Thought a lot about the trip to Dublin. The atmosphere of seediness and decay about the city, and the feeling of utter provinciality combined to make me feel depressed. There is something terribly doomed about the Irish. They’ve got the poetry—you can hear it in their speech and feel it in their art: but they need the organising genius to prosper. They need the English. They need a nation of shopkeepers, mercenary philistines, to counterbalance them: And ironically they reject them (quite reasonably of course judging from the past) but one sees that Wales would go irrevocably to the same kind of arable-ism if she severed her ties with England.
Kenneth Williams, The Kenneth Williams Diaries, London, 1993, p. 361