Democracy Live and the Welsh Language

The new BBC Service Democracy Live is great and one that I am sure to use often. It offers live and recorded debates from eight UK parliamentary chambers, including the Assembly's Senedd.

It is also possible to embed proceedings from the chamber into blog posts. As the service is available it must be used!

Here is the discussion on the Welsh language eLCO held yesterday:

(NB the embedded video audio comes from translators for most of the debate)

Apparently it is posssible to take individual contributions out of full debates for the sake of partisan or personal embedding, but I haven't worked out how to do that yet. However, this is a debate worth following from beginning to end.

What I find heartening about this debate is the fact that its liveliness, the fire in the belly, the party political point scoring and the passion is based on an argument about which party is the greatest supporter and promoter of the language.

Listening to Tory and Liberal Democrat and Labour members criticising a Plaid Cymru minister for compromising on the language and not doing enough to defend it bought a tear to the eye; not because the criticisms might, or might not, be justified - but just because they were made.

A quarter of a century, or less, ago this sort of debate would have involved a powerless member of Plaid stuck in a corner supporting the language whilst the other three parties ravaged him or her for the stupidity of advancing the cause of a half dead language. The fact that today, a nationalist minister had to fight off attacks from members of the other parties who were falling over themselves to prove that they are the most ardent supporters and truest defenders of the language is evidence of how far the Welsh language cause has moved in so short a time.

Plaid's next big challenge is to get to a situation where all the other parties are criticising it for not doing enough to advance the cause of national self determination :-)

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant post! Could you imagine such a debate in Westminster? The likes of David Davies, Chris Bryant, Llew Smith et al? They would have been foaming at the mouth in attacking the language. So thank god for the Assembly and its members!