If nothing else, the Brexit vote, and its (increasingly visible) xenophobic underpinnings should finally put paid to the saccharine, nauseating myth of Welsh (specifically ‘valleys’) progressivism, as well as the equally ludicrous notion – which has always been a necessary adjunct to the ‘progressive South Wales’ myth – that Wales’ rural Welsh speaking communities (who voted remain) are parochial and racist.
This version of Wales – which has to be contextualised within the history of the British labour movement and the British working class more generally – may be unpalatable, but one cannot really understand the social conservatism and xenophobia which motivated the leave vote in working class areas without confronting the history of imperialism, not to mention the steady drip of nationalism (sometimes twee, sometimes overtly jingoistic) which permeates the British public sphere and media, from sports to music to beer adverts.
Why did Wales vote to leave?
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