WELSH DEVOLUTION – A Single Party Governance on Orwellian Terms: 16 years of failure and more to come!

manifesto

With the Assembly elections looming upon us the Welsh electorate has some unenviable choices to make, but can it make the real choices in the absence of the free media and with virtually no scrutiny  of the key issues that have made Wales a basket case ‘nation’ of Europe and the UK?

Of all the devolved UK regions, Wales happens to be relatively unique in the context that it has a ‘living’ minority language and a culture that has somehow become ‘More Equal’ and where some 7% of fluent Welsh speakers have managed to take over the Ownership of Wales.

It’s not simple to explain this phenomenon but the nationalist agenda of creating a ‘Welsh speaking Cymru (Wales)’ started a long time ago and over time they managed to infiltrate the key Welsh institutions, then simply waited for the right opportunity to arrive.

The following statement is from the House of Lords archives (1958) and it goes a long way to explain what’s happening in Wales today:

“Welsh nationalists have captured the BBC Wales and are making a determined assault on our schools. I am afraid these Eisteddfod-going Welsh-language-thumping people will stop at nothing to force their views on the majority”

Devolution has given them the gift they waited for, then the sinister political manipulation of devolved powers by the Welsh speaking Labour Party leaders (Rhodri Morgan first and now Carwyn Jones) who together with the unquestionable complicity and support of the Welsh Media (BBC / ITV Wales) and to the lesser extent Western Mail and the Daily Post seemingly managed to achieve the impossible – A Tribal Minority ruling the Majority!

Fluent Welsh speakers have created a myth that Wales belongs to them: “Their Country, Their Language, Their Culture“. Therefore, the Welsh Governance should be on their terms – A form of self-granted ‘Exceptionalism’ and all at a huge price to Wales and so it seems everything that matters or should matter to Wales is now in a terminal decline!

The concept of basic Linguistic Freedom of Choice is denied to the majority and often with PREJUDICE for the greater good of a language that has little or no relevance to most people of Wales. I consider this to be bizarre especially in the context that these people openly demand an imposed obligation on the majority to learn the moribund language through irrational statements “Every child born in Wales has a birthright to be educated through the medium of Welsh”. This is unsustainable and is damaging to Wales, so not long ago decided to challenge Carwyn Jones to come clean on this issue.

To my surprise Carwyn Jones wrote back and in a typical and in my view arrogant way has decided to put me into my place Wales Has Always Been a Bilingual Nation – No need for mandate therefore : On your bike” or words to that effect”.

I’ll deal in some detail with the implications behind each assertion Carwyn has made in a separate blog but in the meantime if anyone wishes to comment on Carwyn’s letter, please do so.

Jacques Protic – Jan 2016

 

Y Gwir Anrh/Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AC/AMgovernment

 Prif Weinidog Cymru/First Minister of Wales

22 October 2015

Dear Mr Protic,

Thank you for your email of 4th October relating to the Welsh language.

I am sorry to say that I do not agree with the way you have characterised either the Welsh language or the current philosophy of Welsh Labour. It is putting the cart before the horse to question why Wales is being promoted as a bilingual nation since devolution. Wales was a bilingual nation long before 1999, and Welsh as a language of education and the community has a centuries’ old tradition. It is wrong to say therefore that the language has been imposed on the country in some way, indeed it as much part of Wales as the mountains and rivers themselves. This is something that great Welsh Labour politicians, like Jim Griffiths and Cledwyn Hughes recognised and celebrated and I believe they would have been proud to see how a Welsh Labour Government today tries to support and promote the language in a way that is inclusive – taking us away from the bad old days where language was a political football.

In relation to schooling, Welsh first became a compulsory subject for all pupils in Wales in 1990 and ever since devolution began we have been up front with the people of Wales about our commitment and aims for the language.  Our Iaith Pawb strategy in 2003 set out the aim to create a bilingual Wales where people could choose to live their lives through the medium of Welsh or English and we have continued to build on this commitment to secure a thriving future for the language, through our Welsh Language Strategy “Iaith Fyw”.

We published our Welsh-medium education strategy in 2010 which set out the Welsh Government’s vision for an education and training system that responded in a planned way to the demand for Welsh-medium education. The aim was to facilitate an increase in the number of people of all ages able to use the Welsh language with their families, in their communities and in the workplace.  In 2013 the National Assembly followed this up by passing the Schools Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act which required all local authorities to prepare and submit a Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP) which would contain a local authority’s proposals and targets on how it would improve the planning of the provision of education through the medium of Welsh in its area.

