2nd December 2022
It’s a funny old thing being British isn’t it. We’re a bit of a strange nation in many ways. We’re Brits, but at the same time we’re English, Northern Irish, Scottish and Welsh. It’s weird when you think about it.
I know that there are other countries with similar delineations – take the United States for example, one country made up of 50 states and each with their own identity - but it’s not quite the same is it? For many of us our nationality goes some way to defining who we are. I’m Welsh and I love being Welsh. I’d go so far as to say that ‘I bloody loves it I do’, when it comes to my nationality. Which over the past fortnight brought me to a bit of a dilemma…
Ahead of the World Cup, I was discussing with my kids about the fact that in my lifetime Wales have never reached the world cup finals until now. I presumed that both of my kids would join me in supporting the Dragons in the competition, but to my surprise, one of them said he’d be supporting England!
After getting up off the floor and quickly re-writing my last will and testament I pushed my questioning a little further. It turns out that as far as rugby is concerned, he’s Welsh through and through, but when it comes to football, he prefers the lion to the dragon. What’s that all about? Is that even allowed? Can you have a foot in both camps?
In fairness my kids were born in England, but as religion and science both agree, the nationality of the child is governed by the weight of the parent - therefore my kids are two thirds Welsh and I kind of expected them to behave as such.
I must admit to being pretty taken aback. Had I failed as a Welsh parent? My wife is English, half of my family are English, and I live and work in England so should I really be surprised, and does it really matter. Well I can tell you now that the answers are yes and yes!
Prior to the team’s unfortunate departure at the group stage, having valiantly taken on our close rivals the English, as well as the USA and Iran, I’d decided to resort to sub-conscious brain washing, piping the Stereophonics, Dame Shirley and Sir Tom around the house and only allowing lamb, rarebit and welsh cakes to come home in the weekly shop. I stopped just short of painting the walls red and changing the name of our dog to Glyndwr and hoped it would all work out.
It does make you question how the whole thing works though. For me, when it comes to sport, I’m Welsh, full on, no questions asked, but for life in general I’m British. When it comes to other things, despite Brexit, I consider myself European.
Anyway, I’m rambling a bit here, but I am curious to know whether anyone else has had this issue crop up? Am I being unfair? The one thing my son and I can both agree on is that we’re delighted to have won the Cricket World Cup and as I explained to both of my kids the reason the cricket team are playing so well is that they’ve taken a huge amount of influence from the legend that is Robert Croft.
In the meantime – let’s see how far Gareth Southgate’s boys can make it in the competition I suppose…