OF WALES & THE WELSH
Greg Lance – Watkins
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But in a Region where Labour has tended until recently to exercise almost hegemonic power, and with high rates of poverty and deprivation as a result that have been exacerbated by a decade of Westminster-imposed austerity, imposed to rectify the unlucky 13 years of Labour profligacy & financial incompetence the party will take little comfort from keeping its nose in front with a mere 5% lead from the Tories which had the #Farage cult not stood may well have been a Labour loss to Tory, particularly in the light of the Plaid collapse since 2015 by 18% of their vote to under 10%.
Labour’s betrayal of its grass roots & the fact its old core voters woke up to the fact that BreXit won the vote in 2016 & 2017 and that nothing is free. It was clearly they who would pay for Labour’s promised great giveaway – this led to a National collapse for Labour & their worst result for over 80 years!
Wales has always been divided – north v south, urban v rural, Welsh-speaking v English-speaking It was ever thus a totally fractured Region seeking to pass itself off as a Country! Do be minded that the Welsh Region has not had any meaningful excuse to call itself as it has only spent 6 years united under a single brigand by dint of his having killed the brigands who led the many other factions, that was over 1,000 years ago and for that brief period he styled himself a Prince! – and after the 2019 election these divisions are starker than ever.
South Wales remains red, while north and mid-Wales have turned blue had it not been for the intercession of the Farage cult the Tories might well have formed the majority as they only trailed by 5%.
Plaid Cymru has held on to its four largely rural, Welsh-speaking seats, but with under 10% of the vote across Wales it cannot claim a surge in support for independence. Wales has traditionally lacked institutional autonomy – in marked contrast to Scotland, with its separate legal and educational systems.
Wales has instead relied on its well-entrenched language in the fight for cultural separateness entrenched it maybe but less than 5% of the voters in Wales have any meaningful qualification in the Welsh language and less than 2% request the language in ATMs and the like. Clearly the common language of the peoples of Wales is English which is spoken and read by over 90% of the population.
But with a Welsh-language broadcaster massively subsidised by the taxpayers at the expense of the NHS, education & poverty solutions, yet with an audience rarely exceeding 30,000 and a majority of programmes with a statistical audience of zero as no figures are given for such low audiences even bilingualism in government is a hugely subsidised farce, seemingly to but the votes of a tiny minority at a cost of many £ Millions a year and as for the media there isn’t a single proprietor willing to squander his wealth publishing a Welsh language newspaper and nowadays few papers are printed and published in the Region, despite their pandering to Nationalism for the sake of their jobs and to avoid the attacks of a foul-mouthed ignorant and abusive bullies who have so damaged any serious or responsible Welsh aspirations.
Readership of any papers in Wales is falling dramatically in Wales and even now most supermarkets no longer stock or distribute papers and it is unlikely any papers will be distributed in any supermarket chain within 5 years nor any printed in Wales a quick look at circulation figures and it becomes apparent that it is unlikely any of the Regional papers will survive in Wales. Most are already owned beyond the Regions borders.
The emergence of a network of highly regarded Welsh-medium schools, has been catastrophic for Wales and education as shown by the PISA results CLICK HERE that battle has now largely been won, though it has been a disaster for Wales & the Welsh particularly in the area of inward investment, employment and education not to mention the undeniable hatreds and rivalries it has bred within the Region removing the totem around which Welsh nationalists could once gather.
I would contend that Dr. Tim Williams has made the point most clearly as to the eventual outcome of forcing the language of the tiny weenie minority who speak the Welsh language wiuth any competence on the majority, it is clearly a ticking timebomb that may well totally destroy Wales as an entity eventually:
A small example this from 2013 when Dr Tim Williams (TW) argued that teaching Welsh is a futile experiment and that teaching through the medium of Welsh in English-medium schools damages education by concluding:
“The dog that has not yet barked in Welsh politics is the English-speaking majority whose identity is not represented in the dreams of Welsh nationalists.
They are keen to see the survival of Welsh and have supported full access to Welsh-medium education for those that want it.
But when this support becomes a zero-sum game, with their children used in futile experiments at language revival, they’ll get restless.
Don’t stir them up. You may find the existing consensus is the first victim.”
