Sunday, 12 May 2013

Eisteddfod in London? Can'rt see it.

Labour's Ken Skates and Susan Elan Jones, who represent Clwyd South in the Assembly and Westminster respectively, a have come up with the argument  that  the  Eisteddfod should be beyond Wales for the first time since 1929.

The Welsh Government, which helps fund the Eisteddfod, has launched a group chaired by Roy Noble to examine the future of the festival. It is due to report in September, and the Clwyd South duo suggest that holding the event outside Wales for an eighth occasion could raise the profile of the nation.

Mr Skates said: 

“The National Eisteddfod is as popular and important in 2013 as it ever has been. We were lucky enough to have the festival in Wrexham in 2011 and it helped bring in a much needed cash boost of over £1m for local businesses.
“This year’s festival in Denbigh is shaping up to be a similar success. What we should do now is use its strength and pulling power, even if it is just once every 10 years, to take the Eisteddfod outside Wales to help more people understand Wales, its language and its culture.
“The Eisteddfod could be taken to Liverpool or to London. They both have very strong cultural connections with Wales and a significant expat community with a thirst for Welsh culture.
“Such a move would be in keeping with the recent modernisation of the National Eisteddfod with the addition of Maes B and decision to allow alcohol to be served on the festival site.
“Given the challenges thrown up by the 2011 census which showed a fall in the number of places where over half the population could speak Welsh, we have to innovate to keep the National Eisteddfod the strong cultural brand that it is.

Susan  Elan Jones said: 

So long as there are no changes to the Welsh rule and there is a serious bid from an expatriate Welsh community, I certainly think this idea should be considered".

And that may be the problem

 For years the National did most of the honouring through English, and the position seemed to be worsening.  during the thirties and there were worried that English would entirely dominate the event   Out of their discussions, in 1938, came a new rule for the Eisteddfod: “Welsh shall be the official language of the Council (and the Eisteddfod” the  All-Welsh Rule.  however not until the 1950 National at Caerphilly, twelve years after the Welsh rule had been adopted, did it come into anything like full effect, and then only for events on the platform of the main pavilion

To take the Eisteddfod to Liverpool or London would need a great deal of cooperation and financial aid probably financial support  from the local authorities.

I can't see them doing this without insisting on the dropping  or suspension of the all  Welsh rule .

Taking the Eisteddfod outside Wales  may " help more people understand Wales, its language and its culture". But it may simply open up the Eisteddfod to quasi racist mockery from the English media.

In 2002 at the ST Davids event  the Sun portrayed  the then Archbishop of Wales, and Archbishop Elect of Canterbury, joining the white order of the Gorsedd of Bard as  joining a pagan sect. 

Would taking the Eisteddfod to London open their eyes or simply confirm their prejudices .

Its an Idea but only an Idea and I can't see it ever coming off. Basically it looks liket two politicians desperately trying to get their names in the papers.

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