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Monday, October 10, 2005

Protest and paint

The Western Mail reports this morning that Assembly officials in Cardiff Bay have been put on alert to repel Welsh language protestors armed with paint brushes and a collection of pithy slogans. Once more the source of the story is a leaked e-mail:

The e-mail says, "We have received information from South Wales Police instructing the Welsh Assembly Government of a substantial threat from Welsh language protesters.

"They have already daubed graffiti at Cathays Park.

"They have issued a statement of intent to enter Welsh Assembly Government buildings and daub paint once inside.

"You need to make staff aware of this and the need for vigilance is paramount. If you suspect anyone is about to behave in this manner, lock the entrance and inform the police on 999."

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has recently stepped up its campaign for a new Welsh Language Act that would extend language rights into the private sector.

The idea of such an extension is not supported by the Assembly Government and there seems little prospect of legislation along the lines suggested.

Given the number of media stories that originate from leaked e-mails I am astonished that there is anybody still using this method of communication. The prospect of being locked in Crickhowell House whilst protestors re-decorate the exterior is not one that appeals to me.

The question that all this poses however is why the Assembly Government do not at least meet with Cwmdeithas yr Iaith to listen to their point of view. They may not like their methods but that should not prevent a dialogue being established.
Comments:
i thought that the welsh assembly was responcible for the promotion of the welsh language after the bonfire of the quangos so

a) why is the welsh assembly / welsh assembly government ruling out with little consideration a new welsh language act

b) why arnt they obliged after bringing the welsh language board in house to at lease meet with these people - as you said

makes a mockery of the new building open and transpartent government ... as long as the doors are unlocked.

just lets hope that the police dont use the anti-terror legislation against these people ones persons terrorist is anothers freedom fighter if they show that the welsh assembly is english consulate with rhrodi morgan as high commissioner, then they might be viewed as freedom fighers and then paint may be the last thing on the protesters mind.
 
They tried that, but just got ignored. WAG and the Culture Minister have tried to be helpful, productive and understanding.

They are just a bunch of immature prats.
 
who are the imature prats?

the wag or the language protesters
 
I’m a welsh speaker; it’s my first language, I’m proud to be welsh, so nobody can accuse me of being anti-welsh when I say this.

To be frankly honest, I think bills on welfare reform, consumer credit, Road safety, Natural Environment and Rural Communities, Pensions, etc, are important bills to be included in the Legislative calendar of Parliament than another Welsh Language act. We have far more important issues to tackle through legislation that the wants of a pressure group which far from represents the views of Welsh speakers like me.

The reason, ladies and gentlemen, why Welsh is dieing out in many places is because it’s forced on children in schools. We should adopt a culture of encouragement in learning languages, not a culture of “you MUST speak welsh to save the language”. It’s not the right attitude, and it IS driving children away from welsh medium education.

I have seen examples of children being punished – having to stay after school to pick up rubbish and generally being humiliated– because they were caught speaking English on school grounds. Would that encourage anyone to speak welsh? It’s more likely to drive those children away from the Welsh language than encouraging them to speak it on a regular basis. This was happening in 2003, and I’m sure it still happens today.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith can splash as much paint as they like, it won’t make any difference. If Cymdeithas want to save the language, they should stop arguing for a new act of parliament, and start changing the whole culture in Welsh medium schools (I’m not saying for a minute that this happens in all welsh schools) to one of encouraging children to speak one of the most beautiful languages in the world.
 
At which school did that happen Martyn?
 
I’m not going to name the school, because it’s the one I attended. but what I said is absolutely true.
 
So this just happened at one school?

Do you have evidence of it happening anywhere else?
 
You might like to read the last paragraph of my first post on this issue, where I clearly state that “I’m not saying for a minute that this happens in all welsh schools”

I’m just sharing my views and my experience of what goes on in a school run by a Welsh Nationalist. I have made the same comments in a letter in the Western Mail, which I had several replies (totally unexpected replies) backing what I said in that letter.

A lot of people either don’t want to accept, or cant accept, that this kind of thing goes on in the 21st century. It does. It needs sorting out, because if it isn’t, more and more children are going to be driven away from speaking Welsh.
 
Thankks for that Mrtyn, I had read that line.

But if it's not happening in all schools, why, as you say, is there a need to change the 'whole culture' of Welsh medium schools.

I don't thionk anyone would argue that the practice you describe is not wrong. But it's a bit much to then argue, on the basis of one pupi's experience at one school, for a change to an 'entire culture' of education.
 
Why do people go on about children being 'forced' to speak Welsh. Children are forced to do maths, forced to play football/netball, forced to paint.

I take it from your experience that this one school you'r refering to was a Welsh medium one. Not that I condone punishing children for speaking a language, and it can only be counter productive.

The reason that so many kids in both English and Welsh medium schools are 'rebelling' aginst the language is because they don't see the value of the language when the media is US/London centric, authorities make it almost impossible to use Welsh and Politicans slag it off so much.

CyI are trying to counter the culture of magrinalisation which they feel is happening to the language.
 
I started high school in 1977 and believe that the headmaster there was a welsh nationalist as we all had to learn welsh for the first two years before being allowed to drop the subject. Our parents were led to believe that it was a compulsory subject rather than a subject that should have had the parents approval before being forced on us.
As i stated earlier, after two years the subject could be dropped, and dropped it was by the vast majority of my year group. this would have been very worrying for the powers that be, and i believe that this was the impetus for the passing of the welsh language act.
As a previous correspondent said that children are forced to take other subjects such as maths, and geography, but at least they are useful whereas welsh in my part of wales is a dead and nondescript language. At the end of the day, due to the high levels of unemployment, children should learn something useful in the time spent on welsh language. It seems to me that the education system rewards the sycophantic people within for promoting the useless subject. As a self employed person working in many peoples houses, i have had this conversation many times over with my customers and the majority agree with me. One teacher said to me, "they know the system is failing, but as they've spent tens of millions of pounds promoting the subject, they don't want to loose face and admit they've got it wrong."

Stop it now i say and stop pandering to these loonies who like some of the scots want to break up great britain.
 
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