Interrupting Adam Price MS, Plaid Cymru, when he noted the absence of Wales from the Union Flag, Fiona Bruce told him quickly:
‘But you’re not represented because Wales and England were part of the same country at that point.’
‘Part of the same country?’
How’s that for an ahistorical euphemism or simple inaccuracy to describe a brutal conquest and a process of cultural genocide, aimed at wiping out Welsh identity and to allow the collective forgetting that it had ever been a different country, Bruce is clearly more comfortable with?
Price didn’t get a chance to clarify in the way he did in a speech, 11 years ago:
To begin at the beginning. English imperialism can perhaps be described as Wales’s greatest and most terrible export. What was tried and tested here, soon became the template for what one English historian has called the “thousand year Reich” of the English empire. It is a pedigree we appear to have worked very hard to forget. The title of “First Colony” is a crown of thorns more often claimed by the Irish – most recently in setting the scene for the 2005 BBC series of The Sceptred Isle that focused on Empire. And yet the Normans settled Wales a near century before Ireland, and the Statute of Rhuddlan, formally annexing Wales, predates its Irish equivalent, the Statute of Kilkenny by about the same number of years. Whatever the Irish suffered, we sadly suffered first.
Why did Bruce (Anglo-Norman name) put it that way? She’s a British Nationalist working for the state broadcaster. It comes out naturally. She doesn’t need to think about it. We’ve seen something similar regularly in her Scottish campaigns.