Wednesday, 22 February 2017

So use of Cymraeg at Westminster depends on the whim of just one man!

So Members of Parliament will be able to use Cymraeg in Westminster debates for the first time this year

MPs will be free to challenge one another in Welsh during sessions of the Welsh Grand Committee.

The UK Government will bring forward a motion to change the rules.

Today, MPs can only speak Cymraeg  during Westminster proceedings when the Welsh Affairs select committee is taking evidence

The language will now be used in short debates, legislative scrutiny and the questioning of ministers.

The Wasting Mule claimed that this comes after a push by Clwyd South Labour MP Susan Elan Jones and colleagues to allow the use of Cymraeg

However this has been  long campaign and Plaid  and other MP'shave regularly tried to get  Cymraeg  used in the UK Parliment.

Only last year such a proposal was rejected by House of Commons  leader Chris Grayling to overturn a ban on speaking Cymraeg at Westminster.

Ms Jones formally requested the Commons Procedure committee to allow bilingual debate in the Welsh Grand.
Welcoming the announcement, Ms Jones said:
“I think it’s a necessary change... I just think we have to recognise that Wales is a bilingual country...
“Many of us will be taking advantage of that.
The change seems to have come after Chris Grayling moved to the Department of Transport and was replaced by David Lidington, as  the leader of Commons, who said:

Welsh MPs play a vital role in making their constituents’ voices heard in the House of Commons. Across Whitehall, UK Government ministers are listening and responding – as we are today by promoting the Welsh language in Parliament and its contribution to the cultural diversity of the United Kingdom.”
So it seems the use of our Language in Westminster debated depends on the whim of just one man.

Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said:

 “I am delighted that MPs will be able to participate in the Welsh Grand Committee through the medium of Welsh for the first time in Westminster. It is vitally important that the people of Wales are able to hear debates in both languages.
“I hope that MPs who can speak Welsh will choose to use this service in order to help promote the Welsh language across Parliament.”
According to the UK Government:

 “The cost of the translation services – both interpreters and headsets – will be absorbed within Parliament’s existing budgets, meaning this change takes place at no extra cost to the taxpayer.”

The Procedure committee investigated the issue and it stated at the end of last year: 

“The committee recognises the unique status of Welsh as a language with statutory protection for its use in Wales, and makes no criticism of the existing arrangements for the use of Welsh. While the committee strongly maintains the principle that the language of the House of Commons is English, it finds that there is no technical bar to making arrangements for the use of Welsh in Grand Committee sittings at Westminster, and that the likely additional costs of arranging for the use of Welsh at a Grand Committee sitting are lower than the costs of holding a committee sitting in Wales.”
 But although this move is welcome and  a different Leader of the House would be wise not to reverse it, Its a strange democracy when one man or women has such power over the use of Cymraeg in the "Parliament of Equal Nations".

You may have noticed that I have used Cymraeg when refering to the Welsh Language other than quotes. I believe that its time we formally use Cymraeg when  refering to the indigenous language of Wales . It is bad enough that we constantly use Wales rather than Cymru and I may consider using the latter more often.

But it's  really time we daily used Cymraeg when referring to the Welsh Language.

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