To build on this, we recently commissioned Professor Graham Donaldson to map out a radical new approach to the curriculum, including the teaching of Welsh in our schools. His report was based on an extensive engagement process known as ‘The Great Debate’ to involve everyone with a stake in the future of Welsh education in this new approach, from teachers to parents, to learners and businesses.  The response to his report was one of the biggest to any Welsh Government engagement exercise since devolution began, with over 700 responses, including over 300 from children and young people themselves. The Welsh Government has now accepted all of the recommendations in Prof. Donaldson’s report, including that Welsh will remain compulsory in all schools up to the age of 16. As Professor Donaldson outlined in his report, ‘The cultural, cognitive and practical benefits of learning Welsh as a living language provide a strong case for its inclusion as a compulsory element in the school curriculum’.  I would therefore challenge any assertion that we have not sought to engage with, and seek consent from, the Welsh public in how we intend to develop the language in Wales.

I would also similarly contest the statement that we are ‘damaging’ young people in primary schools by giving them the opportunity to learn Welsh.  Not only is the joy of learning a language good in itself, linguistic skills are rapidly becoming one of the most important tools a young person can acquire to compete for jobs in the new global economy.  As a bilingual country we already have a great deal of knowledge in our primary and secondary schools sector and in our university language departments about how best to learn and teach languages and that is why recently the Minister for Education Huw Lewis outlined the Welsh Government’s attempt to harness this advantage though its new Global Futures strategy which aims to increase modern foreign language learning in our primary and secondary schools and ensure we deliver the increase in confident linguists our economy and society needs over the next few years.

Devolution has given us the opportunity to make decisions in Wales, for Wales.  Having a Welsh Labour Government leading that work in the Assembly has given Wales the opportunity to be proud of its traditions and at the same time be confident and outward looking about competing on the international stage we want Wales to play on over the coming years.

I am honoured to lead that work and will continue to do so in the same transparent and open way we have done over the last few years.

Yours sincerely

sig

CARWYN JONES

6 thoughts on “WELSH DEVOLUTION – A Single Party Governance on Orwellian Terms: 16 years of failure and more to come!

  1. As duplicitous Mr Jones has replied in person, please be thankful Ahem!
    In my battles with the appalling way Wales is being corrupted here is a comment from one of my own AMs this very week. Usually a person of few words but telling ones, these are very telling indeed:-

    “Dear Ian,
    Thanks for copying me on this predictable and standard response .
    Whatever Opposition Members say or do in the Parliament (Senedd), only voters can remove the Government.
    However, the ‘democratic deficit’ in Wales means that most people remain blissfully unaware of what is going on in Cardiff, how powerful the Welsh Government actually is and who is actually responsible for what.
    No wonder Carwyn delights in buck-passing and confusing people by blaming the UK Government for matters that are the sole responsibility of his Government.
    Regards”

  2. “It is wrong to say therefore that the language has been imposed on the country in some way, indeed it as much part of Wales as the mountains and rivers themselves.”

    But the people are not part of the landscape and the mountains and rivers have never chosen a language to speak. What a pathetic excuse. What about the people who live in Wales now, today, real people, real people with thoughts and feelings and preferences and dreams and aspirations? The people who choose to use English on a daily basis. The people who want to use English on a daily basis.

    I am Welsh, I do not speak Cymraeg. I do not need to speak Cymraeg to be Welsh.

    “taking us away from the bad old days where language was a political football.” – what a joke and another deception. Just because he thinks this does not make it so.

    The Great Debate – where majoritarianism rules. “The response to his report was one of the biggest to any Welsh Government engagement exercise since devolution began, with over 700 responses, including over 300 from children and young people themselves.” Consider 300 as a percentage of 38000 the number of students in year 11 and then consider 300 as a percentage of 418000 the approximate number of students in school. 300 represents 0.0007% of students. Now would they be the students in the Labour and plaid youth movements I wonder? The great debate should be labelled the Great deception. No-one wants to engage with Labour evident in the pathetic response from students.

    Another feature of Graham Donaldson is the phrase he used when developing the curriculum model
    “10 Principles for Curriculum Design
    The Curriculum should be:
    authentic: rooted in Welsh values and culture and aligned with an agreed set of
    stated purposes;
    evidence-based: drawing on the best of existing practice within Wales and from
    elsewhere and on sound research;
    responsive: relevant to the needs of today (individual, local and national) but
    also equipping all young people with the knowledge, skills and dispositions for
    future challenges as lifelong learners;
    inclusive: easily understood by all, encompassing an entitlement to high quality
    education for every child and young person and taking account of their views in
    the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
    (UNCRC), and those of parents and wider society;
    ambitious: embodying high expectations and setting no artificial limits on
    achievement and challenge for each individual child and young person;
    empowering: developing competencies which will allow young people to engage
    confidently with the challenges of their future lives;
    unified : enabling continuity and flow with components which combine and build
    progressively;
    engaging: encouraging enjoyment from learning and satisfaction in mastering
    challenging subject matter;
    based on subsidiarity: commanding the confidence of all, whilst encouraging
    appropriate ownership and decision-making by those closest to the learning and
    teaching process;
    manageable: recognising the implications for and supported by appropriate
    assessment and accountability arrangements”

