Monday, 30 June 2014

Cultural Racism or being Polite?

The BBC  seem to have made much of a report  that
"Disciplinary action could be taken against council leisure centre staff who do not greet customers in Welsh".
report for Gwynedd council's language committee provides an update on a "language champions scheme" and the use of Welsh at leisure centres in Bangor, Tywyn and Dolgellau.
It says some staff lacked confidence or were reluctant to use Welsh
The report concentrates on the language champions scheme in leisure centres in Welsh-speaking areas.
It says the...
 "situation has improved at the Bangor and Tywyn Centres," adding that "11 out of the 30 members of staff at Bangor were attending lessons and attempting to speak more Welsh, and it is reported that more Welsh is also being spoken at the Tywyn centre, where the manager can now follow the discussion through the medium of Welsh at meetings".
It says "problems continue" at Dolgellau Leisure Centre where "some members of staff lack confidence or are reluctant to use the Welsh language, despite efforts to persuade them to at least greet customers in Welsh".
It adds: "The department is continuing to press on staff who are reluctant to use the Welsh language, and consideration will be given to disciplinary measures in some circumstances."
Now there seems to a bit of difference here between Greeting people with Bore Da and Croseo and being Bilingual.
Are Gwynedd arguing that all Staff should be Bilingual in their leisure centers or simply improve on how they respond to cusomers.?
Even in Rhondda Cynon Taf I know Library Staff have been expected  to answer the phone in Welsh and English irrespective of whether they spoke Welsh or not for some time now.
Louise Hughes, an independent Councillor for Llangelynnin   who as once a prominent member of Llais Gwynedd  seems to have adopted the Kinnock method of deriding the  attempt to improve the use of Welsh with a story difficult to prove.
"I'm reminded of the situation when they insisted that a seasonal litter-picker should speak Welsh, which led to the beach at Aberdyfi being un-swept for two years.
"My Welsh is reasonable but some who are not fluent are made to feel second class."
She added: "We now live in a multi-cultural society. Things cannot be preserved in aspic and you cannot force people into how they speak.
I wonder how her former colleagues feel about this but she seemed to have fallen out with them after  she failed to get the Llais Gwynedd Nomination for Dwyfor Merionydd when LLais Gwynedd o choose Simon Glyn group rather than her to stand for election for  the Assembly, among accusation  of Racism from Ms Hughes who believed that her lack of fluency in Welsh was held against her.

So is this a real story  which made the Sunday Times  . Whose support for the Welsh Language has always been prominent.

As If!

Or is it  the work of one ambitious political minnow?

Its just a pity so many seem to  fallen entirely for it without making absolutely sure what was behind it.

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