…. to seriously misquote Maggie Thatcher. When I first started seeing comments from AlaninDyfed, and then read his website, I have to admit that I briefly wondered whether we was for real or not. Much if what he wrote seemed to be such an extreme characterisation of a particular perception of Nationalism that I thought that it might be a wind-up. But no, he’s for real.
His threads are often worth reading though – as much for the comments as for the initial postings. I have to admit that I’ve oft enjoyed the banter between him and Johnny Foreigner, (who seems to be everyone’s participatory pal except mine).
Now, Johnny too has launched a web site all of his own, and, as Normal Mouth was quick to point out, consensus is far from being the order of the day. In his very first, anything but tentative, posting, Johnny’s managed to attract a certain amount of opprobrium, to put it mildly. Again, I have to admit that I did, briefly, wonder whether he in turn might be a spoof of some sort, because it seemed to be such a characterisation of everything that nationalists love to hate. I have concluded, however, that he too is for real.
The debate between the two – insofar as two people speaking such different languages, from such different standpoints, can be said to be holding a debate at all – remains worth reading, not least to brighten up a dull moment. As a serial thread troll (his word, not mine), Johnny has been forthright in asking questions and challenging others' views; something which I personally enjoy. Challenging opinions and statements encourages others to justify them and the rationale behind them, and that can surely never be a bad thing.
However, now that he has branched out, and started to state his own opinions rather than merely challenging those of others, it already looks as though he may end up looking as immoderate as his chief verbal opponent, albeit from the other end of the Welsh spectrum. Still, as opposites are said to attract, the sparks of this beautiful relationship will, hopefully, continue to fly. It will help to justify the continued existence of Alan – after all, every Johnny needs an Alan too.