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BOUNDARIES that run through the mind are worse than those drawn on maps said former Plaid Cymru president Dafydd Wigley, while serving as one of the day presidents at last week's National Eisteddfod.

So what do we make of former Archdruid Robyn Lewis's infantile and very obvious stomping out of the pavilion, in protest against words of wisdom and truth from a veteran patriot?

Mr Lewis's pique was the sort of thing one expects among the political mafia of Northern Ireland.

It was also the sort of political nonsense that has brought the insolvent National Eisteddfod into disrepute among patriots who have no time for narrow nationalism.

If the National Eisteddfod is to survive into the 21st century as a 19th century folk festival, plus Iolo Morgannwg's 18th century invention of the Gorsedd, all tarted up into Cynan's famous Syrcas in the 1930s, then it needs every friend it can get.

The eisteddfod's ancient roots were merely a device for sorting out the wandering minstrels - the news disseminators of the day - from the parasitical vagabonds that plagued society.

Famously, King Maelgwn Gwynedd was unable to sort the wheat fromthe chaff at his sixth century eisteddfod at Deganwy. He decided to ask God to sort them out and ordered all the aspirants to bardic honours to swim across the tide-race at the mouth of Conwy Estuary.

The survivors were proclaimed authentic bards while the dross was conveniently swept out into the Irish Sea.

Perhaps it is time for some matching device to separate the promoters of Welsh folk culture from the political parasites who see the National Eisteddfod as a platform for the nationalist Wales neither needs nor wants.

Alas, there are very obvious barriers running through the minds of many of those who attend the eisteddfod merely to pollute patriotism with latent xenophobia.

Bravo to Dafydd Wigley for bringing some much needed clear talking to eisteddfod politics. Perhaps conscious of Maelgwn Gwynedd's solution, he told his audience that if the only choice for the 2007 site is between Flintshire and Liverpool, and Flintshire does not want the circus, then it should go to Liverpool.

As he pointed out to those who say the people of Wales would never travel to Liverpool to attend an eisteddfod, countless numbers make the journey to watch footballmatches. One could also suggest that if the National Eisteddfod were made more user-friendly to the curious seeking initiation, a National Eisteddfod circus in Liverpool might attract countless thousands of Welsh and Irish descendants embedded in the city's population. There is still a generation that remembers Liverpool as 'y brifddinas goll,' the best capital Wales never got.

Mr Wigley could have suggested that divisions in the minds of the druids could be resolved by making them swim the Mersey. The survivors could convene an eisteddfod in Sefton Park
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Title Annotation:Comment
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 8, 2005
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