Even after Wales voted marginally for a form self-government in 1997, there was incredulity that these remnants of Celtic antiquity thought they could look after their own affairs. Wales’ former first minister, Carwyn Jones, recalled what he saw as ‘casual racism’ towards the Welsh that still existed in the early years of devolution: ‘How incredible you Welsh feel that you can govern yourselves! This great experiment of devolution!’, was apparently the reaction of many in Whitehall.
After 20 years of devolution, not much has changed. Compared to Northern Ireland and Scotland, Wales has been crudely viewed by many as an extension of England, but with its own curious culture, an ancient language, and what has been described as a ‘poor man’s parliament’.