Saturday, February 11, 2006

What’s in a Name 2?

So, lets get this right? Two monoglot English speaking AMs, the British nationalists Labour members, Leighton Andrews and Huw/Hugh Lewis complain about the new monolingual Welsh names for parts of the new Assembly building, namely 'Senedd', 'oriel', 'cyntedd' etc.

Leaving aside the debate about the validity of calling such a useless body a 'senedd' (parliament), there's another vital point. Hugh/Huw Lewis and Andrews are cultural nationalists who will fight for the right of monoglot English speakers never ever to be in a situation were they may have to learn a new word in another language, well, Welsh to be precise.

The two English language cultural nationalists are fighting for the right of perceived ethnic community (monoglot English-speakers in Wales) to stay pure and monoglot English-speaking. Meanwhile, when other Welsh people fight for the right of communities which have been Welsh-speaking since two millennia to retain some semblance of monolingualism as a moral right and only feasible way of giving status to the language, they're hounded as being 'narrow minded' or 'racists'.

So, monoglot English speaking is good and inclusive. But wishing to promote the indigenous language of this country - which is now a minority language because of the deliberate colonial policies of the British state and the power of Anglo-American mass culture - is bad and exclusive.

One good thing about this 'Senedd' business - it's brought these gut British nationalists feelings out to the open. For Andrews and Lewis, English-speakers in Wales (as in other colonies) have a God-given right never to have to learn a single word from another language, especially if that language is the indigenous colonised language. English cultural nationalists of the world unite!

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

To be fair Leighton Andrews can speak Welsh