    “The curriculum should be:
    •authentic: rooted in agreed values and culture and aligned with a clear set of stated purposes;
    •evidence-based: drawing on the best of existing local practice and from elsewhere and on sound research;
    •responsive: relevant to the needs of today (individual, local and national) but also equipping all young people with the
    knowledge, skills and dispositions for future challenges as lifelong learners
    •inclusive: easily understood by all, encompassing an entitlement to high quality education for every child and young
    person and taking account of their views in the context of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
    (UNCRC) and those of parents and wider society;
    •ambitious: embodying high expectations and setting no artificial limits on achievement and challenge for each
    individual child and young person;
    •empowering: developing competencies which will allow young people to engage confidently with the challenges of
    their future lives;
    •unified : enabling continuity and flow with components which combine and build progressively;
    •engaging: encouraging enjoyment from learning and satisfaction in mastering challenging subject matter;
    •based on subsidiarity: commanding the confidence of all, while encouraging appropriate ownership and decisionmaking
    by those closest to the learning and teaching process;
    •manageable: recognising the implications for and supported by appropriate assessment and accountability
    arrangements”

    Notice that Welsh has replaced Agreed.

    Who defines Welshness in education? Labour at the moment. That is quite simply WRONG.

    “As a bilingual country” – ummm but without a bilingual anthem. Pathetic. Hypocrisy.

    “I am honoured to lead that work and will continue to do so in the same transparent and open way we have done over the last few years” – This statement implies that early work was not transparent.

    There is no transparency – http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-politics-34728250

    This letter seeks to make excuses for the inexcusable. I do not support Labour and would not engage with a consultation led by people who have not been transparent and continue to reduce levels of transparency.

    Exactly what peer reviewed educational research backs up the Welsh system? Drawing parallels to other countries is disingenuous. Cymraeg is not the defacto language for this nation.

  3. The problem with Wales is the Cymry elite who have assumed ownership of Wales and everything Welsh shaping it to fit a medieval template dreamed up by “celtic race” academics at Aberystwyth university. Things may have to get worse before they get better but one things for sure and that is the fight against state promoted legalised prejudice on the grounds that Cymraeg speakers are more valuable human beings than the vast majority must be fought tooth and nail.

    • We will fight against the monoglot bullies tooth and nail – how would you like it if all nations took your attitude towards minority languages? Oh! They did! sieg Heil! Maybe we should be as stupid,arrogant and ignorant as you and refuse to learn our language

      • What’s missing Tarian is the Freedom of Choice in the post devolution Wales – No one should be forced to learn a minority language. YouGov poll (June 2015) shows that Welsh language is irrelevant to most people in Wales. In response to Prof Donaldson’s education review most children stated that thy dislike Welsh language! When ‘Enough is Enough’???

  4. EDITOR’S NOTE:

    For transparency sake, the following is the precise text of my note sent to Carwyn Jones by E-mail on 04.10.2015:

    “As I see it in the post devolution period Wales has become subject to an unprecedented Social Engineering project emphasising ‘bilingualism’ at every opportunity, often by compulsion and putting in place a raft of measures to ensure Welsh language speakers are given public employment privileges and seemingly in many cases before competence as evident in the failing Welsh education and Welsh NHS.

    I have tried hard to establish where the mandate came from to empower the Welsh Labour Government on the journey of building Wales into a ‘Bilingual Nation’ and after extensive research into Welsh Labour’s election manifestos I’ve failed to find a single shred of evidence that would give you any mandate to modify linguistic profile of Wales to the extent that has been done in the last 15 years.

    Having said this, I did find small print in some of the public documents for May 1999 elections to the effect that Welsh Labour values and supports Welsh language which is fine, but in no way that can or could have been taken as a public endorsement or a public mandate to prioritise a minority language above the first language of Wales which is English.

    My questions to you are:

    1. Please explain where the mandate came from that enabled the Welsh Labour / Labour Government to impose Welsh language to the extent that was done since the devolution (In case you choose to answer via the provisions of the Welsh Language Act then please quote the specific paragraphs that you feel are relevant and or appropriate and equally why the first manifesto was so vague upon the Welsh language intensions that came in with vengeance soon after Rhodri Morgan became the FM?

    2. Please read my summary statement in the attachment titled ‘WME Demand’ (For the record, every single word and sentence as stated is 100% evidence based) so Question 2 is: Why is the Welsh Government misleading the public about the demand for Welsh Medium Education when the facts show entirely different situation?

    3. Back to the foot note of the same attachment where its stated that the children from non-Welsh speaking homes are damaged in Welsh Medium Education (Again evidence based from the FOI data held by DfES etc) – The final question is: How on earth any Government in the full knowledge of a failing policy is insisting on damaging 1,000’s of children by imposing Welsh-Medium education in primary years and in many cases denying parental choice in the matter?”

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