Monday, January 29, 2007

What's wrong with Welsh, Mark Tami?

As readers of the Daily Post will already know, Richard Brunstrom, North Wales Police Chief Constable, is to speak at Cymuned's upcoming Annual Conference in April. Apparently, Brunstrom will talk about increasing the use of Welsh within the North Wales Police and respond to Cymuned's calls for other councils to adopt language policies similar to that of Gwynedd Council.

A good thing, right? Not according to Mark Tami, Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside, who thinks it’s "inappropriate for him to take part. I would think he would have better things to do”. Geez, Mr Tami, when did it become inappropriate or a waste of time for a Chief Constable to talk about the use of Welsh within the North Wales police force? Anyone would think you don't care. Oh, that's right, you don't.

In a further attack he said, “[Cymuned] want to reduce the wealth of hard working people by taking capital out of homes, ban the use of English on public signs and dictate how we lead our lives, to the point of when and where we shop. This is not the sort of message a chief constable should be supporting.”

This tripe is so misleading it's embarrassing.

Cymuned chief Aran Jones responded: “This is an absolutely appalling statement from a serving Member of Parliament.

“If Mr Tami does not believe in the value of listening to other people’s views, he most certainly should not be representing the people of Alyn and Deeside in Westminster. We have supporters in his constituency – does he believe that they are non-people whose views he can freely ignore? He should either apologise, or resign.”

An even better response came from former Archdruid Dr Robyn Léwis, from Nefyn:
In your story ‘Brunstrom to address Welsh pressure group’ (Daily Post, January 25) it was of great interest to read that Cymuned chief Aran Jones and Chief Constable Richard Brunstrom had been learning Welsh for approximately the same length of time.

Both are to be heartily congratulated for the fluency they have achieved.

However, I fail to understand why the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside, Mark Tami, takes the view that it is inappropriate for the Chief Constable to address Cymuned’s annual conference.

Surely it is part of the duties of our chief of police to explain his acts and his policies to various organisations and representatives of the public when invited to do so.

I have noticed that, since Mr Tami’s election in 2001, there has been a deafening silence from him in respect of any moves to help disseminate and safeguard the Welsh language.

If I am wrong, Mr Tami will doubtless tell us how, and by what means, he has assisted the cause of the Welsh language and bilingualism in Wales.

Has he himself been learning Welsh? Or, if he has children, is he ensuring that they are being brought up with a knowledge of Welsh? I think we should be told.

Otherwise we might conclude that Mr Tami is being negatively anti-Welsh just for the sake of being obstructive.

Dr Robyn Léwis, Nefyn

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Independence or In Dependence?

With the growing level of support for Welsh independence it was only a matter of time before a no-holds-barred Welsh Independence blog was created. Contrary to my initial comments on another blog, this isn't the work of one person. It's a collaborate effort with at least 10 willing contributors so far. Doubtless that number will soon increase. Actually, it already has - I've just agreed to take up the recent offer from Hedd and contribute myself! I'm not sure yet how it will all pan out, but I'm certainly looking forward to this blog. It's about time!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Could Britain break up?

"Could Britain break up?" is the question being asked in a debate on the BBC website. Of course, the answer is "yes". Perhaps a better question would be "Should Britain break up?" or "Will Britain break up?". Again, the answer for both questions has to be "yes".

As support for Scottish, English and Welsh nationalism and independence grows it was only a matter of time before the big-wigs at Labour finally displayed their true Unionist colours. Even the Tories seem less pro-Unionist than Labour these days!

Writing in the Western Mail Peter Hain asks, "Who seriously imagines a tiny nation like Wales would have any clout on the world stage isolated and alone?". What confidence you must have in Wales Mr Hain. So do you seriously believe Wales will have any "clout", even within the UK, while it continues to rely on hand-outs from dear old London, having to run to Westminster with the begging bowl and seeking approval everytime it wants to actually do something on its own?

Wales is like the naughty child of the UK. Treated like a child, it acts like a child. It's time it stood on its own two feet and learnt how to make it in the big wide world that exists outside London and the UK.

See also:

Monday, January 01, 2007

FAW finally acknowledges our national language

Well, hallelujah! It may have taken a mere 131 years, but finally, one of Wales' national institutions - the Football Association of Wales - has decided to conduct its business in our own national language, as well as English.

For a moment I thought it was never going to happen after last year's debacle when John Pritchard, secretary of the Caernarfon League, was told by FAW secretary general David Collins that the association "conducts its business in English" and refused to answer his letters in Welsh. This lead to a six month campaign and several articles in the Daily Post exposing the idiocy of the FAW's decision.

But now, thankfully, the FAW is to conduct its business bilingually. FAW honorary treasurer Trefor Lloyd Hughes, from Holyhead, said: “If anybody wishes to speak in Welsh then they will be able to and letters will be answered in Welsh.

“Disciplinary hearings will also be able to be held in Welsh.

“Answer phone messages will have bilingually recorded messages in Welsh and English.

“And FAW job adverts will from now on state that the ability to converse and write in Welsh will be an advantage.”

As an incentive, staff already working for the FAW and wishing to learn or improve their Welsh language skills will be offered training.

Well done, FAW, it's about time!

See the Daily Post website for the full story.