Dinner conversation at the ancestral pile in the People’s Republic of Monmouthshire:
Why do kids have to waste their time learning Welsh when they could be doing something far more useful? It’s getting silly. All the signs in Welsh and the villages suddenly getting Welsh names. Shirenewton’s always been Shirenewton. Suddenly it’s Drenewydd Gelli-farch. What the ‘farch’ is that? You can’t even pronounce it. Besides, has anyone ever called it that? Yes, but you know there are a few people who’ve gone native. Diane’s learning Welsh, for God’s sake. Why? It’s not like she knows anybody she could speak it to. If she tried speaking to the bank teller in Barclays in Welsh, she’d just get a blank stare. But she’s not the only one, Elizabeth the other day said something like ‘Oh John’s gone over to England’. Like it’s somewhere foreign! Time to stop this stupid nonsense. It’s not like Monmouthshire’s Welsh anyway. It was part of England from Henry VIII’s Act of Union in 1536. And then the Labour government just one day decided to give it to Wales as a gift. Just like Khrushchev! 1969 wasn’t it? Or was it 1970? I think it was the Tories, actually. Keith Joseph, surely, when he reorganized the counties? Nobody imagined it actually meant anything, that there’d be devolution and it would end up in a different country. You know that Donetsk was founded by a Welshman? A miner wasn’t he? No, a steel man, but you can’t have steel unless you have coal as well as iron ore. There wasn’t anyone living in Donetsk till Hughes turned up, and then the Russians arrived to work in the mines and steel works. Just like in the valleys here – they’re all English really. Came in the nineteenth century. If Wales ever secedes from England, we’ll just have to secede from Wales. I’ve applied for an Irish passport, by the way. It will be really useful after Brexit.