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Thursday, October 11, 2007

New words

Dull as many Plenary sessions can be, we can always rely on Tory AM, David Melding, to liven them up, especially when he is on his favourite subject of heritage. Yesterday, the Presiding Officer even coined a phrase to describe his unique perspective on such matters:

David Melding: As you know, this whole area is under review at the moment as a result of the White Paper, albeit at a UK level. However, one of its main aims is to promote an appreciation of the built heritage in Wales, and to secure the preservation of ancient monuments and historic buildings. Cardiff is one of the finest Victorian cities in the whole of the British Empire—[ASSEMBLY MEMBERS: ‘Oh.’]—former British Empire, I should say. Given the recently appointed Prime Minister’s rediscovery of Britain, I am overwhelmed by a wave of nostalgia.

However, there continues to be a lack of appreciation of this heritage, and it is similar to the thinking that prevailed in Dublin until a generation ago, when Georgian architecture was routinely demolished, and certainly not cherished. Cathedral Road is one of the finest residential streets in the whole of the Commonwealth—[Interruption.]

The Presiding Officer: Order. Could we please have order so that we can hear further Meldingisms?

David Melding: I was about to say: or indeed the English-speaking world—[Laughter.] Do you agree that, before we turn the whole of Cathedral Road into flats or other developments, Cadw ought to preserve one of these fine buildings, and restore it to the condition that it would have been in at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when I understand that the road was known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’?

Perhaps the next Oxford English Dictionary will contain the word Meldingism, defined as a phrase or saying couched in such a way that it causes the listener to experience a feeling of nostalgia and/or an appreciation of fine art, heritage, literature, architecture, food or drink.
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