The ‘zero-sum game’ TW mentioned has now turned negative because the English-speaking majority are in a lose-lose situation where the loss represents their children’s under-performance in formal education, stifled by Welsh nationalist political dogma, perhaps unparalleled in the post-Stalinist/Nazi era.
TW’s notion that the children with no Welsh at home are damaged in Welsh-Medium schools has now been shown beyond any reasonable doubt by the meticulous collating and analysing of the KS2 and GCSE data obtained over several years from the Welsh Government using the Freedom of Information Act provisions.
When it comes to discussing the minority Welsh language and the all-pervading lies, half-truths and bigotry of those advocating its promotion I am reminded of the eminent Irish author and Professor George Bernard Shaw when he said:
“I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it”
Clearly he displays greater wisdom than I, as all too often I find myself wrestling with the sacred pigs of the Welsh minority!
Our starter for 10: who is the first minister of Wales? Got it? Labour’s Mark Drakeford, of course. If you did get it right, well done, because the understated Mr Drakeford would be the first to admit that he does not have quite the same profile as the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, or even the former Northern Irish first minister, Arlene Foster. The latter has not been in post for three years, but has been omnipresent throughout the Brexit debate. Of Mr Drakeford, if we live outside Wales, we hear next to nothing. Wales, with its population of just over 3 million and its 40 seats at Westminster, is largely ignored in the wider UK.
The general election gave the Conservatives their best night in Wales since 1983. They won Wrexham (a seat where before the second world war they rarely bothered to stand) for the first time and captured Bridgend in Labour’s south Wales heartland. Overall, Labour got 41% of the vote, compared with the Tories’ 36%, and has 22 seats against the Tories’ 14 and Plaid Cymru’s four. But in a country where Labour has tended until recently to exercise almost hegemonic power, and with high rates of poverty and deprivation that have been exacerbated by a decade of Westminster-imposed austerity, the party will take little comfort from keeping its nose in front.
The future relationship between Westminster and the Labour-led devolved government in Cardiff will be tricky. The recently appointed secretary of state for Wales – you get a five-point bonus for naming him – has promised to work “hand in hand” with the Welsh government, but arguments are already brewing over who gets to disburse regional aid money. The Welsh government was responsible for money channelled from the EU to depressed areas, but the UK government’s proposed replacement – the Shared Prosperity Fund – is likely to be administered by Whitehall. It will be seen as a rolling back of devolution – the first stage, according to some, of an assault on the devolution settlement in Wales by the resurgent Tories – and the standoff could end up in the supreme court.
Wales has always been divided – north v south, urban v rural, Welsh-speaking v English-speaking – and after the election these divisions are starker than ever. South Wales remains red, while north and mid-Wales have turned blue. Plaid Cymru has held on to its four largely rural, Welsh-speaking seats, but with only 10% of the vote across Wales it cannot claim a surge in support for independence. Wales has traditionally lacked institutional autonomy – in marked contrast to Scotland, with its separate legal and educational systems. Wales has instead relied on its well-entrenched language in the fight for cultural separateness. But with a Welsh-language broadcaster, bilingualism in government and the media, and the emergence of a network of highly regarded Welsh-medium schools, that battle has now largely been won, removing the totem around which Welsh nationalists could once gather.
All this leaves Wales more than ever searching for an identity. Once, with iron, steel and coal, it was an industrial powerhouse. Twenty years ago it saw itself as a small country finding a home within Europe, with the EU as a less oppressive supra-state than a UK dominated by England. Now what is Wales, who represents it, how does it articulate its “not-England-ness” post-Brexit, and what happens to the devolution settlement if the Tories start playing hardball? These are uncomfortable questions, not least for the new secretary of state – Simon Hart, whose name was of course on the tip of your tongue.
To view the original article CLICK HERE
in the interest of accuracy material in the main text in blue was written by someone other than myself.
When in black text the wording ‘Welsh Language’ means the ‘Language of the peoples of Wales’ and is therefore the majority language ie ‘English’
The ancient language of parts of Wales, varied as it is, as spoken by a tiny minority in Wales is called ‘Welsh’ or ‘the ancient Welsh language’
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