Wednesday, 8 August 2007


I'm on my way to see a drama in Theatr Clwyd. It's based on the drowning of the Welsh speaking village of Tryweryn during the early sixties. Going eastwards, this was the next village to my own, Trawsfynydd.

As a child, I got the then Labour Party version of the narrative from my own family. That version was based on a fierce opposition to an emerging Welsh nationalism. The children of Liverpool needed water we were told so communities had to be drowned. The city's plans were opposed at the time by the campaigning of Welsh nationalists. History would now suggest to me anyway that the Welsh nationalists of the time were right. The valley was flooded primarily for money not for water.

I'm hoping for tonight that the drama won't be an exploration of simplistic black and white contrasts between stereotypical characters but a more honest exploration of life's contrasting and competing greys.

In more recent times, Liverpool apologised for the incident. That was good, but the community has gone for ever. That sense of loss brought a new emphasis in Welsh politics that would, in my opinion, lead to the creation of the National Assembly in 1999. For me, some good came from that injustice. It doesn't justify it though.

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