Limited Use Of The Welsh Language Will Be “Allowed” In The British Parliament

Over the last twenty years the political terminology of the United Kingdom of Great Britain has undergone a subtle but significant change. The Labour administrations of the 1990s and early 2000s, influenced by prime minister Tony Blair’s “Cool Britannia” philosophy, popularised the idea of the UK as a sovereign union of three historical nations: England, Wales and Scotland. Following the devolution of limited powers to Edinburgh and Cardiff this concept of equal partnership became one of the regular soundbites of the metropolitan elites in London. However, such rhetoric rarely matched the reality of political, economic and cultural life in Britain where the south-east remained the centrifugal heart of the island. This came to a head in the hard-fought Scottish independence referendum campaign of 2014 when sentimental notions of equality were rejected out of hand by lawyers and experts for the pro-union side. In the lead up to the plebiscite, the official pronouncements of the British state made it absolutely clear that the United Kingdom was the constitutional successor of the Kingdom of England and the “union” simply an annexation of extraneous territories. In effect, Britain was England and England was Britain. This argument dismissed the Scottish or Welsh (or Cornish!) claims to national rights, at least beyond those granted to them by the English-dominated Houses of Parliament, the legislative inheritors of the Medieval and Restoration Parliament of England.

In this regard, the “historic countries” of the United Kingdom were classed as regions of the Greater England polity (while the UK’s revanchist rule over the north-east of Ireland was a legacy of the British colony on this island nation). That is why the supposedly equal languages of Britain, Welsh, Scottish (Gaelic), Cornish and English, are in fact historically and deliberately unequal to the present day. The former tongues are the persecuted remnants of England’s imperial ambitions in north-western Europe, barely tolerated signs of indigenous, non-English identity. Proof of that comes from this ITN news report:

It’s taken more than 50 years but lobbying by Welsh speaking MPs to be allowed occasionally to use the language at Westminster has finally borne fruit. The UK Government has decided to back the idea of it being spoken at all meetings of the Welsh Grand Committee.

The committee consists of all Welsh MPs and meets to debate subjects such as the impact on Wales of the Budget and the proposals in the Queen’s Speech. In the 1990s it regularly met in Wales and MPs were allowed to use Welsh because they weren’t at Westminster but that’s only happened twice since devolution in 1999.

The news that the parliament of the United Kingdom has given permission for a language of the United Kingdom other than English to be “occasionally” spoke in its hallowed corridors, has been greeted as a celebratory thing. Apparently the crumbs from the master’s chair to the dogs on the floor to be greeted with praise and thanks. Though at least it indicates the true nature of the UK. The plaything of Brexit England.

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4 comments

  1. The Union refers to the Act of Union of 1707 between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England. Well the Union is virtually dead and all that remains is for the Divorce Proceedings to be completed. On that day, Scotland will be free again, just like so many other Colonies of the British Empire who have regained their freedom. But not just yet. In a short while.

  2. “There’ll be simultaneous translation into English of contributions made in Welsh.” says the report … but not of course the other way around, English into Welsh. While this is hardly surprising, more to the point is the fact that no one seems to have noticed this glaring imbalance … ond beth arall oddi wrth y Saeson?

    BTW Manandboy above is quite correct. Scotland entered into ‘union’ with England (including Wales and Ireland) as a ‘modern’ nation state, parts of which, notably its legal system, it retained. It was simply run from WM by remote control. When devolution came along the Scottish Parliament was formally declared to be the revival of the original pre-union parliament, and afaik this was never challenged.

    Wales in contrast was conquered and incorporated into England, piece by piece, not unlike Ireland. It was never a unified ‘modern’ state historically. The present devolved institutions are entirely a recent creation of devolution.

  3. As a former resident of Swansea you can say that Wales is divided in North and South, the former is 20% Welsh speaking, of that , the Welsh Language Use Survey for 2013/14 shows that 11% or 310,600 of all people aged three and over living in Wales could speak Welsh fluently. the South is regarded as inhabited by blow ins . There is no real appetite for independence as Westminster has to pay £17 Billion yearly into the economy. There is little employment and the fact they voted to leave the EU does not bode well for the future. Wales was absorbed into the Union totally, look at the legal system, the Common law of England and Wales, Scotland has it own unique system, and NI a mix of Irish law pre independence and UK.

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