Thursday, 27 May 2010


Speaking at a conference in Cardiff University this week. Leighton Andrews said the governance of higher education had become "the last resting place of the crachach (elite)".

I am not entirely sure what Leighton, means when he refers to the crachach. Does he mean a Welsh Speaking elite or simply an elite?

If he means the latter.Then surely every University in the UK is run by elites and Welsh Universities are as nothing to those in Oxbridge. Who to this day display all the vestiges of the British class system.

If how ever he means to refer to a Welsh speaking elite he should enlarge on what he means.

Is Leighton suggesting when referring to the crachach as a quasi nationalist groupthat (as some do)  who seek to keep power in Wales via the exclusivity of the Welsh Language?

Or is he is referring to people like Prys Morgan . Born in Cardiff, the son of academic T. J. Morgan. Who studied at St John's College, Oxford, then joined the teaching staff of the University of Wales, Swansea, where his father had been a professor. Following his retirement from academic life, he became President of the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Swansea, President of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, and is joint director of the Iolo Morganwg project at the Centre for Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth. These are typical crachach credentials.  Prys Morgan has a much more famous brother “Rhodri” Leighton’s old boss in the Assembly. Indeed the last resting place of the crachach is (as it always has been) in the Unionist parties.

To my mind the Crachach refers to a Welsh elite who long ago sold out Wales for vestiges of power. If only they had used to their talents to promote the cause of Wale, they might serve some purpose  but seduced by larger more powerful forces in the UK. They simply have been content with control of a few crumbs in the shape Welsh Institutions but not really our Universities all you have to do is attend a degree ceremony, and listen to the attempts by heads of departments trying to pronounce even a short piece in Welsh, to see that the crachach in the form the Welsh language has very little sway.


  1. Could we not refer to the Welsh language as "exclusive" please? All languages are as "exclusive" or "inclusive" as each other. Apart from this one theoretical hiccup, a good post.

  2. I hope I was referring to how some people view Welsh speakers as being exclusive and seek to use this to sow diversion. Indeed this as been a theme of many “Unionist” politicians.