The Welsh Language Measure

How odd. I support Plaid Cymru's position and Alan in Dyfed opposes it. Usually it is the other way around!

Alan praises the Lib Dem's on Welsh Language policy and criticises Plaid – he is wrong.

Having been canvassed by Liberal Democrats in Aberconwy and having heard from family members resident in Cardigan about Lib Dem canvassing any support for the language by Lib Dems is obviously opportunist. Lib Dem supporters were using the Language Measure as an example of Plaid forcing the language on non Welsh speaking residents last May; now they are trying to say that the Measure doesn't go far enoughand that Plaid have welshed on the Welsh Language!

There is a failure in the devolution settlement. The Assembly has the right to legislate on the Welsh Language, but not on the Languages of Wales. A measure that says that English and Welsh are both official languages would be illegal; a statement that English and Welsh have equal legal status would be retrograde because the English language is NOT an official Language in England & Wales. It is our de-facto language. I don't think that a measure that made Welsh the de-facto language of Wales would be acceptable to the majority of Welsh people now.

I would like the Assembly to have the responsibility to legislate on all the languages of Wales and to be able to state, unambiguously, that Welsh, English and BSL are the official languages of Wales, all with equal validity, but it doesn't have that competency!

The problem isn't what the Measure includes, but how broad an Assembly Measure on the languages of Wales can be. The Plaid / Labour coalition has passed the best possible measure in support of the Welsh language that it is competent to pass.

If the Lib Dems don't think that the current Measure is good enough, they are in government on an UK level, they can ask their ministers to give further language competence to the National Assembly, in order to enable the Assembly to strengthen the Measure, but I won't hold my breath waiting for them to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Very odd. Three years ago I seem to remember that I supported the One Wales Agreement whereas MOF supported the Rainbow Coalition. In the present climate is it not time for the Plaid-Labour coalition to stand aside and for the Rainbow Coalition (Plaid/Lib-Dem/Tory) to be given their chance to legislate in the best interests of Wales?