Cymru, Lloegr a'r Llwchwr

Cymru, Lloegr, a'r Llwchwr...

Helo! Croeso i’m blog newydd sy'n cymryd lle Yma byddaf yn rhoi'r byd yn ei le o safbwynt y De Orllewin. Bydd rhai sylwadau yn fwy cyffredinol na’i gilydd ond canolbwyntio ar wleidyddiaeth cig a gwaed sydd yn effeithio yn uniongyrchol ar bobl o’m cwmpas i yw'r bwriad. Gwyntyllu fy marn personol y byddaf i fan hyn wrth gwrs!

Hi! Welcome to my new blog which has replaced I'll be setting the world to right from the perspective of the South West. Some comments may be more general than others but my aim is to talk about everyday issues that directly affect people around me. Needless to say, the views expressed here will be purely mine.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Spiders and self-haters

It's the spider season again in my house. I've already spotted disturbing shapes scuttling out from behind my skirting boards. And in some parts of the Welsh press quite ordinary aspects of our identity are being prodded to turn out a very different kind of spider.

Last week a friend set me copies of some peculiar letters in the South Wales Echo. The writers were outraged by reports of a protest by Lleucu Meinir about receiving an English-only letter from the police. Ms Meinir had been clamped and had asked for the notice in Welsh. When it was refused she asked for a Welsh version to be sent on to her. When this request was also refused, she sat in her car with her children and paid the fine. I can't imagine a more reasonable and responsible way to protest. But there you go...

Writers to the paper though made the claim, now seldom heard, that Welsh was being 'forced down people's necks'. They also claimed that Welsh people who don't speak Welsh are 'second class citizens'; that Welsh is being 'artificially kept alive'; had 'no use internationally...' etc

These letter writers also suggested that the cash used for bilingualism (in general presumably) should be spent on healthcare which they seemed to think faces huge cutbacks and was not ring-fenced. News to me, but then I only work for the Department of Health...

By now, 40% of parents would choose to send their child to a Welsh Medium School if there was one nearby. So I am not too worried that the effect that these rants might have. We are a bilingual nation and always have been. So much so that the recent Asylum Act stipulates that in order to pass the Citizenship Test people migrants should prove their ability to speak English - or Welsh.

What’s really being argued in these letters is that if we have to save money, services to minorities should automatically be cut. Any defence of the need to promote equal treatment provokes a furious reaction where these letter writers, in a privileged position in terms of service provision suggest that they, in fact, are victims of inequality.

Even seeing the language displayed publicly appears to have outraged a gentleman from Penarth.

What saddens me is that I am sure the writers of those letters are as Welsh as I am. It's just that they hate the very thought!

We will hear more of this self-directed vitriol as we approach the referendum next spring. Just remember, like the spiders, they're more frightened of us than we are of them.


  1. Dau lythyr cefnogol yn yr Echo heddi :-) :