Politics, news, libertarianism, Science Fiction, religion, sewing. You got a problem, bud? I like sewing.
E-mail: nataliesolent-at-aol-dot-com (I assume it's OK to quote senders by name.)
Back to main blog
Jane's Blogosphere: blogtrack for Natalie Solent.
( 'Nother Solent is this blog's good twin. Same words, searchable archives, RSS feed. Provided by a benefactor, to whom thanks.
I also sometimes write for Samizdata and Biased BBC.)
The Old Comrades:
November 2001 December 2001 January 2002 February 2002 March 2002 April 2002 May 2002 June 2002 July 2002 August 2002 September 2002 October 2002 November 2002 December 2002 January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 August 2007 October 2007 February 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 March 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 October 2009 January 2010 March 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 April 2011 June 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013
Friday, October 08, 2004
Some Welsh Nots. I would like to make a couple of petty-minded, carping, negative quibbles about some things people say in this Guardian special report about the wonderfulness of the Welsh Assembly while totally ignoring the important points it makes. Why? 'Cos I'm a blogger, that's why.
..."It has been an effective assembly," counters Morgan. "Since Labour came to power in 1999, unemployment, which was much higher in Wales than the UK, is now lower. Infant mortality rates are lower, GCSE A to C grades are higher. These simple facts show the assembly has been worthwhile."Well it could be Labour rather than the assembly that caused any or all of these improvements. Or Bush's presidency. Or sunspots. Or the closing of one gyre and the opening of another.
"I think things have moved on in the past few years and now a lot of the Cool Cymru ethos is about pride in the assembly," says Janet Ryder, a Plaid Cymru assembly member for North Wales. "There's a real sense that we can stand on our own two feet. I don't think you'd find any people in Wales now who would want the assembly to be scrapped.What, no one at all? Get out more. I have no strong opinion either way, but I've met undeniably Welsh people who say it's a black hole for taxpayers' money.
The threat to Welsh isn't quite so brutal as it was in the 19th century, when speaking Welsh was regarded as offensive by Anglocentric educators. "In the days of the "Welsh Not" in the 19th century," says Huw's friend Elaine, "if I said something in Welsh at school, the teacher would put a piece of string with a board around my neck with the legend "Welsh Not". If Eifion then said something to me in Welsh, the board would be hung around his neck. Then if Elaine said something in Welsh to me at playtime, it would be hung around her neck. At the end of the day, the one with the Welsh Not would have their hand spanked."One little point you will rarely if ever see mentioned in accounts of the Welsh Not - but will hear from talking to old people who remember their parents telling them about it - is that this procedure was supported by nearly all the parents of the pupils involved. They saw the English language as the key to prosperity and Welsh as confining its speakers to low status. It may be regrettable that they had this perception, even more regrettable that they were rational to have it, and still more regrettable (though typical for the times) that they were willing to use such harsh methods to mould their children in the desired direction, but have it they did. You can hear the last echoes of this attitude in the opening pages of Alan Garner's The Owl Service where Gwyn's mother says, "You know I won't have you speaking Welsh. I've not struggled all these years in Aber to have you talk like a labourer. I could have stayed in the valley if I'd wanted that."
Some of you may be saying that's three quibbles, not two. Hah! Three is a Welsh couple.
(This post has grown gradually over the afternoon.)