule at the end of the nineteenth century but there has been a fight for Independence from Scotland since 1700’s in order to make their own laws etc. Since the early 1500’s Wales has been treated in legal terms as part of England creating an ongoing struggle for independence and devolution. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that devolution did take place for the Celtic nations so obviously the battle to gain authority to make own laws in these Celtic nations has been a struggle for centuries. Only recently have these nations been able to provide their own laws (still with restriction).
The UK never had a written constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights has become the UK constitution in many ways which comes from EU law. EU law runs supreme above UK laws made in Westminster. So, considering the centuries of struggle to ensure devolution, the possibility to make their own laws in their own land, how insulting might it be that a person with brown skin and a different religion can go over to one of these Celtic nations (who have only recently become devolved) and insist on practising their own laws with immediate effect? After these centuries of waiting you would expect a Celtic national feeling deceived perhaps even taunted by the prospect that someone could have such an immediate expectation.
So why can the brown Muslim man force this with such immediacy?
The brown, Muslim person can claim racism due to their different skin colour and claim discrimination as they practice a different religion, threaten to take the nation to the European Courts where they will inevitably win. Evidently these migrants can ensure their laws with the click of their fingers through discrimination laws, whereas the white Celtic national continues to have to wait to get their independence. Of course, the laws show with this example the unfairness of human rights. The example shows how human rights laws work in favour of new minorities and against existing natives.
Ultimately it proves the supremacy of Sharia in the UK under the human rights laws. It is an example of how one being can bypass all this existing legislations and negotiations which the Celts had to deal with over the centuries, and what the natives ancestors had fought for over the centuries. For myself as a Welsh nationalist, I find this ability to bypass in this way an absolute insult as I’m sure many of my Celtic peers from Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales also feel.
Luckily, there are not many Muslims who live in the Celtic nations, but rather reside in England. Celts can be reluctant to befriend strangers, being quite suspicious, coming across possibly as cold. For this reason and for the sake of devolution it might be worth continuing to be suspicious and therefore cold to new arrivals.
With regards to Scotland and their fight for freedom, the idea that they would like to stay in the EU is quite baffling to me and I would need it explained. The laws would run supreme to their own which they have fought so hard for and therefore Brussels will make the ultimate decisions regarding Scotland as opposed to the Scottish themselves. Despite the money which comes from the EU to support the nations, Wales did vote a majority to leave the EU. It may be that Wales still don’t feel they have achieved what they set out to achieve, and it is important to get it done faster now in an attempt to save their jobs and prevent too much change to their existence. It could be that the Welsh don’t want to provide such courtesy to someone after their own long, hard battle just because of someone’s skin colour or religion.