Another year, another 'historic day for Wales'

 

How was 2012 for you? Could you feel the hand of history on your shoulder?

In Wales, we are seldom far away from "historic" moments, and 2012 has been no exception.

The election of Plaid Cymru's first woman leader allowed the nationalists to take an early lead over other parties in frequent use of the h-word.

Leanne Wood got poets onside early in her leadership campaign and they did not disappoint on vocabulary.

Catrin Dafydd declared: "Electing Leanne Wood as leader of Plaid Cymru could be an historic turning point for the national movement."

Actress Sharon Morgan was also in the Wood camp, recalling "resounding historic achievements that Plaid should celebrate".

But Plaid did not have a monopoly on historic moments in February. Indeed, February 22 was "an historic day for Welsh banding". Supporters of Welsh banding blew their own trumpet at the launch of the new national body - Brass Band Forum Wales - Fforwm Bandiau Pres Cymru, at the senedd in Cardiff Bay.

In March, Leanne Wood was elected leader of Plaid Cymru on- you've guessed it - "an historic day for Party of Wales".

History was not made by the Welsh alone, although Wales did host what was "an historic day for England women's rugby" in April.

In May, the French went to the polls but the Welsh first minister was not about to pass an historic opportunity. Indeed, Carwyn Jones congratulated Francois Hollande on his "superb and historic election".

But why should politicians claim all the historic moments for themselves? July 16 was "an historic day for Wrexham industrial estate", according to the town's mayor.

August may be the silly season for newspapers, and traditionally a quiet time in politics, but Plaid Cymru won a by-election in Barry. Leanne Wood announced this was not only "spectacular" but "historic". Ms Wood was so impressed she recruited the by-election winner to her staff.

The Olympic Games came to Cardiff, with Team GB playing Uruguay, and Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies declaring "an historic day for Wales".

Historians were working overtime in August. It may look like a smartphone app to teach people the Welsh national anthem - but according to singer Gwenno Dafydd its launch was "a historic day".

Thanks to the Olympic Games, the Welsh were making history beyond Offa's Dyke too. A Canadian footballer, with roots in Cowbridge, won a medal at football in what the Western Mail decided was "the historic day in Coventry".

In September, Carwyn Jones was on hand to celebrate the 20th anniversary of an engine plant on Deeside - "such an historic milestone".

One month later, Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Rosemary Butler presided over "a historic day in the history of devolution and of Wales" as a Bill was passed to ensure equal treatment of Welsh and English.

How do you top that? In November, the assembly passed the first law under the new arrangements after last year's "historic" referendum vote. It was, said Carwyn Jones, "an exceptionally historic day" - thereby solving the problem of how to differentiate between different levels of historic days.

My dictionary defines "historic" as "well-known or important in history". It's just possible that future historians may not include all the above events in their accounts of the 21st century - "historic" appears to have been re-defined in Wales as "something quite interesting that hasn't happened before".

MPs are now departing Westminster for their Christmas (now that was historic) break, and so am I. Parliament returns on January 7 - and so do I.

Merry Christmas and an historic New Year to you all.

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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