Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Can the Tories back the Welsh Langage


Since he no longer has any form of ministerial duties. Montgomery Conservative MP Glyn Davis has made a welcome return to his A View from Rural Wales Blog

His latest piece. urges his fellow Welsh Tories that they need to embrace the Welsh Language.

He writes

I don't mean token bilingualism. The odd "Bori Da" by non-Welsh speakers making a laudable effort is not enough. I mean standing up proud for a full-blooded bilingual nation named Wales. No leaflets produced by the central party anything but fully bilingual. All advertising material produced centrally fully bilingual. Major meetings equipped for translation. Constituency offices offering callers a bilingual service, transferring to a central bilingual contact if no Welsh speaker available. We must never force anyone to listen, or join in. That does more harm than good - breeding resentment. But the Welsh Language must be really special to us, and everyone should know its special to us.
Perhaps this is not going to happen. Perhaps its just my imagination on fire again. Anyway that's not the point. My point is that dreaming this dream, and shouting it from the tops of Snowdon and Plynlumon is what we Tories should be doing - not despite us being Tories but because we're Tories. And it will make us more popular, and more people in Wales will vote for us
The last bit looks a bit opportunist. Still its a welcome call. However if Hen Rech Flin  experience in Conwy  is anything to go by,  Glyn has a huge task in persuading  his fellow Tories that they are not in Middle England.

Glyn Davies also makes the peculiar statement that

"Across the world, it is parties of the centre/right which support 'regional' government, and minority rights. Its a centre/right philosophy to accept freedom of minorities to live as they wish. Its libertarian right to respect people's right to diversity rather than forced compliance to the usual. Its the Welsh Language that makes Wales different".

Frankly I don't see this. Whatever you think of Labour, it was they who delivered Devolution in 1997, against Tory opposition and it was The Spanish Socialist that granted Autonomy to the regions there.

Glyn:Iif  can give me an example of the a  right wing government supporting regional autoonomy  then please.

He laso claims that
"When it comes to it, its always been the Conservative Party that took the decisive steps which stopped the remorseless decline of the Welsh Language over the last 40 yrs"
He may have some  point considering some of Labours members hostility to the Language in that legislation may owe as much to the Tories as Labour.

But virtually every victory for the Language has come from a relentless campaign from organisations like Cymdeitahs Yr Iaith. Seeing people fined and imprisoned as they fought for Bilingual forms roadsigns and broadcasting and many others .

Glyn Davies claim is a bit like the US Republican Party claiming the credit for Civil Rights . Though the comparison between some of today's Welsh Labour and Southern Democrats (Dixiecrats) during the Civil Rights campaign in the 1960's could well be made..

Glun Davie is undoubtedly sincere in his call  bit I suspect it will fall on deaf years even within those Tories in Y Fro Cymraeg .


3 comments:

  1. ""Across the world, it is parties of the centre/right which support 'regional' government, and minority rights. Its a centre/right philosophy to accept freedom of minorities to live as they wish. Its libertarian right to respect people's right to diversity rather than forced compliance to the usual..."

    Always an interesting point, but not true. In some countries the right is centralist, in others the left is centralist. In Spain the centre-right is centralist to the extreme and the left is more decentralist, and the 'regions' have some very left-wing parties.

    Perhaps it's best to stick to Wales. There have been centralist tendencies on the "left" (British Labour) and the right, but decentralist tendencies have mainly been on the left. Those people in the Labour party who opposed centralism and supported Wales were the leftists, and usually still are. Likewise, those Tories who hint at supporting devolution are the 'wets' or moderates, people like Glyn Davies, Melding, Nick Bourne etc (though in many cases these have been conversions from opposing devolution).

    Of course if you look at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, the centre-right (very broadly) supported independence for those states and the left (used very crudely) supported a centralised and totalitarian Soviet Union. But these are very blunt and crude terms that are probably irrelevant to Wales.

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  2. Perhaps Glyn Davies was thinking of the Republicans in the USA who want more power for the States and less Federal power.

    From what little I've read of American politics, a lot of that is wanting the States to be free to discriminate against minorities such as immigrants and gays.

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