"We've all been there. You're in the middle of a heated discussion – debating the news over a pint in the pub, or firing off comments below an article on Comment is free. Suddenly, you remember that someone famous once put your argument in a much pithier way than you ever could. It might be an old canard like "Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" from the Old Testament, or trendy economist-speak such as Malcolm Gladwell's well-worn phrase "the tipping point". The point is: you didn't really read the original text, and you're not all that sure what the author was really going on about in the first place. But you quote it anyway. Everyone – commenters, commentators, yes, even editors – sometimes resorts to intellectual clichés."As if by magic our own Wales Home came up with a perfect example "The Dragon Has Two Tongues", a debate about whether or not Wales Home should publish posts in Welsh without translating them into English, a theme picked up by John Tyler.
In the Context of the CiF debate the cliché's origins are not in a debate just about the language, but in a book by Glyn Jones and a HTV series where Prof Gwyn Alf Williams debated with Wynford Vaughan Thomas, not so much about language, but about conservatism and radicalism. Both Wynford and Glyn were fluent Welsh speakers the tongues that divided their dragon wasn't linguistic but cultural; it wasn't can speak Welsh v can't speak Welsh but right v left.
In the intervening 30 odd years since the programme was made, only one party has successfully taken on the lessons learned from the programme - the Conservative Party - The only party that doesn't really mind the language that you use as long as the message is right in both senses of the word. Unfortunately the Tories oppose national self determination for Wales, so I can't support them!
Plaid Cymru, a party that one would expect to unite all Welsh speakers and all who have an abiding interest in Welsh culture and history cuts us Wynford types out, because we are not Gwyn Alf's disciples who believe that the Gresford disaster and Streic y Penrhyn are the be all and end all of North Wales' history, because we are not all left wing. Plaid treats our Dragon's Tongue with opposition, opprobrium and derision.
Unless and until a national movement unites all who want Welsh independence, left and right, cultural and practical, Welsh speaking or not, one of the dragon's tongues will remain very, very wilted!