They Came for Capel CelynRobert Hughes
There is the old trope 'They came for the Jews and we did nothing…' Ending of course with 'they came for us, and there was no-one left'.
The Act to drown the Welsh-speaking village of Capel Celyn, in the Tryweryn valley, was passed in 1962. The MacMillan government had a majority of a hundred and thought it could do what it liked for the 'greater good'.
Ironically, the idea was to provide water for Liverpool but in the election of 1964 nowhere showed a greater swing against the Conservatives than Liverpool; no gratitude there then.
We should have known. Perhaps some Libertarians did know, but Plaid Cymru are not libertarian; even though they were strengthened by the drowning of the Tryweryn valley, and have remained an electoral force to this day.
‘Libertarian' has become a term of abuse across much of our media today. If you want to see your grandparents you are not a free citizen entitled to your view, you are a 'Libertarian' endangering 'Society'. If you want to go out for a pint to keep your local pub going, and keep your spirits up, you are not exercising your right as a free man, you are a 'Libertarian', threatening to 'undermine the 'Public Health Message'. If you do not want to wear the mask, the State's badge of subjection, a sign of this irrational fear, you are a 'Libertarian' who could kill everyone around you.
They came for Capel Celyn and no-one thought much of it. After all, there were only a few people who lived there, and they did not even speak English. Liverpool Council wanted water, and why should some horrid little village up in the mountains stand in the way? The graveyard was buried under millions of gallons of water, the chapel was buried, the houses were buried. But who cared, because it was the Policy of the State.
MacMillan wrote a book in the 1930s called 'The Middle Way'. The middle way between what and what? Well, of course, between freedom and tyranny...but actually when you no longer defend freedom, tyranny eventually follows.
We should have known; they came for Capel Celyn and they would one day come for us.