An Interview with Terry Breverton Author of The Welsh, The Biography
1. Has Welsh history been a life-long passion for you? Or, when did it begin?
Although I studied history in school, it was an English version of our history - it was all about the English and the Germanic races' right to win wars. At university I was marked down for stating that the Korean War was not started by the North Koreans - it was then that I realised that there are several versions of history, usually biased in favour of the nationality writing it down.
2. Do you feel you have taken on a responsibility to promote Welsh history, culture, language?
After a long career in international business and consultancy, when I returned to Wales I could not find anything to tell my children why I was so proud to be Welsh. There was nothing in the bookshops. While working, I researched the first Welsh encyclopedia, An A-Z of Wales and the Welsh, and realised what was missing. It took 3 years to get published in an expurgated edition, and then I began publishing mine and other people's books upon Wales. The subsidised publishers began to copy my stuff, which is some sort of achievement. I stopped publishing as I could not afford the time, but now write for two English publishers and a recent Welsh print-on-demand start-up company. Politicians do not understand or promote our culture and heritage - they are afraid of nationalism, while supporting every other nationality that lives here. They deliberately ignore British, i.e. Welsh nationalism, and the so-called Welsh Nationalist party, Plaid Cymru, is more interested in littering the land with wind generators than the death of the language.
3. What time period of Welsh history is your favorite?
During the Dark Ages of Europe, we had the Age of the Saints in Wales - more saints and religious establishments than anywhere in the world, the only Christian country when England, Ireland, Italy, everywhere was pagan. Not many people realise that St Patrick was Welsh-British. Also at this time we had Arthur of Wales - linked to over 100 Welsh saints in the annals, and the source of the most potent of all the legends in Western history - Merlin, Guinevere, the Dark Knight. Lancelot, Gawain and the rest who have their counterparts in Welsh history.
4. Where were you on the 21 October 1966 during the mining disaster of No 7 Pantglas Tip?
I was driving an old Austin Somerset van down from Manchester University home to Wales when I heard it on the radio. It has affected me ever since, and can still make me cry. Again politicians did their worst to hurt the survivors who had lost their children. There were no apologies and the event -128 school infants and 16 adults being smothered with slag - has been airbrushed from history. In any other place in the world there would be a very different outcome.
5. What are you currently working on for your next book?
That is so tricky. I have the definitive book on Arthur ready to start after 30 years research, but it will take 3 years of my life and I'm almost 67 now. I've gathered a lot of stuff for something on the Welsh Indians - whether Mandans or other people - but it is quite complicated, so I'm playing with that at present. I've also promised to co-write a book upon the start of civilization and the Celts, where we take a totally different view to today's experts, using latest DNA findings.
6. You wrote about racism on pages 325-328. I was shocked that as politically correct that Great Britain seems to be because of the influx of immigrants, yet there is such a vile and hateful conduct against the Welsh. I'm outraged. What do you believe can be done? Can this be solved?
The Welsh are treated as second-class citizens, and live in a country that is one of the most economically backward in Europe. They are rapidly becoming a minority in their own country. It is a dumping ground, but politicians are afraid to say anything about it. Because I have no affiliations, I can speak the truth. I also have no money and our house belongs to my wife, so have no fear of losing anything. I fear that Wales as a nation is finished. The Irish used violence to gain some respect and money from England, but the Welsh are a non-violent people. It is the only nation that has never declared war. True patriots are few and far between, and if any few people get together to think about a new political party, the organisation soon is infiltrated by Special Branch, and comes to a juddering halt.
7. "But a major point of this book is that the Welsh are notoriously poor self-publicists...simply keeping their heads down." page 327.
Do you believe that for the most part, the Welsh are mistrustful, feel defeated, have given up, or all the above?
There is a national psyche, whereby since we were united with England in the 16th century, after trying to keep our independence for a millennium after being forced out of that country, people keep their heads down to keep out of trouble. There were a few protests against the drowning of Wales for English water and against English holiday homes, but nothing to what would have happened in Ireland or Scotland. There is now a Wales Assembly Government in Cardiff, which is a superfluous mouthpiece for the Westminster government. The Wales Assembly Government and its Assembly is full of non-Welsh people, following London policies, who end up rewarded with a seat in the House of Lords and sinecures in governmental organisations. There is no democracy in Wales - not one party is against wind farms, or the massive in-migration here which makes up 90% of population growth. This wonderful nation, once the most civilised, egalitarian and literate in the Western world, has no future. It should be linked with Tibet.
All questions were created and written by me.
All answers were left unedited by me, and answered fully by Terry Breverton.
Thank you Terry Breverton for your kindness in allowing me to interview you!
Annette Kristynik author of Impressions In Ink