.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


The Welsh Language pressure group, Cymuned, have called on us to drop the name Wales and to henceforth refer to our nation as Cymru. Their reasoning is that as Wales derives from a latin root meaning foreigner it should no longer be used to designate our nation. They have also called for all English place names to be scrapped. Henceforward, we must find our way around the Land of our Fathers using only the Welsh version of our destination. Thus, a trip from Swansea to Brecon will now become a journey between Abertawe and Aberhonddu. This is all quite barking mad of course but a good fun article to kick off the summer silly season. Rumours that this trend of dropping inconvenient names and replacing them with a more appropriate alternative have been denied. A spokesperson for New Labour said "We have no plans at the moment to rebrand ourselves as 'The New Tories'."

Actually, with all due respect, you appear to have misunderstood what Cymuned actually said about the use of 'Wales' as opposed to the use of Cymru. The Latin root of the word is of far less importance than the fact that Cymru is our own name for our own nation, and it is time for us to stop promoting the current schizophrenic attitude to our country, whereby we refer to Welsh speakers as 'Welsh-speaking Welsh people' and non-Welsh speakers as... well, you know that already.

How many 'English-speaking English people' have you met? It's very easy for you to say 'this is all quite barking mad of course', but it's also very intellectually, and politically, lazy. It's an entirely legitimate question - why should Llanelwy also be called St Asaphs? Do you honestly believe that Fflint should also be called Flint? Does dropping the Ff really make life that much easier for non-Welsh-speaking Welsh people?

As I'm sure you know perfectly well, image is very important in politics. And the facts are clear - a higher percentage of people who refer to this country as Cymru are in favour of independence than of those who refer to it as 'Wales'. Why that should be can be argued - but the significance of the terminology, in such light, can't.

Aran Jones 30 August 2004
There is some statistical hokey-cokey in that last paragraph of course. I suspect that 80% of those who refer to this Country as 'Cymru' is a much smaller number than even 50% of those who refer to it as 'Wales'.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?