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

Monday, September 21, 2009

A solution offered

The row that has simmered all summer about the decision of the Assembly Commission to stop producing a fully bilingual record of proceedings of Plenary meetings has generated a lot of heat and very little light. No more so than today.

The Assembly Commission met this afternoon and offered a compromise. Not only did we agree to reinstate the bilingual record, though on a 3 to 10 day basis rather than within 24 hours, so as to deliver a more cost-effective service, but we also extended the present service by agreeing that in future all committee records in which legislation is discussed and scrutinised will also be bilingual.

The Commission also agreed to look at the use of Welsh by the Assembly in anticipation of the review of its Welsh Language Scheme in 2011. However, according to the BBC this is still not enough to satisfy some Assembly Members.

The projected £250,000 saving associated with the original decision has all but disappeared. As a result the Commission will have to look for more savings in-year to meet our obligations to the Welsh public to deliver a cost-effective service.

The £200,000 cost of the revised service could pay for 15,000 flu jabs. More to the point think of the benefits it could bring to the development of Welsh if that money was given to community groups promoting the language instead.

At the end of the day it is a matter of priorities, but those who wish to push the matter further need to think carefully. They have won a battle and have got most of what they wanted plus more. That includes the fundamental review the BBC say they want. The signatories of this motion are in danger of looking foolish and of alienating the public.
Sorry this is off topic but was wondering if you'd seen this?

Sorry Peter but the principal still exists. Why should Welsh speakers have to waits 3 to 10 days before being able to access the record in their language? That simply isn't parity with the english translation. It remains unequal. I am suprised that you openly say that it is a question of priorities when putting english translation above that of Welsh. Unless the two are treated equally clearly the Assembly is placing one above the other and undermining its claims for bilingualism in wales.
"Would pay for 15,000 flu jabs": are you suggesting that the Commission, in making savings, would give the money saved out of its budget to the government to spend?
Even if it's hypothetical, surely there's a difference in the commission saving money and what the government does out of its portion of the block grant?
You may have a point on the compromise offered by the commission but the flu jab line is a bit of a red herring, no?
So does that view apply to Committee record of proceedings as well and if so why have you not said so before? This is tokenism and does nothing to advance the cause of Welsh as a living language.
Anon: I dont need to suggest it, it is fact. The Commission and the Welsh Government along with the Wales Office all draw down their money from the same pot. If the Commission don't take it then it is available to the other two to spend. So yes, there is a correlation. It is no red herring.
"This is tokenism and does nothing to advance the cause of Welsh as a living language."

Sorry what? Having the debates that take place at the national assembly for walesw by our assembly members available in both english and welsh at the same time does nothing to advance the state of welsh as a language? Saying we will make the english translation available (translating from welsh to english) but you will have to wait for the welsh sets a preceedent as to where your priorities are and to where you are clearly distinguishing between Welsh and English
It depends on whether you want a living language or not. Surely the priority is to get Welsh speakers to use Welsh in debates and in their communities and that is where our resources should be going. On your logic you should also provide simultaneous translation from English to Welsh. That would be nonsense.
I fail to see how you think you can encourage people to use welsh in debates when the natiinal home of political debate in wales has made it clear that the translation from english to welsh is a second priority behind that of welsh to english.

The welsh to english translation will be done straight away for the record. The english to welsh will take 3-10 days. It is simply telling people that in your view it is not a priority
Personally I am delighted and I am quite happy to compromise - for now. For the Welsh language will always be treated as second class when only 20% of the population speak it. That is why, as Peter suggests, this translation money would be better spent elsewhere. It is also right, appropriate and proportionate that Welsh speakers must wait ten days for taxpayer funded translations. If they want it quicker they should fundraise - or demand that taxpayers money currently being used for their Welsh Eisteddfod be used instead.

For it does appear to me that a compromise has been offered (if not reached) by some members of the Welsh Assembly. They've begun (tentatively) to grasp the nettle of cuts. You see, the problem with the Welsh is they allow emotion to get in the way of their gifted brains. A most unfortunate malady - especially when in charge of the purse strings. Hee! Hee! Hee!

"As a result the Commission will have to look for more savings in-year to meet our obligations to the Welsh public to deliver a cost-effective service." See, you can keep putting tough decisions off or you can swallow the medicine now. You can't keep putting off tough decisions until a rainy day. For when the rainy day comes it will only be all the more painful. Remember, the Conservatives are coming. Meanwhile our Ambulance Service is a laughing stock, Welsh education standards are stalling (if not slipping) and private sector investment in Wales has gone through the floor. I'm afraid at this rate more "savage" cuts are on the way to Wales, not less. People just need to get real. It is also time the Welsh Assembly got real and much more serious - by earning the respect of the people, rather than aiming to be an extension of The Welsh Language Board. Or some other goodie two shoed publicly funded body.
Post a Comment

<< Home

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