If the Welsh Government drops its ‘sore loser syndrome’ and puts its energy into working constructively with the UK, Brexit could the best opportunity ever for agriculture, says David Herbert, a South Welsh smallholder producing eggs and poultry.
Since the 1960s, the West has largely understood the Chinese word for ‘crisis’ – ‘weiji’ to mean ‘opportunity’.
This isn’t strictly true as the word is made up of two characters, the first, ‘wei’ meaning danger, and ‘ji’ which, having several meanings, can be understood to mean ‘opportunity’.
A more correct translation in context would be ‘a point where things change’. On the surface, this would seem to be a neutral position.
The Chinese, much like the UK, are a nation with a strong heritage of agriculture and manufacturing.
China also has a reputation for an excellent work ethic, a similar rate of population growth – around 0.5 per cent annually, meaning a similar increase in demand for pressurised services – and is now negotiating trade deals with a number of countries, with many already secured since it joined the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001.
It cooperates with countries as diverse as Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Iceland and Switzerland using extremely effective Regional Trade Agreements.
‘But hold on a minute’ you say, ‘China is a communist country; it has no relevance to the UK’.
Are you sure about that? A partisan political system which tolerates no collaboration with any other political party, and is determined to drive the country’s economy forward by making policy decisions based on the best interest of the mother state as perceived by those holding power?
The same partisan politics are all too prevalent in the UK, and as a Welshman, I feel it even more so when the only party which claims to represent my country, Plaid Cymru, is so inflexible.
Plaid Cymru’s leader, Leanne Wood, has categorically declared she would never work with the Conservatives in any circumstances.
We have a tin-pot devolved Government whose sole function is to duplicate processes, spend money to justify its existence and interfere in the will of the people – never more so evident than now as we see squabbles about ‘stolen powers’ going to Westminster.
I should have thought Carwyn Jones as First Minister would respect the will of Wales in reference to Brexit rather than try to derail it simply because a different political party is calling the shots.
After all, 71.7 per cent of the Welsh electorate made it to the polls for this referendum, with 52.5 per cent voting to leave.
In 1997, on the second referendum about Welsh devolution – the first having failed spectacularly in 1979 – just 50.1 per cent of the country were motivated to vote, with 50.3 per cent doing so in favour.
I have never heard a single AM say this result wasn’t a clear indicator of the people’s will, or they didn’t know what they were voting for.
What they did was push on because it suited them to feather their own nests on the back of this opportunity.
Now if this partisan attitude, sore loser syndrome, personal self-protectionism and vainglory could be put to one side and we, the United Kingdom as a whole, put our heads, energies and motivations together towards an effective solution to this ‘weiji’, then I’m absolutely confident this could be one of the best ‘opportunities’ we’ve ever had to secure a sustainable and positive future for our nation.