Saturday, December 17, 2005

More about Rhodri Morgan, Welsh-speaking elite and Labour Brit Nat prejudices.

“Welsh Labour's vision for the Welsh language is a language that is open to everyone, owned by everyone in Wales, not a language that belongs to the elite."

This quote by Rhodri Morgan got us thinking. Labour's assertion that the Welsh language should belong to everyone not just the elite sounds like a great optimisitc rallying cry - that everyone in Wales should and could speak Welsh across all class, ethnic and cultural barriers. Who wouldn't, support that?

But what does it really mean? This is Welsh Labour-speak for making
Welsh an even more marginal patois.

Welsh-speaking elite? As opposed to the English-speaking elite which
includes the whole Labour Government's cabinet, heads of business, quangos

Who are these Welsh-speaking elite? Welsh language lecturers and academics
no doubt, rather than honest people with grit under their nails. People like TJ Morgan, the eminent Welsh linguist and academic (and Rhodri Morgan's father) or Prys Morgan, the much admired historian (and Rhodri's brother.)

If any one is part of the 'Welsh-speaking elite' then Morgan it is.
Which is the reason of course he puts on this awful boyo act and why, as a petulant rebelliion against his background, his Welsh became so poor.

Morgan's Welsh has of course improved since becoming Prime Minister of
Wales. Maybe, he's starting to feel at home with being one of the Welsh-speaking elite. After all, if the Prime Minister of the country isn't a part of the elite, then who is?

No! In Welsh Labour-speak to 'get rid of the Welsh speaking elite' and make
Welsh 'a language for everyone' means making sure there are no jobs for these Welsh-speaking elite and no status for the indiginous language of this country.

Jobs say in
the media, so that they don't pounce around Pontcanna speaking Welsh as if it was the capital of Wales! After all, why should the head of BBC Wales have to speak Welsh as Llew Smith once asked. Is it not a problem that the head of a media corporation doesn't understand its own out-put?

Yes, that really is what it's all about. A large chunck of Brit Nat Labour prejudice is
because of the Welsh-speakers in Pontcanna - how childish! British nationalist Labour people don't like Welsh-speakers in one ward in the whole of Wales and the whole blinking language is to be kicked. (if they read the Welsh press they'd see that most Welsh-speakers don't like them either!). Well, that's Labour's excuse today - what was the reason in the 1950s and 1960s when there was no Welsh media and Welsh had no status in its own country?

And what of those other Welsh-speaking elites? People in the arts,
public relations, teachers? Get rid of them too because that's the only way to make Welsh a language for all? It's almost Maoist in its principle. To make Welsh a language for all you get rid of all bodies, professional or amateur, which work through the medium of the language.

And of course, we're lucky enough to have a shining example of the success of
this kind of Maoist policy, where having no 'elite' speaking a language has made it a strong, dynamic, multi-ethnic language - it's called Breton.

Yes, if only we'd
follow the example of the French state in regards to Britanny, where there is no Breton-speaking 'elite' in the media, arts, politics or business; where there is no education or status at all for the language. Then Welsh, like Breton, would be flourishing.

Who would speak or learn a language which doesn't have an elite? Would people speak English if it had no elite just because it was a 'beatiful language' and they wanted to read 'Beowolf' in the original? People speak aspirational languages. Brit Nats in Labour have no aspirations for the language, just breadcrumbs'

It's just the same old Labour British nationalism. Any successful language
has some kind of elite (which one takes to mean people in power and influence). If it doesn't, it dies out - which is what nearly happened to Welsh until the Welsh nationalist movement learnt from other languages abroad.

This is why Labour Brit Nats
(with literally a handful of exceptions) hark back to a 1950s Welsh-speaker; a weak and embarrased, forever forelock, pulling to the colonial English language; the kind of Welsh-speakers still in the Labour party.

Welsh-speaking elite? It's just anti Welsh colonialism isn't it boys? Dressed up in pseydo class jingoism. The same old British Nationalist Labour Party story.

1 comment:

cymrumark said...


Have got a new blog up and running...have a look and then post a link if you have time

all the best