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Friday, September 14, 2007

'Brain dead' Labour?

Let us be clear about this. Contrary to the published views of Labour researcher, David Collins, the Welsh language is not 'brain dead' nor is it a 'dead language'. The fact is that it is very much a living language, spoken in communities throughout Wales and in the National Assembly. The number of Welsh speakers is growing and the demand for Welsh medium education, particularly from monoglot-English parents, is growing.

The devolution process has acted as a spur to help revive the language and to make it more relevant than ever. That phenomenon is building on the impact of the foundation of S4C in nurturing Welsh and in creating more interest in learning and speaking it. With some greater protection, for example for the right of people to use Welsh in their workplace without fear of penalty, it could flourish even more.

David Collins is of course entitled to his views, no matter how wrong he is. His employer, Ann Jones is also entitled to refuse to condemn him. David will shortly be seeking election to Cardiff Council. As an AM, Ann is subject to the judgement of her constituents. I do not believe that adopting the kneejerk reaction of calling for either of their resignation achieves anything. People now know what they stand for and can make their own minds up on their suitability as elected representatives.

Voters can also judge for themselves whether their views are representative of the Labour Party or not. In doing so they should be taking note of the many Labour politicians lining up to contradict and condemn them. Well, they would if there were any. Rhodri Morgan or his spokesperson has merely regurgitated existing policy. It is hardly a convincing response.

Perhaps Eleanor Burnham is right, she told the Western Mail that "these comments are typical of the appalling attitude of many Labour activists towards the Welsh language. Many of them resent the prominent and growing role that Welsh plays in Welsh life.

“That’s why they’ve opposed our calls for a new Welsh Language Act and to give greater rights to people wishing to use the language as part of their everyday life.

“Their antagonism – as illustrated by comments like these – is one of the reasons why Labour have largely been driven out of Welsh-speaking areas in all parts of the country."

I am sure that voters will take note and act accordingly.

Update: The actual comment is here. With thanks to Sanddef.
This goes beyond party politics. No organisation which hopes to have any credibility in 21st-century Wales can afford such imperial-era thinking.

When Ann Jones does have the chance to read Collins' views in full, she should take the decision to dispense with his services.

- Frank Little
Obnoxious ANTI Welsh Language comments typical of Old Labour now becoming acceptable within New Labour. Guarantee you one thing - that rat bag bunch in Plaid Cymru these days will not protest at all as long as they keep their Cabinet Salaries at Cardiff and Chair Alowances at Swansea. Saunders Lewis; Gwynfor Evans; Owain Glyndwr; William Williams to name but four of thousands, must be writhing in their graves at such treachery of Plaid Cymru lying in bed with such obnoxious people!
Isn't Ann Jones Chair of the Equality Committee - bit of a joke that she won't condemn something like this don't you think.
Dave Collin's webpage and Keir Hardly's blog have dissappeared. Fortunately they had already been copied and I have reproduced the comment in full on my blog HERE
Oh! Well done Ordovicius! You're so clever! Have you done somethibng really scrummy like published his home address too? Oh! You have!

Ah Maxx! aka Dave Collins! Where's your webpage, Dave?
Why is it that Labour politicians have such a hatred of Welsh and Welsh speakers?
Why is Labour concerned only for Labour and not the welfare of the people of Wales?
Because they see them as a threat to Labour's domination of Wales.
Sorry to come back boringly and comment twice - but am I missing something? Where are the howls of protest about this slur on "Yr Iaith Gymraeg" from those pathetic whimps in Plaid Cymru? We know the answer - they are in bed with Labour and don't care a toss about real basic Welsh issues. The word "brad" springs easily to mind.
Well here is a howl of protest from a member of Welsh Labour! I am a monoglot but regard the survival of the language as mircaculous given that English is estimated to have destroyed 4000 indiginous languages across the World. The survival of Welsh in England's closest neighbour is a tribute to the strength of Welsh identity, culture and values. As such it needs to be revered, nutured and given the offical status it deserves in its own land.

The Brit Nat right attacks Welsh identity and language at its peril. This is the root to becoming a rump party in the South East of the country. Thankfully the devolutionist left are in the ascendancy, embracing our identity and pushing for the Parliament that can truly reflect the Welsh values that so strongly underpin democratic socialism.

There are many thoughtful members of Welsh Labour sharing my views. Please not not paint us all with these jaundiced predjudices.
Before Green Man posts his misleading and deliberately offensive opinions I suggest that he consider the real facts of the situation and the reasons why Plaid are in government.
He will find them in Ieuan Wyn's conference address.
I admit this is nit picking, but I am a stickler for honesty in politics. I see "alanindyfed" has a profile if you click on his name. He describes himself as a "GRADUATE of Trinty College Carmarthen 1958 to 1960". Come off it "alanindyfed" you could only do a two year Techer's Certificate in that college at that time. Yes they produced some wonderfully practical Teachers then - mostly in the "practise of teaching" but the actual academic level of the course was about equivalent to just one good "A"level - so where did this "graduation" take place "alanindyfed"? Have you got some secret Mickey Mouse Degree?
Well yes, actually I have - RSA Diploma TEFLA.
In any case when did labels have anything to do with intelligence?
I see you - Green Man - are a member of the meritocracy.
Good for you - is that the best you can do?!
When I click on your "name" what do I get - nothing!
Sorry but I agree with David Collins about how fruitless teaching Welsh is. Plaid Cymru are the most abject people I've ever heard of in my life, so therefore I must say I entirely agree with Green Man in that respect.
I'm exceedingly proud and grateful to be English because I don't think I could stand the shame of being Welsh.
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