Peter Hybart’s Barmy Army

 It’s true what they say; those nationalist types really do pose a threat to the future of Wales.

They’re fanatics. They’re extremists; they’re people who have developed a deluded set of beliefs about Wales. But you won’t find them draped in Owain Glyndwr flags or daubing Welsh language slogans on bridges.

You’ll find them wearing suits, editing newspapers, playing badminton; sitting on committees. They look perfectly normal and respectable; they’re people like Peter Hybart.

Peter’s the chief executive of Cricket Wales; an organisation dedicated to the development of…cricket in Wales. So he sits behind a desk in Cardiff. He goes to meetings. He talks about strategic funding initiatives.

Peter Hybart: Defending Welsh cricket against threat of Welsh cricket.

Peter Hybart: Defending Welsh cricket against threat of Welsh cricket.

He does all the things you’d expect a chief executive to do. And he seems reasonable enough; there are few outward signs of the loonball that lies within.

Because Peter, as the head of cricket in Wales, doesn’t believe that Wales should have its own cricket team. He believes that all Welsh cricketers should aspire to play for the neighbouring country of England.

He believes that Wales should accept its status as an English county. He believes this so passionately that he’s now campaigning to stop Wales from having a national cricket side.

Fair play to the bloke; it’s a fantastically daft position to take.

It’s a bit like a race relations officer ferociously defending his right to ban darkies from the office. It’s odd and it’s extreme and it suggests a person who may not be best suited to the job.

What’s scary, is not so much Peter’s beliefs, but the fact that they’re not generally regarded as being odd or extreme within Wales. We are a country where nationality and identity has been turned on its head. Where normal has become weird and weird has become normal.

Where the idea of Wales not being ruled by a small elite in another country is radical and overly emotional. Where people campaigning for the right to speak Welsh in Wales are viewed as being petty and unreasonable.

Where the views of people like Peter Hybart are accepted as being rational and sensible – not the extreme views of a nationalist bigot.

Because the Welsh media share his same general view. They too have their head offices in London and present Wales through the same distorted goggles of Britishness.

It creates a Wales in which illogical and absurd things can be presented as being rational and reasonable.

It’s how we’ve reached a position where the head of Welsh cricket is campaigning against a Welsh cricket side; while our First Minister joins David Cameron to fight the impending horror of Scottish independence.