ITV News in the UK has a headline-grabbing story on its website: “Exclusive poll: 64% oppose compulsory Welsh to age 16”. The article goes on to state that: “…nearly two-thirds of people oppose the current situation where it is compulsory for schoolchildren to learn Welsh [as a] second language up until the age of 16.… Read More 58% Support Welsh Teaching For Children In English-Speaking Schools
Some absolutely astonishing results from the UK general election so far, with the stand-out story being the sweeping of the electoral board in Scotland by Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP. The Scottish nationalists look set to take 57 or 58 of the country’s 59 seats in Westminster, the greatest number in the organisation’s history, and by a huge… Read More Nicola Sturgeon And The SNP Stun Everyone
My predictions for the general election in the UK (and the north-eastern bit of Ireland that the British stubbornly cling on to as a last reminder of their glory days, along with a few rocks in the South Atlantic and one big rock at the entrance to the Mediterranean)? Well truth be told the vote in Britain has now become more… Read More The UK General Election 2015
Did Nicola Sturgeon, the formidable SNP leader and current First Minster of Scotland, emerge as the winner from last night’s televised debate of the “challengers” in the UK general election? She certainly seems to have put Ed Miliband on the defensive more than once, though much of the centre-left media in Britain is spinning the Labour Party leader as… Read More The BBC Challengers Election Debate 2015
Over the last few decades our Celtic neighbours in Wales have seen the emergence of something approaching a national consensus on the importance of the Welsh language. Though there is still much progress to be made and lots of wrongs to be righted, relatively few people would now challenge the need to facilitate and encourage… Read More No Value In Welsh For Tory’s English Candidate
Just time to highlight three articles that deserve your attention. The first is “10 Reasons Why Irish Is An Absolutely Awesome Language” from the Czech software engineer Michal Boleslav Měchura of the blogs “Young, Single, Multilingual” and “An Cainteoir Dóchais”. My favourite on the list is also the first: “1. Irish has no words for yes and no … Read More The Common Struggle
A quick heads-up for a rally by the Welsh Go For It Scotland – Ewch Amdani Alba campaign group in support of Scotland’s bid for independence to be held at 2pm outside the Senedd in Cardiff on Saturday 13th of September. A good showing is expected and it would be great to see a mass… Read More Solidarity From Wales, Go For It Scotland
In yesterday’s Guardian newspaper the journalist and political activist Ellie Mae O’Hagan argues that the Welsh language should be part of the school curriculum not just in Wales but in other parts of the island of Britain too. Since “England and Wales” are essentially treated as one constitutional and legal entity under British law it… Read More Equal In Any Language
Another quick post, this time to highlight the success of June’s “Ras yr Iaith”, a symbolic relay race organised by Welsh-speakers to celebrate their community and publicise their demands for greater equality in Wales. Inspired by similar events held here in Ireland, Brittany and the Basque Country (the latter for many years) one thousand runners… Read More Ras Yr Iaith 2014
Activists fighting for Welsh language rights have set up a symbolic Occupy camp outside the Senedd, the offices of the national assembly or Cynulliad in Cardiff. Wales Online reports that the young people are: “…insisting that the Government change six language policies including Welsh-medium education for all. The action by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg is part of… Read More Cardiff, Edinburgh, Sydney
Three activists fighting for Welsh language rights, two women and a man in their twenties, were arrested today by police in Wales after they painted slogans on a local government building demanding greater equality for Welsh-speaking citizens from the devolved government in Cardiff. From the Daily Post newspaper: “Three campaigners have spray painted the Welsh Government offices… Read More Three Welsh Rights Activists Arrested
From a report by the Daily Post newspaper in Wales: “A hospital has apologised after a doctor asked a mum and her daughter to stop speaking Welsh. The North Wales mum had taken her 15-year-old daughter to the emergency department at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Bodelwyddan on Tuesday. She said the doctor had made the comment… Read More Doctor Orders Child And Parent Not To Speak In Welsh
Substitute “Ireland” for “Wales” and “Irish” for “Welsh” and the discrimination revealed below would be pretty much the same. From a report in the Daily Post newspaper: “After receiving a form in English from National Savings and Investments, 72-year-old Arfon Rhys sent it back and requested either a Welsh or bilingual form. The letter he then received from… Read More Welsh, A Foreign Language In Britain
Hot on the heels of my post discussing the urgent need for the reform of public service broadcasting in Ireland comes news of a veritable revolt by journalists within RTÉ’s normally quiescent ranks as reported by the Irish Times: “Almost 50 staff members in RTÉ have written to Director General, Mr. Noel Curran, to express their… Read More Culture Wars In Ireland And Britain
Given the news yesterday about a group of young people from Ireland being subject to racial abuse by a taxi driver in the city of Glasgow for speaking in their native Irish instead of English here comes another disgraceful story about speakers of an indigenous Celtic tongue being subject to discrimination for not using the… Read More Second-Class Service For Second-Class Citizens
Rarely have I agreed with an article more than this opinion piece by Tom Law featured on the Sabotage Times examining the cultural subjugation of the Welsh language and the Welsh-speaking citizens and communities of Wales. He articulates for many the frustration and anger of a new, younger generation of activists in the Celtic nations… Read More Viva La Revolución!
In the 2011 census on the island of Britain large numbers of people living in Scotland, Wales and England rejected the nationality of “British”, a majority in all three countries preferring to describe themselves instead as solely Scottish (62.4%), Welsh (57.5%) or English (60.4%). Which makes the BBC News article claim that Britishness is “…an… Read More Education In Britain – Cultural Conditioning?
From the website “Welsh Not British” the 2011 census on the island of Britain summed up in one easy graph. Say’s it all really. Some more excellent analysis can be found on Syniadau examining the figures in Wales, Scotland and England.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, the progressive language rights’ organisation in Wales, has proposed a radical shift in the teaching of the language in Welsh schools. From Wales Online: “A row has blown up over a plan by language activists that would see all pupils in Wales having at least a third of the school curriculum… Read More Struggling With The Language
Didn’t get a chance to post this over the weekend but the best of luck to Pobl Caerdydd, the new multi-media network for Cardiff’s Welsh-speaking population. From Roy Greenslade in the Guardian: “A new Welsh language service, PoblCaerdydd, is being launched today in Cardiff to serve the city’s estimated 36,000 Welsh speakers. The digital news and networking service… Read More Pobl Caerdydd
More new from the Pax Anglia, via the Dunfermline Press: “… councillor Dave Dempsey is proposing that road signs in Fife be in English-only. His motion, “Council agrees that there is no need, point or advantage in road signs in Fife being in any other language or languages than English” went before fellow councillors yesterday… Read More Language Wars – Coming To A Sign Near You Soon
A new poll of 1007 voters from across Wales by ITV Cymru / YouGov continues to reflect the so-so fortunes of Plaid Cymru, the Welsh Nationalist party. After a decade of mediocre election results, and an unexpectedly dire performance at the 2011 polls under charismatic new leader Leanne Wood, the Welsh Nationalists were seen as… Read More Mixed Results For Plaid Cymru In New Poll