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Eleven Things We Have Learnt from Stateless-Nation Debates by Rob Mimpriss

1. If you want independence for a region which is poorer than our region, then you are being stupid. If you want independence for a region which is richer, then it is because you are being greedy and selfish.

2. If your language is widely spoken, it does not need special protections. If it is not widely spoken, protecting it is a waste of money.

3. If speakers of your regional language are proficient in the state language also, then bilingual policy is unnecessary. If they are not proficient in the state language, then bilingual policy is holding them back.

4. Your intellectual and psychological ability to govern yourselves is inversely proportional to the mineral wealth we can extract from you.

5. Whether you live in a province or a stateless nation is better decided by people who have never been there than by people who have lived there all their lives.

6. If there is a dialect of your language which differs even inasmuch as having a slightly different vowel in the word for 'no,' then this presents them with as much of an argument for secession from you as your language does for secession from us. Even if they don't want it.

7. A region's mandate for independence rises with its proximity to countries we don't like.

8. If we beat your people up on their way to a polling station, and raid polling stations to remove voting slips, then the resulting low number of counted votes is proof that your referendum was undemocratic.

9. The psychological benefits of learning more than one language, in which, as liberals and internationalists, we sincerely believe, are reversed when one of those languages is yours.

10. You are too small. The fact that there are independent states which are significantly smaller is in no way relevant to this discussion.

11. We are fairly sure that what prevents you from seeing how unreasonable you are being is the fact that you still have kneecaps.

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I am the author of three short story collections. Reasoning and For His Warriors, originally published by Gwasg y Bwthyn, Caernarfon, with Welsh Books Council support, now join Prayer at the End in revised editions at Cockatrice Books. My anthology of fiction, Dangerous Asylums: Stories from Denbigh Mental Hospital Told by Leading Welsh Writers, including work by Gee and David Williams, Glenda Beagan, Carys Bray, Simon Thirsk and others, was published by the North Wales Mental Health Research Project, October 2016.

I am the translator of Going South: The Stories of Richard Hughes Williams (Cockatrice, 2015), Hallowe’en in the Cwm: The Stories of Glasynys (Cockatrice, 2017), and A Book of Three Birds, the seventeenth-century classic by Morgan Llwyd (Cockatrice, 2017). In addition, I have translated fiction by D. Gwenallt Jones, Angharad Tomos, and Manon Steffan Ros.