Rhys Jones: Welsh "too sensible" for independence

Griff Rhys Jones talks Welsh politics with Labour's Jeff Cuthbert and Conservative Andrew RT Davies

Why is support for independence in Wales so much weaker than it is in Scotland?

TV presenter Griff Rhys Jones has put forward his answer - Welsh people are "too sensible". The Cardiff-born broadcaster warned that there's a tendency to think of Wales "as a sort of subject nation, or a repressed place or a special case".

Appearing on the Daily Politics on BBC2, Jones said Wales should be trying to achieve higher standards. "I think that it's always the wrong thing to stand back and say 'we're fine, please don't pick on us because we're Welsh'.

"There's a sense in which actually we ought to be trying to achieve better standards and I would hope that would be something that is important because there is a tendency in Wales to think of yourself, to think of Wales, as a sort of subject nation, or a repressed place or a special case and that strikes me as very, very negative and not useful."

Asked why he thought there was not the same demand for independence in Wales that there has been in Scotland, he said: "I think that possibly Welsh people are too sensible. There's a sense in which if you turn independence movements into a sort of reverse racism then we have a problem.

"What's important about any independence is a pride in what is achievable and what has been achieved, and not a sense of we're being hard done by, which is one of the primary factors that drive these strong independence movements."

Jones said he owned two businesses in Wales that were run by dedicated people. "I don't find any sense in which the idea that Wales is not a place where business can thrive has any validity."

Also appearing on the programme, Welsh Communities Minister Jeff Cuthbert said: "There is no appetite for independence in Wales. I think Griff Rhys Jones is quite right when he says we don't want special consideration in that sense we are a proud nation, we want to make sure that our economy is as strong as we can. We've got a lot of work to do."

In other news, Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies used his appearance on the programme to play down differences with Welsh Secretary David Jones. He told the programme: "David and myself work very constructively together. At the end of the day we are both batting hard for a better Wales."

David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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